H2H Faceoff: The Art of a Starting Goalie

Updated: February 7, 2011 at 10:14 am 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.



Today, let’s take a minute to appreciate the art of being a goalie. We have to know the job can’t be easy. There’s a lot of pressure each night between the pipes and sometimes we forget how much they really do for our teams. So let’s take some time to commemorate our favorite moments from our favorite netminders. Tell us who you love or who you wish would retired, tell us a favorite moment or particular game that you’ll never forget. One of my favorite, more recent goalie moments, came last year when the Wings played the Penguins and Jimmy Howard wanted to fight and put his big goalie glove in Crosby’s face. I think that was a proud moment for all of us Wings fans and it’s always great to see a goalie get a little scrappy. If you’ve got a story, and I’m sure you do, we’d love to hear it!

4 Games

Flames (Chi, Ott, Anh, @Van) Miikka Kiprusoff won five of his last six games. The Kings ended the five-game winning streak in Saturday’s game. Expect to see Kiprusoff in net for the majority of the week but the weekend games are back-to-back so Henrik Karlsson should also get a start.

Hurricanes (@NJ, @Phi, @TB, @Atl) Cam Ward continues to be the number-one goalie for the Canes. With a four-game week, Justin Peters could see a start to give Ward a break. Ward helped his team win against Atlanta on Saturday, stopping 34 of 37 shots.

Blackhawks (@Cgy, @Edm, @Dal, @Pho) Turco has been the starting goalie choice for the last two games against the Blue Jackets and Canucks. Corey Crawford has allowed a total of seven goals in his last two games. The Blackhawks may play Marty Turco more to make sure he’s ready, if needed, for the playoffs. Turco allowed four goals in both games he started. With a heavy week for the Hawks, expect to see both goalies to get starts this week.

Avs (@Pho, @Min, @Cls, @Nsh) The Avs haven’t had much luck with their goalies lately. Craig Anderson has been disappointing giving Budaj a chance to step up. With four games this week, expect to see both goalies play.

Blue Jackets (@Pit, SJ, Col, @Dal) Steve Mason won four of his last six games. He shutout Detroit on Friday, stopping 34 shots. He seems to be the choice for number-one goalie right now. Mathieu Garon should get a start this week, but expect to see more of Mason.

Red Wings (NYR, Nsh, @Bos, Bos) The Red Wings were shutout in their back-to-back games this weekend and will be looking to end their two-game losing streak in this four game week. Jimmy Howard is the number-one goalie for the Red Wings and will continue to start for his team with Joey MacDonald serving as backup until Chris Osgood is healthy.

Oilers (@Nsh, Chi, Ott, Anh) There isn’t much to be said about the Oilers or their goalies. If you own either of these goalies, go with other options or check back game days to see who’s starting.

Islanders (Tor, @Mon, Pit, @Buf) Rick DiPietro is out four to six weeks with facial fractures and a possible knee injury and Lawson is on IR. The Islanders don’t seem to be having much luck. Kevin Poulin will be the go-to netminder for this team while everyone else is healing.

Penguins (Cls, LA, @NYI, @NYR) Expect Marc-Andre Fleury to get three of four starts this week for the Penguins. Fleury has played strong for the Penguins, winning the majority of games he’s started in recent weeks. He’s been doing well for his owners.

Sharks (@Was, @Cls, @NJ, @Fla) Antero Niittymaki and Alex Stalock are injured leaving Niemi to be the number-one goalie for the Sharks. He will likely get all four starts this week. Charlie Hutton has been called up as a backup while the other goalies heal.

Leafs (Atl, @NYI, NJ, @Mon) Jonas Gustavson has been assigned to the AHL for conditioning. James Reimer was pulled in Saturday’s game. Jean-Sebastien Giguere should be in net for the majority of the week, but check back game days, it’s a heavy week, so Reimer should still see a start.

3 Games

Ducks (@Van, @Cgy, @Edm) Jonas Hiller is the number-one goalie for the Ducks and will continue to hold that spot this week. Curtis McElhinney has been a reliable backup recently, as he shutout Colorado on Saturday.

Thrashers (@Tor, NYR, Car) Mason is no longer on IR with Pavelec struggling lately, expect to see Mason get a start this week.

Bruins (Mon, Det, @Det) It’s no doubt that Thomas will continue to start for the Bruins. He continues to be a strong goalie for his team.

Sabres (@TB, @Fla, NYI) Miller has definitely improved since the beginning of the season and will be the go-to goalie for the Sabres as the season continues. Miller has won three of his last four games.

Stars (Pho, Chi, Cls) Lehtonen seems to have hit a rough patch in recent days losing four of his last five games. However, his slump shouldn’t affect his starting goalie status.

Panthers (StL, Buf, SJ) Vokoun has won two of his last four games. He’ll continue to start for the Panthers this week.

Kings (@Pit, @Was, @Phi) Quick is on his own five-game winning streak including a shutout against Boston. Keep him in your lineup as you normally would.

Wild (Col, @StL, StL) Backstrom stopped 40 of 41 shots in his game against the Coyotes on Saturday. He has been playing strong since returning from injury. He has won three of his last six games, two of those wins being shutouts. He’ll be the number-one goalie this week.

Habs (@Bos, NYI, Tor) Carey Price won the last two games he started. He shutout the Rangers in his last contest stopping 35 shots.

Preds (Edm, @Det, Col) After a three-game losing streak, Rinne got back in net against Detroit and blocked 35 shots, shutting out one of the top teams in the league. Rinne will continue to block shots for the Preds this week.

Devils (Car, @Tor, SJ) Brodeur has stepped up his goalie game and won five of his last six games. If you’ve got him play him.

Rangers (@Det, @Atl, Pit) Lundqvist hasn’t won a game since Jan. 24 but the losing isn’t all on him. He’ll still start this week for the Rangers.

Senators (@Van, @Cgy, @Edm) Elliott seems to be the Senators number-one option but keep in mind this team is on a serious losing streak.

Coyotes (Col, @Dal, Chi) Bryzgalov shutout the Wild on Saturday making 25 saves. He will start this week for the Yotes.

Canucks (Ott, Anh, Cgy) The Canucks are on a five-game winning streak. Luongo has been great for the Canucks and will start for them in their three-game week.

2 Games

Flyers (Car, LA) Boucher started on Saturday for the Flyers and allowed only 1 goal on 31 shots earning the game’s first star. His great performance won’t him a starting spot over Bobrovsky but makes him a viable backup for the team.

Lightning (Buf, Car) Rolie has won his last five of six games, things seem to be coming together for this Lightning goalie. He should continue to get the majority of starts.

Capitals (SJ, LA) Neuvirth shutout the Penguins today (Sunday) but that doesn’t mean Varlamov will lose any playing time. Check back game days to see what the Caps and Bruce Boudreau decide to do with their goalie situation this week.

Pack Their Bags: Hurricanes, Blackhawks, Avs, Sharks, Ducks, Kings and Senators will be on the road.

Home Sweet Home: The Stars, Panthers, Canucks, Caps, Flyers and Lightning will play at home all week.

Peek: Feb 14-20

4 Games: Caps, Canucks, Wild, Sabres

3 Games: Leafs, Lightning, Blues, Sharks, Coyotes, Preds, Senators, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Habs, Kings, Panthers, Oilers, Wings, Stars, Avs, Blackhawks, Hurricanes, Flames, Bruins, Ducks

2 Games: Penguins, Blue Jackets, Thrashers

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