Week of February 8-14
In the Crease is back for the 2020-2021 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.
Marc-Andre Fleury – Vegas Golden Knights: Fleury currently boasts a record of 4-0-0 and continues to put up great performances every time he gets a start. This season Fleury has posted a save percentage above .900 in every appearance that he has made. At the moment, he is second in the league in the GAA stat with 1.25. He also has the third-highest save percentage in the league at .944. Fleury has allowed only five goals and made a total of 85 saves. The Vegas Golden Knights still are splitting starts between Fleury and Robin Lehner, thus diminishing Fleury’s fantasy value, although if his great performances continue, it will be tough for Vegas to justify keeping the number one spot away from him. Every time Fleury gets the nod he is a must-start in any fantasy lineup.
Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg Jets: Hellebuyck is having a fair start to the season thus far, but he has the potential to put up far better numbers. This upcoming week might give him the perfect opportunity to find the momentum he is capable of. The Jets are coming off a win against the Calgary Flames, a game in which Hellebuyck allowed only one goal and finished the night with a .958 save percentage. They have a rematch against the Flames on February 9th and then face off against the lowly Ottawa Senators twice to wrap up their week. If Hellebuyck brings the performance he had in his last game he should put up a great week in terms of individual stats. Currently he has a season record of 5-2-1, with a save percentage of .913 and a GAA of 2.48.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning: Vasilevskiy is currently riding a four-game win streak and this next week gives him a great opportunity to add to that. He currently has a record of 7-1-1. The Lightning have a pair of back-to-back matchups against the Nashville Predators and then two games against the Florida Panthers. Tampa Bay is the heavy favorite in all four games, so Vasilevskiy has an opportunity to put up some good numbers before facing off against more difficult opponents the following week. At the moment, he has a season save percentage of .931 and a GAA of 1.89.
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Vitek Vanecek – Washington Capitals: Vanecek is coming off two back-to-back losses this past week, but this next week gives him the opportunity to get back on the winning side of the scoreboard. The Capitals have one game against the Flyers and two against the Buffalo Sabres. What is special about Vanecek is that he was a goalie who was not mentioned whatsoever prior to the season, but when was given the opportunity to play, the rookie put up some commendable performances that earned him the right to man the Washington crease. Vanecek currently has a record of 5-2-2, with a save percentage of .911 and a GAA of 2.95. Since he is surrounded by a solid team, Vanecek is worth a start in weeks like this next one where the Capitals have an advantage over their opponents.
Joonas Korpisalo – Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets are in a situation where they have two good goaltenders, and were rotating their netminder position. However, Korpisalo’s counterpart Elvis Merzlikins is currently on the injured reserve list after suffering an injury during practice Wednesday. Thusly, Korpisalo will now serve as the undisputed starter for the Blue Jackets until Merzlikins returns. During his starts, Korpisalo has put up some good numbers. He has a record of 3-2-2, with a save percentage of .914 and a GAA of 2.86. He showcased his ability to be a very solid goaltender last season, and this upcoming week has a chance to bulk up his numbers with more appearances than usual. He will likely see one game versus the Carolina Hurricanes and two against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Cal Petersen – Los Angeles Kings: In his last appearance on February 5th, Petersen entered the game in relief of Jonathan Quick and posted far better numbers during his time on ice. He finished that game with a .962 save percentage and at the moment has a save percentage above .900 in three consecutive appearances. Although the 26-year-old only has one win on the year, with Quick facing some struggles Petersen could see more ice time. He currently has a save percentage of .935 and a GAA of 2.19. This upcoming week the Kings have two games against the San Jose Sharks and one against the Minnesota Wild. It will be interesting to see what opportunity Petersen gets to play.
John Gibson – Anaheim Ducks: Last week Gibson cracked the great list on this column, but this past week could indicate Gibson’s fall from grace. After posting a phenomenal start to the season, Gibson’s pace has cooled off in his past few appearances. The shift occurred on January 30th, when Gibson was pulled from a game against the St. Louis Blues after allowing three goals on six shots in just over two minutes of play. Prior to that game, Gibson had gone six consecutive games with a save percentage above .900. After that game, Gibson had a save percentage below .900 in two out of three starts. This upcoming week the Ducks have two games against the Vegas Golden Knights, a team with a high-power offense. It will be difficult for Gibson to rediscover his game against an opponent like Vegas so this week he is a goalie to avoid.
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings: Quick has been putting up some struggling numbers as of late, especially with his season GAA of 4.05 that is one of the highest in the league. He is coming off two back-to-back losses and was pulled in his last start against the Vegas Golden Knights after allowing four goals on ten shots. His save percentage currently sits at .867 and he has a record of 2-2-2. Quick’s starting position is being threatened by Cal Petersen, as Petersen has put up far better numbers during his time on ice. If Quick continues to struggle the way he has been, it will be hard for the Kings to justify starting him.