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.
When the Vancouver Canucks traded Cory Schneider and then Roberto Luongo in recent seasons, there were questions about who their current goalie, let alone goalie of the future, would be. Eddie Lack appeared to have the job lined up but then he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2015 NHL Draft.
That left the job to Ryan Miller, in his second season with the Canucks. Miller missed time last season with a knee injury and was 29-15-1 with six shutouts, a 2.53 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage in 45 games. This season, he's started 17 of 20 games, but only has five wins (5-7-5). His save percentage is identical to a season ago, and his goals-against average is very close (2.51).
Miller is owned in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues, mainly because he's a No. 1 goalie, but for how long will that last? Vancouver opted to keep backup Jacob Markstrom over Lack. Markstrom was injured in preseason and has allowed seven goals (three at even strength) in two games this season (1-0-1) but will definitely see more action. He has appeared in 52 games in his career, including 23 in the 2012-13 season with the Florida Panthers, and is owned in three percent of Yahoo leagues. Considering he's started two of the past five games and Vancouver hasn't been winning with Miller in net, I'd expect an uptick in Markstrom's usage and value.
James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs
This is the first time all season I've had a Maple Leafs goalie in the top 30. It may not last, but Reimer made his case for more playing time last week when he earned the NHL's third star of the week. Reimer was 3-0-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage.
Goalie - TOR
GAA: 2.19 | SVP: .930
In his past six starts, Reimer hasn't allowed more than two goals and is 4-0-2. He's only allowed seven even-strength goals in that time. The Maple Leafs have won five of six after starting the season with two wins in 14 games. Reimer has each of Toronto's six wins this season and has a 2.19 GAA and .930 save percentage. Jonathan Bernier
is 0-7-1 with a 3.17 GAA and .895 save percentage, so his playing time has been and will continue to be limited.
Reimer has a .946 save percentage at even strength (297 saves on 314 shots) which ranks second behind Henrik Lundqvist (.958) among goalies with at least 10 games played. He's also available in 61 percent of Yahoo leagues, and while the hot streak won't last forever, he could be worth a pick-up with Toronto's next three games against the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins (twice).
Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson, Winnipeg Jets
The Jets lost six straight games before a 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. In the losses, they allowed 26 regulation goals, so neither goalie has fared particularly well. Prior to making 29 saves Wednesday, Pavelec had allowed four goals in each of his past three starts and was pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots in 29:54 of a 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 10.
Hutchinson has allowed three goals in each of his past two starts and was pulled allowing three on seven shots in 12:01 of a 7-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Monday. While he has started eight games to Pavelec's 12, each has a goals-against average above 2.80 and mediocre save percentages, so wins are the only saving grace right now and clearly that's no guarantee with one win in seven games. The uncertainty each night of who the Jets will start also isn't helpful to fantasy owners.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Goalie - ANA
GAA: 2.48 | SVP: .918
The Ducks have Frederik Andersen
, who started the season off well despite the Ducks struggling to win games. But he's 0-2-1 in his past three starts and allowed four goals in two games before allowing three goals on 10 shots and getting pulled in the second period of a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators
on Tuesday. Backup Anton Khudobin
has started three of the past six game for the Ducks (2-1-0) and allowed five goals in the three starts, including one shutout. He also stopped all 11 shots he faced after reliving Andersen on Tuesday.
Khudobin has appeared in more than 30 games in each of the past two seasons and had save percentages of .900 or better, so Andersen may be on a short leash. Adding more mystery to the mix is John Gibson, who with San Diego of the American Hockey League has a 7-1-1-0 record, 2.20 GAA and .925 save percentage. Last season, Gibson was 2-2-0 with one shutout, a 2.70 GAA and a .919 save percentage. He is definitely worth stashing if you are in dire straits, as he could be called up soon to try and turn around the Ducks' season.
Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond hasn't played since taking a few shots off his mask last Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks. He also took a shot off his mask Sunday in practice and is day-to-day.
Carey Price (lower body) practiced on Wednesday for the first time this month. Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Mike Condon would start Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes but didn't rule Price out when they play the New York Islanders on Friday and again on Sunday.
Semyon Varlamov (lower body) practiced Tuesday and could start for the Colorado Avalanche against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. Prior to his injury, he had allowed three goals in four straight games, so he and backup Reto Berra, who has played well in his absence, could see a timeshare.
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.
||Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (SAME)
||Ben Bishop, TBL (-3)
||Carey Price, MTL (SAME, DTD)
||Mike Condon, MTL (-2)
||Pekka Rinne, NSH (+2)
||Tuukka Rask, BOS (+2)
||Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT (SAME)
||Petr Mrazek, DET (+3)
||Braden Holtby, WSH (-2)
||Frederik Andersen, ANA (-3)
||Jake Allen, STL (SAME)
||Ryan Miller, VAN (-3)
||Corey Crawford, CHI (+2)
||Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ (+7)
||Jonathan Quick, LAK (-1)
||Brian Elliott, STL (-2)
||Cory Schneider, NJD (+1)
||Steve Mason, PHI (NEW)
||Devan Dubnyk, MIN (-2)
||Antti Niemi, DAL (SAME)
||Jaroslav Halak, NYI (+3)
||Michael Hutchinson, WPG (-3)
||Kari Lehtonen, DAL (+4)
||Linus Ullmark, BUF (+3)
||Roberto Luongo, FLA (-2)
||Ondrej Pavelec, WPG (SAME)
||Jimmy Howard, DET (-2)
||Craig Anderson, OTT (-3)
||Martin Jones, SJS (+4)
||James Reimer, TOR (NEW)
Dropped out: Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov (DTD)
Key injuries: Carey Price, Varlamov, Jonas Hiller, Andrew Hammond, Robin Lehner