All season long, NHL.com will rank the top 25 goalies for standard Yahoo leagues (wins, goals-against average, save percentage, shutouts). Players with long-term injuries have been removed from this list.
These rankings are based on expectations for the rest of the season. Value is quantified by projected starts, peripheral category coverage, time-share situations, team defenses, past performance and overall upside in standard leagues. It is important to note that our rankings reflect sheer fantasy value, not necessarily the most talented goalies in order.
Goalie Ben Bishop will start for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres, and it's not a moment too soon. Bishop has missed the past nine games with a lower-body injury, and the Lightning were 3-5-1 in his absence, allowing four or more goals in five of the games.
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Bishop, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2016 who entered this season with three straight 35-win campaigns, took a sizable step back prior to injury, going 9-10-2 with a 2.79 GAA and .907 SV%. His teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy (53 percent owned in Yahoo) was an efficient fantasy goalie earlier in the season but struggled in Bishop's absence. Vasilevskiy started each of the nine games Bishop missed (.876 SV% in span), and has allowed a combined 20 goals in his current four-game losing streak.
Fantasy owners who own the Lightning tandem should hold onto each goalie in the hope they can turn their season around and get back in the Stanley Cup Playoff race. Unless in a keeper league, Vasilevskiy owners should at least scan the waiver wire for potential replacements. The Lightning, currently sixth out of eight teams in the Atlantic Division, could be jumped in the standings by the Sabres on Thursday.
Although Bishop's future with the team is unknown - he can become an unrestricted free agent July 1 - he has the experience to lift the Lightning out of their doldrums. Vasilevskiy is likely the goalie of the future in Tampa Bay, but Bishop has a chance to reaffirm his status as the No. 1 goalie in the present and lift fantasy owners in the process.
Video: DET@TBL: Bishop stops Sproul's one-timer blast
Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson (9 percent owned) is becoming a hot commodity on the fantasy waiver wire this week. Nilsson has started three of Buffalo's past four games, going 2-0-1 to improve his season record to 7-3-4. He has a 2.37 GAA and .930 SV% through 14 games (13 starts), and is outperforming Robin Lehner (2.53, .921), who's out with the flu. The Sabres are back in the thick of the Eastern Conference postseason hunt, so don't be surprised if they lean more on Nilsson down the stretch.
Video: PHI@BUF: Nilsson denies Weise's quick opportunity
It has been tough to count on either Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi for more than a few starts this season. Lehtonen (37 percent owned) had allowed a combined five goals in three straight wins, but has lost his next three starts with at least three goals allowed in each. Lehtonen (2.90 GAA, .897 SV%) has been pulled five times this season and has allowed at least three goals in 12 of 24 starts. Niemi (40 percent owned) made 36 saves in a 2-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday and had replaced Lehtonen in the Stars' prior two games, but has poor peripherals as well (2.88, .910). Each is merely a short-term streaming option in the hope for help in the wins category.
- Matt Murray returned from a lower-body injury to back up Marc-Andre Fleury on Wednesday for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals. Murray, who sustained his injury Dec. 28, has only missed three games because the Penguins recently had a seven-day break. Fleury had won five straight prior to Wednesday, but is trending down in this week's rankings with Murray (67th overall in Yahoo) likely to start Thursday against the Ottawa Senators.
- John Gibson has won four of his past five starts for the Anaheim Ducks, with a combined seven goals allowed and two shutouts in the span. He has quietly re-entered the top 100 overall in Yahoo's performance-based rankings (87th).
- Thomas Greiss (61 percent owned) continues to give the New York Islanders a chance to win every night, but hasn't gotten much goal support. He made 22 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, the third straight game the Islanders have lost by that score. Greiss, the Islanders' No. 1 goalie with Jaroslav Halak now in Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his past six starts (3-1-2 in span).
Video: DAL@ANA: Gibson smothers Eaves on the doorstep
TOP 25 FANTASY GOALIES
These rankings were last updated Jan. 12
1. Carey Price, MTL (SAME)
2. Devan Dubnyk, MIN (SAME)
3. Braden Holtby, WSH (SAME)
4. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ (SAME)
5. Corey Crawford, CHI (+1)
6. Tuukka Rask, BOS (-1)
7. Martin Jones, SJS (SAME)
8. Matt Murray, PIT (NR - INJ.)
9. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (-1)
10. Pekka Rinne, NSH (-1)
11. Roberto Luongo, FLA (+4)
12. John Gibson, ANA (+2)
13. Cam Talbot, EDM (SAME)
14. Jake Allen, STL (-3)
15. Ben Bishop, TBL (NEW)
16. Steve Mason, PHI (-4)
17. Cam Ward, CAR (+1)
18. Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT (-8)
19. Frederik Andersen, TOR (-3)
20. Cory Schneider, NJD (-3)
21. Peter Budaj, LAK (-1)
22. Thomas Greiss, NYI (SAME)
23. Chad Johnson, CGY (NEW)
24. Ryan Miller, VAN (+1)
25. Mike Condon, OTT (-2)
Dropped out: Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL), Brian Elliott (CGY), Jared Coreau (DET)
Key injuries: Jonathan Quick (LAK), Jimmy Howard (DET)
READ: Last week's Top 25 goalie rankings