Take a look at the list of NHL teams that had goalie controversies in 2005-06, then 2006-07, and now at the start of the 2007-08 seasons. Are you noticing a trend?  It is true; the tag team tandem of having two goalies sharing/ competing for a bulk of the starts is on a decline.

For fantasy owners this is good news.



Remember just a few seasons ago (2005-06) the Flyers had a great team. The problem in terms of reaping the benefits (in fantasy hockey) was their goaltending situation. Like many NHL teams that season, they used a tandem of two goalies; Esche and Niittymaki. While they each won a lot of games, fantasy owners were very frustrated trying to figure out who was starting when. This caused headaches and missed opportunities to pick up some fantasy points.

The Flyers were a typical team that season, using two goalies more often, in what they thought was the new open-ice, speedy NHL. At the start of 2006-07 season, many teams started off with the same two goalie tandem philosophy. As the season wore on and teams got to experience a second season under the new rules, coaches started to play one goalie more often. In the end, the number of goalies sharing/competing for starts is down. Here are a few examples:



Competing in 2006-07

Clear Starter 2007-08


Giguere and Brygalov


San Jose

Toskala and Nabokov



Lundqvist and Weeks



Fernandez and Backstrom



Miller and Biron



Theodore and Budaj



Belfour and Auld



Gerber and Emery


St. Louis

Sanford and Lalime


Depending on the size of your league, in years past it was very difficult to get two solid starting goalies unless you drafted them early. With more NHL teams narrowing down to one clear starter, fantasy owners will have a much easier time managing their team and thus compiling the necessary points to compete. You will be less likely have four goalies (two spare) on your fantasy roster, which in turn gives you more flexibility to fill your bench with players in other positions. You may have also noticed this difference in your fantasy league draft. You no longer need to scramble to get two starting goalies right away. A few rounds may have passed by and you were then able to get your second solid starter. 

While not all teams have clear number one starters, the tag-team tandem system decline is evident. Be sure to take advantage of it and adjust your management style accordingly.


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