In The Crease returns to its roots as the column will provide you with everything you need to know about goaltending and who to start in the upcoming week. I'll focus on Great Options, Good Options and Goalies to avoid.
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Ben Bishop-Tampa Bay Lightning
Schedule: Tue vs. ARZ, Fri @ NJ, Sun @ BOS, Mon @ TOR
Bishop enters the week having won each of his last two starts. He won those games in a back-to-back situation on Saturday against Pittsburgh and on Sunday against Carolina. The Lightning have a few interesting matchups this week, as they’ll play Arizona on a back-to-back (they played Washington on Monday), New Jersey on Friday and Toronto on Monday. The Bolts could opt to give Bishop just two starts this week because he played both games on the weekend, but it’ll be hard for them to sit him if he continues to play well. He has a 24-17-3 record with a 2.13 goals-against-average and a .923 save percentage in 2015-16.
Jonathan Quick-Los Angeles Kings
Schedule: Tue vs. CGY, Thu vs. EDM, Sat vs. BUF, Sun @ ANA
Quick missed three games between Feb. 11 and Feb. 14 because of an undisclosed injury, but he’s pretty good since his return. The 30-year-old has a modest 1-1-1 record since returning, but he’s given up just five goals during that span. The Kings might have the best schedule for fantasy purposes this week, which makes Quick’s fantasy value that much better. Los Angeles will play four games over the next six days, but they won’t be leavening the state of California. Quick should start three of the four games. If I had to take a guess, I’d say he’s going to start against Calgary, Edmonton and Anaheim, while backup Jhonas Enroth will play his former team, the Buffalo Sabres. Quick enters the week with a 29-15-3 record with a 2.19 goals against-average and a .920 save percentage.
Henrik Lundqvist-New York Rangers
Schedule: Tue @ NJ, Thu @ STL, Sat @ DAL, Mon vs. CBJ
Not many goaltenders have been better than Lundqvist during the last little stretch. The 33-year-old has won six of his last seven starts, and he’s given up two goals or less in all but one of those games. Lundqvist and the Rangers will have a pair of very difficult matchups in St. Louis and Dallas, which means his schedule isn’t ideal, but four games in a week usually means he’ll start three of them. King Henrik enters the week with a 29-15-4 record with a 2.28 goals-against-average and a .923 save percentage this season. New York is 3-1-0 on the road this this month.
Devan Dubnyk-Minnesota Wild
Schedule: Tue vs. NYI, Thu @ PHI, Fri @ WSH, Sun vs. FLA
Never underestimate the power of a coaching change. The Minnesota Wild’s decision to axe Mike Yeo couldn’t have worked out any better for them. They’re currently 4-0-0 under new head coach John Torchetti. They’ve outscored their opposition 21-8 during that stretch. Dubnyk has been in goal for three of those four wins. There’s no easy game for the Wild this week, but they won’t be an easy out for any of their opponents. The 29-year-old has a 21-19-5 record with a 2.37 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage in 2015-16. I expect him to be between the pipes for three of his team’s four games.
Braden Holtby-Washington Capitals
Schedule: Wed vs. MTL, Fri vs. MIN, Sun @ CHI
This week won’t be a walk in the park for Holtby and the Capitals. Holtby won a 3-2 decision over Arizona on Monday night, and another win is possible with the Canadiens coming to town on Wednesday. Things get a little tougher after that, as they’ll take on a red-hot Minnesota Wild team and the defending Stanley Cup champions on Sunday. The 26-year-old has just one regulation loss in his last 12 contests. Holtby has a 38-6-3 record with a 2.17 goals-against-average and a .924 save percentage this season. I’d expect him to get two starts between now and Sunday. It might be a difficult schedule, but you can still rely on Holtby to get you some wins.
Petr Mrazek-Detroit Red Wings
Schedule: Tue vs. CBJ, Sat @ COL (Stadium Series), Mon @ DAL
Is there a goaltending controversy brewing in Motown? Mrazek has been the go-to guy for most of the 2015-16 season, but he’s dropped two games in a row coming into the week. What makes things interesting in this situation is that backup goalie Jimmy Howard had a phenomenal performance in a 1-0 OT loss to the Rangers on Sunday night. Even with all of this going on, I still believe that Mrazek is the goalie to own in Detroit. The Wings get a plus matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (they played in Boston on Monday) before they head to Colorado to play in the Stadium Series game at Coors Field. Monday’s matchup in Dallas will be more difficult. Mrazek enters the week with a 22-11-6 record. The 24-year-old has a 2.11 goals-against-average and a .927 save percentage in his first year as the team’s starting goalie.
Avoid these Netminders
Cory Schneider-New Jersey Devils
Schedule: Tue vs. NYR, Thu @ CBJ, Fri vs. TB
More often than not, Schneider has found himself in the “Great” and “Good” section of this column more often than not, but this week, he finds himself in this dreaded category. Schneider is the biggest reason the Devils are anywhere close to a playoff spot at this point of the season. He’s been outstanding this year, but it seems as though the lack of talent on the roster is finally catching up to the Devils. They’ve dropped three straight decisions to the Flyers, Islanders and Capitals, and they’re schedule isn’t any easier this week. They open the week with a date against the Rangers before playing back-to-back games against Columbus and Tampa Bay. Part of the problem with Schneider’s fantasy stock this week is that he’ll likely see action in only two games.
James Reimer-Toronto Maple Leafs
Schedule: Tue vs. NSH, Thu vs. CAR, Sat @ MTL, Mon vs. TB
The Maple Leafs are clearly in tank mode. They’ve made three trades in the last two weeks and there are probably more moves to come between now and next Monday’s trade deadline. Reimer, whose contract is up at the end of the season, is one of those players who could be moved. There’s definitely a market for the 27-year-old, but any team that’s looking to acquire him will certainly want him as a strong insurance policy in case their starting goaltender goes down. If a trade occurs, that will certainly squash whatever little fantasy value Reimer has. Staying in Toronto through the end of the season won’t help his fantasy value either. Toronto will ice an AHL-like lineup from now until the end of the year, and that usually translates into a lot of losses.
Ryan Miller-Vancouver Canucks
Schedule: Thu vs. OTT, Sun vs. SJ
I want to start by giving Miller credit for his outstanding performance in Sunday’s win over the Colorado Avalanche. He made a number of incredible saves throughout the game. He was the main reason the Canucks came away with two points. Will he be able to keep that up? I doubt it. The Canucks have been a mess all season. I don’t expect things to get better going forward. They’ll probably be selling off some of their veterans before the trade deadline, which won’t help them win games. Another reason Miller’s fantasy value is low is because the Canucks only have two games this week. With such a big gap between games, Vancouver could opt to give Miller and backup Jacob Markstrom a start each. Miller enters the week with a 13-17-8 record. The 35-year-old has a 2.60 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage.