The Elements of Save: A Look at The Goalie Guild's 2011-2012 Style Guide

If I say the name "Justin Goldman" to most hockey fans, it generates nothing but blank looks. On the other hand, if I say "He's the guy behind The Goalie Guild", you'll immediately see sparks of recognition.

Since 2009, Goldman and his partners have been dedicated to furthering the discussion of goaltending techniques, improved coaching, and scouting goaltenders at nearly every level of hockey, particularly the NHL. Having acquired The Goalie Post this summer, Goldman and the Guild have been working to increase the fantasy knowledge out there as well, and towards that end decided to create an NHL goaltending style guide for this season - a work that they expect to become an annual publication.

In simple terms, the guide is an at your fingertips (or e-reader) reference for each NHL goaltender - not just basic stats, but what makes each one unique as they break down the foundation of their game, positioning, flexibility, weak points, strengths, and an outlook for each team's netminding duos for the coming season. TGG also features a map of their "elements of goaltending" (featured above) to highlight the keys for each goaltender. Not surprisingly, Steve Mason has a map that features his size, glove, footwork, and reflexes. Mark Dekanich's map highlights his agility, his puck handling skills, ability to track the puck, and work ethic.

The guide also spends some time looking at big questions for the NHL, including the fact that last season no goaltender won 40 games in the regular season, and wondering if we'll see it happen again, and breaking down top fantasy goaltending options.

If you're looking to get in depth on goalies for your fantasy league, or even to try your hand at some amateur scouting, this is a fantastic resource. If you've ever wanted to try and get into breaking down film of a goalie, I think this guide could be an incredible help by highlighting areas you can focus on, and Justin and his crew do a great job of breaking down everything into simple, easy to digest language. I'd even suggest it to someone who is trying to learn goal, or has a child interested in the position, as you could put together your own "map" and then use the guide to find a similar NHL netminder to model your game on.

The Goalie Guild also provided a review copy to our own Mike MacLean, so I'll let you hear his thoughts as well:

The NHL Goaltenders Style Guide, powered by The Goalie Guild is a fantastic resource, both from a fantasy and real-game perspective. The guide uses a very unique and interesting method of categorizing goaltenders- the Goaltending Periodic Table of Elements. Each goalie's top assets and traits are listed in the form of appropriate elements, for a very concise graphical representation of what each goaltender is all about. Fantasy advice is offered for each NHL goaltender, and the evaluations of the players are detailed and I agree 100% with the breakdown of the players on the team I cover- the Columbus Blue Jackets. The guide itself, which I have in PDF form, is easy on the eyes and flows nicely. It features plenty of photos and the graphics are well done. This guide is a must-have for fantasy hockey managers and NHL fans alike- the fantasy advice is invaluable and the scouting reports on the goaltenders are very useful when researching upcoming opponents. The links for the Team Rankings, Depth Charts and Prospects offer even more information than is directly available in the Style Guide. At a price point of $9.99, the NHL Goaltenders Style Guide by The Goalie Guild is great value.

Disclaimer: The Cannon was provided with 2 free copies of the 2011 NHL Goaltenders Style Guide for review purposes.

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