Backup Goaltenders

Only a few days in to the NHL season we are rejoicing at the return of the game and the excitement of some new divisions which are highlighting rivalries between some of the leagues most exciting teams.

  • In a condensed schedule teams will be playing a lot of games on back to back nights, often against the same opponent in the same city. Typically a club will give each of their two goalies a start in these back to back games barring injury. This change in schedule will likely increase the value of backup goaltenders across the board, but particularly ones who play for top teams as they are likely to see a higher % of games started this year.
  • These targets to consider can be rostered as either full time or streaming plays to compliment a strong and consistent starting goalie. The key to this being, choosing goalies from strong teams or goalies facing a week opponent on the night. Both imply the type of success which we are looking for in a nutshell.

Now for the teams and 4 names which you can look towards in the 2020 season to provide value in a season long format

  1. Vegas Golden Knights: Marc Andre Fleury (82% owned in Yahoo Leagues)

The hockey community has all but ruled Robin Lehner as the starting goalie for the Golden Knights, Vegas tried to trade Fleury in the off season but was unable to move his 7 million dollar cap hit. In 2019-2020 Fleury had 27 wins, a .905 SV% and a 2.77 GAA. I look to see a 65/35 split between Lehner and Fleury this season and am looking to take advantage of his usage on an elite NHL team.

2. Montreal Canadiens: Jake Allen (17% owned in Yahoo Leagues)

Its no secret that Carey Price is deep into his historic career for one of the NHL’s most famous franchises and could use the support of a capable backup goalie. Montreal chose to extend Allen on a 2-yr 2.875 AAV deal after acquiring the former St. Louis Blues goalie. As a backup goalie Allen has 0.917 SV% and a 2.14 GAA, stats that support Allen’s value as a backup. Montreal made long-term commitments to a number of players this off-season including Josh Anderson, Brendan Gallagher, Joel Edmundson and Tyler Toffoli. I look to see Jake Allen play in approximately 20-25% of Montreal’s games, making him an excellent streaming value.

3. Boston Bruins: Jaroslav Halak (70% owned in Yahoo Leagues)

Halak has been widely regarded as the top backup goaltender around the NHL for a number of years. He’s provided Boston with a number of stretches as a multi-game fill in for Tukka Rask as well as a great option in back to back games. Most notably Halak backstopped Boston to a series win over Carolina when Tukka Rask left the bubble. Halak proves to be at least a 1B to Rask and should see action in 25% or more of Boston games for the 2020-21 season.

4. Colorado Avalanche: Pavel Francouz (73% owned in Yahoo leagues)

Entering the season as the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup Colorado is likely to post a serious number in the win column. Francouz had 21 wins for the Avalanche last year and asserted his ability to be a starting goalie for the Avalanche in 2021 should Phillip Grubauer have additional injury problems. Francouz could play anywhere from 25-75% of games for Colorado this year, making him my most intriguing backup option to roster in season long formats.

Dave Carey – Feel free to reach out on twitter @87_Carey

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