This article is part of our From the Press Box series.
The goalie carousel is in full swing during the opening round of these playoffs. In daily fantasy hockey games, your goalie is the cornerstone of your lineup. Normally, in the postseason, teams settle upon one starter for the duration, so the field of possibilities narrows in the fantasy space.
This postseason, however, a number of goalie-themed storylines are already arising in the first round of the playoffs, as quite a few teams have already made changes in net.
Red Wings – Jimmy Howard earned the opening assignments over Petr Mrazek at the start of these playoffs for Detroit based on his strong play in the latter stages of the regular season. This was a bit of surprising turn, as it looked all year long like Mrazek had outplayed his veteran partner – until the young Czech fell into a late-season funk. Howard played in each of the last seven critical games as the Wings eked out a playoff berth in the waning stages of the regular season.
After suffering consecutive losses while surrendering seven goals on only 64 shots in the first two playoff games against Tampa, Howard was replaced by Mrazek, who returned with a vengeance, earning a shutout win in Games 3. He followed that up by allowing three power-play goals in a 3-2 loss and just a single goal as the Wings were eliminated on Thursday.
The longer-range story may be an offseason headache for the Wings because they're on the hook for Howard's $5.3 million cap