Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report: Bobby Lou is Back!
With the NHL having a schedule that varies week to week, and goaltenders getting bit by the injury bug, the fantasy hockey goalie guide is here to provide information on everything you need to know regarding the last line of defense.
Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report
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Returning to the Crease
Roberto Luongo, FLA: In his first game back from a knee injury, Luongo pitched a 33-save shutout against the Bruins. He followed that up with a loss to the Avalanche where he was beaten four times. When Bobby Lou is on his game, he’s still one of the best in the business. Provided he’s reached his injury quota for the season, he solidifies the Panthers crease, and could take a run at hitting his 500th career victory. This week his Panthers take on the Blues, Wild, and Maple Leafs.
Fantasy Hockey Injury Notes
Buffalo Sabres: Carter Hutton is day-to-day with an upper body injury, and is expected to miss Saturday’s tilt with the Flyers. Hutton could very well play this week, but with his Sabres scheduled for four games, Linus Ullmark could get the bulk of the work. Buffalo will host Los Angeles and Arizona before setting out for a back-to-back with Washington and Boston. Scott Wedgewood will serve as Ullmark’s backup, and could start one of those final two games if Hutton is on the shelf longer than expected.
Carolina Hurricanes: Curtis McElhinney (lower body) didn’t dress for Friday’s contest with Anaheim. Petr Mrazek got the start, and should be seen as the starter if McElhinney misses more time. Alex Nedeljkovic was called up to serve as backup, getting the call over former starter Scott Darling. Carolina plays four times this week, against Toronto, Montreal, Washington, and Arizona.
Arizona Coyotes: Antti Raanta (lower body) is listed as week-to-week, and Darcy Kuemper remains on injured reserve for his injury of the same nature. This has opened the door for Adin Hill, who has been lights out as the acting starter. He won his first four games while allowing just two goals against. He suffered his first loss to the defending Stanley Cup champions, allowing three goals against on 28 shots. He has a 1.09 GAA and .957 save percentage, showing that he’s come a long way from last season’s 3.49 GAA and .891 save percentage. Hill is proving to be a capable goaltender for the Coyotes, even if it’s just in the short term. Arizona also has Calvin Pickard onboard to be his backup, but he has yet to play a game since being claimed from Philadelphia. The Coyotes have four games, all on the road, versus the Bruins, Sabres, Rangers, and Hurricanes. They are 7-5-1 on the road, which is better than their home record of 6-7-1.
New York Islanders: Robin Lehner sat out Thursday’s tilt with the Penguins because of a lower body injury. He is eyeing a near return, but Christopher Gibson was recalled to serve as the backup to Thomas Greiss. The Islanders have three games this week, against the Penguins, Golden Knights, and Red Wings. With no back-to-backs, Greiss could start each game if Lehner isn’t full healthy.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Andrei Vasilevskiy (foot) remains a few weeks away from returning. Louis Domingue should continue to get the bulk of the starts, and boasts a 12-4 record, despite his 3.07 GAA and .903 save percentage. Edward Pasquale was called up again, while Connor Ingram was sent back down to Syracuse. Pasquale made his NHL debut, allowing five goals on 24 shots against the Red Wings. Luckily for him, his team was able to score their way out of trouble, en route to a 6-5 shootout win. The Lightning will face the Rangers, Maple Leafs, and Jets this week.
Philadelphia Flyers: Brian Elliott (lower body) remains on the sidelines. Anthony Stolarz is seen as the team’s starter, and picked up his first win of the season when he defeated the Penguins last Saturday. He followed that up with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets. Michal Neuvirth is healthy, but hasn’t made an appearance since October 27. The Flyers have an all-Canadian road trip, where they visit Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. The Flyers have been slightly better on the road, with a 6-5-1 record, as opposed to 5-7-2 at home.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray (lower body) remains without a timeline. Casey DeSmith will continue to hold down the fort, and has won five of his past six starts. Pittsburgh has four games this week, versus the Islanders, Blackhawks, Bruins, and Kings. Tristan Jarry will likely start one of the last two games seeing that they’re of the back-to-back variety.
NHL Teams with Four Games
Detroit Red Wings: Detroit has a pair of back-to-backs, starting with the Kings and Capitals, then facing the Senators and Islanders. We’ll likely see both Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier each receive two starts. Howard has won two of his past three starts, while Bernier is coming off an overtime win against his former Maple Leafs.
Vancouver Canucks: Jacob Markstrom defeated the Nashville Predators, after sitting out the prior two contests. Anders Nilsson has a pair of losses this month, and hasn’t been able to snag a victory since October 16, when his record was 3-0. The Canucks will take on Columbus, Nashville, Philadelphia, and Edmonton this week. Markstrom figures to be the main man between the pipes during that span, with Nilsson getting one of the back-to-back games versus either the Flyers or Oilers.
Other teams with four games: Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Winnipeg Jets.
NHL Teams with Two Games
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks are the lone team with fewer than three games on the schedule, as they take on the Stars and Blue Jackets. John Gibson has won three of his last five starts, while Ryan Miller has two consecutive wins for the first time this season. Gibson will continue to get the lion’s share of the workload. He defeated the Blue Jackets in their only other meeting, but fell to the Stars both times he faced them.
For more great fantasy hockey talk, listen in on Chris Meaney and Neil Parker on the Fantrax Fantasy Hockey Podcast, as they hit on all the injuries, streamers, and recent trends you need to know to stay on top of the fantasy ice.
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