Joey Alfieri

In The Crease

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Gibson's Got it Right

Saturday, January 7, 2017


In the Crease is back for the 2016-17 season. This column will provide you with everything you need to know about goaltending and who to start and sit in the upcoming week. I’ll give you some Great options, Good options and Goalies to avoid every week.


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Week of January 9-16

 

Great Options 

 

John Gibson-Anaheim Ducks

 

Schedule: Tue vs. DAL, Thu @ COL, Sat @ ARZ, Sun vs. STL

 

Gibson got off to a rocky start this season, but he’s showing signs of turning things around. He’s currently riding a three-game winning streak and he hasn’t lost in regulation since Dec. 17 (5-0-3) and he’s given up just two goals in his last two games. With four games on the schedule and two of those coming against Colorado and Arizona, Gibson should be a rock-solid fantasy play. He has a 15-9-7 record with a 2.48 goals-against-average and a .913 save percentage this season.

 

Carey Price-Montreal Canadiens

 

Schedule: Mon vs. WSH, Wed @ WPG, Thu @ MIN, Sat vs. NYR

 

Price has just one win in his last four games, but he’s come up with some solid performances in defeat. Of course, that doesn’t matter to his fantasy owners, but it shows that there’s potential for positive results in the near future. The Canadiens have a several injuries to key players, but they’ve still managed to pick up points on their long road trip. Returning home will do them some good, even though they’ll be playing against quality opponents. Price has a 2.02 goals-against-average and a .930 save percentage this season. He’s a quality fantasy option.

 

Braden Holtby-Washington Capitals

 

Schedule: Mon @ MTL, Wed vs. PIT, Fri vs. CHI, Sun vs. PHI

 

The Capitals are one of the few teams that have four games on the schedule this week, which makes Holtby an interesting play. The thing is, the games on the schedule won’t be walks in the park. Winning in Montreal is never easy and home dates against the Penguins, Blackhawks and Flyers won’t be easy either. Holtby’s 2-0-1 in his last three decisions, but that doesn’t include a no-decision against the Leafs that saw him get the hook after allowing three goals on eight shots. He was able to bounce back in that 5-0 shutout win against Columbus. I expect him to be ready for the heavy workload this week.

 

Sergei Bobrovsky-Columbus Blue Jackets

 

Schedule: Tue @ CAR, Fri @ TB, Sat @ FLA

 

The Blue Jackets saw their 16-game winning streak come to an end earlier this week. Bobrovsky came back down to earth in that loss to the Capitals, as he was pulled early. After the game, head coach John Tortorella admitted that they’d played Bobrovsky more frequently because of the winning streak. Don’t be surprised if the starter plays less back-to-backs over the next little while. That won’t change the fact that he’s one of the top fantasy goalies this season. Bobrovsky should get a couple of solid matchups this week. He’ll likely face a mediocre Hurricanes team and either the banged-up Lightning or Panthers.

 

Good Options

 

Devan Dubnyk-Minnesota Wild

 

Schedule: Thu vs. MTL, Sat @ DAL, Sun @ CHI

 

The Wild will enjoy three days between games, as they’ll be “off” from Jan. 9-11 before returning to action on the 12th. Dubnyk’s been rolling for a while. He’s given up eight goals in his last two outings, but he’s managed to win 11 of his last 12. Look for him to get two starts, both against difficult matchups, this week. Dubnyk has a 20-7-3 record with a 1.83 goals-against-average and a.939 save percentage this season. He’s a solid fantasy option.

 

Martin Jones-San Jose Sharks

 

Schedule: Tue @ EDM, Wed @ CGY, Sat vs. STL

 

Jones has dropped three straight games going into Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. Jones has given up 10 goals during that span. Even though he’s slumping, he’ll get an opportunity to right the ship with two road games in Alberta before taking on the Blues at home on Saturday. Jones has a 19-13-2 record with a 2.19 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage this season.

 

Cam Talbot-Edmonton Oilers

 

Schedule: Tue vs. SJ, Thu vs. NJ, Sat vs. CGY

 

Talbot is 1-1-1 in his last three games, but his schedule sets him up nicely for the upcoming week. With all three of his games coming at home, Talbot has potential to come up with a big fantasy week. He’s 2-0-1 in his last three home games and he hasn’t given up more than two goals in any of those games. He has an overall record of 19-11-6, and he’ll enter his next start with a 2.48 goals-against-average and a .919 save percentage.

 

Tuukka Rask-Boston Bruins

 

Schedule: Tue @ STL, Thu @ NSH, Sat vs. PHI

 

Rask is coming off back-to-back losses to the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers, but there’s no doubt that he gives the Bruins their best chance at a victory each and every night. The Bruins have three games next week and I’d expect him to play in each one of those contests. The Blues, Predators and Flyers are far from being easy outs, but they’ve also lacked consistency in 2016-17. A three-win week is unlikely for Rask, but I could see him coming away with two victories. He has a 19-9-3 record with a 2.00 goals-against-average and a .926 save percentage.

 

Avoid these Netminders

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy-Tampa Bay Lightning

 

Schedule: Thu vs. BUF, Fri vs. CBJ

 

Many Lightning fans expect the team to part ways with Ben Bishop because he’s a free agent and Vasilevskiy is the goalie of the future. Unfortunately for the Bolts, Vasilevskiy’s play has left a lot to be desired. He’s dropped three games in a row and he’s given up at least four goals during that span. He has a 10-8-2 record with a 2.82 goals-against-average and a .908 save percentage. Fantasy GMs simply can’t trust him right now.

 

Calvin Pickard-Colorado Avalanche

 

Schedule: Thu vs. ANA, Sat vs. NSH

 

Pickard and the Avalanche finally put their five-game losing streak to bed on Friday night, but that doesn’t mean their outlook is very positive.  With Semyon Varlamov on the shelf, Pickard has started seven consecutive games, which means he’ll continue to play a lot while Colorado’s starter is out. Unfortunately for his fantasy stock, the Avalanche don’t win enough games to make Pickard relevant in standard leagues. He has a 7-11-1 record with a 3.06 goals-against-average and a .902 save percentage.

 

Cory Schneider-New Jersey Devils

 

Schedule: Mon vs. FLA, Thu @ EDM, Fri @ CGY

 

Schneider’s won two of his last three games, but his struggles this have been consistent and real. The Devils give up too many scoring opportunities and they don’t score enough goals to pile up victories. Expect him to be between the pipes for two of the three games this week, but don’t expect him to put up many fantasy points. Schneider has a 12-13-5 record with a 2.81 goals-against-average and a .905 save percentage this season.

 

Mike Condon-Ottawa Senators

 

Schedule: Thu vs. PIT, Sat vs. TOR

 

Condon continues to fill in as the starter in Ottawa, while Craig Anderson is away from the team for personal reasons. Condon comes out of the break riding a three-game losing streak. He’ll likely get the start in both games against Pittsburgh and Toronto, but that still won’t make him a great fantasy option. He has an 8-5-3 record with a 2.36 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage. 




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