In continuing our look at the key free agent signings this summer, we wrap up the goalies with an analysis of the Anders Lindback contract.
The Contact: One year, $875,000 with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Last Season: With the Stars: 10 GP, two wins, .875 save percentage, 3.71 GAA; with the Sabres: 16 GP, four wins, .924 save percentage, 2.76 GAA.
Analysis: We’re not really huge fans of Lindback and wished the Coyotes went for a goalie that has a better chance of turning into trade bait like they did with Devan Dubnyk. We also would have been more excited about this signing if Goaltender Coach Sean Burke hadn’t left the organization.
Fantasy Impact: As stated above, we believe Lindback’s success in the desert was contingent on Burke staying with the Coyotes. If Burke didn’t leave, we could have seen Lindback posting better numbers, but now that the goaltending coach is gone, we expect more of the same from Lindback (in Buffalo last season, Lindback did post solid numbers — and proved capable of making game-saving saves, as you can see in the video below — but his career numbers leave a lot to be desired). Early in his career, Lindback actually posted some solid numbers on the Predators with a .915 save percentage in 2010-2011 and a .912 save percentage the following season.
However, his save percentage plummeted when he went to Tampa. In Lindback’s first season, he had a .902 save percentage with a 2.90 GAA, and in his second season, he had a .891 save percentage with a 2.90 GAA. Last season he topped .905 save percentage for the first time since he was on the Predators. However, at the start of last season when Lindback was on the Stars, he had a .875 save percentage with a 3.71 GAA. It wasn’t until he was traded to Buffalo when he started to post good numbers.
Overall, we think his 15 game-stint in Buffalo was an anomaly, so we’re expecting similar numbers to those he posted in Tampa and Dallas.
Projection: 14 GP, three Wins, .894 save percentage, 3.12 GAA.
Update: As of November 1, Lindback is off to a very nice start. Through three games (one start), he has one win, a 1.65 GAA and a save percentage of .935. On Friday, Mike Smith, who got off to an amazing start but has since cooled, was pulled in favour of Lindback after giving up two goals on three shots. If this trend continues, Lindback could see much more PT than we projected.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below how you think Lindback will fare this season.
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