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 Feb. 25-Mar 3
Andrei Vasilevskiy-Tampa Bay Lightning
Schedule: Mon vs. TOR, Wed vs. BUF, Thu at DAL, Sat vs. PHI
Vasilevskiy should enjoy some home cooking this week, as three of Tampa’s four games will be played on home ice. Matchups against Toronto, Dallas and Philly won’t be easy, but the Lightning are good enough to pile up a few wins this week.
Tuukka Rask-Boston Bruins
Schedule: Sun at BUF, Tue vs. CAR, Thu vs. PIT, Sat vs. MTL
The Bruins already announced that backup Anton Khudobin will start in Buffalo on Sunday, but all that means is that Rask will likely see three straight home starts to close out the week. He’s been unbelievable for the better part of three months. He’s a must-start in all leagues no matter who the opposition is.
Matt Murray-Pittsburgh Penguins
Schedule: Tue vs. NJ, Thu at BOS, Sat vs. NYI
Murray heads into this weekend’s action having won five games in a row. He’s also gone an impressive 10 games without a regulation loss (9-0-1). With the Penguins rolling, expect Murray to collect quite a few fantasy points down the stretch.
Pekka Rinne-Nashville Predators
Schedule: Sun vs. STL, Tue at WPG, Thu at EDM, Fri at VAN
There’s no doubt that Tuesday’s clash against Winnipeg will be a tough one, but the rest of the schedule sets up nicely for Rinne. Expect him to make three starts next week, while Juuse Saros will probably get one of the two games on Thursday or Friday.
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Devan Dubnyk-Minnesota Wild
Schedule: Sun vs. SJ, Tue vs. STL, Thu at ARZ, Fri at COL
Dubyk has just one regulation loss in his last 10 games (7-1-2). He has a 25-11-5 record with a 2.57 goals-against-average and a .919 save percentage this season. The Wild are much better at home than they are on the road, so the fact that they have two home games enhances his value.
Braden Holtby-Washington Capitals
Schedule: Mon at CBJ, Tue vs. OTT, Sat vs. TOR
The Caps have announced that Philipp Grubauer will start on Saturday, so it’ll be interesting to see if they give Holtby back-to-back starts on Monday and Tuesday. Of course, playing both games would enhance his fantasy value for the week. He’s dropped five consecutive decision but expect him to bounce back sooner than later.
Martin Jones-San Jose Sharks
Schedule: Sun at MIN, Tue vs. EDM, Thu vs. CHI
After struggling earlier in the season, Jones appears to have found his game, again. He’s also reestablished himself as the number one goalie on the depth chart. His three-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night, but matchups against Edmonton and Chicago should be seen as favorable.
Marc-Andre Fleury-Vegas Golden Knights
Schedule: Mon at LAK, Tue vs. LAK, Fri vs. OTT
It’ll be interesting to see if the Golden Knights allow Fleury to start both games of their home-and-home series against the Kings (fantasy owners would love that). He has a 21-7-2 record with a 2.13 goals-against-average and a .930 save percentage this season. Fleury has also been victorious in five of his last six games.
Henrik Lundqvist-New York Rangers
Schedule: Sun vs. DET, Wed at VAN, Fri at CGY, Sat at EDM
The Rangers have simply fallen apart over the last little while. They’ve made it clear that they’re going to be trading veterans away before Monday’s trade deadline, so there’s very little chance that they’ll pick up many wins down the stretch. They also gave youngster Alexandar Georgiev back-to-back starts last Thursday and Friday, which is kind of interesting.
Antti Niemi-Montreal Canadiens
Schedule: Mon vs. PHI, Wed vs. NYI, FRI at NYI, Sat at BOS
Niemi will see more action now that Carey Price is out with a concussion, but he still isn’t a recommended fantasy option. There’s two reasons for that. First, although he’s actually played pretty well since joining the Canadiens, the team in front of him is bad. Second, Charlie Lindgren will get some starts, too.
Craig Anderson-Ottawa Senators
Schedule: Tue at WSH, Fri at VGK, Sat at ARZ
The Senators are on the verge of trading away a few of their key players, which means they’re in tank mode. That doesn’t bode well for Anderson’s fantasy stock between now and the end of the regular season. To make matters worse, they’ll face the Capitals and Golden Knights on the road.