Thomas Greiss of the New York Islanders has performed like a No. 1 goalie this season. Now, he gets his chance to play as frequently as one.
This may seem like a stretch, but Greiss was not even owned in half of Yahoo leagues (48 percent) prior to Jaroslav Halak sustaining an injury Tuesday in a 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is inexplicable, since he leads the League in save percentage (.929) and has a 2.23 goals-against average wiht 18 wins.
He has clearly outplayed Halak (17 wins, 2.33 GAA, .917 SV%), who will miss at least six weeks with a lower-body injury. For fantasy purposes, unless you are in a keeper League, you can afford to drop Halak.
The Islanders have a jam-packed schedule in the final month of the season: they have four games next week, three the following week, four after that, and end the season with a five-game week (thanks to game rescheduled from earlier in the season). They also have the best penalty killing percentage in the League, which all adds up to good things from Greiss.
The 26 starts and 29 games played are each career highs for Greiss, who has proven he can play more often and be more effective than he has in recent seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes and Penguins. With the Islanders on the second of a back-to-back set Wednesday, Greiss made 33 saves on 36 shots in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Islanders have carried three goalies of late, scratching one when they were all healthy. More often than not, the odd man out has been Jean-Francois Berube, who has one win in three games. He's owned in fewer than 1 percent of Yahoo leagues and not worth a look in fantasy unless Greiss gets injured.
Video: NYI@VAN: Greiss sprawls to make terrific save in 3rd
San Jose Sharks
James Reimer has already made two starts since he was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs prior to the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline. On Tuesday, he made 31 saves in a 3-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers for his first shutout of the season. He made 22 saves in a 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
With Martin Jones one start behind Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks for the most in the League (55), the Sharks' starter could use some rest down the stretch. Jones has won four straight starts and has allowed two or fewer goals in five straight games.
The Sharks only have two sets of back-to-back games in their final 16 regular-season games, but expect Reimer (29 percent owned) to make four or five more starts, making him a valuable fantasy addition.
New Jersey Devils
Cory Schneider, owned in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues was having a Vezina Trophy-type season. He has 26 wins, a 2.17 GAA (tied for fifth) and a .923 SV% (seventh) but will miss at least two weeks with a Grade 1 MCL sprain. True, he had given up three or more goals in three of four starts, but Schneider allowed two goals or fewer in 38 of 55 starts and was as consistent as durable as they come.
The Devils backup, Keith Kinkaid (11 percent owned) can't be trusted for fantasy purposes. In his past two starts, he's given up 10 goals. On the season, he's 5-6-1 with a 2.74 GAA and .902 SV%. Behind Kinkaid is Yann Danis (less than 1 percent owned), who played with the Devils in 2009-10, but hasn't played in the NHL since the 2012-13 season. Neither is worth picking up.
KEEP AN EYE ON:
Andrew Hammond, Ottawa Senators
Hammond (31 percent owned) has started four straight games for the Senators, allowing at least two goals in each. He was less than a second away from a win Tuesday before allowing the tying goal and ultimately losing in a shootout 4-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Hammond is 4-8-4 with a 2.86 GAA and a .908 SV%, and is definitely worth grabbing as a handcuff if you own Craig Anderson (knee), who will start Thursday but has missed time. Hammond has come back down to earth after his magical 2014-15 season, but greater usage down the stretch could key his turnaround.
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (67 percent owned) was activated off injured reserve on Wednesday and will start against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. Bobrovsky (11-13-1, 2.65 GAA, .911 SV%) hasn't played since Jan. 21 and has had three separate groin injuries this season. Columbus sent Joonas Korpisalo to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League. Korpisalo can be dropped in non-keeper formats. … Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov had 37 saves in a 3-0 shutout against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday after making 37 saves in a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. Coach Patrick Roy has maintained all season that Varlamov is the No. 1 although Calvin Pickard (8 percent owned) has appeared in five of the past eight games and looked very sharp. … Jacob Markstrom (9 percent owned) has won two straight for the Vancouver Canucks with a .941 SV% (four goals allowed) in that span. ... Joni Ortio (4 percent owned) has won two of his past three starts for the Calgary Flames and has allowed two goals in six of his past seven starts.
TOP 30 FANTASY GOALIES
These rankings indicate fantasy expectations for the rest of the season. Value is quantified by projected starts, peripheral category coverage, timeshare situations, team defenses, past performance and upside in standard Yahoo categories, which include wins, goals-against average (GAA), save percentage (SV%) and shutouts. These rankings reflect fantasy value, not necessarily the most talented goalies in order.
1. Braden Holtby, WSH
2. Jonathan Quick, LAK (+1)
3. Corey Crawford, CHI (+1)
4. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (DTD)
5. Ben Bishop, TBL
6. Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT
7. Frederik Andersen, ANA (+2)
8. Martin Jones, SJS (+3)
9. Petr Mrazek, DET (-2)
10. Jake Allen, STL (+2)
11. Roberto Luongo, FLA (-1)
12. Pekka Rinne, NSH (+1)
13. Thomas Greiss, NYI (+2)
14. Tuukka Rask, BOS
15. Devan Dubnyk, MIN (+1)
16. John Gibson, ANA (+3)
17. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ (NEW - INJ.)
18. Semyon Varlamov, COL (+5)
19. Steve Mason, PHI (NEW)
20. Craig Anderson, OTT (-2)
21. Robin Lehner, BUF
22. Michal Neuvirth, PHI (-2)
23. James Reimer, SJS (NEW)
24. Joni Ortio, CGY (NEW)
25. Cam Talbot, EDM (NEW)
26. Andrew Hammond, OTT (NEW)
27. Calvin Pickard, COL (NEW)
28. Antti Niemi, DAL (-2)
29. Kari Lehtonen, DAL (-1)
30. Garrett Sparks, TOR
Dropped out: Joonas Korpisalo, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Cam Ward, Philipp Grubauer, Mike Condon
Key injuries: Carey Price, Cory Schneider, Brian Elliott, Jaroslav Halak, Karri Ramo, Mike Smith