Goalie Voodoo, Week 3
October 26, 2016 | Ben Benwell
Goalie Voodoo, Week 3
Welcome to Goalie Voodoo, Week 3. As goalie play can be difficult to predict, this article will take a look at the various goaltending situations around the league. We’ll focus on some opportunities to follow and situations to avoid, as well as take a peek at streaming targets for the upcoming weekend.
Goalie Voodoo, Week 3
Trouble in Toronto
It was supposed to be a tough year for Toronto, but the goaltending wasn’t supposed to be so poor. Frederik Andersen has been abysmal, clocking in with a save percentage of .851 after Tuesday’s shellacking.
Unless there is a high-upside goalie on the wire, try to avoid cutting bait with Andersen if at all possible. He will play better, of course, though it’s hard to stomach such toxic ratios until he plays himself out of the funk (or a job). Last season Andersen started slow, too, so there is hope he can turn it around in November.
Matt Murray’s return
After breaking his hand in the World Cup, Matt Murray ceded – at least temporarily – the crease to Marc-Andre Fleury. Look for Murray to work himself back in to the lineup slowly before ultimately taking back the starting job. After the run that he went on last year (not to mention the contract extension), Pittsburgh seems committed to him.
Fleury has played good-not-great, but it might be time to dangle him in to some trade discussions. He has name brand value and plays on a popular team, so he should fetch a decent return.
Perhaps no team has been more of a surprise to start the season than the Vancouver Canucks. Left for dead this season by many preseason prognosticators (guilty), the Canucks have stormed out the gate. Part of the fast start has been the strong play of Jacob Markstrom, who has posted a goals-against average of 1.94 and a save percentage of .923 through four games.
As Mr. Clifford noted in his Cliffy’s Corner article this week, all signs point to Ryan Miller being phased out of the starter’s job. Though the Canucks will slow down, there are some mitigating factors that help Markstrom’s outlook. Mainly, division foes in Anaheim, Calgary, and Los Angeles haven’t been as good as predicted. Owned in just 35% of Yahoo! leagues at posting, Markstrom is a worthwhile waiver addition.
Timeshares in Philadelphia and Long Island
Heading in to the season, the signs were there for a timeshare between Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth in Philadelphia and Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss in New York. To date, we have seen an open competition in both cases with no goalie really separating themselves.
Greiss likely has the best shot to secure a long-term role, though he’ll share a fair amount of starts with Halak. Halak has injury risk and hasn’t impressed in his four games. If Greiss can string together a couple of good starts, he’s worth a speculative add in deeper leagues. The Islanders defense has been decent enough this year and Greiss posted a .925 save percentage just last year.
Things aren’t quite as clear in Philadelphia. The defense hasn’t been great, but neither goalie has really helped their cause. After an impressive showing in Montreal by Steve Mason and the subsequent implosion by Michal Neuvirth the next night, Mason will likely gain market share. Mason is a nice buy-low candidate as he’s been among the league leaders in 5v5 save percentage over the past few years.
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Week 3 Weekend Streaming Targets
Friday, October 28
With Craig Anderson taking a leave of absence, Andrew Hammond will become Ottawa’s full-time starter. Against an underachieving Calgary team, Hammond has streaming appeal. Temper expectations, however, because the magical run from 2014 was just that – a fairy tale.
Saturday, October 29
The Capitals are making their swing across Western Canada and will play back-to-back Saturday and Sunday. If Philipp Grubauer grabs the start on Saturday night, he has plenty of DFS appeal against a weak Canucks defense. The Capitals have been very stingy at 5v5 and their penalty kill woes are unlikely to be exposed against a weak Canucks offense.
Should he not get the start, keep an eye on James Reimer. With Florida also playing Saturday and Sunday, he could spell Roberto Luongo for the night (Luongo started Thursday). Florida’s defense has maintained one of the lowest Corsi Allowed/60, Scoring Chances Allowed/60, and have severely limited high-danger scoring chances at 5v5. Florida will play in Buffalo, and the Sabres are likely to still be without Jack Eichel and who haven’t done much offensively this year.
Sunday, October 30
Eventually, Connor Hellebuyck is going to get going. The Sabres will visit Winnipeg Sunday, making Hellebuyck a high-risk, high-reward end of the week play.
Also note that if Grubauer doesn’t start Saturday he’ll man the crease in Calgary Sunday. That draw is less appealing, but is still interesting as a head-to-head season long stat chase and a low-cost DFS play. Calgary’s offense is picking up traction and Washington will be playing their third game in four nights, so it’s matchup that does carry a bit more risk.