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 Arizona Coyotes' goaltending situation hasn't been a topic of conversation much in this space mainly because Mike Smith has been unable to regain his form from a few years ago. Following a 2014-15 season when he was 14-42-5 with a 3.16 goals-against average and .904 save percentage, Smith is 10-9-1 with a 3.03 GAA and .901 save percentage. He had surgery earlier this week to repair a core muscle and will be out 8-10 weeks.
Smith (48 percent owned in Yahoo Leagues) hadn't played since Dec. 8 with Anders Lindback starting each of the two games since. Lindback was signed by the Coyotes in part as an insurance policy in case Smith got injured. He's 4-5-1 with a 2.92 GAA and .900 save percentage. Lindback (10 percent owned) has allowed five goals in two of his past three appearances but is expected to get most of the starts in Smith's absence, although general manager Don Maloney didn't rule out acquiring another goalie.
I feel Lindback will perform better than Smith has, but isn't worth a pick-up right now. The Coyotes give up more than three goals a game, so it's hard to argue against having him on your roster. But 8-10 weeks is a long time to be without a starter. Lindback has been a backup for his entire career, playing more than 20 games three times, so he has experience, although his career record is 44-56-8 with three shutouts in 123 games.
The Coyotes called up Louis Domingue (zero percent owned) from Springfield of the American Hockey League, and he could eventually be given a chance to start. Arizona next plays the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, and Lindback likely will be in net.
Karri Ramo, Calgary Flames
The Flames have turned around their season and Ramo has been a big factor in that. He's 6-1-1 in his past eight starts including four wins in a row. Ramo made 31 saves in a 4-2 win against the San Sharks and 21 saves in a 2-1 overtime win against the Nashville Predators in his past two starts.
Ramo (25 percent owned) is 10-8-1 with a 2.89 GAA and .903 save percentage and owned in far fewer leagues than Jonas Hiller (41 percent owned). Hiller, who was the starter last season and began this season in that role, is 4-4-0 with a 3.76 GAA and an .862 save percentage, and has allowed at least four goals in four of his past five starts.
Things looked bleak for Ramo earlier this season; he allowed four or more goals in four of his first five starts and was even sent down to the AHL for a spell. But now he should see more starts than Hiller in the near future.
Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders
The Islanders had a 10 game point streak end on Tuesday with a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers and although Halak has started four of the past five games, he hasn't been at his best. Halak (90 percent owned) is 9-5-3 with a 2.16 GAA, .920 save percentage and two shutouts, but has allowed three or more goals in three of four starts.
Backup Thomas Greiss (33 percent owned) shut out the New Jersey Devils making 27 saves on Sunday and made 31 saves in a 2-1 shootout win against the St. Louis Blues in his previous start on Dec. 4. Greiss (9-3-2) has better numbers than Halak; he ranks fourth in GAA (2.03) and fifth in save percentage (.933). Don't be surprised if Greiss overtakes Halak at some point.
KEEP AN EYE ON
With Marc-Andre Fleury likely out at least two weeks with a concussion, Jeff Zatkoff (23 percent owned) started Wednesday and allowed two goals on 28 shots in a 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Zatkoff is 2-2-1 with a 2.35 GAA and .935 save percentage.
Prospect Matthew Murray (three percent owned) was 12-4-0 with a 1.84 GAA, .938 save percentage and four shutouts with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL before being called up, and could make his NHL debut this weekend with Pittsburgh playing home games on Friday and Saturday. Murray put up better numbers last season in the AHL (25-10-3, 1.58 GAA, .941 save percentage, 12 shutouts) and played under new Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, which may give him an advantage over Zatkoff.
Anton Khudobin of the Anaheim Ducks cleared waivers on Wednesday and was sent to their AHL affiliate in San Diego. The Ducks will use John Gibson and Frederik Andersen and likely try to move Khudobin, so keep an eye on that.
Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond made 23 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday in his first start since Nov. 12.
Curtis McElhinney (six percent owned) of the Columbus Blue Jackets allowed eight goals in two starts filling in for an injured Sergei Bobrovsky. Rookie Joonas Korpisalo (one percent owned) made his NHL debut Monday allowing two goals on 29 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning before he was pulled in favor of McElhinney in his next start Tuesday after allowing four goals on 27 shots in two periods of a 5-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Bobrovsky likely will miss at least two more weeks with a groin injury.
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.
||Braden Holtby, WSH (+1)
||John Gibson, ANA (-4)
||Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (-1)
||Jaroslav Halak, NYI (-4)
||Pekka Rinne, NSH (+1)
||Semyon Varlamov, COL (+4)
||Jonathan Quick, LAK (-1)
||Antti Niemi, DAL (+5)
||Corey Crawford, CHI (+1)
||Craig Anderson, OTT (-1)
||Ben Bishop, TBL (+2)
||Kari Lehtonen, DAL (-1)
||Cory Schneider, NJD (SAME)
||Karri Ramo, CGY (NEW)
||Tuukka Rask, BOS (+3)
||Thomas Greiss, NYI (+3)
||Devan Dubnyk, MIN (+1)
||James Reimer, TOR (DTD)
||Jake Allen, STL (-1)
||Michal Neuvirth, PHI (+4)
||Roberto Luongo, FLA (+3)
||Ryan Miller, VAN (-3)
||Jimmy Howard, DET (+4)
||Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (-2)
||Martin Jones, SJS (+4)
||Andrew Hammond, OTT (NEW)
||Petr Mrazek, DET (+4)
||Anders Nilsson, EDM (-1)
||Mike Condon MTL (SAME)
||Steve Mason, PHI (-3)
Dropped out: Michael Hutchinson
Key injuries: Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury, Sergei Bobrovsky, Mike Smith Robin Lehner, Ondrej Pavelec