Fantasy Hockey: Goaltending Slow Starts

Updated: October 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm by Brock Seguin

With the first week of the Fantasy Hockey season in the books, it is time to take a look at some of the goalies who are off to rocky starts. I have fielded a ton of questions this week about whether some of you should drop certain goaltenders who have not had the best of starts. For me personally the sample size is too small to drop some players, but it all depends who is available in your league. I will outline goalies who are struggling right now and goalies I would pick up to replace them, if they are available.

Through two games Devan Dubnyk has struggled mightily. He has allowed five goals in each game and was pulled in his last start. The Oilers offence looks good, but they are not playing too much defence in front of him. His numbers are currently sitting at 6.53 GAA and .831 SV%… Pretty dismal numbers for the guy who is supposed to be Edmonton’s goaltender of the future. He will certainly bounce back in due time, but he is scaring his owners right now.

Goalies I would drop Dubnyk for: Ryan Miller (BUF – 80% owned), Ondrej Pavelec (WPG – 69%), Semyon Varlamov (COL – 67%), Jaroslav Halak (STL – 64%), Evegeni Nabokov (NYI – 64%).

Braden Holtby allowed five goals in his first start and then was promptly pulled in his second after giving up three goals on 11 shots. He rebounded slightly in his last game, allowing two goals on 21 shots, but was still on the hook for the loss. Playing on an offensive juggernaut like Washington certainly helps his case, but if he continues to struggle, Michael Neuvirth will see an increased number of starts.

I think it is still too early to give up on Holtby considering the team he plays for and his age. That being said, his leash is short. 

It is a little more worrisome when a goalie who is already in a goaltending duel struggles and Viktor Fasth and James Reimer are both in that boat right now. Fasth was shelled for six in his first start and then allowed two on 17 shots in his next start. His 4.00 GAA and .826 SV% are alarming and he could be in danger of losing starts if his poor play continues. After the hot-start last season this was a little surprising but I think it is still too early for the Ducks to give up on him. He should still see close to half of the starts. If you have Fasth it would be smart to try and get Jonas Hiller as well. As for Reimer, things are not looking good. He has a 4.63 GAA and .879 SV% versus the 0.64 and .979 that have been posted by his teammate Jonathan Bernier. This might not be enough to call him the number-two just yet, but should things continue to trend in this direction, he will become less and less valuable.

Goalies I would drop Fasth and Reimer for: Ryan Miller (BUF – 80% owned), Ondrej Pavelec (WPG – 69%), Semyon Varlamov (COL – 67%), Jaroslav Halak (STL – 64%).

Editors Note: If you have any comments or concerns about anything written in this article, please feel free to leave comments below or Tweet me @DailyFaceoff or @Brock_Seguin

Braden Holtby, Devan Dubnyk, James Reimer, Viktor Fasth