Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.
UPDATED TOP 30 GOALIE RANKINGS
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens allowed 14 goals on 70 shots in his first three games of the season, against the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes.
Since then he has allowed 12 goals on 181 shots in his past six games (4-2-0), for a .934 save percentage. That includes a 29-save shutout against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, one day after being named the NHL Second Star of the Week.
FANTASY HOCKEY ANALYSIS
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The Oilers' 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday shows how hot streaks are fleeting, and after we suggested Scrivens as a possible stop-gap while the Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky is out with an injury, now the burning question is how Scrivens might perform in November.
When you take a closer look at Scrivens' production since entering the League during the 2011-12 season, it shows us that one key situational statistic, the East-vs-West split, can provide insight into how he could be utilized during the next few weeks.
Edmonton is winless against Western Conference teams (0-5-1) this season but 4-0-0 against Eastern Conference teams. This situational trend stems back to last season, when the Oilers were 14-14-4 against the Eastern Conference but 15-30-5 against the Western Conference.
To take this East-vs-West split one step further, in his 81-game NHL career, Scrivens is 23-16-3 with a 921 save percentage against Eastern Conference teams; last season he was 9-3-2 with a 1.93 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and three shutouts against the East.
Using comparables to gain a better understanding of Scrivens' future fantasy value is hindered by his relatively small sample size. With 81 games played and with the Oilers his third organization in four seasons, there's still a lot to be learned about his potential upside as a full-time starter.
Nevertheless, comparisons still can be made. For example, since 2000 only 14 goalies have played between 75 and 100 games in the first four years of their career. Of those goalies Scrivens ranks fourth in save percentage (.915) behind Tuukka Rask (.925), Andrew Raycroft (.920) and Vesa Toskala (.916).
It's always risky adding a goalie on a weaker team to your lineup, but Scrivens could provide solid value. After facing the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, Edmonton plays four straight against Eastern Conference teams (Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers) on the road. And in 14 games in November they play six against the East, eight on the road, and have three back-to-back sets.
STATS PRIOR TO OCT. 30 GAMES
GAA: 3.01 | SVP: .896
If the loss to Nashville deters you from adding Scrivens to your fantasy team, there are a few other options out readily available in most leagues.
Robin Lehner of the Ottawa Senators is owned in 46 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues. He's splitting time with Craig Anderson, and in four games he's 3-0-1 with a 2.18 GAA and .939 save percentage and hasn't lost a game in regulation since March 22 of last season (8-0-2).
One more short-term replacement we'd like to recommend is Reto Berra. Owned in five percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues, he has stopped 69 of 74 shots (1-0-1) this season and has impressed Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy since the first day of training camp. Colorado is playing four games in the next six nights starting Thursday against the New York Islanders and has a weekend back-to-back set, so he's due for another start before the week is over.
Ray Emery, Philadelphia Flyers
Drafted in two percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues, the 32-year-old makes another nice replacement for Bobrovsky. After a huge 38-save effort in a 3-2 overtime defeat of the Los Angeles on Tuesday, Emery is 4-0-1 record, a 2.44 GAA and a .924 save percentage. He is owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues and is expected to get another start Thursday at the Tampa Bay Lightning.
STATS PRIOR TO OCT. 30 GAMES
GAA: 4.29 | SVP: .858
Mike Smith, Arizona Coyotes
It has been a dismal October for Smith. In six games he's allowed six goals three times. His even-strength save percentage (.855) is lower than his power-play save percentage (.862), and he has allowed 15 goals against in his past four games.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Anton Forsberg, Columbus Blue Jackets
With Bobrovsky out for at least another week, Forsberg, a seventh-round pick (No. 188) in the 2011 NHL Draft playing his first full season in North America in 2014-15, could make his NHL debut this weekend as the Blue Jackets have a back-to-back set Friday at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Saturday at the New Jersey Devils. In seven AHL regular-season games he's 4-2-0 with 172 saves on 183 shots, a .940 save percentage.
TOP 30 FANTASY GOALIES
These modified re-rankings are a projection of a goalie's fantasy output for the entire season. Our ranks are based on volume categories like games played, wins, saves, goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage (SV%). The plus or minus for each player is movement based on our most recent rankings from last week (NR means not ranked in previous rankings). It is important to note that our rankings reflect sheer fantasy value, not talent. A less-talented goalie could be ranked higher due to their team's strong defense and offense.
||Jonathan Quick, LAK (SAME)
||Cory Schneider, NJD (-4)
||Carey Price, MTL (SAME)
||Jimmy Howard, DET (+1)
||Ben Bishop, TBL (SAME)
||Craig Anderson, OTT (+3)
||Tuukka Rask, BOS (SAME)
||Jaroslav Halak, NYI (-2)
||Pekka Rinne, NSH (+4)
||Roberto Luongo, FLA (-1)
||Kari Lehtonen, DAL (SAME)
||Darcy Kuemper, MIN (-1)
||Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (-2)
||Jonas Hiller, CGY (+1)
||Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT (SAME)
||Mike Smith, ARI (-1)
||Semyon Varlamov, COL (NR - IR)
||Ondrej Pavelec, WPG (+2)
||Brian Elliott, STL (+3)
||Robin Lehner, OTT (+4)
||Jonathan Bernier, TOR (SAME)
||Karri Ramo, CGY (+1)
||Braden Holtby, WSH (+3)
||Ben Scrivens, EDM (NEW)
||Antti Niemi, SJS (+1)
||Steve Mason, PHI (-4)
||Ryan Miller, VAN (+2)
||Ray Emery, PHI (NEW)
||Frederik Andersen, ANA (-5)
||Jonas Gustavsson, DET (-2)
Dropped out: Anton Khudobin, Alex Stalock
Key injuries: Corey Crawford, Sergei Bobrovsky