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Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report: The Return of Rask

The NHL schedule varies  a great deal from week to week. Goaltenders are also getting bit by the injury bug seemingly more than ever. With those ideas in mind I’m bringing you a weekly fantasy hockey goalie report to provide information on everything you need to know regarding this important cog in your fantasy hockey machine.

Note that there are no games Thursday, November 22, due to Thanksgiving.

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Fantasy Hockey Injury Notes

Philadelphia Flyers: Brian Elliott (lower-body) will be out for two weeks and Michal Neuvirth (groin) is on injured reserved. This leaves Calvin Pickard as the starter and Alex Lyon to back him up. The Flyers play three games, starting with the Sabres, followed by a back-to-back with the Rangers and Maple Leafs. Expect to see Pickard twice and Lyon’s season debut.

Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Quick (knee) is still weeks away from returning, as is Jack Campbell (knee). Peter Budaj missed Friday’s game against the Blackhawks due to illness, giving Calvin Peterson his first career start. Budaj and Peterson could split the Kings four games this week, who start in St. Louis, then host Colorado, Vancouver, and Edmonton. The latter two are a back-to-back. Los Angeles is dead last in the NHL and shouldn’t be counted on to produce wins.

Washington Capitals: Braden Holtby (upper-body) hasn’t played in the past three games and is listed as day-to-day. Phoenix Copley is the starter for the time being and the Caps called up Ilya Samsonov to be his backup. Copley started his season with a loss in which he allowed six goals, but has since gone 4-1-1. He doesn’t boast pretty numbers, having a 2.65 GAA and .908 save percentage. Holtby hasn’t been any better though, with his 3.24 GAA and .900 save percentage. Washington starts the week against the Canadiens, then face the Blackhawks, Red Wings, and Rangers.  They rank 25th in goals against and should be avoided in fantasy hockey for now, even if Holtby returns this week.

Arizona Coyotes: Antti Raanta (lower-body) played incredible hockey for the Coyotes last season, but hasn’t been able to stay healthy this year. He’s played just nine games, although he did play well in those contests. Darcy Kuemper has played the last six games for Arizona and has a 4-4-1 record on the season. Hunter Miska has been his backup and was called upon once in relief on Kuemper. Raanta is close to returning and should be started once he’s cleared for action. The Coyotes have three games this week, all at home, against Vegas, Colorado, and Calgary. They’ve been good at home, posting a 5-3-0 record and have the third-fewest goals against in the league (46).

Tampa Bay Lightning: Tampa starts with a visit to Nashville, then heads home to face Florida, Chicago, and New Jersey. With starter Andrei Vasilevskiy (foot) out, Louis Domingue is seen as the starter. He’s a safe bet for wins, but not peripherals. He comes with a 3.58 GAA and .889 save percentage. Saturday’s game against the Flyers is a perfect example, where he allowed four goals in just over six minutes to erase a 5-1 lead, yet got the win in overtime. Tampa has no back-to-backs, but Domingue’s play could open the door for Edward Pasquale to get his first taste of NHL action.

NHL Teams with Four Games

Winnipeg Jets: They play all four games on the road, starting in Vancouver, then visiting Calgary, Minnesota, and St. Louis. The latter two are a back-to-back, meaning Connor Hellebuyck could see the net for three games, with Laurent Brossoit getting the other. Hellebuyck won his last three games, allowing only five goals against in the process. His Jets are among the best in the league, but have been average on the road, posting a 3-3-0 record. Be wary of them in your fantasy hockey leagues this week.

Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs meet the Hurricanes, Flyers, and have a pair of games against the Blue Jackets. The latter two are a back-to-back, which gives a probable start to Garrett Sparks and three starts to Frederick Andersen. Andersen has won each of his past five starts, conceding just six goals against. He leads the league in wins with 11, while his 2.08 GAA and .934 save percentage are among the top four. He should be deployed with confidence.

NHL Teams with Two Games

Minnesota Wild: They have two games at home, against Ottawa and Winnipeg. Devan Dubnyk has won nine of his 15 games, which sees him tied for second in victories. He’s been reliable this season, but in a week where an abundance of teams double him in games, there are better options this week.

Returning to the Crease

Tuukka Rask, BOS: After taking some time off due to personal reasons, Rask is back in the blue paint. It remains to be seen if this is the Rask of last season that won 34 of 54 games, or the Rask of 2018-19 that’s posted his worst career numbers, and quickly lost his starting job to Jaroslav Halak. Rask has a 2.78 GAA and .912 save percentage, to go along with his 4-4-1 record. Meanwhile, Halak has a 6-2-2 record, with a 2.17 GAA, .932 save percentage, and a pair of shutouts. Boston has three games this week, against Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Montreal. The latter two are a back-to-back, so we should see both Rask and Halak on the ice this week.

fantasy hockey podcastFor 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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