Wrapping up the fantasy hockey series, we’re finishing it up with those who stand in goal. We’re taking a look at the Bruins crease police and letting you know who is going to be HOT or not this season in fantasy hokey.
Tuukka Rask: HOT. More like on fire. Tuukka will be among the first five goalies to go in practically every league, which means he’ll be a guaranteed top ten pick. If you’ve got an early draft pick, I’d take Rask over the likes of a Steven Stamkos or even a Sidney Crosby. (Yeah, he’s going to be THAT good for you.) Last season, Tuukka Rask went 19-10-5 with five shutouts. He ended up with nine hundred and eighty saves, and one assist. That .929 save % was in the top five last season, and barring an injury, he will produce again for Boston (and whomever is lucky enough to draft him). I was in two leagues last year, and in both cases, the manager that had Tuukka Rask in his team won it all for the league.
Chad Johnson: NOT(Provisionally). This is nothing against Johnson personally. He’s coming into the Bruins this season the same way Anton Khudobin came in last year. Last season he played four games in the NHL and went 2-0-2 for the Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes. All but one of his goals were scored against him when his team was on the penalty kill. This could go either way. The Bruins are into serious defensive minded hockey and they had substantially better numbers on the penalty kill then Phoenix. Also, Johnson was playing with a struggling team that had the cloud of ownership troubles hanging over them. The Jacobs family are secure in their ownership, and there is no threat to the Boston’s club solvency. He has potential though. In a goalie heavy league, he may not be a terrible choice to pick up late in the draft rounds.
Johnson also has some immense pads to fill. He has # 30, the number of goalie greats Gary Cheevers and Tim Thomas. There is a lot of history and glory with that number, and it would hurt to see #30 be sullied. (Tim Thomas’ off-ice hi-jinks aside.)
Niklas Svedberg: HOT(Provisionally). Last year Niklas Svedberg had the best overall record playing for Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. He went 37-8-2 for Providence. He put up 1280 saves for the Baby Bruins, and had a save percentage comparable to Rask’s ( Svedberg’s .925%/ Rask .929%). At the moment, Svedberg is in line to be the #2 goaltender on opening night for Boston, and having him as the back up would make me feel more comfortable. He’s got the same European mind set to goaltending as Rask does, and is just as poised in the crease as Tuukka is. Personally, if we see Svedberg in the net for one of the first couple of pre-season games, I’d take him over Johnson.
It’s going to be an amazing season. Be sure to grab the Bruins goalies before another manager steals them away.