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Post-Olympic Blues

By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor

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

02/22 16:28:32 ET


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