H2H Faceoff: A Fresh Look After the New Year

Updated: January 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm by Mollie Krupp

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.

In spirit of the new year, share your predictions for the playoff run or the Stanley Cup finals. Who do you think we’ll see competing for the cup this year? Who do you hope to see or think we’ll see taking the cup home this year.

4 Games

Bruins (@Pit, Ott, Phi, Pit) Tim Thomas will get the majority of starts in this 4-game Bruins week but Tuukka Rask may get another chance in net with back-to-back games against the Pens and Senators.

Oilers (@Dal, @SJ, @LA, @Anh) Nikolai Khabibulin and Devan Dubnyk are both likely to get starts this week. Khabibulin has lost his last seven games.

Predators (Min, @Fla, Chi, @Chi) Pekka Rinne has won the last four games he started. Allowing only one goal in each of those games. With a busy week ahead, Anders Lindback should get a start in one of the back-to-back Chicago games.

Rangers (Mon, Van, @Mon, Phi) Henrik Lundqvist will get the majority of starts this week. However, reliable backup Martin Biron should see a start as the Rangers face back-to-back games late in the week.

Senators (@Bos, @NYI, Cgy, @Was) Brian Elliott will continue to be the starting goalie for the struggling Senators until the return of Pascal Leclaire. Rookie Robin Lehner could get into the mix later in the week.

Flyers (@Buf, @Bos, @Atl, @NYR) Michael Leighton headed back to the AHL, leaving Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky in charge of the net for the Flyers. Boucher won his last three games and with that may continue to get the majority of starting time for the Flyers. Check back on game days to be sure.

Coyotes (@StL, @Cls, Tor, Anh) Ilya Bryzgalov missed Friday’s game because he had to tend to a family emergency, now he seems to be battling the flu. Jason LaBarbera will start for him him until he’s healthy.

Blues (Pho, @Anh, @LA, @SJ) Jaroslav Halak lost his last three games but as a fantasy owner, you shouldn’t worry too much. He’ll continue to start for the Blues and produce points for you in fantasy.

Maple Leafs (@LA, @SJ, @Pho, Cgy) Jean-Sebastien Giguere has not yet returned to the lineup and is listed on IR right now as he continues to suffer a groin injury. Jonas Gustavsson and James Reimer will be in charge of the net until Giguere returns. Reimer has done fairly well for the Leafs so far and will get at least one start in this four game week.

Canucks (@NYI, @NYR, @Was, @Min) Roberto Luongo has won seven of nine games he started, letting his two losses in that time go to another top team, Detroit. Cory Schneider won the last five games he started and continues to prove himself as a great backup for a strong team.

Caps (@Fla, @TB, Van, Ott) Semyon Varlamov has won the last four of five games for the Caps but Michal Neuvirth shouldn’t be ruled out completely. He’ll be competing for playing time, this week is hectic for the Caps and you’ll see Neuvirth at least once.

3 Games

Ducks (StL, @Pho, Edm) Jonas Hiller has won his last four of five games and will continue to be the starting goalie, without question, for the Ducks. However, the Ducks face the Coyotes and Oilers back to back, so Curtis McElhinney could get a start.

Sabres (Phi, Car, @NYI) Ryan Miller has allowed only one goal in 69 shots in his past two games. He’s be starting this week for the Sabres. As the Sabres face the Islanders, Patrick Lalime may start, so check the goalies page on game day.

Flames (@Car, @Ott, @Tor) Miikka Kiprusoff lost his last two games but not without a strong effort against two top teams. He’ll continue to help his team fight to make the playoffs. Keep in mind, back-to-back games may give Henrik Karlsson a start this weekend.

Hurricanes (Cgy, @Buf, TB) Cam Ward is listed as DTD. He will be a game-time decision for the Atlanta game today, but the Hurricanes will looking for him to be ready to go on Tuesday against the Flames. Until he is ready, Justin Peters will be in net.

Blackhawks (Col, @Nsh, Nsh) Corey Crawford will have five consecutive starts as the Blackhawks enter this three game week. He seems to have taken over the number one goalie spot and should get two of three starts this week, with Marty Turco as a possibility for one of the back-to-back Nashville games.

Avalanche (Det, @Chi, @Min) Craig Anderson has lost the last six of seven games he started but continues to get more playing time than Peter Budaj. If Anderson continues to struggle, Budaj could see more starts.

Blue Jackets (Pho, Det, @Det) Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon may share time this week, unless one of them shows a little more potential. At this point, the Blue Jackets have to ride the hot hand whenever they have the opportunity.

Wings (@Col, @Cls, Cls) Jimmy Howard had two amazing performances against the Flames and Canucks living up to Red Wings fans and fantasy owners expectations. Chris Osgood is listed as DTD because of his groin, so Joey MacDonald has been called up to serve as backup until Osgood returns.

Panthers (Was, Nsh, NJ) Tomas Vokoun has been inconsistent lately, but will continue to be the number one goalie for the Panthers.

Kings (Tor, StL, Edm) Jonathan Quick has lost four of the last six games he started. He has been somewhat inconsistent as of late and will be looking to bounce back and perform well for his fantasy owners and team this week.

Wild (@Nsh, Col, Van) Niklas Backstrom is listed as DTD and may be facing a serious hip issue. Jose Theodore will start for the Wild while Backstrom is out and Anton Khudobin has been called up to serve as his backup.

Habs (@NYR, Pit, NYR) Carey Price broke his losing streak and the Habs won contests against both the Penguins and Bruins and will look to continue that streak for his team this week. With back-to-back games mid-week, Alex Auld should also make an appearance.

Islanders (Van, Ott, Buf) Rick DiPietro is listed as DTD as he has suffered a groin strain. Until he is healthy, Kevin Poulin and Nathan Lawson will cover the net.

Penguins (Bos, @Mon, @Bos) Marc-Andre Fleury will start this week for the Pens. Fleury continues to hold the number-one goalie spot.

Sharks (Tor, Edm, StL) Antti Niemi seems to be getting more playing time than Niittymaki as of late. That’s not to say they couldn’t reverse roles again at any time. Check back game days to see who gets the start.

Lightning (Was, NJ, @Car) Dwayne Roloson started off with a shutout against the Caps for his new team. The hype ended quickly as Rolie struggled against the Penguins but then went on to redeem himself in his performance against the Senators. Despite his shoddy performance against the Pens, the plan for him to be the number-one goalie has not changed.

2 games

Thrashers (Phi, @Dal) Ondrej Pavelec will be looking to bounce back from his performance against Toronto on Friday. The Thrashers have a light week but their two games are back-to-back, which makes Chris Mason a likely start for one of the games.

Stars (Edm, Atl) Kari Lehtonen continues to be a valuable fantasy goalie and should see both starts in this light Stars week.

Devils (@TB, @Fla) Johan Hedberg has gotten the majority of starts in the past week for the Devils, but after being pulled in the Flyers game, Martin Brodeur may have chance to reclaim his number-one spot this week depending on his performance against Tampa Bay today (Sunday).

Home Sweet Home: The Stars, Sharks, Islanders, Kings and Panthers will be home all week.
Packing Their Bags: The Oilers, Flyers, Canucks, Flames and Devils hit the road this week.

NHL, NHL starting goalies, Starting Goalies