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Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report: Trades and Hot Hands

There’s plenty to talk about in this week’s edition of the Fantasy Goalie Report, with a number of injuries, hot hands, and even some trades!

Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report

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The Ottawa Senators sent Mike McKenna to the Vancouver Canucks, while receiving Anders Nilsson. Conveniently, the trade happened hours before their game against each other. Nilsson helps solidify the Sens crease, with Craig Anderson still out with a concussion. Marcus Hogberg will backup Nilsson until Anderson is ready to go.

McKenna was placed on waivers, and claimed by the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are without Michal Neuvirth again (lower body) so claiming McKenna gives them insurance in net with Brian Elliott still sidelined (lower body), and gives them a shot a setting an NHL record for most goaltenders used in a season.

Jared Coreau was shipped to the St. Louis Blues for future considerations. Coreau gives the Blues some AHL depth, but could find himself getting a call to serve as Jake Allen’s backup, given his NHL experience.

Hot Hand

Robin Lehner, NYI: Lehner has won six in a row, while only allowing five pucks slip past him. He and Thomas Greiss have alternated as the Islanders starter, but they’ll continue to roll with Lehner for the time being. The Islanders have allowed the fewest goals against in the league with 104.

Injury Notes

Toronto Maple Leafs: Frederik Andersen is on injured reserve with a groin injury, but was a full participant in Friday’s practice, indicating he may be back sooner than later. Meanwhile Garret Sparks has been hit with a concussion, and there’s no word on how long he’s expected to be out. The Leafs acquired Michael Hutchinson, who will act as the starter until Andersen or Sparks return. Kasimir Kaskisuo was called up to serve as Hutchinson’s backup. Toronto will take on Nashville, New Jersey, and Boston this week.

New Jersey Devils: MacKenzie Blackwood was forced to exit Friday’s game with a lower body injury. He’s been playing lights out, posting a 1.83 GAA, .947 save percentage, and two shutouts in eight games. There’s no word on if he’ll miss time, but the Devils are already without Cory Schneider (abdomen), and wouldn’t be able to call up Eddie Lack, as hip surgery has ended his season. Keith Kinkaid got credit for the win in Friday’s affair, and could have the net back after Blackwood temporarily seized control. The Devils are scheduled to play the Sabres, Maple Leafs, and Flyers this week.

Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov has missed the past two contests with an undisclosed injury. Philip Grubauer gets a chance at being the starter, but has struggled, getting the hook in two of his past four outings. Pavel Francouz replaced Grubauer in both instances, surrendering one goal each time. Colorado starts out with a back-to-back against Winnipeg and Calgary, then heads to Montreal. Francouz could be in line for his first NHL start should Varlamov not be ready to return.

Calgary Flames: David Rittich has missed the past two outings with a lower body injury, but appears close to a return. Mike Smith has been starting in his absence, and should see time this week regardless of Rittich’s status. The Flames have four games this week, versus the Blackhawks, Avalanche, Panthers, and Coyotes. Expect both Smith and Rittich in the crease at some point.

Anaheim Ducks: There was fear that John Gibson might miss time due to injury, but he hasn’t been forced to miss a game. Ryan Miller on the other hand is still slated to miss an additional three weeks, meaning the Ducks will continue to rely heavily on Gibson. He hasn’t won a contest since December 17, but will look to get back in the win column as his team prepares for the Senators, Penguins, and Jets this week.

Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford remains out indefinitely with a concussion.  Cam Ward started the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, but Collin Delia has been between the pipes most other nights recently. He’s earned it though, posting a 3-0-1 record with a 1.99 GAA and .952 save percentage. Look for him to keep taking away starts from Ward for as long as he continues his strong play. Chicago will host Calgary, Nashville, and Vegas this week, where they sport an 8-9-4 home record.

Returning to the Crease

Carey Price, MTL: Price returned after a three-game absence with a lower body injury. In his first game back he made 33 saves en route to a shutout victory over the Canucks on Thursday. He left Friday’s practice early due to feeling light headed, but he isn’t expected to miss time because of it. His Habs are slated to face the Wild, Red Wings, Blues, and Avalanche. The first two being a back-to-back, likely giving a start to Antti Niemi.

Jack Campbell, LAK: Campbell got his first start since November 10, and looked sharp stopping 46 of 47 pucks, but his Kings couldn’t give any goal support for his efforts. Los Angeles will face San Jose, Ottawa, and Pittsburgh this week. They might rely on Quick in an attempt to make a late post season push, but Campbell should see starts along the way – he’s playing well enough to earn them.

NHL Teams with Four Games

It’s another eventful week, as 14 teams each take to the ice four times: Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Winnipeg Jets.

NHL Teams with Two Games

Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks called up Thatcher Demko, the highly touted prospect they’ve been grooming for quite some time. He’ll serve as Jacob Markstrom’s backup, who’s been one of the NHL’s best goaltenders of late, going 9-2-0 with a 1.82 GAA and .938 save percentage throughout the last month. Vancouver is off until Thursday, when they meet the Coyotes, then finish the week with a visit from the Panthers.

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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