It’s that time again! So let’s hear your fantasy goalie predictions. Who is going to surprise us this year? Who is going to disappoint us? Who are you relying on this year to take your own team to victory? Let’s get the goalie talk rolling.
(SJ, StL) Hiller left us questioning his return after struggling with vertigo last season but the Ducks’ goalie is back and ready to prove he still deserves the number one spot. The Ducks started the season with back to back games against the Sabres and the Rangers. Hiller allowed four goals and the team lost to Buffalo but the next night he allowed only one goal leading his team to victory against the Rangers. Hiller will start in net for his team this week. If Hiller has found a permanent solution to his vertigo, he could be a great fantasy asset, but it’s still a mystery if he’ll stay healthy, only time will tell his fate at this point.
(Col, @Car, @Chi) The Bruins face a three game which will likely allow for three starts for the team’s number one goalie, Thomas. There’s not much bad you can say about the Stanley cup winning goalie. If you’ve got him, you know you can play him with confidence.
(Car, @Pit) The Sabres started the season with back-to-back wins and Miller looking sharp. This week they face back-to-back games again. Unless he’s in need of some rest, there’s no reason he shouldn’t start against both the Hurricanes and Penguins. He’s been known to play strong back-to-backs for his team before and with the winning start this season, it looks like we can expect another impressive season for Miller.
(@StL, @Mon, @Tor) Miikka Kiprusoff started the season allowing four goals against Pittsburgh and losing the first game. The Flames will be on the road this week and Kip is expected to be in net. Kip’s season could go either way at this point but it’s still early and a rocky start isn’t a good enough reason to lose faith in the talented netminder just yet.
(@NJ, Bos, @Buf) The Hurricanes acquired Brian Boucher from the Flyers but that doesn’t mean you should expect to see him in net much this season. The Hurricanes will still rely on Cam Ward to get the job done between the net. Ward allowed five goals in the season opener and the team lost to the Lightning. Boucher made his debut the next night but the team still couldn’t manage a win. Ward will be in net this week for the Hurricanes and should be played if you’ve got him, he’s always a safe bet as he continues to be one of the top goalies in the league.
(Wpg, Bos) Crawford faced Dallas in back-to-back games to start the season allowing two goals in each game losing the season opener and winning at home the next night. With a strong, young team in front of him, Crawford will be a strong fantasy player as he will get the majority of starts (and the two this week) for the Blackhawks this season, taking on the number one netminder spot.
(@Bos, @Cls, @Ott, @Mon) Varlamov started the season for the Avs on Saturday against Detroit. He allowed two goals against the Wings and his team lost the season opener. Varlamov has not locked in the number one goalie spot, Giguere may also have a chance to take over the net for Colorado and with a busy week on the road and back-to-back games, we should see both goalies in net this week.
Columbus Blue Jackets
(Van, Col, @Dal) Mason is again the number one goalie for the Blue Jackets but his number one spot doesn’t mean you should rely on him as anything more than an extra goalie on your fantasy team. In his second game of the season he was pulled after allowing four Minnesota goals. Mason is a hit or miss goalie, he has the potential to be the goalie he once was, it’s in him, but he’s too much of a wildcard to rely on him to lead your fantasy team to victory.
(Pho, StL, Cls) The Stars will again use Lehtonen this year to fill the number one spot in net. He helped his team win the season opener and makes for a decent fantasy goalie. Raycroft will continue to serve as backup but likely won’t make an appearance this three-game spread-out week.
Detroit Red Wings
(Van, @Min) Howard led the team to a season-opener victory for the Wings. He held strong through the majority of the game but allowed three goals to the Senators before game’s end. Although Wings acquired Ty Conklin from the Blues, Howard will continue to play the majority of games for the Wings as their number one goalie. Conklin will likely make appearances when the team faces back-to-back games. He made his first appearance on Saturday in Colorado shutting out the Avs, proving himself to be a reliable backup for the team. With only two games, Howard will be minding the net this week.
(@Min, Van) Devan Dubnyk will get the start for the Oilers in their season opener against the Penguins and likely start the rest of this week. Khabibulin is still on the Oilers roster and will likely be thrown in if Dubnyk cannot hold his own, but Dubnyk has shown his potential before. He’s one to keep an eye on but definitely far from a top fantasy goalie option.
(@Pit, TB) Jose Theodore will be the go-to netminder for the Panthers while Clemmensen is on IR. Theodore was acquired from the Wild and although not the best goalie option, he shouldn’t be ruled out. He’ll take on most of the work while Clemmensen heals from knee surgery giving him the chance to prove he deserves the spot. He could bring some value to your fantasy team, play him wisely.
Los Angeles Kings
(@NJ, @Phi) It looks like Quick may be sharing the spotlight this season with backup goalie Bernier. Bernier has the potential to be the team’s number one goalie but Quick has already proven himself to the team in the past. This season opened with Quick bringing in a win and Bernier, a loss, allowing four goals to the Sabres. If Bernier wants to continue to share time, he’ll have to step it up. Keep an eye on the starting goalies page to see who the Kings will start.
(@NYI, @Ott, Edm, Det) Backstrom is the number one goalie for the Wild as we begin the 2011-2012 season. It’s hard to say which way Backstrom will go but he started the season with a win allowing two goals to the Blue Jackets. He will play the majority of games this season, provided he stays healthy, but with back-to-backs this week, the team hopes to use backup goalie Harding. Harding will make an appearance as long as he’s recovered from the ankle injury he suffered with last week.
(Cgy, Col) Carey Price is the obvious choice for number one goalie in Montreal. The team acquired Budaj who will serve as backup to Price every now and then, but Price will carry the workload for the Habs. With a light week for the team, you shouldn’t expect to see a Budaj appearance just yet.
(Pho, NJ) Rinne has started the season with two wins under his belt, allowing two goals in each of the back-to-back games he’s played thus far. Rinne is a strong goalie both on the ice and in the fantasy world. Play him with confidence and the Preds will as well.
New Jersey Devils
(Car, LA, @Nsh) Brodeur started in net for the Devils this season but allowed three goals and the team lost their first game. Hedberg will again serve as his backup and is expected to make an appearance this week as the Devils face the Hurricanes on Monday. Brodeur will continue to hold the number one spot for New Jersey but Hedberg should get a good number of starts this season as well.
New York Islanders
(Min, TB, NYR) It will be interesting to see what the Islanders decide to do this season with their goalies. Montoya got the start for the season opener against the Panthers but lost after allowing two goals to the Florida team. DiPietro is also in the running for the number one spot, although with his track record, it is unlikely he will take on the workload. And let’s not forget Nabokov decided to swallow his pride and fight for a starting spot, however trade rumors are beginning to circulate which could mean good things for Montoya going forward this season with the Islanders. Be sure to keep an eye on the starting goalies page to see who they decide to start.
New York Rangers
(@NYI) With one game this week, Lundqvist will start for the Rangers. Lundqvist will carry the responsibility between the pipes this season for his team. He’s a strong fantasy player and should be played as such. Biron will serve as backup throughout the season, but don’t expect to see him too often while Lundqvist reigns.
(Min, Col, @Was) Anderson was off to a rocky start this season with the Senators, allowing five goals in Detroit and allowed four in Toronto before being replaced by Auld. Anderson will continue to hold the number one spot but will have to step it up if he wants to keep it. It’s too early to rule him out as a good fantasy asset this year, he still has the potential to benefit your team.
(Van, LA) Bryzgalov debuts this season as a Flyer, with two games (and two wins) under his belt he has allowed only one goal. He’s going to do great things this year with the Flyers and if you’re lucky enough to own him, you won’t be disappointed. The Flyers have a light week this week, expect him to get you some points.
(@Dal, @Nsh, Wpg) Smith has been given the number one spot since the Coyotes lost Bryzgalov. He started the season opener by allowing six goals against San Jose. Although his performance wasn’t the best, he won’t lose his number one spot any time soon. He’ll look to redeem himself this week.
(Fla, Was, Buf) Fleury has already locked in two wins for the Penguins, allowing three goals in each game. He’ll get a break when the team faces the Oilers and Johnson will step in, but likely you’ll see Fleury the rest of the week. Even without their star player, the Penguins prove to be a dominate force, making Fleury and backup Johnson, reliable fantasy options.
San Jose Sharks
(@Anh, StL) Greiss started for the Sharks in their season opener as Niemi was out recovering from having a cyst removed from his knee. Greiss helped lead the team to victory against the Coyotes but don’t expect him to take over permanently. Niemi should be back in the net soon and when he is, he’ll take on the majority of the workload this season.
St. Louis Blues
(Cgy, @Dal, @SJ, @Anh) Halak will be the starting goalie for the Blues again this season. The season opener turned out to be a disappointment for the St. Louis team and Halak allowed three goals on 15 shots. Elliott may make an appearance as the Blues have a busy back-to-back week ahead but expect Halak to be in net most of the week as he looks to redeem himself from his season opener performance.
Tampa Bay Lightning
(@Was, @NYI, @Fla) Roloson won the first game this season for the Lightning allowing only one goal. Garon started the next night but didn’t have the same success as the Bolts number one goalie. Roloson will man the net for the Lightning this season and Garon will step in for back-to-back games and busy weeks when Roloson needs a break.
Toronto Maple Leafs
(Cgy) Reimer started the season off for the Leafs with a shutout against the Habs. His second night was not as boastful as he allowed five goals but the team still managed to beat the Senators 6-5. Reimer is likely to talk on the majority of starts this season and with one game this week, you can expect to see him in net.
(@Cls, @Phi, @Det, @Edm) There’s no question who will man the net in Vancouver this season. Luongo will continue to faithfully guard the net for the Canucks but with back-to-back games, reliable backup, Schneider, is likely to make an appearance this week as well.
(TB, @Pit, Ott) It was rumored that Vokoun would be the number one goalie but Neuvirth got the nod for the season opener helping his team notch a win. Vokoun is likely to start against the Lightning. It’s possible the two could begin the season sharing time in the net. Check back game days to set your lines accordingly.
(@Chi, @Pho) Pavelec started for the Jets debut in Winnipeg on Sunday night, but the eager fans left disappointed as the goalie allowed five goals. It is likely that Pavelec will be the number one goalie but Mason will make an appearance here and there as necessary.
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