H2H Faceoff: The Final Battle

Updated: March 29, 2011 at 11:47 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.

The fantasy season is quickly coming to an end. I’m proud to say, as I enter the last match up of my first-ever fantasy hockey experience, I am battling for first place. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve definitely fought hard to keep my number-one spot, let’s just hope I can hold out for this last little fantasy stretch, and end the season in first. How’d you do? If you’re proud of your team, or not, here’s your chance to let us know!

Four Games

Ducks (Col, @Cgy, @SJ, Dal) Jonas Hiller returned to the lineup for the Ducks but didn’t last very long. He was yanked after allowing three goals on nine shots, Dan Ellis stepped in but the Ducks couldn’t recover. Ray Emery started against Chicago allowing only one goal on 28 shots. The Ducks face a heavy week with back-to-back games, check back game days to see who the Ducks go with, it’s likely we’ll see all three goalies this week.

Sabres (@Tor, NYR, @Was, @Car) Ryan Miller has three wins, two of which were shutouts against the Habs and Devils, stopping at least 30 shots in both games. If Miller sees a break, it will be this week, just to keep him fresh while the Sabres face a four-game back-to-back week.

Hurricanes (@Was, Mtl, @NYI, Buf) Before falling to Tampa Bay on Saturday, The Hurricanes had three consecutive wins. The team has back-to-back games this week, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see Cam Ward. Play him as you normally would, as he’ll be in net this week for the Canes.

Blackhawks (@Det, @Bos, @Cls, TB) Corey Crawford has been the number-one goalie for the Blackhawks. Before his loss to Anaheim, he shutout Florida, stopping 23 shots. He’ll be in net this week for his team.

Avalanche (@Anh, Nsh, @Pho, Cgy) The Avs will be leaning toward Brian Elliott this week to man the net for the team, although, if you’ve got an Avs goalie, you may want to explore your other options for a few extra points before the fantasy season ends.

Blue Jackets (Fla, @Wsh, Chi, StL) Mathieu Garon fell to both Phoenix and Vancouver allowing at least three goals in both games. With back-to-back games, Garon will make another appearance for the Blue Jackets but expect to see Steve Mason the majority of the week.

Stars (@Pho, @SJ, @LA, @Anh) Kari Lehtonen hasn’t seen a win in three games, but that won’t change his number-one goalie spot. Andrew Raycroft may see a start this week, with back-to-back games in front of the Stars but the team will be relying on Lehtonen for the majority of starts as the Stars push for a playoff spot.

Wings (Chi, Stl, @Nsh, Min) Jimmy Howard suffered a shoulder sprain in the Toronto game and MacDonald stepped in for him, helping his team win the game. Chris Osgood isn’t expected back until at least April 8 and Thomas McCollum has been recalled. Howard hopes to return for Wednesday’s game but nothing is official yet. MacDonald will be in net as starting goalie until Howard returns, with McCollum ready to back him up.

Wild (@Stl, Edm, TB, @Det) The Wild have eight consecutive losses and although he’s got seven of those losses Niklas Backstrom will continue to start for this week for the Wild.

Flyers (@Pit, Atl, @NJ, NYR) Sergei Bobrovsky held strong for his team against the Islanders on Saturday, allowing only one goal on 37 shots. Brian Boucher was in net Sunday against the Bruins but couldn’t lead his team to victory. He only allowed two goals on 36 shots but his team fell short to Boston. The Flyers face back-to-back games, so expect to see both goalies get starts.

Blues (Min, @Det, Cgy, @Cls) Jaroslav Halak recorded another shutout for his team on Thursday against the Oilers stopping the mere 12 goals that Edmonton managed to shoot. The Blues face back-to-back games this week, but you can expect Halak to be in the majority, if not all, of the week.

Lightning (Ott, Pit, @Min, @Chi) Before Mike Smith’s start on Saturday against Carolina, that Tampa Bay won, Dwayne Roloson had four consecutive losses for his team. Rolie has allowed four goals in both of his last two starts. He’s continued to be inconsistent but the Lightning will continue to turn to him as their starting goalie as they enter this heavy week.

Three games

Thrashers (@Mtl, @Phi, @Bos) With Ondrej Pavelec struggling, Chris Mason has had the chance to step in. Mason started the last four games for the Thrashers, winning two of those four. If Pavelec continues to struggle, Mason may see the majority of starts in this last stretch.

Bruins (Chi, Tor, Atl) Tim Thomas won his last three starts, including a shutout against Montreal. The Bruins have a light week, expect to see Thomas in net.

Flames (Anh, @StL, @Col) Miikka Kiprusoff won two of his last give and will continue to be the starting goalie, getting the majority, if not all of the starts, until the Flames are eliminated.

Oilers (LA, @Min, @Van) The Oilers are probably desperate for the season to end at this point, as they haven’t seen a win since March 5. Both goalies, Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin, have been struggling, each of them allowed four goals in their last starts. If you’ve got one of them, check back game days, but if you have other options, use them.

Panthers (@Cls, Ott, Pit) Tomas Vokoun didn’t finish the game against the Penguins on Sunday because he was having back issues. Scott Clemmensen stepped in but wasn’t able to beat Pittsburgh as the team lost in a shootout. If Vokoun is feeling good, he’ll get the starts this week.

Kings (@Edm, @Van, Dal) The Kings have three consecutive wins with Jonathan Quick in net. In his last three games, he’s allowed only five goals. He’s a strong goalie and will continue in net this week for his LA team.

Habs (Atl, @Car, @NJ) Carey Price has been struggling a little lately, but it doesn’t take away from his fantasy value. He’ll continue to start this week, but Alex Auld should also see a start with back-to-back games ahead for the Habs.

Preds (Van, @Col, Det) Pekka Rinne has five consecutive wins and his team has six, he’s been unstoppable lately. If you’ve got him, play him with confidence, he’ll be in all week.

Devils (NYI, Phi, Mon) Martin Brodeur will be in net this week, he’s lost his last three, but shouldn’t be fully to blame as his team hasn’t been as supportive as they should be. The Devils have back-to-back games, if Marty needs a break Hedberg will step in but it looks like Marty has it under control.

Islanders (@NJ, NYR, Car) A; Montoya seems to be the better option for the Islanders right now. Rick DiPietro’s last start did not go well so the starting goalie spot seems to be in Montoya’s hands. With back-to-back games, expect to see both goalies in net.

Rangers (@Buf, @NYI, @Phi) The King has been strong for his team. In the last three games he’s started he’s allowed one goal. He shutout both Florida and Boston and will continue to start for the Rangers this week and into the end of the season without question.

Senators (@TB, @Fla, Tor) Craig Anderson won two of his last three including a shutout against the Caps on Friday. He’s proven himself to be a strong goalie for the Senators and will continue to start this week for the Sens if he stays healthy.

Penguins (Phi, @TB, @Fla) Brent Johnson was experiencing some neck pain after his game against the Wings last Monday, he’s currently listed as DTD but should be back in the lineup soon. Marc-Andre Fleury has had three consecutive wins for his team, he’s allowed only two goals in those three games and will start this week for the Pens.

Leafs (Buf, @Bos, @Ott) James Reimer has stepped in and proven himself as the number-one goalie for the Leafs, before losing to the Red Wings he had three wins in a row. He’ll continue to get the starts this week for his team.

Canucks (@Nsh, LA, Edm) Backup goalie Cory Schneider got his 20th start of the season on Sunday against the Blue Jacket and another win for his number-one team. He’s proven to be a strong back-up goalie for an already thriving team. Despite Schneider’s talent, Roberto Luongo won’t be losing his starting spot and he’ll start this week for the Canucks.

Capitals (Car, Cls, Buf) Michal Neuvirth was out sick this weekend but is expected to return this week. Holtby and Semyon Varlamov have been covering the net in his absence, Braden Holtby was able to snag a shutout against the Habs on Saturday, stopping 18 shots. Check back game days to make sure your lines are set accordingly.

Two games

Coyotes (Dal, Col) With a light week for the Coyotes, Ilya Bryzgalov will be in net. He’s won two of his last four. Play him as you normally would.

Sharks (Dal, Anh) Antti Niemi continues to be strong for the Sharks, in his last game he allowed only one goal against the Coyotes. With his strong performance, there isn’t any reason to expect the Sharks to start anyone else. Play him with confidence, if you’ve got him.

Home Sweet Home: Sharks, Coyotes, Caps, Devils and Bruins
Pack Their Bags: Rangers, Thrashers and Stars

April 4-10
4 games: Thrashers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Avalanche, Stars, Oilers, Kings, Devils, Sharks
3 games: Ducks, Sabres, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Panthers, Wild, Habs, Predators, Islanders, Rangers, Senators, Flyers, Coyotes, Penguins, Blues, Lightning, Leafs, Canucks, Capitals
2 games: Flames

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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