Joey Alfieri

In The Crease

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ITC: Rask is Rolling

Saturday, January 27, 2018


In the Crease is back for the 2017-18 season. This column will provide you with everything you need to know about goaltending and who to start and sit in the upcoming week. I’ll give you some Great options, Good options and Goalies to avoid every week.

 

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Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3

 

Great Options


Tuukka Rask-Boston Bruins

 

Schedule: Tue vs. ANA, Thu vs. STL, Sat vs. TOR

 

The Bruins are coming out of the break riding an 18-game point streak (14-0-4). Rask isn’t the only reason the Bruins are rolling, but he’s an important piece of the puzzle. He’s a must-start in all fantasy formats.

 

Connor Hellebuyck-Winnipeg Jets

 

Schedule: Tue vs. TB, Thu vs. VGK, Sat vs. COL

 

The Jets will have a tough schedule next week, but at least they’ll be playing all three of their games at home. Hellebuyck hasn’t dropped a decision in regulation in his last four games. He owns a 2.35 goals-against-average and a .924 save percentage this season.

 

Pekka Rinne-Nashville Predators

 

Schedule: Tue vs. CHI, Thu vs. LAK, Sat vs. NYR

 

Like Hellebuyck, Rinne and the Predators will have a tough schedule, but all their games will be at home. The Preds netminder has won five games in a row. He has a 24-8-3 record with a 2.35 goals-against-average and a .926 save percentage this season.

 

Carter Hutton-St. Louis Blues

 

Schedule: Tue vs. MTL, Thu at BOS, Sat at BUF

 

Hutton has taken over as the Blues starting netminder over Jake Allen. He’s started each of the Blues’ last five games. Hutton should get two plus matchups against the Canadiens and Sabres next week. He’s a strong fantasy option.

 

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Good Options


 

Mike Smith-Calgary Flames

 

Schedule: Tue vs. VGK, Thu vs. TB, Sat vs. CHI

 

It was hard to leave Smith out of the “great” category, but his schedule is a little too difficult. He’ll have a pair of home dates with the best two teams in the NHL (Tampa and Vegas). Smith comes out of the break having lost each of his last three games in regulation or a shootout.

 

Braden Holtby-Washington Capitals

 

Schedule: Wed at PHI, Fri at PIT

 

Holtby went into the All-Star break with a win over the Florida Panthers. He has a 25-9-2 record with a 2.66 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage this season. His light schedule will affect his fantasy value a little bit.

 

Frederik Andersen-Toronto Maple Leafs

 

Schedule: Wed vs. NYI, Thu at NYR, Sat at BOS

 

Andersen has won two of his last three games heading into the All-Star break. The Leafs have already confirmed that backup Curtis McElhinney will start in New York on Thursday, so Andersen’s fantasy upside will be limited next week.

 

Carter Hutton-St. Louis Blues

Schedule: Tue vs. MTL, Thu at BOS, Sat at BUF

Hutton has taken over as the Blues starting netminder over Jake Allen. He’s started each of the Blues’ last five games. Hutton should get two plus matchups against the Canadiens and Sabres next week. He’s a strong fantasy option.

 

Bad Options


Carey Price-Montreal Canadiens

 

Schedule: Tue at STL, Thu at CAR, Sat vs. ANA

 

The Canadiens defensive zone coverage has been a mess for most of the season. Price, who hasn’t been at his best either, has also suffered because his teammates just haven’t been good in front of him. He has just one win in his last six games. A great goalie in a bad situation.

 

Robin Lehner-Buffalo Sabres

 

Schedule: Tue vs. NJ, Thu vs. FLA, Sat vs. STL

 

The Sabres have been historically bad this year and that likely won’t change coming out of the All-Star break. Lehner won each of his two starts before the break, but he had just come off a five-game losing streak. He can’t be trusted in any fantasy format.

 

Antti Raanta-Arizona Coyotes

 

Schedule: Thu vs. DAL, Sat at LAK

 

Raanta and the Coyotes are in the same boat as the Buffalo Sabres. They simply aren’t very good and they’ll likely keep losing a lot between now and the end of the season. He has an 8-13-5 record with a 2.56 goals-against-average and a .919 save percentage this season. 




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