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In The Crease

Rask-ing for Trouble

by Joey Alfieri
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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 Nov. 12-18


Great Options

Andrei Vasilevskiy-Tampa Bay Lightning


Schedule: Sun at ANA, Thu vs. DAL, Sat vs. NYI


Vasilevskiy comes into the weekend having lost just two games all season. His last regulation loss came back on Oct. 7, which is pretty remarkable. Don’t be surprised if he stars all three games next week. With two of those games coming on home ice, Vasilevskiy will continue to be a strong fantasy option.


Matt Murray-Pittsburgh Penguins


Schedule: Tue vs. BUF, Thu at OTT, Sat vs. CHI


In his first full season with veteran Marc-Andre Fleury behind him, Murray has looked pretty good. The fact that the Penguins have a plus matchup at home against the Sabres and at least one day between each game next week makes him a strong fantasy play.


Braden Holtby-Washington Capitals


Schedule: Sun vs. EDM, Tue at NSH, Thu at COL, Sat vs. MIN


Holtby continues to be one of the top players at his position. He’s given the Capitals some solid goaltending, again, this season. Looking at Washington’s schedule next week, they have four matchups, which means Holtby will see at least three starts. He may very well be the top play of the week.


Jonathan Quick-Los Angeles Kings


Schedule: Sun vs. SJ, Tue vs. VAN, Thu vs. BOS, Sat vs. FLA


Quick and the Kings have a golden opportunity to pick up some fantasy points this week, as they’ll have four home games over seven days. The Kings goalie has a 9-3-1 record with a 2.29 goals-against-average and a .932 save percentage. Like Holtby, he has a chance to be the top fantasy goalie of the week.


Good Options                       


Sergei Bobrovsky-Columbus Blue Jackets


Schedule: Tue at MTL, Fri vs. NYR


The defending Vezina Trophy winner continues to give his team the best chance to win. The only reason he’s on the “good” portion of the list is because he has two games next week. Winning in Montreal is never easy and the Rangers have been playing much better hockey of late.


Connor Hellebuyck-Winnipeg Jets


Schedule: Tue vs. ARZ, Thu vs. PHI, Sat vs. NJ


Hellebuyck didn’t start the season as the team’s starting goalie, but it’s been impossible for them to ignore his play so far. The young netminder will continue to serve as the number one goalie. Winnipeg will play three games at home next week, which makes Hellebuyck an interesting fantasy option.  


Corey Crawford-Chicago Blackhawks


Schedule: Sun vs. NJ, Wed vs. NYR, Sat at PIT


Crawford goes into the weekend having lost two in a row, but it’s tough to blame him for those defeats. The ‘Hawks goalie has seven wins in 13 games, but his individual numbers are off the charts (1.87 GAA, .942 save percentage). Those are hard to ignore.


Charlie Lindgren-Montreal Canadiens


Schedule: Tue vs. CBJ, Thu vs.  ARZ, Sat vs. TOR


It’s important to note that Lindgren’s fantasy value will plummet if Carey Price returns from injury between now and the end of next week. Still, it’s impossible to ignore what the youngster has done for Montreal. In Price’s absence, he’s given the Habs some quality goaltending. He has a very bright future.


Bad Options

Maxime Lagace-Vegas Golden Knights


Schedule: Tue at EDM, Thu at VAN


Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) is making his way back to the lineup in the near future, so you can expect Lagace’s workload to drop significantly. Even if he does play next week, his fantasy value will be extremely limited.


Antti Raanta-Arizona Coyotes


Schedule: Tue at WPG, Thu at MTL, Sat at OTT


The Coyotes aren’t very good, which means most of their players will have little to no fantasy value including their goaltenders. Raanta has started four games since returning from a lower-body injury, and he’s won just one decision.


Robin Lehner-Buffalo Sabres


Schedule: Tue at PIT, Fri at DET, Sat vs. CAR


Lehner’s number have been disappointing this year mainly because the team in front of him hasn’t been good. A game in Pittsburgh and a back-to-back against Detroit and Carolina will make it hard to trust him in fantasy.


Tuukka Rask-Boston Bruins


Schedule: Wed at ANA, Thu at LAK, Sat at SJ


It’s been a rough start to 2017-18 for Rask. Not only does he have just three wins this season, he also had to overcome a concussion.  West coast road trips are never easy for teams coming from the East, so it’ll be difficult to have faith in Rask’s fantasy upside next week.