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 23-29
John Gibson-Anaheim Ducks
Schedule: Mon @ WPG, Wed vs. EDM
It’s been quite the turnaround for Gibson over the last few weeks. No goalie has been hotter. He has no regulation losses in his last five outings (4-0-1) and he’s given up two goals or less in each of his last eight games. With a short week on the horizon because of the All-Star break, Gibson will continue to provide as much fantasy value as any other goaltender. He currently owns a 19-10-8 record with a 2.26 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage this season.
Braden Holtby-Washington Capitals
Schedule: Mon vs. CAR, Tue @ OTT, Thu @ NJ
The Capitals are one of the few teams that will play three games next week, so that’s definitely a plus for each player’s fantasy value. Also, the fact that Holtby’s playing pretty well helps too. He’s been pulled in two of his last nine starts, but picked up no decisions in each of those games. If you take those two bad games away, he’s actually rattled off seven wins in a row. I’d expect Holtby to get two of the three starts next week. Don’t be shocked if he faces the Hurricanes and Devils before hitting the break.
Martin Jones-San Jose Sharks
Schedule: Mon @ COL, Tue @ WPG, Thu vs. EDM
Jones was given the night off in Thursday’s win over the Lightning, so he should be fresh for a home and home series against the lowly Avalanche on Saturday and Monday. Jones will enter his next start with four wins in his last five games. With plus matchups against the Colorado and/or Winnipeg, his fantasy stock should be solid heading into the All-Star break. He currently owns a 23-14-2 record with a 2.25 goals-against-average and a .916 save percentage.
Corey Crawford-Chicago Blackhawks
Schedule: Tue vs. TB, Thu vs. WPG
Crawford has just one win in his last three games and he’s given up three, four and five goals in each of those contests. He might not be playing his best, but with two home dates against the Lightning, who are struggling to score goals and the struggling Winnipeg Jets. Crawford has a 2.54 goals-against-average and a .919 save percentage to go along with a 17-10-3 record. I expect his fortunes to turn around before the All-Star break.
Sergei Bobrovsky-Columbus Blue Jackets
Schedule: Tue @ NYI, Thu @ NSH
Bobrovsky is 1-1 since returning from an illness, but he’s given up just three goals in those two games. Bobrovsky’s been one of the two best fantasy goalies in the league in the first half of the season and that should continue into the second half. He has a 27-7-2 record with a 1.97 goals-against-average and a .932 save percentage this season. Even though the Jackets have two road games on the horizon, he should have some solid fantasy appeal before the All-Star break.
Carey Price-Montreal Canadiens
Schedule: Tue vs. CGY, Thu @ NYI
There’s no doubt that Price hasn’t been as good over the last few weeks, but there’s potential for him to turn it around. Price has dropped four of his last five games and he’s given up four goals or more in four of those five contests. He’ll get a home date with the Flames and a road game with the Islanders before he takes off to the All-Star game. If Price wasn’t slumping so badly, he’d be higher on the list, but he remains a good fantasy option.
Frederik Andersen-Toronto Maple Leafs
Schedule: Mon vs. CGY, Wed @ DET, Thu @ PHI
After a slow start with his new team, Andersen has provided the Leafs with some relatively strong goaltending. He’s won two of his last three starts. He has a home date against Calgary on Monday and he’ll likely get a start in Detroit and or in Philadelphia on Thursday. He currently owns a 2.71 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage. There’s some risk with Andersen because he’s been up and down at times this year, but I’m confident he can provide some solid fantasy value.
Devan Dubnyk-Minnesota Wild
Schedule: Tue @ DAL, Thu vs. STL
If Bobrovsky is one of the top two fantasy goalies of the first half of the season, Dubnyk is the other. The Wild goalie has won five of his last six games, but he’s given up three goals or more in half those contests. Minnesota has a pair of good matchups against Dallas and St. Louis, which makes Dubnyk an attractive fantasy asset next week. He owns a 24-8-3 record with a 1.88 goals-against-average and a .936 save percentage.
Avoid these Netminders
Jake Allen-St. Louis Blues
Schedule: Tue @ PIT, Thu @ MIN
No surprise that Allen finds himself on this list for the second week in a row. Things are so bad for him right now that the Blues decided that he shouldn’t travel with the team for their upcoming road trip. Allen has been pulled in three consecutive games and it doesn’t look like he’s going to play again before the break. I don’t suggest cutting him (yet), but if he can’t get himself straightened out soon, it’s something fantasy owners will have to consider. With Pittsburgh and Minnesota on the schedule next week, I don’t suggest starting any of St. Louis’ goalies.
Ondrej Pavelec-Winnipeg Jets
Schedule: Mon vs. ANA, Tue vs. SJ, Thu @ CHI
Jets goalies Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson have been pretty bad of late, so it was only normal that Ondrej Pavelec got an opportunity to reclaim his old job. He gave up three goals on 33 shots in his first start of 2016-17, but still came out victorious over the Coyotes. Pavelec has always been a streaky goaltender, which means there’s a chance he can get hot, I just wouldn’t bank on it. The Jets have more issues than just goaltending and that forces me not to trust Pavelec, Hellebuyck and Hutchinson.
Cam Ward-Carolina Hurricanes
Schedule: Mon @ WSH, Thu vs. LAK
Ward is coming off an ugly game against the Penguins that saw him allow every goal in a 7-1 loss. Things won’t get easier for him before the All-Star break, as he’ll face the Caps on the road and the Kings at home. Los Angeles doesn’t score many goals, but Carolina doesn’t really light the lamp a lot either. Ward has given up four goals or more in three straight and he’s given up at least three goals in five of his last six. Stay away.
Cory Schneider-New Jersey Devils
Schedule: Tue vs. LAK, Thu vs. WSH
The Devils have a couple of injuries on the blue line, as they’re without John Moore and Andy Greene. A young defense has made life difficult for the team both in their own end and when it comes to moving the puck up the ice. With a pair of tough matchups on the horizon, I’d make sure to stay away from Schneider or any other Devils player. Schneider has a 14-14-7 record with a 2.69 goals-ag