Head-to-Head Faceoff is a weekly column by Mollie Krupp which will run every Sunday and continue into Monday. Here you’ll find a breakdown of each team’s schedule for the week as well as which goalies you can expect to see in net so you can make sure to set your fantasy rosters accordingly.
Bruins (@TB, @Fla, Car, @Atl) Tukkka Rask could get another chance to prove himself in this 4-game week for the Bruins but it is safe to say Tim Thomas will be the starting netminder for most of the week. Still, Rask is too good to be ignored if he plays like he did last week.
Flames (@NYR, @NJ, @Phi, @Pit) Miikka Kiprusoff finally broke the losing streak but with a heavy weeks we should expect Henrik Karlsson to make an appearance. Expect to see him at least once this week, and depending on his performance, maybe more but let’s not push it yet.
Blue Jackets (Nsh, @NYI, Det, @Det) Steve Mason will probably man the net most of this week, but with a 4-game schedule there is a good chance Mathieu Garon could get a start, especially after yet another shutout.
Stars (@Tor, @Ott, StL, @StL) With back-to-back weekend games this week, Andrew Raycroft may relieve Kari Lehtonen for a night.
Panthers (Pit, Bos, NYR, @Bos) If Tomas Vokoun needs a break, Scott Clemmensen will start one of the weekend games for the Panthers. The team has been better about not forcing their starting goalie into back-to-back games, especially with a capable backup in Clemmensen.
Canadiens (@Phi, LA, @Atl, Buf) Keep an eye out for an Alex Auld appearance this week. The Canadiens will continue to ride Carey Price’s hot streak, without a doubt, but a busy schedule and back-to-back weekend games may allow him a break.
Predators (@Cls, StL, @Min, NYR) Pekka Rinne will be in net but don’t expect him to play all week, back-to-back games present an opportunity for Anders Lindback to get a start.
Devils (Was, Cgy, @NYI, Phi) Martin Brodeur left the game Maple Leafs game early because his sore elbow acting up. It looks like he may need more time to heal. He’s listed as DTD right now, so watch for updates. But I’d expect to see Johan Hedberg in net for most if not all of the week, especially since the team looked no different in front of Mike McKenna.
Rangers (Cgy, @TB, @Fla, @Nsh) Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t been on top of things for the last couple of games so a busy week will give Martin Biron a chance to start
Senators ( LA, Dal, @Pit, Tor) Expect to see Pascal LeClaire this week. It seems Brian Elliott is cooling down which may allow for LeClaire to take over, or at least get another chance.
Flyers (Mon, @Min, Cgy, @NJ) Sergei Bobrovsky will likely cover all of the games after some rest this weekend.
Penguins (@Fla, @Buf, Ott, Cgy) Marc-Andre Fleury seems to be getting into the swing of things. If he keeps it up, Bylsma may want to play him all week, but with 4 games there’s a good chance Brent Johnson will get a start.
Lightning (Bos, NYR, @Was, Fla) Mike Smith and Dan Ellis have struggled to find consistency. With Smith getting two wins in his last two appearances he should get another chance to start over Ellis.
Capitals (@NJ, @Car, TB, Car) Ideally, Michal Neuvirth will start for the Caps all week, as Braden Holtby had a disappointing last performance. Keep an eye on Semyon Varlamov, he has been nursing an injury since October, but we may see him again very soon.
Thrashers (Det, Mon, Bos) Ondrej Pavelec has been playing well recently and can be expected to be seen all week if he keeps it up.
Sabres (Pit, Tor, @Mon) With Ryan Miller out, we should see more of Jhonas Enroth. No official word as of yet on the extent of Miller’s re-aggravated injury. This team seems to have zero faith in backup Patrick Lalime and have lost all four of his starts this season.
Hurricanes (Was, @Bos, @Was) Cam Ward should be seen in between the pipes for this three-game week.
Blackhawks (@SJ, @Anh, @LA) Marty Turco will start for the Hawks but back-to-back games give Corey Crawford, who definitely helped his cause with a recent win, a chance to add to his stats.
Avalanche (@Van, @Edm, Min) Craig Anderson has returned to the lineup but Peter Budaj has put up a good fight to keep his spot in the net, check the starting goalies section on game days, depending on Anderson’s performance, we could see either one in net this week.
Detroit (@Atl, @Cls, Cls) The Red Wings schedule continues to be light, which means Jimmy Howard is likely to start all week.
Oilers (@Pho, Col, SJ) Martin Gerber was pulled up from the AHL as Nikolai Khabibulin was placed on IR for a groin injury. Expect Gerber and Devan Dubnyk to split time in net moving forward, but Dubnyk should get the majority of playing time this week.
Kings (@Ott, @Mon, Chi) Jonathan Bernier will play in Montreal, so expect Jonathan Quick to get the rest of the starts this week.
Wild (Phi, Nsh, @Col) Niklas Backstrom will be in net, but back-to-back weekend games should give Jose Theodore another start.
Sharks (Chi, @Van, @Edm) Expect appearances from both Antero Niittymaki and Antti Niemi again this week. However, neither netminder will look good should the Shark’s continue to struggle defensively.
Blues (@Nsh, @Dal, Dal) Jaroslav Halak should be in net all week, but the Stars games are back-to-back leaving an opportunity for Ty Conklin to get a start.
Maple Leafs (Dal, @Buf, @Ott) Since Jean-Sebastien Giguere is out with a groin injury for at least a week, expect Jonas Gustavsson to cover all three games this week.
Ducks (Chi, @Pho) Although a light week for the Ducks, their 2 games are back-to-back, so Curtis McElhinney could make another appearance.
Islanders (Cls, NJ) Dwayne Roloson should be in net for this light week unless Rick DiPietro can break the team out of its funk.
Coyotes (Edm, Anh) Ilya Bryzgalov should get both starts in this 2 game week for the Coyotes
Canucks (Col, SJ) Expect to see Roberto Luongo to start both games for the Canucks
Home Sweet Home: The Islanders, Coyotes, Canucks and Thrashers will be home all week
Pack Their Bags: The Blackhawks and Flames will be on the road this entire week
Practice Shots: Injuries early on in the season have allowed for goalies Budaj, Neuvirth and Bobrovsky to prove themselves to their teams. But with Anderson back, and Varlamov and Michael Leighton on their way, fantasy owners may be wondering what to do. Weigh your options. We’ve seen what these stand-in goalies can do for their teams under pressure, we may have even seen more than we expected. So holding onto to any of them, isn’t a terrible idea. You could also try selling high. Sell the goalies while they’re hot and see who you can get for them. Or pick up Anderson, Varlamov or Leighton if they’re free agents on your league, it might be good to snag them before they get started, who knows what they’ll do once they get back. Anderson allowed one goal while stopping 25 during his first game back, which Colorado went on to win. Just a few things to think about when you’re setting your starting goalie lineup this week.