Goalie Voodoo, Week 6 November 19, 2016  |  Ben Benwell


Goalie Voodoo, Week 6

Goalie Voodoo, Week 6

Welcome to Goalie Voodoo, Week 6. 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 6

 

Mr. Smith returns to Arizona

Mike Smith returned from a lower body injury and he will take back over the starting goalie duties for the Coyotes. Arizona had looked to be on the upswing – albeit briefly – but they continue to be stuck in neutral. The defense is still showing its sieve-like tendencies, so it’s hard to see too much optimism:

Goalie Voodoo, Week 6

Those are adjusted 5v5 numbers (per naturalstattrick.com), and they are… well they aren’t good. Smith seems to have some sort of loyal cult following, likely due to his one good year back in 2011. He’s 37% owned in Yahoo! leagues right now, but don’t chase Smith now that he’s back as the starter. It’s a low upside situation and he’s likely to get hurt again. He’s value lies in deep leagues and daily fantasy formats, or as a temporary streaming target.

 

Checking in with Pittsburgh

When we last checked in with the Pittsburgh goalie situation, Matt Murray was just returning to health and set to take some work from Marc-Andre Fleury. A few weeks later, Murray has certainly outplayed Fleury, making this crease crowded like we thought it would be.

Through six games, Murray is sporting a .945 save percentage, five wins, one shutout, and a sterling 1.68 goals against average. Those are some pretty good numbers, if I may go out on a limb.

Fleury, meanwhile, is barely hovering above .900 (.903) with six wins and an ugly 3.32 goals against average in 12 games. Needless to say, Pittsburgh best chance of winning lies with Murray at this point.

Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Fleury isn’t a hot commodity that can be shuttled out of town. Because of politics and whathaveyou, Fleury will still see his share of starts, but Murray is the superior option. If you didn’t “sell high” on Fleury before Murray returned, it’s likely time to take pennies on the dollar if you can.

 

Change in Calgary

Sticking with the header from last week’s article, we’ll swap locations – Colorado to Calgary – as the Flames look to be getting some stability in the cage. Chad Johnson has stepped up in a big way over the past week, grabbing three straight starts – including a back to back – and winning twice. Brian Elliott has not worked out as planned, and Calgary is getting desperate.

Johnson’s 5v5 save percentage isn’t anything extraordinary right now, but it’s better than that of Elliott. There are just a handful of goalies below Elliott in the race to the bottom, and for what it’s worth, the Flames aren’t committed to Elliott beyond this season.

With Calgary coming up on an east coast road trip, Johnson is going to have his share of struggles and will split playing time with Elliott a bit more evenly. Elliott should start playing better, too, as he was a respectable the past few years.

This isn’t a high ceiling issue with Calgary’s struggles, but it’s worth monitoring. If Calgary’s defense gels and Johnson continues to gain market share, he could be worth an add in medium to deeper leagues.

 

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Week 6 Weekend Streaming Targets

 

Saturday, November 19

With the Blackhawks in town while they visit western Canada, Jacob Markstrom will look to keep the Canucks playing respectable hockey. The offense is slowly (and quietely) coming on a bit, and Chicago isn’t the same team on the road. There is plenty of risk here, but with most of the big-name starters playing, Markstrom leads the slim pickings.

Sunday, November 20

Keep an eye open to who the Rangers name as their starter Sunday. If Antti Raanta gets the start at home against Florida, he is a solid streaming option. New York may save Henrik Lundqvist for Monday’s tilt in Pittsburgh, leaving Raanta to face the Panthers. Florida will be on the second night of a back to back, and the offense has struggled this year.

Thanks for reading Goalie Voodoo, Week 6

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