[caption id="attachment_29657" align="alignnone" width="300"] Devan Dubnyk - USA Today Sports Images[/caption] Libin takes a look at the best fantasy bets for goaltenders in the Western Conference By Doran Libin - This series will examine the best goalies, defensemen, right and left wingers and centers in the Western Conference. The rankings will be a subjective accounting of top players at each of five positions. The basis will be on the value for the coming year. Thus age will not be a huge factor other than the decline that occurs from year to year as a player ages. For the goalies the key factors will be individual talent, the team the goalie plays behind, other goaltending options and the trend over recent years. Individual talent will be measured by save percentage at even strength. That will be further broken down by type of shot, specifically high danger shots. The team in front of the goalies will be measured based on how many shots the team gives up as well as how many wins the team should get. Other goaltending options should be self-explanatory. Finally the overall trend will look at whether the goalie in question is ascending, declining or plateauing. Anton Khudobin as well as the lurking presence of John Gibson. Martin Jones has moved on, replaced by Enroth, and should be good for 55 to 60 games this year. In this case the team in front of Quick makes a huge difference. The Kings failed to make the playoffs last year but it was largely an anomaly as they were still a high-end possession team, they could not win in the shootout or one goal games. The Kings remain an elite defensive team as Quick averages 26 shots faced per 60 minutes played with 7.25 of those coming from high danger areas. Those numbers did not change much last year but they are up from the previous two years. The Kings likely will not return to their previous levels of defensive stinginess but they will continue to be elite from a shot suppression standpoint. Darcy Kuemper rebounds there could be something of a goalie controversy, Dubnyk’s new contract, however gives him some security. Honourable Mention: Corey Crawford – There was enough of a reason with all the changes in Chicago, and their defense having already slipped last year, to bump Crawford from this list. Newcomers: Cam Talbot Talbot will start the season as the new starting goalie in Edmonton, having been signed away from New York. He was extremely impressive in New York but faces a much different situation in Edmonton. The good news is that he is the only Rangers back-up goalie to consistently post above league average numbers in the last decade. The bad news is the Oilers’ defense has been a tire fire in recent years. He also faces some competition in Ben Scrivens and Anders Nilsson. This will be a big test for Talbot as he has less than 60 games of NHL experience and few Edmonton goalies have succeeded recently. Martin Jones Jones moved up the I-5 after making a brief detour to Boston. He will likely find that he would have found that there are more similarities between Boston and LA than with San Jose. The Sharks allow considerably more shots, 2.5 per 60 minutes, and three extra high danger shots per 60 minutes played. Jones is in for a shock and likely looks more like a league average goalie than the stud he was in 2013/14.
- Ramblings: Toews, Triplets, hot lines, and Auston vs. Laine II (Feb 22)
- Ramblings: The Panthers' Power Play Woes (Feb 23)
- NHL Line Combos - Kings and Panthers flying; Leafs' new line sizzles
- NHL Injuries: Latest on Marner, Stamkos, Quick, Stone, E.J. and others
- Cage Match: The better fantasy own - Max Pacioretty or Taylor Hall?
- Capped: Defensemen to Buy At Your Trade Deadline
- Fantasy Impact: The Penguins Acquire Ron Hainsey
- Fantasy Hockey Podcast: Bo-lieve!