It’s back! We are bringing back the Cage Match Tournament this fall to look at who is the best goaltender in fantasy hockey for this upcoming season, except there’s a twist. I polled the DobberHockey’s writers and forum juggernauts for their top 32 goaltenders heading into this season and the results showed that last season’s Vezina finalist are overwhelming favourites. They are so far out in front that even Yahoo! has them ranked there. As such, Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Quick and Pekka Rinne won’t be participating in this tournament because including them would render the exercise useless.


Online voting polls rarely provide the upsets that say the Stanley Cup Playoffs do so what’s the point of running a tournament where three of the final four is engraved in a stone tablet even Moses couldn’t shatter? The answer is that there is none because the top seeds spend so much time ravaging the field that we rarely get to see the compelling matchups that can yield actual insights. And aren’t insights why you come to DobberHockey? Exactly, so don’t fret that Lundqvist, Quick and Rinne aren’t in this. Maybe they’ll get a Cage Match article of their own some time. In the meantime, let’s find out who you guys are picking after the top three.

Things get really murky in goal for fantasy owners after the top three. You would have an easier time guessing when the season will actually start than figuring out whom to take fourth overall. Many of the polls I received from the DobberHockey writers came with messages like; “man was that ever tough,” followed by a list that looked nothing like any of the others. As I wrote two weeks ago;

Things start to unravel after the top three and this is a reflection of how uncertain the goaltending landscape is. Between injuries, inconsistencies, retirements, sabbaticals and timeshares there are just no sure things to be had.

To further drive that point home, consider the fact that 47 different goaltenders were named at least once across the 19 different lists I received. Will there really be 47 fantasy relevant goaltenders this season? Will 47 goaltenders be owned in your league? I sincerely doubt it but all of these guys have potential, which makes filling out your goaltending position a real challenge.

But then again, when hasn’t the goaltending position been a challenge to fill? There has never been a season, post-expansion, where we’ve known exactly what to expect from all the goaltenders in the league. Despite all this we’ve built a bracket and from that bracket, you the faithful DobberHockey reader, are going to determine which goaltender to select fourth this season based on the following goaltending categories:

                Wins, Goals Against Average, Save Percentage, Shutouts

Here is the bracket:




To get things started we will open the voting with the first round matchups in the Roy Bracket. (Click the links to cast your votes and remember the scoring categories are: Wins, GAA, Save% and Shutouts)

#1 Tuukka Rask vs. #8 Steve Mason

Both Rask and Mason were fantastic in their respective rookie years but have since seen their fantasy value drop. Is one of them set for a fantasy rebound?

#2 Carey Price vs. #7 Devan Dubnyk

Price and Dubynk are each former first round selections hoping to lead their teams from the draft lottery to the playoffs.

#3 Ilya Bryzgalov vs. #6 Brayden Holtby

Holtby is looking to establish himself as a force in this league for years to come. Bryzgalov is not afraid.

#4 Jonas Hiller vs. #5 Martin Brodeur

Brodeur will renew his battle with Father Time this season. Father Time is of course unbeaten but luckily, for Marty, Hiller can’t say the same thing.

Cast your votes and make your voice heard!

As an aside, I don’t want to hear the “I would take such and such goalie ahead of Rinne” argument. Just stop it. Yeah, Suter is gone but you know who remains? Barry Trotz, Mitch Korn, Shea Weber, the best group of blueline prospects in the NHL and a whole slew of forwards who love to backcheck, that’s who. Rinne will be fine. So yes, he does get a top three exemption from this tournament. At least for this season!

Actually, please do explain those arguments. I’m sure they will be insightful. I’m just not going to change the bracket or my opinion but still, free speech right?

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mounD said:

re: Holtby Holtby could pull off an upset, but there's no way I would take him over any of Rask, Price, Bryz, Hiller,(in all formats) or Brodeur (in 1yr. leagues). The kid is talented, but there isn't even a guarantee that he will be the starter on his own team.

Think about how ridiculous it would have sounded a year ago to say that Braden Holtby would be a top-ten fantasy netminder. Now, it's not quite as ridiculous to say that now, but the point remains: Nothing is set in stone as far as the Washington Caps' goalie situation is concerned, and therefore Holtby's value should be dramatically less than it could be.
September 12, 2012
Votes: +1

bogans said:

... First thing that stands out to me here is how low Holtby is. I think he has a good chance at one or two, if not more upsets. He could potentially take down the entire Roy bracket to be honest.
September 12, 2012
Votes: +0
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