In the Crease is back for the 2018-19 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.
Matt Murray – Pittsburgh Penguins: Murray has been feeling it of late. He turned aside 50 of 51 shots in a win over the Flyers last week and he followed that up by stopping 38 of 39 shots against Edmonton. The Pens have three games on the schedule next week, as they’ll play in Jersey, at home against San Jose and they’ll close out the week with a Stadium Series game in Philadelphia.
Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators: The 36-year-old has dropped two of his last three games, but he’s coming off an outstanding 34-save performance in a win over the Canadiens (he made 22 saves in the second period of that game). The Predators will take on the Stars in Dallas before coming home to take on the Kings and Avs, who are both struggling.
David Rittich – Calgary Flames: Rittich was rested in Thursday’s game against Florida, after he let up six goals in a loss to the Lightning. Things should get better this week, as the Flames will play three home games against Arizona, the Islanders and the lowly Ducks. Next week should be much better than this week.
Frederik Andersen – Toronto Maple Leafs: Anderson comes into this weekend riding a five-game winning streak. Toronto’s upcoming schedule won’t be easy though, as they’ll face the Blues in St. Louis before returning home to take on Washington and Montreal. Andersen has a 27-11-2 record with a 2.57 goals-against-average and a .923 save percentage.
Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens: Price has lost back-to-back games to Toronto (overtime) and Nashville, but he’s rattled off seven wins in his last nine games. The Habs netminder has been terrific for a while after being mediocre in November. The Canadiens will play Columbus and Philadelphia at home before taking on the Leafs in Toronto on Saturday.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning: Heading into this weekend, the Lightning are 15 points ahead of the second-best team in the NHL, which is Toronto. Expect Vasilevskiy and Louis Domingue to split starts on Monday and Tuesday and the Bolts play road games in Columbus and Philadelphia, but Vasilevskiy will surely get Thursday’s home date against Buffalo.
Martin Jones – San Jose Sharks: Jones has a solid record, but his individual numbers are underwhelming at best. That being said, he’s coming off a pretty good stretch. His five-game winning streak was snapped on Thursday against Washington and he allowed more than two goals for the first time in five games. The Sharks have four games on the schedule next week, as they’ll host Boston before hitting the road in Pittsburgh, Columbus and Detroit. He’s a strong fantasy play based on the volume of games he’ll play.
Devan Dubnyk – Minnesota Wild: Dubnyk has lost three games in a row and four of his last five. The Wild will play four games next week and three will come against non-playoff teams (Ducks, Rangers, Red Wings). They’ll also host the Blues on Sunday. The Wild have been slumping, but this could be a decent fantasy week for the veteran netminder.
Kevin Boyle/Ryan Miller – Anaheim Ducks: In fairness to Boyle, he’s been pretty good in his two starts, but they simply can’t be trusted. The Ducks aren’t very good right now and they probably won’t be much better as the season goes on. John Gibson and Chad Johnson are on injured reserve.
Anders Nilsson – Ottawa Senators: Nilsson has started four consecutive games because Craig Anderson is out with an eye injury, but the results haven’t been pretty. He has a 9-14-1 record with a 2.77 goals-against-average and a .914 save percentage. Just avoid him at all costs.
Semyon Varlamov – Colorado Avalanche: The Avs will squeeze four games into their schedule, as they’ll play four games over six days. Three of their four opponents are currently sitting in a playoff spot (Vegas, Winnipeg and Nashville). The Avalanche need to get better goaltending if they’re going to make it back to the postseason.