Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey staff writer David Satriano provides in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Satriano is your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.
The Los Angeles Kings began the season 0-3-0, allowing 12 goals and scoring only two. Jonathan Quick was in net for each of them. Known as a big-game goalie, Quick doesn't often start well but plays his best when the stakes are high.
After failing to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, you can be sure he doesn't want that to happen again and is doing his part; Quick has won five straight starts and has allowed a combined five goals, with two coming at even strength.
Since those first three games, Quick hasn't had a save percentage lower than .929 in a game. He's 5-3-0 this season with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. Backup Jhonas Enroth has made one start in the Kings' nine games and Quick, as long as he is healthy likely will start 70 games for the second straight season and third time in his career.
"We're taking steps. Obviously we didn't get off to a quick start the first few games, but we've taken steps to get better," Quick said after shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 23 . "Win or lose, you just try and get better every day. It's a long season."
It's a long season for fantasy owners as well. The 29-year-old goalie has certainly gotten better, helping the Kings win six straight, and is a perennial top-five fantasy goalie. In the past five full NHL seasons, Quick has averaged 34 wins, a 2.20 GAA, .917 SV% and six shutouts.
The Kings are expected to be in the playoff hunt throughout the season and Quick, who's as durable as they come, isn't likely to have many bad slumps the way Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets or Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche have.
Quick was the NHL's third star for the week ending Oct. 25, going 2-0-0 with a .971 SV%. Now that the Kings' offense has gotten back on track, expect Quick to become elite again.
Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders
After missing the first four games of the season because of an upper-body injury, Halak has made four starts and has two shutouts. His GAA is a minuscule 1.77 and he has a .940 save percentage.
Goalie - NYI
GAA: 1.76 | SVP: .940
Last season, Halak set an Islanders record with 38 wins and had a 2.43 GAA, .914 save percentage and six shutouts. The Islanders have a very favorable upcoming schedule; they face the Carolina Hurricanes
on Thursday, New Jersey Devils
on Saturday, Buffalo Sabres
on Sunday and Devils again on Tuesday. Halak is under the weather and won't play Thursday, but roll him out with confidence once he's healthy. Thomas Greiss
has filled in admirably when Halak was out (3-0-1, 2.44 GAA, .932 SV%).
Mike Smith, Arizona Coyotes
After allowing two goals in his first three games of the season and going 3-0-0, Smith has allowed three goals or more in each of his past six starts and is 1-3-1 with an .861 save percentage. Overall, he's 4-3-1 with a .908 save percentage and 2.97 GAA, which are close to last season's totals (3.16 GAA, .904 SV%).
Smith is always a workhorse (61 starts last season), but backup Anders Lindback is 1-1-0 with a 1.31 GAA and.953 SV% could see more time. Arizona has a tough three-game homestand coming up against the Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers, so I would highly recommend not starting him for the next week if you own him.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes
Ward is 3-4-0 with a 2.28 GAA and .908 SV% and has allowed no goals in two of his past four outings. He made 25 saves in a 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday and has started eight of the Hurricanes' 10 games (Eddie Lack has made two starts).
Ward is widely available (31 percent owned) and is a good pickup for anyone needing goalie help since he clearly is getting majority of the starts in a situation which appeared to be muddled at the beginning of the season. Lack is 0-2-0 with a .480 GAA and .833 SV% which is also why Ward has, and should continue to see most of the action.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was sent to Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Wednesday for a conditioning stint. Vasilevskiy (seven percent owned in Yahoo Leagues) had surgery in September to remove a blood clot and recovery time was expected to be 2-3 months. He practiced on Monday and when he returns for the Lightning, should see some starts to give Ben Bishop a breather.
Corey Crawford has back-to-back shutouts stopping 60 combined shots against the Lightning and Anaheim Ducks.
Frederik Andersen (83 percent owned) has been a hard-luck loser on several occasions this season. He's 0-4-2 but the Ducks have scored four total goals and been shutout four times in his six starts. Other than the zero in the win column, Andersen has very impressive numbers (2.05 GAA, .931 SV%).
TOP 30 FANTASY GOALIES
These rankings indicate fantasy expectations for this season alone. Value is quantified by projected starts, peripheral category coverage, timeshare situations, team defenses, past performance and overall upside in standard Yahoo categories, which include wins, goals-against average (GAA), save percentage (SV%) and shutouts. It is important to note that our rankings reflect sheer fantasy value, not necessarily the most talented goalies in order.
||Carey Price, MTL (SAME)
||Jimmy Howard, DET (-6)
||Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (+1)
||Cory Schneider, NJD (+3)
||Braden Holtby, WSH (+2)
||Tuukka Rask, BOS (+6)
||Pekka Rinne, NSH (-2)
||Frederik Andersen, ANA (+3)
||Roberto Luongo, FLA (+3)
||Michael Hutchinson, WPG (-6)
||Devan Dubnyk, MIN (+6)
||Mike Smith, ARI (-8)
||Ben Bishop, TBL (SAME)
||Semyon Varlamov, COL (+3)
||Jonathan Quick, LAK (+7)
||Craig Anderson, OTT (-2)
||Corey Crawford, CHI (+7)
||Kari Lehtonen, DAL (-1)
||Martin Jones, SJS (-6)
||Ondrej Pavelec, WPG (-6)
||Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT (-2)
||Cam Talbot, EDM (SAME)
||Jaroslav Halak, NYI (+5)
||Jake Allen, STL (+1)
||Brian Elliott, STL (-7)
||Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ (+2)
||Ryan Miller, VAN (+4)
||Petr Mrazek, DET (SAME)
||Antti Niemi, DAL (-4)
||Cam Ward, CAR (NEW)
Dropped out: Jonas Hiller
Key injuries: Robin Lehner, Andrei Vasilevskiy