With the NHL schedule backwards this week because of American Thanksgiving, we have a super busy Wednesday on our hands tonight. 13 games in total, including a large number of marquee matchups. The Bruins are in Detroit to take on their new division foe, albeit a Pavel Datsyuk-less Red Wings team. Colorado hosts St. Louis in a battle of 17-win teams. The Maple Leafs are in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles is in San Jose…. You get the picture, there will be no shortage of hockey entertainment tonight. Here are my rankings for tonight’s starting goalies.
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1. Carey Price (@ BUF) – 1.97 GAA and .933 SV% in his last nine starts, and we all know when you see vs. or @ BUF… You start em.
2. Tuukka Rask (@ DET) – If Pavel Datsyuk was playing I’d be a little more skeptical, but without Dats I’m afraid the Wings don’t have enough fire-power against a strong Bruins team.
3. Henrik Lundqvist (@ FLA) – Did he ever disappoint against Nashville or what? Expect King-Henrik to bounce back tonight. Despite recent bad outings he still has a 1.99 GAA in his last 11 starts.
4. Martin Brodeur (vs. CAR) – The 41-year-old has a 2.06 GAA and .913 SV%, what more could you ask for? Carolina has found some offence recently, but New Jersey is too strong defensively for Brodeur not to be a strong start.
5. Cam Ward (@ NJ) – Ward has impressed since returning and he has a great matchup vs. a low-scoring Devils lineup.
6. Semyon Varlamov (vs. STL) – With J.S Giguere in net the Avs were hammered by the Blues two weeks ago. Expect a better Avalanche team tonight, with stronger play between the pipes.
7. Marc-Andre Fleury (vs. TOR) – The Leafs only mustered 18 shots vs. Columbus, the Penguins should be able to take care of them at home.
8. Antti Niemi (vs. LA) – The Sharks have now won five of their last six – I’ll take the home team here in a close game.
9. Braden Holtby (vs. OTT) – This is a battle of two slumping teams, I’ll take the team with Alex Ovechkin and the stronger goaltending.
10. Jonathan Bernier (@ PIT) - You can bet on Bernier seeing a lot of rubber tonight, however he has done a good job keeping the puck out of the net. Even if they lose, his numbers should be worthwhile.
11. Ben Scrivens (@ SJ) – I ranked him 11th, because if I had him ahead of Bernier Leaf fans would have lost it. You can’t argue with Scrivens’ recent success, but this is not a favourable matchup.
12 . Jaroslav Halak (@ COL) – I can’t argue with Halak’s performance this season, I just don’t like the matchup on the road.
13. Sergei Bobrovsky (vs. NSH) - Despite his inconsistent play this season, you can’t deny this is a good matchup for Bob.
14. Marek Mazanec (@ CBJ) – Pekka Rinne who? Mazanec has filled in admirably and draws a good matchup tonight.
15. Antti Raanta (@ CGY) – He will be used as a spot-start all across fantasy leagues tonight. The matchup is great, but don’t forget this is his first NHL start.
16. Niklas Backstrom (vs. PHX) – Their is some serious offence cooking in Phoenix, 3.17 goals per game has me treading lightly here.
17. Tim Thomas (vs. NYR) – Thomas continues to make me look silly in these rankings. His .930 SV% in his last seven starts is impressive, but I don’t think the reward is worth the risk.
18. Ryan Miller (vs. MTL) - Miller=Good. Buffalo=Bad…. Factor in the tough matchup… It is becoming harder and harder to trust Miller with a supporting cast.
19. Craig Anderson (@ WSH) - A 4.00 GAA and .871 SV% in the last month for Anderson… Let him prove to you that he is still the number one in Ottawa before you throw him to the dogs in Washington.
20. Ray Emery (@ TB) - As soon as it looks like the Lightning can’t score without Steven Stamkos, they hang five on one of the best goalies in the NHL. Emery is a risky spot-start, but vs. Lindback I give the Flyers the upper-hand in goal.
21. Jonas Gustavsson (vs. BOS) – When Gustavsson is on, he looks great. But when he is off, he really looks lost out there. Taking on a great Boston team tonight, I’m not risking the lost Monster shows up.
22. Thomas Greiss (@ MIN) – Greiss has been solid when called upon, but even minus Zach Parise this Minnesota team is still good. However, he is still one of the better spot-start options tonight if you’re in need of goalie numbers.
23. Al Montoya (@ NYI) – The Islanders are a respectable offense, so the matchup is not ideal, but with Poulin in the other crease, Montoya could be someone to turn to if you’re desperate.
24. Anders Lindback (vs. PHI) – He really hasn’t had a single fantasy worthy start this season. Even if the matchup is alright, I’m not rolling Lindback until he shows he’s got some game.
25. Reto Berra (vs. CHI) – Berra is doing everything he can, but even his best tonight is not going to be enough vs. the high-octane Blackhawks offence.
26. Kevin Poulin (vs. WPG) – The Jets have been putting pucks in the net at a decent pace lately and Poulin’s been letting them in at a decent pace.