FH 201: Turkeys And Turkey Basters

Yes it is from last year but we do not make these videos up. This really is what the column is all about.

Well okay it may also be about some of those “turkeys” and turkey basters from Round 1.

When you look at the numbers in our “meat and potato” style, one realizes just how unexpected some players performed. We almost cringed when we saw some of the goalies that managed to move on that are still starting for their teams. Yet a guy like Carey Price is going home for example. Sometimes things do not seem all that just, do they?

Goalies are a general focus for most fantasy poolies come playoff time because in a sense, they are the ones that can really steal the show and guide you to glory. Sure offense helps but picking the right goalie is probably the most fateful decision. Not only do they have to go far in the playoffs, but they do have to perform as well.

Even in regular season playoffs, it is your goaltending that saves your bacon. The playoffs are much the same. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

So it is time to get out the TURKEYS and TURKEY BASTERS. Round 1 provided a glut of both and some were very unexpected. We are ready if you are.

TURKEY TIME:

1. Pekka Rinne (NSH)

We heard how good Rinne was all year and especially how good he was against Anaheim in the regular season. Unforunately from Games 2-5, Rinne must have gone on vacation or had some kind of “brain lock”.

Whatever happened no one knows, but nonetheless he won four games, which is good enough to get to the second round. But the 3.29 GAA and .876 save percentage was very alarming to fantasy poolies.

Rinne looked very slow on his glove side throughout most of the series but was a hair faster in Game 6 which could be a sign of a turnaround. The Sedin Twins are coming tonight so it gets no easier.

2. Antti Niemi (SJ)

This was so bad that I could not even put it in words BUT Niemi was awful against Nashville last year before getting it together against tougher competition.

The numbers are horrid and really Niemi was beat from all angles and not just high glove side like Rinne or Luongo. If you take a trip to the 99 cent score, you will figure out Niemi’s GAA which is 3.99 with a save percentage of .863.

Now last year his save percentage was below .900 against Nashville, but he bounced back pretty well until parts of the Philly series. It will be very interesting to see what happens against Detroit because they do have a little more “playoff mettle” than a team like Los Angeles.

3.  Roberto Luongo (VAN)

Ultimately Luongo finished with a 2.97 GAA and .903 save percentage but honestly he was sheltered like no other goalie I have seen in a long time. More pucks flicked off his glove than even an AHL goalie should and Luongo just looked shaky from every angle.

Some were asking if Luongo switched gloves with Peter Budaj. Yes we went there as only we can.

The worst part is so many people own him in pools and you have to keep starting him in the hopes that he works himself out of it. Game 1 could be vital here. See how Luongo plays positionally in the first period tonight or if one gets by early, that could be a telltale sign.

4  Nicklas Backstrom (WSH)

Lost in translation was how bad Backstrom played in Round 1. Some may say it was the more defensive style but whatever the reason, he just did not have it with just one assist in five games.

Maybe he can turn it around against Tampa. However Round 1 was just a fantasy house of horrors for a player who was counted on by many poolies. The shots were there (11) but the goals were not. Even the ice time was there and yet still not much or very little.

Washington has to find a way to get Backstrom going and quickly because they will need more from him going forward.

5. Milan Lucic (BOS)

Lucic is the prototype player whose game is tailor made for the playoffs. Yet all he has is that five minute major, two assists, 16 shots on goal, and well no goals (obviously none on the man advantage either).

Simply Lucic is a guy who is perfect for power plays in the playoffs. He plays big with very good hands and gets in those areas where Dustin Penner is still afraid to go. Yet again, no goals at all, not one.

Lucic has to step up against Philly and their band of physical forwards and defenseman. Otherwise he’ll continue to be a turkey and well he will be on the golf course in two weeks or less.

TURKEY BASTERS:

1. Dwayne Roloson (TBL)

I was roundly laughed at to a point when I said Roloson would be the most valuable goalie in Round 1. Well laugh no more as Roloson posted a .949 save percentage against thePittsburgh Penguins.

Now honestly, Pittsburgh was without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin but Pittsburgh was not totally powerless on the man advantage because they were inept. Roloson played out of his mind like many know he can.

At the age of 41, Roloson is playing at high level, which is just mind boggling. The 1.77 GAA does not hurt either and he saved maybe his best for last with a shutout in a Game 7 against the Pens.

Roloson is 6-0 in elimination games but admittedly he will face a tougher test against Washington even though Roloson did have “one really good week” against them.

2. Michael Cammalleri (MTL)

It really is a shame that we will not get to see more of this playoff maestro.

Cammalleri racked up ten points in seven games against Boston and almost got Montreal into Round 2.

Unfortunately he could not play defense.

Yes his regular season was below fantasy expectations but people forget how good Cammalleri was in last year’s playoff run. Now we will never forget but sadly he is gone and will be replaced by a Round 2 offensive stud.

3. Michal Neuvirth (WSH)

Neuvirth posted the best GAA and went 4-1 in Round 1 only allowing eight goals against the New York Rangers. His 1.38 GAA was eye popping to some but given the fact that the boys from Gotham had gone on long stretches of scoring droughts, was it really a surprise? I did not think so.

Neuvirth is going to face a tougher test in Tampa and there is a back to back component in the series (Games 3 and 4 in Tampa). It is time to see if the youngster is really a one hit wonder or can get Washington deep in the playoffs.

4. Dave Bolland (CHI)

Bolland didn’t see much ice time, but his six points and a plus-6 rating in four games had us wishing he could have been around a little longer in these playoffs. No one knew if Bolland was even 100 percent but it was apparent that he was the physical presence Chicago was missing in Games 1-3.

The words “what could have been” really ring true here with two goals and four assists and just trying to shut down the Sedin Twins is a pretty large accomplishment.

Maybe the blueprint was again established. Surely we will see more Bolland impact come next season.

5. Martin St. Louis (TBL)

St. Louis had eight points (4 G 4A) in Round 1 and could be the one guy that drives Washington insane in Round 2. Tampa Bay needs him to absolutely produce in a big way again for Tampa to have a chance in advancing to the Conference Finals.

With this little speedy guy on the team, I always give Tampa a puncher’s chance along with Roloson. So look out Washington, St. Louis will get his points but if he gets them in big situations, then they could be in trouble.

Got some other turkeys and turkey basters? Just let us know.

Coming up later today is our daily fantasy preview which only has one game tonight. Good luck fantasy poolies.

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