Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report: Crowded Creases
There’s just a few weeks left in the season. It could be playoff time in your league, so keeping up to date with goaltending can be the difference in a series. We’ve got you covered in our Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report.
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Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report
Ben Bishop, DAL: Bishop is playing the best hockey of his career. He’s currently riding a shutout streak of 224:20. However, he had to leave Thursday’s game early with a lower-body injury and wasn’t available for Friday’s contest. This isn’t the first time he’s been sidelined this year, so his health is becoming a concern. When he is in the net, he’s rewarding owners with a 2.05 GAA (second in the league) and a .933 save percentage (first). Perhaps you claimed Anton Khudobin last time Bishop was hurt as a form of insurance. Khudobin will be the Stars starter should Bishop miss any more time and is worthy of being a fill-in should you need a spot start. Khudobin has a 2.59 GAA and .924 save percentage this season.
Florida Panthers: The Cats already had a timeshare going between Roberto Luongo and James Reimer. The latter is no longer dealing with injury, but has yet to get back between the pipes. His last appearance was February 26. Roberto Luongo is struggling, going winless in his last five outings (0-2-3). The more intriguing aspect is how rookie Samuel Montembeault is performing. At first, he was called up to fill in for the injured Reimer, but got an NHL start so that Luongo didn’t have to play both ends of a back-to-back.
Montembeault is doing quite well for himself, posting a 3-0-1 record with a 2.24 GAA and .911 save percentage. It’s not clear whether the Panthers will continue to ride the hot hand or go back to the Luongo and Reimer tandem. Those who have Montembeault in dynasty leagues should be excited, as his time to shine will be sooner than many anticipated.
Philadelphia Flyers: Carter Hart returned to the crease after an eight-game absence due to a lower-body injury. He was beaten four times on 31 shots by the Capitals Thursday night. Brian Elliott has been getting the lion’s share of the work lately, but could wind up splitting games evenly with Hart down the stretch. Cam Talbot will make an appearance every now and then but it’s clear that he’s the third string of the group. Hart’s value takes a hit simply due to not being the clear cut starter, but he brings lots of excitement for those in dynasty leagues.
Chicago Blackhawks: Cam Ward has recovered from his knee injury, but it’s not clear that he’s the Blackhawks No. 2 goalie anymore. Corey Crawford is the clear starter, but it was Collin Delia that entered Wednesday’s game in his relief. Delia has shown promise this season and is no doubt in Chicago’s future plans. They might opt to give him some starts in favor of Ward, so don’t expect too much out of Ward the rest of the way.
Carolina Hurricanes: Petr Mrazek has taken over as Carolina’s starter. Over his past seven games, he’s 6-1 with a pair of shutouts. Meanwhile, Curtis McElhinney was torched for eight goals in his last appearance. It’s been an unusual timeshare for the Hurricanes, so it’s possible Mrazek has flown under the radar in your league. If he has, be sure to scoop him up as he’ll be the go-to guy down the stretch.
NHL Teams with the Most Games
The following teams have four games this week: Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, and the Winnipeg Jets.
Each team has one back-to-back set in the schedule. However, if you’re looking to maximize games on the least busy days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), look at the Canucks and Capitals.
Vancouver plays Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. While Washington plays Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. It’s possible Jacob Markstrom is still available in your league, making this an optimal time to pick him up. Should prospect Quinn Hughes get into the lineup, that will bolster the defense in front of Markstrom.
Braden Holtby shouldn’t be available, but Phoenix Copley might be. Depending on the quality of your waiver wire, he could be someone worth streaming. If you need to rely on a backup goaltender, best to get one that doesn’t play on the same day as your starter.
NHL Teams with the Fewest Games
New York Rangers: The Blueshirts will host the Red Wings on Tuesday then visit the Maple Leafs on Saturday. The Rangers have lost eight of their last nine matchups and both of their games take place on action-heavy days. You’re better off looking elsewhere.
Buffalo Sabres: Remember when the Sabres were the top-seeded team in the NHL? They’ve fallen off a cliff since then and find themselves under .500 with a 30-31-9 record. They’ll be hosting Toronto on Wednesday and visiting Montreal on Saturday. Buffalo has been shut out in their past three contests, losing by a combined score of 10-0. They are not a team you want to rely on at this time of year.
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