Thursday, November 06, 2008

Big Minute Goalies Not Taken in the Draft

With the emergence of some goalies not normally taken in the Draft, I thought now would be a good time to start looking at some names that have put up some minutes, although they may not have too many points right away. They still could be better than your goalie though... I know they could be better than mine.

Of course, you have to remember, I'm going to order these goalies by their minutes played, not their accumulated points so far, although, I will make mention of how many points they have. It's equally important to know that your goalie has the potential for points, instead of just getting points every once and a while.

Right now, the Kings are running with Jason LaBarbera as their number one guy this year, leading non-taken goalies with 597 minutes played. Going into Wednesday's action, the goaltending minute leader is Mikka Kiprusoff, at 779 minutes. LaBarbera has 3 wins and a shutout this year for the Kings, giving him 8 points on the year, but as of right now, he'll give you the most minutes going forward. There are some rumblings that Los Angeles is shopping for a goalie, but right now they are in a holding pattern, but I thought you should know about trade rumblings.

Thanks to an injury situation on Long Island, Joey MacDonald is now claiming the bulk of the minutes for the Islanders, now that Rick DiPietro is on the shelf for up to six weeks. Now, of course, it's only upwards of six weeks, but DiPietro is prone to getting hurt and MacDonald has a good chance of getting more starts down the stretch. The only kicker here is that they play for the Islanders, not much of a winning formula. Right now, however, MacDonald has 4 wins and an assist for 9 points, as he leads the remaining goalies in points.

The Oilers have seemingly found their number one goalie of late. Dwayne Roloson has been carrying the hot hand in Edmonton, despite a few losses. Roloson has been the steadiest of the three goalies the team carries, thus getting consecutive starts. There is also quite a bit of trade buzz around Roloson, especially since the Oilers are carrying three goalies and Roloson is the oldest of the three. In 303 minutes of play, Roloson only has 2 wins, which doesn't equate to much, but does carry some experience with him, which another team may find valuable.

In Columbus, the Blue Jackets have been dealing with an injury to Pascal Leclaire, which has left the door open to goalies in the Blue Jackets' organization. First on the docket was Fredrik Norrena, but even he has seemingly lost minutes in the past few games. Steve Mason started (and won!) for the Jackets on Wednesday night and may see some more starts before it's too late. Leclaire isn't supposed to be out for very long, but if Mason shows his stuff, Norrena could either have a long stint in the minors or he could go debut for the Devils, Kings or another team than needs a goalie. Currently, Norrena has 4 wins and 8 points in his 326 minutes of play.

Antero Niittymaki has seen a bundle of starts already this season for Philadelphia, especially when they couldn't get off the ground. Niittymaki has fallen to the wayside a bit in Philly, as Martin Biron does figure into most of the starts now, but Niittymaki does have a shutout in his stat pack, so he won't be straying too far from the crease on a regular basis. The Flyers are likely going to be quick to make goaltending changes if they start to lose again, so keep an eye over there to see if Niittymaki is worth picking up in a few weeks.

Finally, in Detroit, it isn't quite platooning for the crease at the Joe, but Ty Conklin isn't being left out in the cold either. Conklin is playing the role of Chris Osgood, when Dominik Hasek was getting the bulk ot the work. It wasn't quite steady work, but it certainly isn't the leftovers either. Conklin has seen 244 minutes (which equates to about 4 games) so far this year, registering 3 wins. That's not too shabby when you look at it overall. His stock is pretty attractive come Week Nine and I expect him to go quite high.

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