H2H Faceoff: Time to grab a backup?

Updated: November 30, 2010 at 8:04 am by Alexander Monaghan

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.


4 Games

Blues (@Chi, Was, @Edm, @Van) The Blues have a 4-game week with double back-to-backs so Ty Conklin can be expected in this week’s rotation.

Coyotes (@Nsh, @Min, Fla, @Anh) The Coyotes also have a heavy week, so Ilya Bryzgalov should see a break somewhere during the week. Make sure to check the starting goalies section on game days.

Senators (Edm, SJ, Buf, @NYR) Expect to see Brian Elliott during the back-to-back weekend games, otherwise, Pascal LeClaire will be between the pipes.

Rangers (Pit, @NYI, NYI, Phi) The Rangers will face the Islanders for back-to-back games mid-week. So Martin Biron may step in for Henrik Lundqvist for one of these rivalry games.

Wild (@Cgy, Pho, Cgy, @Dal) Niklas Backstrom will be seen most of the week, but Jose Theodore should get another start during the weekend.

Oilers (@Ott, @Mon, @Tor, StL) Martin Gerber may have earned himself a few more starts with a good debut performance on Thanksgiving. Expect to see both him and Devan Dubnyk in the net during the heavy week.

Flames (Min, Van, @Min, @Chi) If Miikka Kiprusoff can get back into his groove, he will probably get all starts this week. But if he continues to be streaky, Henrik Karlsson may pick up a start in this 4-game week.

Ducks (LA, Fla, Det, Pho) With the Ducks struggling to see a good performance from either of their goalies as of late, Jonas Hiller and Curtis McElhinney should both make appearances in this heavy week for the Ducks.

3 Games

Wings (@SJ, @Anh, @LA) Chris Osgood should be good to go by next weekend when the Wings will face back-to-back against the Ducks and the Kings and will probably get a start to give Jimmy Howard a break.

Stars (@Car, Was, Min) As long as Kari Lehtonen performs well, he should get all 3 starts this week for the Stars.

Blue Jackets (Nsh, @Buf, Pit) We should see both Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon in net this week with back-to-back games against the Sabres and Penguins.

Blackhawks (StL, Van, Cgy) If Corey Crawford keeps up his performance we may see more of him for the Blackhawks and Turco has been unreliable as of late.

Hurricanes (Dal, @Col, @Nsh) Cam Ward is the likely option for the Hurricanes all week. Peters could get a chance to start in the back-to-back games, but if Ward is feeling good, he’ll be more likely to man the net for the week.

Bruins (@Phi, TB, @Tor) Tim Thomas continues to run the show in Boston but back-to-back games against the Flyers and Lightning should give Tuukka Rask another shot at adding another win to his stats.

Thrashers (@Col, @Pit, @Was) Ondrej Pavelec should be expected to get all 3 starts given his hot streak continues.

Panthers (@Anh, @LA, @Pho) Scott Clemmensen hasn’t proven himself to be a reliable backup so far this season, but if Tomas Vokoun needs relief for one of the back-to-back games he’ll have another chance to get between the pipes.

Kings (@Anh, Fla, Det) Jonathan Quick should be seen all week, the schedule is light and the Kings are hoping the playing time will get him out of his recent funk.

Habs (Edm, @NJ, SJ) Alex Auld may have another chance for an appearance as the Habs face back-to-back games this week against the Oilers and Devils. But if Carey Price continues to be hot they may decide to play him straight through the week.

Predators (Pho, @Cls, Car) Pekka Rinne will be looking for a win this week for the Predators with a light schedule he should be the guy to start.

Islanders (NYR, @NYR, Phi) With back-to-back rivalry games against the Rangers it’s likely we’ll see Rick DiPietro and Dwayne Roloson. But with a shutout in his last game, DiPietro may be the Islanders first choice, with their record this season, they can’t afford to sit a goalie while he is hot.

Flyers (Bos, NJ, @NYI) With back-to-back weekend games Brian Boucher should see another start this week.

Penguins (@NYR, Atl, @Cls) With a fairly light schedule and Marc-Andre Fleury starting to step up Bylsma’s decision shouldn’t be too difficult.

Sharks (Det, @Ott, @Mon) Until one of these goalies can step up Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki will continue to split ice time.

Lightning (@Tor, @Bos, Col) Mike Smith may be the likely choice this week for the Bolts.

Maple Leafs (TB, Edm, Bos) JS Giguere is listed DTD but should be back this week. Jonas Gustavsson will cover the net until he returns.

Canucks (@Cgy, @Chi, StL) Roberto Luongo could see all 3 starts for the Canucks

Caps (@StL, @Dal, Atl) Semyon Varlamov shutout Tampa Bay last week and looks like he is ready to fight for his spot as starting goalie. But as long as Michal Neuvirth is up for it following a groin injury he should make an appearance in this back-to-back game week.

Avalanche (Atl, @Car, @TB) With back-to-backs against the Hurricanes and Lightning, Peter Budaj could get some rest.

2 games

Devils (Mon, @Phi) With Brodeur out, Johan Hedberg is in for the Devils this week.

Sabres (Cls, @Ott) These games are back-to-back for the Sabres this week so check come game day but Ryan Miller should be in net.

Home Sweet Home: The Panthers and Thrashers will be away from home this week. And the Red Wings will be on the road all week as well facing off against the California teams.

Packing Their Bags: The Ducks and Maple Leafs will be staying home all week.

Riding the Hot Streak: Struggling to find a good goalie? In need of a few extra points for the week? Maybe it’s the left over turkey talking for me, but why not take a chance on a backup? If you are feeling risky and want to take a gamble, drop one of your less reliable goalies (within reason of course!) for a few days and pick him up again, check the starting goalies page on our site and pick up one of the better back ups. But make sure to do your homework first. For instance, Brodeur is out and Hedberg is between the pipes until he returns. Hedberg has already had three good games since covering for Brodeur. If I had picked him up, my team would have had roughly 33 extra points this week from Hedberg alone. It is also important to keep in mind both teams offense and defense when deciding on this kind of gamble. Like I said, it’s risky and takes a little bit of research as well as a certain kind of fantasy player to make this kind of move but you never know when a backup is going to step in and have the game of their life.

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