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.
4 Game Teams
Rangers (@Pit, Bos, @Col, @Min) Henrik Lundqvist should be back this week after recovering from the flu, until then Biron will cover for him.
Ducks (@Dal, @Min, Cls, Edm) With back-to-back games in Dallas and Minnesota there’s a possibility Duck’s backup Curtis McElhinney will make an appearance this week to give Hiller a break. However, with Jonas Hiller‘s status uncertain we could see even more McElhinney.
Bruins (NJ, @NYR, Fla, LA) With Tim Thomas performing so well the chances of Tuukka Rask playing this week are slim, but with back-to-back games in NYR and Fla, make sure to check our starting goalies section just in case.
Sabres (Van, @Was, LA, TB)—Ryan Miller is back in the lineup after missing six games and will probably get all four starts depending on performance, but it’s possible Patrick Lalime could make an appearance when the Sabres go back-to-back against LA and TB. The team needs to play him sometime.
Avalanche (StL, SJ, NYR, @Dal) While Peter Budaj should cover most of the games this, an appearance from John Grahame is probable.
Kings (@SJ, Cls, @Buf, @Bos) With back-to-back games vs Sabres and Bruins, Jonathan Bernier should make an appearance but Jonathan Quick will start most of the week.
Flyers (Ott, @Mon, TB, @Was) Sergei Bobrovsky has been a great surprise for the Flyers and you can expect him in net for the week. But back-to-back games should give Brian Boucher a chance to play.
Sharks (LA, @Col, @Dal, Cls) Expect to see both Antero Niittymaki and Antti Niemi this week. If Niemi can’t gain momentum Niitymaki will probably get the majority of starts.
Blues (@Col, @Det, Ott, NJ) With back-to-back game at the end of this week, backup Ty Conklin can be expected to make an appearance so Jaroslav Halak can get a breather.
Canucks (@Buf, @Pit, Chi, Pho) Vancouver’s 4-game week will give Cory Schneider a chance to step in for Roberto Luongo at least once this week.
3 Game Teams
Blackhawks (@Edm, @Cgy, @Van) The back-to-back games vs Cgy and Van might give Corey Crawford a chance to start this week.
Capitals (Buf, @Atl, Phi) Michal Neuvirth will be the first choice, but back-to-backs against Thrashers and Flyers may allow for an appearance by Braden Holtby.
Lighting (@NYI, @Phi, @Buf) The Lighting will most likely rely on Dan Ellis this week, even with back-to-back games midweek.
Thrashers (Fla, Was, NYI) Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason can both be expected to make appearances this week.
Hurricanes (Ott, @Pit, Nsh) Cam Ward has been roughed up his past two games for the Hurricanes so back-to-back games should allow for Justin Peters to step in.
Blue Jackets (@LA, @Anh, @SJ) With back-to-back Friday and Saturday games this week, expect to see both Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon.
Stars (Anh, SJ, Col) Kari Lehtonen is probable for starting all week.
Oilers (Chi, Pho, @Anh) If Nikolai Khabibulin doesn’t step up, there may be a chance for Devan Dubnyk to add another start to his stats.
Panthers (@Atl, @Bos, @NYI) Tomas Vokoun may get a break for the back-to-back games this week, which will give backup Scott Clemmensen another chance to step up.
Canadiens (Phi, Nsh, Tor) Carey Price should be expected between the pipes for all 3 games this week.
Predators (@Tor, @Mon, @Car) Pekka Rinne has been streaky so far this season but with no back-to-back games this week, he’s probable to get the nod over Anders Lindback.
Devils (@Bos, @Tor, @StL) Martin Brodeur has returned after suffering a bruised elbow and will start this week.
Senators (@Phi, @Car, @StL) Pascal Leclaire has returned to the Senators lineup and may be seen in the rotation this week, but Brian Elliott has proven himself and will be more likely to get the starts.
Penguins (NYR, Van, Car) For the time being it’s no longer a toss up as to who coach Dan Bylsma will put in net. With Marc-Andre Fleury getting back-to-back wins in his last two games, he may be the go-to netminder but make sure to double check on game days, it’s just as likely Brent Johnson will get a start.
Maple Leafs (Nsh, NJ, @Mon) With no back-to-backs, Jean-Sebastien Giguere will be probable for the Leafs in all three games this week as the team tries to break their losing streak.
Wild (Anh, @Det, NYR) Niklas Backstrom will be in net, but should get a break on the weekend when the Wild have back-to-back games. Expect a Jose Theodore appearance.
Coyotes (@Cgy, @Edm, @Van) Given their light schedule, Ilya Bryzgalov should cover the net this week for the Coyotes.
Islanders (TB, Fla, @Atl) Dwayne Roloson is likely to cover all three games this week for the Islanders even with back-to-back games.
Wings (StL, Min, Cgy)– With the Wings light schedule, Jimmy Howard can be expected to be in net for all three home games this week.
Flames (Pho, Chi, @Det) Expect Miikka Kiprusoff in net all week for the Flames.
Home Sweet Home: The Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins and Atlanta Thrashers will be spending this week at home.
Packing Their Bags: The Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lighting and Chicago Blackhawks will be on the road all week.
Practice Shots: When discussing goalies with fellow fantasy players it seems easy to find common ground in who has been most disappointing so far this season, with the most popular answers being Miller, Brodeur and Fleury. But I find the more interesting topic of conversation to be about the goalies that have surprised us thus far. I’m giving Bobrovsky, Halak and Thomas the credit for stepping up early on. I don’t know about the rest of you but I was ready to watch Rask do some great things in the net this season, however, I couldn’t be happier to see Thomas getting the job done between the pipes for the Bruins. And maybe the surprise of Halak’s Stanley Cup Playoff performance last year is still lingering in my mind but it seems to me that he wants to prove he can play in the regular season too. And fine, maybe nobody knows where the heck Bobrovsky came from, but I know I’m glad we’ve gotten to know him. They may not have been your first choice goalies but if you’ve got these guys on your team, I think you’ve earned bragging rights amongst the rest of your league.