Fantasy goalies: Hurricanes' Lack pushes for No. 1 job

Thursday, 01.28.2016 / 12:00 PM
David Satriano  - Fantasy Staff Writer

Eddie Lack's first season with the Carolina Hurricanes has been a bumpy ride. He was splitting time with Cam Ward and struggled to string together successive solid starts.

But that trend changed when Ward was diagnosed with a concussion, forcing him to miss Carolina's past four games. Lack (25 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) is 3-1-0 with two shutouts since Ward went down, making 32 saves in a 1-0 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 21 and 26 saves in a 5-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

Ward (34 percent owned) was activated off injured reserve Tuesday, and the Hurricanes have an opportunity to rest during the NHL All-Star break until their next game Feb. 3 against the Calgary Flames. Lack is 9-9-3 with a 2.68 goals-against average, .904 save percentage and two shutouts on the season. Those numbers may not be good -- he ranks 41st in save percentage and 36th in goals-against average -- but right now, he gives the Hurricanes the best chance to win.

Carolina is 7-2-1 in its past 10 games and one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs form the Eastern Conference. Ward is 14-11-5 with a slightly better 2.41 GAA, similar .905 save percentage and one shutout. Ward has started 31 games; Lack has started 22. I wouldn't be surprised if that number tilts in favor of Lack, who is four years younger and isn't as injury-prone as Ward.

If Lack is available in your fantasy league, he's certainly worth a flier considering the Hurricanes are in contention and he fared well down the stretch last season with the Vancouver Canucks.


Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks

Jones has been on a great run in the past three weeks. He's 7-0-1 with a 1.95 GAA, .930 save percentage and one shutout. For the season, he is 23-13-3 with a 2.39 GAA, .915 save percentage and four shutouts. He's also faced the 10th-most shots (1,066) and made the 10th-most saves (975) while ranking fifth in games played (40).

Jones (87 percent owned) has allowed more than two even-strength goals once in his past 12 starts. He has been and is going to get the bulk of the starts for the Sharks. He's had one rough stretch in an otherwise consistent and above average fantasy season.


Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets

Hellebuyck (55 percent owned) has gotten the bulk of the starts for the Jets (19 of the past 21 including 10 straight) but is 4-5-1 in his past 10 starts. He's allowed three goals or more in five of his past eight starts and has a save percentage under .900 in five of them. Michael Hutchinson (nine percent owned) has made the other two starts for the Jets in the past 21 games with Ondrej Pavelec (43 percent owned) still out with a knee injury.

The Jets have fallen out of Stanley Cup Playoff contention and play four of their first five games after the All-Star break against teams currently in the playoffs. Combine that with Hellebuyck's heavy usage, and he could be running out of gas.


Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets

With Sergei Bobrovsky (71 percent owned) on injured reserve again and out indefinitely with a groin strain, Korpisalo will get another chance. The rookie (five percent owned) is 5-5-2 with a 2.74 GAA and a .915 save percentage. He has started the past four games for Columbus, and is 4-1-1 in his past six starts.

After allowing four goals four times in his first six appearances, Korpisalo has allowed no more than two in his past six starts. He's also faced 30 or more shots in eight of the 12 appearances. The Blue Jackets have been playing better, and some of that credit belongs to him.


-- Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators may have finally turned around his season. In his past three starts, he's 3-0-0 and allowed a total of three goals.

-- Boston Bruins goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who was removed from the game Tuesday and taken to the hospital with an elevated heart rate, was released from the hospital on Wednesday.

-- Calvin Pickard has started each of the past two games for the Colorado Avalanche, winning one game and losing the other when he was pulled after two periods. Pickard has allowed seven goals in his past five periods. With Reto Berra injured and Semyon Varlamov attending to a legal matter, the goalie situation after the All-Star break remains unclear.

-- Andrei Vasilevskiy has won his past six starts for the Tampa Bay Lightning and got his second career NHL shutout on Wednesday, a 1-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.


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