Post-Olympic Blues

Rick DiPietro showed a marked improvement after returning from Italy.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you have a fantasy goaltender current playing for his home country in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics beware, there is distinct possibility that he will suffer from a "post-Olympic letdown."

Certainly it's not a guarantee, but if you look at the Goals Against Averages below for those who participated in the 2006 games in Turin, you will see four out of 12 goalies saw there GAA drop significantly (10-or-more points).

Bucking the trend was New York Islander goaltender Rick DiPietro who showed a marked improvement (from a GAA of .891 to .921) after returning from Italy. Seven other goaltenders had no significant change between pre- and post-Olympic performance.

But four Olympians suffered upon their return.

Peter Budaj of the Colorado Avalanche, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, John Grahame of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks all saw dips in their performances.

From a won/loss standpoint, Lundqvist was the worst. Before the two-week NHL break, he was a stunning 25-7, while after it he was just a .500 goaltender (5-5).

Of course, won/loss records is more of a team statistic while GAA is a more accurate view of a goaltender's performance. Nabokov took the worst "hit" after the last Olympics, dropping from a GAA of .895 to an less-than-stellar .852.

This information could be useful because Nabokov (ADP 11) and Lundqvist (ADP 32) are well-known and tradable fantasy commodities. Certainly they could net you a valuable player in exchange for the final drive to the finish line.

2006 NHL Goaltenders in 2006 Olympics
Players Before W L GAA After W L GAA Change
Rick DiPietro   19 17 0.891  11 7 0.921 +0.030
Martin Brodeur   15 5 0.907  15 5 0.912 +0.005
Thomas Vokoun  28 14 0.918  8 4 0.922 +0.004
Ilya Bryzgalov  10 11 0.909  3 1 0.913 +0.004
Roberto Luongo  23 23 0.914  12 7 0.914 +0.000
Martin Gerber  28 9 0.906  10 5 .0.905 -0.001
Antero Niittymaki  18 10 0.895  5 5 0.893 -0.002
Olaf Kolzig  15 22 0.898  5 6 0.892 -0.006
Peter Budaj  7 5 0.905  7 5 0.895 -0.010
Henrik Lundqvist  25 7 0.926  5 5 0.907 -0.019
John Grahame  22 16 0.898  7 6 0.867 -0.031
Evgeni Nabokov  14 15 0.891  2 4 0.852 -0.039


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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