When the fantasy hockey world throws your team a curveball, you have to be prepared to adjust, and swing for the fences (like that Rick?). Sooner or later, you will have to deal with an injury, a cold streak, or the reduction of playing time to a key player. Often times, it’s how you deal with such dilemmas that determines your long term fantasy success.
Down the stretch, you’ll need maximum production from your starters, but if you own Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The star netminder who was enjoying a career year before Saturday’s 4-2 win over the New York Rangers, suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out indefinitely. We all know what a high ankle sprain can do to a goalie (check out Carey Price’s stats over the last two months) and the fact that there is no timetable on Miller’s return suggests that he will probably be out until April. Scanning the waivers at this point in the season for a goalie will likely be slim pickings, but here is the cream of this unfortunate crop. If you’re playing defensive fantasy hockey right now and are just looking for a safe-bet-goaltender who will start a lot of games for the rest of the season, Chris Mason of the St. Louis Blues, owned in 43% of pools, or the Edmonton Oilers’ Dwayne Roloson (48%) are probably your best options. If you’d rather take a homerun swing and are looking for big-win/shutout potential, I like the Ottawa Senators’ Brian Elliot (28%) and the Los Angeles Kings Jonathan Quick (36%).
We’ll wait to see how well Buffalo Sabres’ back-up goaltender Patrick Lalime deals with the demands of, again, being thrust into the starter’s role. As the last line of defense on a young team battling to make a return to the postseason, the pressures may be too great for the notoriously inconsistent veteran. Will it be redemption or self-destruction?