H-2-H Faceoff: Sabres, Canes, Habs, Wings, Leafs & Avs

Updated: November 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm by Mollie Krupp

By Mollie Krupp

Who’s been the most surprising goalie for you this season? And who’s been the most disappointing? Dish out your opinions on the goalie sitch so far this season.

Anaheim Ducks

(@LA, LA, Det) Jonas Hiller and the Ducks have been less than lucky on the ice so far this season and lately Hiller’s performance has been less than stellar but he’s still a strong fantasy player and likely to find his groove soon. The Ducks have back-to-back games so both he and Dan Ellis will make an appearance.

Boston Bruins

(NJ, Cls, @NYI) Tuukka Rask started and won two games last week for the Bruins and might be worth picking up if he’s a free agent in your league, as a backup goalie for your team. Tim Thomas will continue to get the majority of starts but the Bruins want to keep him fresh and that means Rask gets more time in net. With a defending Stanley Cup team, they are both bound to earn a few extra points for your team.

Buffalo Sabres

(@Mon, NJ, @Car, Pho) We recently saw Jhonas Enroth start back-to-back games for the Sabres with two back-to-back wins. Enroth has proven himself to be a strong backup for the team and should make at least one appearance in this busy week for the Buffalo team. Ryan Miller owners shouldn’t worry, he’s not moving from the number one spot any time soon, it would take a lot more than a few good performances from the backup to bump him from that spot, play him confidently as always despite the slump.

Calgary Flames

(Ott, Chi) Miikka Kiprusoff has been playing well for the Flames and there’ s no reason the Flames won’t give him both starts this week, which means you should too. Then again, Henrik Karlsson has not played for four games so he may give Kipper a rest.

Carolina Hurricanes

(Phi, @Mon, Buf, Tor) Cam Ward has been struggling this month with more losses than wins. He’ll get at least three of the starts this week as the Hurricanes might see the busy week as a good time to give Brian Boucher another chance in net. Check back game days and be sure to set your lines accordingly.

Chicago Blackhawks

(@Van, @Cgy, @Edm) Corey Crawford continues to be a solid goalie for the Blackhawks and his fantasy owners, it may have a lot to do with the team in front of him, but nonetheless, you should play him when you have the chance. This week the Blackhawks are on the road with back-to-back games which means Ray Emery is likely to get another start, giving Crawford the other two.

Colorado Avalanche

(@Pit, @Min, Dal, SJ) Back-to-back games will allow for appearances by both Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov has struggled through the month of November to win a game, while Giguere has been solid in his few appearances so far this season. Varlamov will still likely get the majority of starts but check the starting goalies page on game days to be sure.

Columbus Blue Jackets

(Min, @Bos, @Nsh) The Blue Jackets and Steve Mason have continued to struggle as the season goes on. Both Curtis Sanford and Mark Dekanich remain sidelined with various injuries making Allen York the only available option.

Dallas Stars

(Fla, @Col, SJ) Andrew Raycroft just started on Saturday which could give Kari Lehtonen enough rest to play all three games, despite  back-to-back contests. If you have any hesitation about playing Lehtonen whenever you can, you may want to resign from playing fantasy hockey.

Detroit Red Wings

(@StL, @SJ, @LA, @Anh) The Wings face back-to-back games on the road this week, which means we’ll see both Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin. The Wings struggled earlier in the month but seem to have gotten back into the swing of things. Howard is always a safe bet, even when the Wings are losing as he’s putting up a solid performance.

Edmonton Oilers

(Ott, Chi) A light week for the Oilers should allow for two more Nikolai Khabibulin appearances. While everyone has been waiting for the Oilers and Khabibulin to go back to the team we knew last season, they continue to surprise fans and fantasy players alike. Khabibulin may be the biggest surprise of all, but it looks like he still has it in him and if you picked him up, don’t hesitate to play him.

Florida Panthers

(@Dal, @StL, Pit) Jacob Markstrom was sent to the AHL as Scott Clemmensen returned from injury. Check the starting goalies page this week to see if he’ll make his season debut. Theodore has been the number one goal so far this season but with Clemmensen’s return, he could sit a bit more. Keep an eye on the situation, especially if you’re in desperate need of a spot start.

Los Angeles Kings

(Anh, @Anh, Det) After three consecutive shutouts, Jonathan Quick has struggled to win as of late, but that doesn’t mean you should rule him out. He’s still got it in him. Quick will be in net this week but Jonathan Bernier will also make an appearance this week as the Kings face the Ducks in back-to-back tilts.

Minnesota Wild

(@Cls, Col, StL) Niklas Backstrom recently shutout the Flames saving 41 shots. It was a good start for him returning to the net after playing backup to Harding for a few games. Harding also had a stellar run, allowing no more than one goal in each of his four consecutive starts. If Harding is still a FA in your league, he’s definitely worth snagging if you’re looking for a third option with some upside.

Montreal Canadiens

(Buf, Car, @NYI, NYR) The Habs face a four-game week with back-to-backs, which may allow for Peter Budaj to get another start. Then again Budaj’s appearance on Saturday could give Price all the rest he needs. The Habs seem to go back and forth with winning and losing streaks, so far this season but Price is still a strong goalie and you shouldn’t hesitate to play him when he starts.

Nashville Predators

(Was, Tor, Cls) Pekka Rinne will be in net this week for the Predators, start him every chance you get. He’s seen a little bit of inconsistency lately but that shouldn’t persuade you to bench him, he’s still an elite starting goalie.

New Jersey Devils

(@Bos, @Buf, @TB) The Devils have back-to-back games this week, Johan Hedberg and Martin Brodeur should both be expected to make appearances. Check back game days to set your lines accordingly, and if you’ve got either Devils goalie, activate him in your lineup.

New York Islanders

(NYR, Mon, Bos) If you’ve got a NYI goalie and you want to know when to play him, your best bet is to check the starting goalies page for each game, as the Islanders seem to keep juggling their three goalies and hoping to hit a hot hand on one of them.

New York Rangers

(@NYI, @Mon) With only two games this week, expect to see Henrik Lundqvist defending the net for the Rangers. He’s the kind of goalie, you never need to question. Even if he has an off game or his team struggles to back him up, he still continues to impress. Play him with confidence.

Ottawa Senators

(@Cgy, @Edm, @Van) The Senators will continue to start Craig Anderson this week as they travel this week. They hit a bit of a rough patch as of late, if you’ve got other goalie options, it might be best to play them until Anderson and the Senators start winning again, which they’ll look to do this week.

Philadelphia Flyers

(@Car, Pho, @Wpg) Ilya Bryz has not performed the way that many fantasy owners may have hoped he would, but there’s still a lot of games to play and he’s got a good team in front of him, no need to worry about his rocky start just yet. Sergei Bobrovsky could get one start as the team plays back-to-back.

Phoenix Coyotes

(@Tor, @Phi, @Buf) The Coyotes will be on the road this week and will continue to turn to Mike Smith to defend the net. He may not be your number one option but he’s still been fairly solid lately with more wins than losses and respectable peripherals.

Pittsburgh Penguins

(Col, @TB, @Fla) It’s possible we’ll see both Brent Johnson and Marc-Andre Fleury this week. Check back game days to be sure and play the Penguins goalies if you’ve got them, their team has proven to be a strong one even with missing their star player.

San Jose Sharks

(Det, @Dal, @Col) Back-to-back games could allow for Thomas Greiss to step in once this week. Antti Niemi has put up a few solid performances over the last week and has hopefully gotten that groove back that fantasy owners have been waiting for.

St. Louis Blues

(Det, Fla, @Min) Jaroslav Halak’s rough start this season allowed for Brian Elliott to step up and help up the orale on the Blues team. However Halak has returned to the net and has allowed no more than two goals in the games he started last week — he managed to shutout Chicago saving 29 shots. Your best bet is to keep an eye on this situation, as Halak could go either way, allowing for Elliott to get another string of starts if necessary.

Tampa Bay Lightning

(@Wpg, Pit, NJ) Dwayne Roloson seems to have stepped up his game recently. Play him, but cautiously, he has inconsistent tendencies and just when we hope he’s going to stay strong he may just flake. Mathieu Garon will be ready to step in if that happens, for now the Lightning will continue to rely on Roloson as the No. 1.

Toronto Maple Leafs

(Pho, @Nsh, Was, @Car) There still isn’t much information on James Reimer or when he will return to the lineup for the Leafs. The Leafs will rely on Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens in the meantime. If you need someone to replace Reimer for now Scrivens will likely get the majority of starts but that doesn’t mean he’ll get the wins you’re looking for. If you’ve got other options, it might be best to go with them until Reimer returns.

Vancouver Canucks

(Chi, Ott) A light week for the Canucks should allow for Luongo to get both starts, so you should allow him the two starts as well. Then again in Vancouver you never know when Cory Schneider will make another appearance.

Washington Capitals

(@Nsh, @Wpg, @Tor) Washington has a fairly light schedule this week meaning Tomas Vokoun will be in net looking to lead his team to victory. He’s a strong fantasy option and you should play him as such.

Winnipeg Jets

(TB, Was, Phi) The Jets have continued to struggle and although Ondrej Pavelec stumbles upon a strong performance and a win here and there, it’s best to avoid the Jets netminders for now.


Look Ahead to November 21st – November 27th

4 games – Bruins , Flames, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, Stars, Oilers, Panthers, Habs, Devils, Islanders,
Flyers, Coyotes, Penguins, Blues, Caps

3 games – Ducks, Sabres, Blackhawks, Wings, Kings, Wild, Predators, Rangers, Lightning, Maple Leafs,
Canucks, Jets

2 games – Avalanche, Senators, Sharks


We hope you enjoyed our latest as much as we enjoyed writing it. If there are glaring omissions let your voice be heard in the comments. Regardless, make sure to take all of the advice in and continue to check our renowned starting goalies section, which is updated all day until game time and follow us on Twitter @DailyFaceoff

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