Dobber checks in every Thursday to force-feed you the latest fantasy hockey trends. The founder of DobberHockey.com and a columnist for The Hockey News website, he long ago immersed himself into this rollercoaster world and is unable to escape.
The slow start of certain key goaltenders set some fantasy owners back in the race early. Those goaltenders are starting to come around and it's a good thing - there aren't a lot of waiver wire options out there. There are a couple of exceptions, of course. Newcomer Viktor Fasth seems to have his sights set on Jonas Hiller's job. And with Calgary's struggles and Miikka Kiprusoff's lower-body injury, Leland Irving and Danny Taylor make intriguing dark horses for the short term.
Not directly relevant in fantasy hockey, but interesting nonetheless, there is a report on Frozen Pool that breaks down a goaltender's save percentage on shots that are from in close (within 15 feet).
It paints a picture of which goaltender is bailing his team out (Dubnyk stands out, stopping 58 of 65 from in close) and which goalie is getting bailed out by his team (Pavelec has only faced 24 shots from within 15 feet, Rask just 33 shots). If you need an edge in deciding who to start each day, check out the free goalie grid over at Goalie Post.
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes (2-0-0, 0.50 GAA, 0.974 SV%) – There are some things in today's NHL that we just know will happen. Alex Ovechkin Sidney Crosby will easily top a point-per game. Toronto fans will clamor about their latest scapegoat until he is run out of town. Steve Mason will give up plenty of goals. And a Phoenix/Dave Tippett system will make a fantasy stud out of their starting goalie. Never waver from this mantra. Never lose faith in Smith, no matter how slow he starts out.
Read More »from Fantasy Hockey: Smith, Clarkson are studs; Fasth a good wire pickup