Welcome back DailyFaceoff fans, we hope you all had a great Holiday! After a short three-day break the NHL is back in action with 10 games tonight to kick off a busy weekend. There are eight games tomorrow and then another 10 games on Sunday. Some of the interesting matchups tonight are: Colorado (49 pts) @ Chicago (58 pts), the Avs have levelled off recently so this is a big test against the reigning Cup Champs. Buffalo (23 pts) @ Toronto (41 pts), for whatever reason, it always seems like the Sabres raise their level of play (Ryan Miller in particular) against the Maple Leafs, plus John Scott should be in the lineup… sooo….. Finally the Rangers @ Washington is always an exciting game. I am really intrigued to see what Cam Talbot can do in his third consecutive start. Here are tonight’s goalie rankings – If you don’t know which goalies to play, you simply play the goalie who is ranked higher.
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1. Tuukka Rask (vs. OTT) – Rask has been great in December posting a 5-2-0 record with a 1.80 GAA and .939 SV%. The Sens got to him the first time around, but Rask is too talented to worry about that.
2. Marc-Andre Fleury (@ CAR) – Fleury is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA and .945 SV% vs. the Hurricanes this season.
3. Jonathan Bernier (vs. BUF) – Bernier has stopped 93 of the last 97 shots he faced (.959 SV%) in his last three outings, but has no wins in those games. If he continues to play that well, the W’s will come.
4. Antti Niemi (@ PHX) – The Coyotes offence has been held to one goal in four of their last five games and Niemi has had success against Phoenix going 1-0-1 with a 1.44 GAA and .943 SV% in the first two meetings.
5. Antti Raanta (vs. COL) – Raanta has won three of four starts with a 1.47 GAA and .930 SV% and takes on an Avalanche who have lost three of their last four.
6. Martin Brodeur (vs. CBJ) – Brodeur has won three consecutive starts while posting a 2.00 GAA and .925 SV%.
7. Ryan Miller (@ TOR) – Miller has stopped 54 of 57 shots (.947 SV%) in two starts vs. the Maple Leafs this season and dating back to last year he is 4-1-1 in his last six games against Toronto.
8. Philipp Grubauer (vs. NYR) – Grubauer is a 4-1-1 record with a 2.20 GAA and .934 SV% since being called-up and faces a .500 Rangers team.
9. Kari Lehtonen (vs. NSH) – After a rough start to December, Lehtonen is 2-0-1 with a 1.62 GAA and .949 SV% in his last three starts and tonight will see a Predators team who have pulled their goalie in three straight games. (Likely)
10. Cam Talbot (@ WSH) – Talbot gets his third straight start after winning Sunday and Monday, and he is 5-1-0 with a 1.51 GAA and .944 SV% on the road so it should be a great battle between young goalies.
11. Mike Smith (vs. SJ) – Smith has a 2.19 GAA and .927 SV% in eight December starts, but the Coyotes offence has been limited lately which has held him to just three wins.
12. Jean-Sabastien Giguere (@ CHI) – Giguere has played extremely well when called upon this season, but on the road vs. Chicago is a matchup that makes you look at your other options.
13. Niklas Backstrom (@ WPG) – Wow Backstrom has fallen off the fantasy map this season eh? Well at least he faces the Jets tonight… Winnipeg has lost six of their last eight.
14. Robin Lehner (@ BOS) – Lehner has posted a 2-5-1 record with a 2.69 GAA and .928 SV% on the road and tonight he is in Boston… So I’d be nervous about having him active.
15. Ondrej Pavelec (vs. MIN) – Pavelec who has allowed three or more goals in five of nine starts in December and is 0-2-1 vs. the Wild.
16. Reto Berra (vs. EDM) – Berra has been very solid in December posting a 2-2-0 record with a 1.98 GAA and .934 SV%. He will face the Oilers who he is 1-1-0 with a 1.97 GAA and .926 SV% against.
17. Curtis McElhinney (@ NJ) -McElhinney is the Blue Jackets starter by default. He has allowed 13 in his last four starts and is not a good fantasy option. The Devils offence isn’t great but starting McElhinney is sketchy regardless of his matchup.
18. Devan Dubnyk (@ CGY) – Despite being 1-0-1 with a 1.97 GAA and .935 SV% in the Battle of Alberta this season, Dubnyk has allowed 14 goals in his last four starts (1-3-0).
19. Justin Peters (vs. PIT) – Peters has given up seven goals in his last two starts and faces a team who continues to play extremely well even though they are missing a lot of key players.
20. Carter Hutton (@ DAL) – The Predators have pulled their goalie in three straight games… So are you really going to start a Nashville goalie tonight?