DAILY PRIME TODAY: GOALIE UPS AND DOWNS
There were several note-worthy performances by goaltenders last night which should garner attention from fantasy owners. In his first career NHL start, Swiss import Reto Berra back-stopped the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 OT victory over the Chicago Blackhawks by saving aside 42 of 44 shots. Considering the dismal state of goaltending affairs in Calgary, the 26-year old will get a long look in the crease for the Flames. Joey MacDonald was released and Karri Ramo has floundered since returning from the KHL. Starting goalies are hard to come by in fantasy, so maybe take a gamble on Berra, who despite not posting great numbers in the AHL or the Swiss League, has earned the confidence of Coach Hartley early on.. Minnesota's Josh Harding is quietly putting together an All-Star caliber season, going 7-2-1 with a 1.10 GAA and a .950 SP. His latest effort, a 19-save shutout of the New Jersey Devils last night, should earn him a few more starts, as the separation between him and Niklas Backstrom for the Wild starting job has dwindled. He is definitely worth a flier if you are in need of goalie help.
And now for the "bad": Ottawa's Craig Anderson had stopped 33 of 36 shots in yesterday's afternoon tilt against Dallas before suffering a neck injury in overtime and being carried off in a stretcher after colliding with Stars forward Valeri Nichuskin. The 32-year old, along with his team, is off to a rocky start with unfriendly fantasy numbers: 4-4-2, 3.14 GAA, and a .912 SP. We liked his chances to turn it around soon and represent a huge "buy low" opportunity for fantasy owners, but things just got worse for Anderson. We wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully, the injury turns out less severe than it initially seemed.
Keep your eye on: Kris Russell of Calgary. Just hours after writing about him in our latest edition of ADD'EM, the 26-year old defenseman confirmed our high fantasy hopes by tallying the overtime game-winner against Chicago. He is getting tons of quality ice-time alongside Dennis Wideman on the Flames' primary defensive pairing, and the points are now coming. While it's uncertain whether he can maintain this offensive production for the long-term, he is worth a roster spot until Mark Giordano returns from his broken ankle injury.