Goalie: Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Leafs
Game: Devils at Leafs, 7pm EST.
Breakdown: By now, you know the deal: This is Giggy’s first chance to shine for the Leafs. If he holds down the Devils, fantasy owners will rush to grab him. As Puck Daddy points out, Giguere, 32, is reunited in Toronto with goaltending coach Francois Allaire and, for that matter, Leafs GM Brian Burke — men under whose tutelage he produced stellar campaigns in 2002-03 and 2007-08.
Advice: No starting goalie — especially one with Giguere’s track record and upside — belongs in the free agent pool. Grab him while you can. He has more value than any No. 4 defenseman on your roster. (And yet, as of Tuesday afternoon, he was owned in only 31 percent of Yahoo! formats and 11.6 percent of ESPN leagues.)
Goalie: Chad Johnson, Rangers
Breakdown: Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist (flu) missed games Saturday and Sunday. In Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Phoenix, Johnson, 23, started out slowly — he allowed three first-period goals — before settling in and shutting out the Coyotes the rest of the way. He continued his stellar play in Sunday’s 3-1 win at Colorado, blanking the Avalanche until a third-period goal from Colorado LW Cody McLeod. All told, Johnson, a rookie, stopped 34 of 35 shots.
Advice: If you own Lundqvist, grab Johnson. Prior to missing in action last weekend, Lundqvist had lost four straight. Worse, he had allowed three or more goals in his last three games. The high-payroll Rangers are battling to make the playoffs. They are in win-now mode. The hot goalie is going to play, even if it’s a rookie. Head coach John Tortorella does not strike me as the type who’d provide groundless loyalty to a foundering veteran. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not counting out a resurgence from a star like Lundqvist. But if your fantasy season is riding on Lundqvist, you’d be wise to secure his backup — at least for the next few weeks.
photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons