Week Six of the Cage Match Goalie Tournament is in the books! Action in the main bracket went as expected, leaving us with just eight goaltenders remaining. Meanwhile, in the Loser’s Bracket there were some real surprises. Only eight remain in the Loser’s Bracket as well. Let’s see how the action shook out.
#1 Ryan Miller over # Craig Anderson – 62 votes to 3 votes.
I would like to make the argument that this one is a lot closer than the votes show. In general, I would always take Miller ahead of Anderson but I’m not should the end result will always go that way. If you are a big believer in the Senators and not so much in the Sabres then I could really see taking Anderson here. Maybe his peripherals will never be that great but if the Senators continue to get better then Anderson will reap the rewards. Similarly, the Sabres and Miller both took steps backward last season and if that continues then I wouldn’t be shocked if Anderson had the better season.
Having said all that, I’m in agreement with the vote. I actually think the Senators, while in great shape for the future, might take a step backward this season, while the Sabres have the sort of depth that could help them bounce back to the playoffs.
#2 Jaroslav Halak over #3 Jimmy Howard – 40 votes to 28 votes.
This past weekend the volleyball team I coach travelled to Winnipeg for a tournament and played a team called the Jimmies. We won but it was a close match, not unlike this matchup between Halak and Howard who will be, from this point forward, known as The Jimmy.
#1 Mike Smith over #4 Niklas Backstrom – 54 votes to 12 votes.
I don’t really have much to say here. No matter how much you believe in Minnesota being a force this season you still have to respect what Smith did in re-inventing himself as well as the consistency Dave Tippet and Sean Burke have shown in making their goaltenders look a whole lot better.
#2 Cam Ward over #3 Roberto Luongo – 50 votes to 15 votes.
I would really like to have been able to run this poll in an alternate universe where Luongo was traded this summer, just to see the results. As it stands now, Luongo is in something of a purgatory state, which, as LOST fans can tell you, is never a good thing. So it’s no surprise that Ward, the guaranteed starter, took this one running away.
With only eight goaltenders remaining in the main bracket everyone left standing will be in on this week’s action. Let’s break down the matchups.
This is a classic matchup. Fantasy fanatics have been asking themselves a version of this question for years, whether it be in one-year leagues or keepers, it didn’t matter. These are two of the league’s best young netminders, who happen to play for teams involved in a classic Original Six rivalry. I can’t wait for the results of this one!
Lehtonen is the lowest seed to advance to the final eight but don’t let that affect your vote. The truth is that this battle is intriguing because it features the two goaltenders to have been drafted the highest since Rick DiPietro proved to everyone why you don’t want to take a goaltender with a high pick. And while we don’t want to make this about who has lived up to their draft spot the most, that is kind of on the line here.
Classic workhorse vs. timeshare argument right here. Very excited for this one!
I have no issues with telling you that in the preliminary rankings these two were neck and neck with Ward finishing just slightly behind in the polling. That was a small sample size though so let’s see what shakes out between these two with the general public voting. I can’t stress enough how close it is between these two. Cannot wait to see the sparks fly.
And now let’s take another trip down to Loser’s Lane…
Last week saw Semyon Varlamov, Ondrej Pavelec, Martin Brodeur and Antti Niemi prevail with Tom Hanks-like brilliance escaping from their respective Loser Islands. Let’s see who was rescued this week:
Devan Dubnyk – 23 votes. Much like his situation in Edmonton, Dubnyk was the least terrible of some pretty crappy options.
Corey Crawford – 29 votes. I won’t say that this was undisputed but Crawford was the strongest of all the island escapists this week.
Brian Elliott – 24 votes. I was going to say that it was pretty sad to see Elliott, an NHL record holder, relegated to Cloutier Island but then I remembered that Cloutier is also a record holder for allowing in the most beach balls both in a single season and all-time. In any case, Elliott moves on to the Tower of Mediocrity.
Anders Lindback – 18 votes. Lindback barely escaped Salo Island with Michal Neuvirth nipping at his heels. It was like that scene in an action movie where the hero and the villain are both falling off a ledge and the villain is hanging onto the hero for dear life but also trying to drag him off the ledge only for the villain to ultimate slip and fall to his demise.
Only two remain on each island, meaning this week it’s all on the line. On each island someone will go home safely and someone will spend a season banished and shamed on his respective loser island. You get to decide!
Toskala Island – Cheers to an early vacation!
Cheveldae Island – Really good at stopping backhanders.
Cloutier Island – You’d best have a friend who knows the Heimlich.
Salo Island – The home of Olympic failure.
As always, you are casting your votes based on a one-year league with Wins, Save Percentage, Goals Against Average and Shutouts as categories. So please follow the links provided to cast your votes and make your voice heard!