Joey Alfieri

In The Crease

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ITC: Tuukka Rask's On Fire

Saturday, December 30, 2017


In the Crease is back for the 2017-18 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 Dec. 31-Jan. 6


Great Options

Andrei Vasilevskiy-Tampa Bay Lightning

Schedule: Sun at CBJ, Tue at TOR, Thu at MTL, Sat at OTT

Even though the Lightning are on the road next week, Vasilevskiy still can’t be ignored. He’s been the best fantasy goaltender of the 2017-18 season so far and that shouldn’t change in the new year. The Bolts netminder has plenty of fantasy value going forward.

Connor Hellebuyck-Winnipeg Jets

Schedule: Sun at EDM, Tue at COL, Fri vs. BUF

The Jets will play two of their three games on the road, but they’ll get three good matchups against non-playoff teams. Hellebuyck has provided the team with the best goaltending they’ve had in a very long time.

Tuukka Rask-Boston Bruins

Schedule: Tue at NYI, Thu vs. FLA, Sat vs. CAR

The Bruins have been playing some really good hockey of late and Rask has been a big part of their recent success. He’ll get plus home matchups against the Panthers and Hurricanes next, so he should be able to come up with some solid fantasy production.

Frederik Andersen-Toronto Maple Leafs

Schedule: Sun at VGK, Tue vs. TB, Thu vs. SJ, Sat vs. VAN

Andersen will be one of the few goalies in that league that has an opportunity to play four games next week. He’ll likely play in three of the four games, but with a day between each contest, it’s not impossible to think that he could see action in all four games.

 

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Good Options

Jake Allen-St. Louis Blues

Schedule: Tue vs. NJ, Thu vs. VGK, Sat at PHI

The Blues won’t really have any easy matchups, but they’ll play two of their three games on home ice next week. Allen should continue proving them with some steady play between the pipes.

Marc-Andre Fleury-Vegas Golden Knights

Schedule: Sun vs. VGK, Tue vs. NSH, Thu at STL, Fri at CHI

The Golden Knights continue to be one of the biggest surprises in the league this season. Fleury is finally healthy, which means he should continue to pile up wins for Vegas next week. Their schedule won’t be easy, but Fleury will still have decent value.

Henrik Lundqvist-New York Rangers

Schedule: Mon at BUF (Winter Classic), Wed vs. CHI, Sat at ARZ

Lundqvist and the Rangers will be suiting up in the Winter Classic early next week. The veteran has had his ups and downs for the last little while, but he should provide his owners with some solid fantasy value, especially in matchups against Buffalo and Arizona.

Jonathan Quick-Los Angeles Kings

Schedule: Tue at EDM, Thu at CGY, Sat vs. NSH

The Kings will go on the road to play two games in Alberta against the Oilers and Flames before going back home to host the Predators. Quick should be able to come away with some decent fantasy production.

 

Bad Options

Braden Holtby-Washington Capitals

Schedule: Tue at CAR

Holtby isn’t a bad option because of his play, it’s simply because of the lack of games the Caps have on the schedule. After next week, Holtby will go back to being one of the top fantasy goaltenders in the league.

Robin Lehner-Buffalo Sabres

Schedule: Mon vs. NYR (Winter Classic), Thu at MIN, Fri at WPG

Lehner might believe in NHL conspiracy theories, but there’s no conspiracy here. There’s no way he’ll provide owners with much fantasy value next week. The Sabres will have tough matchups against the Rangers, Wild and Jets.

James Reimer-Florida Panthers

Schedule: Tue at MIN, Thu at BOS, Fri at DET

The Panthers will open 2018 with a very difficult five-game road trip. Three of those games will be played next week. It’ll be difficult for Reimer and the Panthers to rattle off victories over the next seven days. 




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