Goalie Primer: Feb 18 – Feb 24
Welcome to the Goalie Primer, our weekly preview of the upcoming fantasy hockey week focusing on goalies. We’ll use this column to point out possible spot starts and waiver grabs for your fantasy hockey roster. All references to potential starts should be considered educated guesses. Full confirmations for starting goalies can be found on our Starting Goalies page. As always, if you want to be alerted by push notification when the status (probable or confirmed) of a goalie on your fantasy hockey roster has changed, consider getting a subscription to our Starting Goalies iPhone App. The App also includes recent line combinations of all 30 NHL teams.
Over half the league plays in at least four games in the upcoming week. Contrast that with last week where only five teams played at least four games. This is a busy week and there are plenty of starts to go around.
DUCKS – The Anaheim Ducks play twice this week (once Monday and then not again until Sunday). Hiller was healthy enough to backup on Saturday night, so it is safe to assume he is ready for game action. But how do you sit Victor Fasth when he’s 8-0? We dubbed Fasth a waiver-wire monster in our draft kit this Fall and he has not disappointed. The Sunday game is the front end of a back-to-back so expect the goalies to split those starts. Fasth got the shutout against Colorado in their last matchup, so expect him in net for Sunday.
BLACKHAWKS – The Chicago Blackhawks have a deceptively light schedule this week with three games spread out. But, that Sunday game is actually the front-end of a back-to-back. With Corey Crawford injured, expect Ray Emery to get the nod for the game early in the week.
BLUE JACKETS – The Columbus Blue Jackets play four games this week which ends with a weekend back-to-back. Goalies Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason have been splitting starts and we expect that to continue given neither player’s dominance over the other.
FLAMES – In Calgary, Miikka Kiprusoff is still on IR and so Joey MacDonald will shoulder the load this week. The Flames play four games, including a back-to-back, so expect Danny Taylor to get one of those starts.
STARS – The Dallas Stars have only two games this week which is fortunate given their goalie situation. Lehtonen is on IR retroactive to Feb 15 and will not be available for the Thursday matchup against Vancouver. Expect Richard Bachman to get the start in that game. Nilstorp has been recalled in Lehtonen’s absence.
RED WINGS – Jimmy Howard should get three starts this week as Detroit plays four games in six nights. Peter Mrazek is likely to get at least one start this week given the back-to-back and Howard’s general struggles in net this season.
PANTHERS – Florida has four tough matchups this week against TOR, PHI, PIT, and BOS. Jose Theodore has received the bulk of the starts and there is no reason to think that will change. Expect Clemmensen to get a start this week, but none of the options are particularly appealing.
CANADIENS – The Canadiens will play four games this week including a back-to-back to start the week off. With Carey Price recovering from the flu, don’t be surprised to see Peter Budaj in net for the Monday game (saving Price for Tuesday’s matchup against Lundqvist).
PREDATORS – The Nashville Predators have two sets of back-to-backs this week, facing Detroit in the tail-end each time. Rinne has been spectacular as of late, but if you need an extra start this week Chris Mason is likely to play.
ISLANDERS – The Islanders play the most games of any team this week with five games on the schedule in seven days. This jam-packed week includes two sets of back-to-backs so expect Rick DiPietro to get at least one start this week (if not two).
SENATORS – Expect Ben Bishop to get a start early in the week with the Senators playing four games in six nights including the early week back-to-back.
FLYERS – Brian Boucher should see a start again this week with the Flyers playing four games. Expect him to face Florida in the tail-end of the back-to-back on Thursday.
LIGHTNING – Mathieu Garon has only one win on the season, but he is expected to see a start in the upcoming week (either Saturday or Sunday) with the Lightning playing four games.
MAPLE LEAFS – Expect Ben Scrivens to shoulder the load in Toronto this week as they play four games in six nights. James Reimer is on the IR until at least Wednesday. This gives Jussi Rynnas a shot at starting a game early in the week.
CANUCKS – You guys know the drill in Vancouver by now. You don’t? Neither does anyone else. Four games for the Canucks in the upcoming week and the safe bet is that Roberto Luongo will see two of them.
JETS – We end this week’s feature with the Winnipeg Jets. They’ll play four games in six nights. If you’re rostering a Jets’ goalie you definitely didn’t read our draft kit. They do have a back-to-back this week, so Ed Pasquale might make his NHL debut. Note: Al Montoya is injured and considered week-to-week.
To see the weekly schedule for all NHL teams, use our Weekly Schedule Tool.
If you want to learn how to maximize the number of games you can play in a week (with goalies and/or skaters), use our Roster Maximizer Tool.