Fantasy Hockey Goalie Report: Shine fading for John Gibson, Ducks

·7 min read

By Jason Chen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

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Jake Allen, Canadiens (5-10-1, .907 Sv%, 2.96 GAA)

The Habs have won two of their last five games, which is still a big improvement, and at least the firing of Marc Bergevin brought more clarity to the team's future. Allen is still capable of playing well for short stretches — he has a .946 Sv% in his last two starts — but playing the right matchups is really important. Because the Habs don't seem to have a lot of confidence in either Samuel Montembeault or Cayden Primeau, Allen's workload is probably going to be substantial. His ability to accumulate saves in high volumes will be his most attractive feature in leagues that count them.

Filip Gustavsson and Anton Forsberg, Senators (combined: 4-9-1, .899 Sv%, 3.92 GAA)

With Matt Murray getting demoted to the AHL, the net is Gustavsson and Forsberg's to share. Expect a 50/50 timeshare for the rest of the season unless one gets hot, but ultimately, they're still playing behind a young team that lacks quality depth. Their defense is thin and they bleed shots, so at least Gustavsson and Forsberg will see a lot of volume to rack up the saves. Occasionally, Gustavsson will put in an awesome performance and steal a win, but unless goalies are a scarce commodity in your fantasy league, neither will be worth rostering long-term during the season.

James Reimer, Sharks (past 5 starts: 4-1-0, .924 Sv%, 2.38 GAA)

It looks like Reimer has firmly established himself as the No. 1 goalie and the Sharks are a surprisingly competitive team. That has given Reimer a big boost in fantasy value, though the Sharks' problem is they still have some trouble scoring goals. The good news is most of their pricey players are having bounce-back seasons, and they're beating some of the weaker teams with regularity. Reimer is rostered in more than half of Yahoo leagues at 54 percent, and he's worth a roster spot as long as he is the starter, though he should be not be considered anything more than a No. 3 goalie in most leagues.

San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47)
James Reimer looks like the undisputed man in net for the Sharks — for now. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger, Kraken (past 5 combined: 4-1-0, .936 Sv%, 2.21 GAA)

It's like Jekyll and Hyde with the Kraken goalies and their inconsistency, and also a bit of Sherlock Holmes thrown in because it's hard to decipher which will play well enough to be the starter. Driedger started the last two games, earning his first consecutive start of the season after limiting the Panthers to just one goal, and fantasy managers with quick fingers and roster spots to spare likely will have snatched him up already. It's the first time all season rostering both Grubauer and Driedger makes sense.

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The Kraken's analytics are fairly average, but still far better than their record would suggest. It just means that when the Kraken get good goaltending, they should be able to win a fair number of games, and if you consider the teams they've beaten — Florida, Washington, Carolina — there's definitely reason to be optimistic there.

Honorable Mention: Karel Vejmelka, Coyotes; Jacob Markstrom, Flames; Marc-Andre Fleury, Blackhawks; Jake Oettinger and Braden Holtby, Stars; Mikko Koskinen, Oilers; Cam Talbot, Wild; Juuse Saros, Predators; Tristan Jarry, Penguins; Jack Campbell and Joseph Woll, Maple Leafs; Thatcher Demko, Canucks

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John Gibson, Ducks (past 5 starts: 1-4-0, .892 Sv%, 3.59 GAA)

If you're analytically inclined, then you knew this was going to happen at some point. The Ducks rank 20th in CF% and 17th in xGF%, according to, which means they routinely get outshot and need good shooting luck (ahem, Troy Terry) or good goaltending to help them win games. When Gibson isn't sharp, the Ducks tend to lose by quite a bit; all but three of their losses this season saw them allow at least four goals. With Terry's scoring cooling off and the Knights resurgent once again in the Pacific, perhaps it's time to think about jettisoning the Ducks while their fantasy values are still relatively high.

Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark, Bruins (combined: 11-8-0, .910 Sv%, 2.54 GAA)

The problem isn't that they're bad goalies — the problem is that it's been two months and the Bruins still don't know who should be their starter. That's prompted a Tuukka Rask watch — who can be added if you have an NA spot in Yahoo leagues, by the way — and his progress is being tracked closely as he starts skating with the team.

The moment Rask signs, it'll dampen both Swayman and Ullmark's fantasy value, though Rask will still have to prove he can be a starting goalie first. Both goalies are still worth rostering until that time comes, though they face a tough stretch ahead with seven of their next nine games on the road.

Frederik Andersen, Hurricanes (past 3 starts: 0-3-0, .871 Sv%, 2.73 GAA)

The low save percentage but respectable goals-against average suggests Andersen has not been stopping many pucks even though his defense has been very good at limiting the shots he has to face. The Canes are still No. 1 in the league, but they've lost four of their past five and it's about time they cooled off a little bit from their unsustainable pace. Antti Raanta has been serviceable and he could see more action, even if it's just to give Andersen more breaks, and he should be a popular target for a spot start.

Of course, all of this is relative; Andersen remains a valuable fantasy goalie and there are some easy matchups coming up — Ottawa, Buffalo, Vancouver and possibly Winnipeg — but fantasy managers should exercise a little more caution than usual. The wins should be easy to get, but the peripheral numbers might not look so good.

Anton Khudobin, Stars (3-3-1, .873 Sv%, 3.73 GAA)

Khudobin has not played a single minute since his last start on Nov. 18 in a 7-2 loss to the Wild. Behind Jake Oettinger and Braden Holtby, the Stars are now 5-0-0, including impressive home wins against division rivals Blues and Avs, and potential Cup contenders in the Oilers and Canes. While Khudobin is out of the rotation, there's a chance he still could return when the Stars' winning streak inevitably gets snapped.

Carrying three goalies seems unwieldy, and sooner or later the Stars will have to decide once again if Oettinger is better off playing in the minors. Khudobin is still worth stashing in most fantasy leagues until the Stars make a definitive decision about their crowded crease. If he is dropped by fantasy managers, he'll quickly become a hot commodity again if he finds himself back in the rotation.

Carter Hart and Martin Jones, Flyers (past 6 combined: 0-4-2, .894 Sv%, 3.96 GAA)

Poor goaltending, as always in Philly, has been a big reason why they've lost six in a row. They're not getting a lot of help from their defense, which is still missing Ryan Ellis, and to be fair, those losses were to tough opponents. It's not going to get any easier with the Rangers, Lightning, Avs, Knights and the Devils twice coming up, and the Flyers' big fall has gone under-the-radar with the Habs cleaning house and the Sens and Isles mired in worse slumps.

It's that time to sit Hart again until the Flyers turn it around, but after such a promising start, things look bleak. Like with Gibson on the Ducks, perhaps it's time to capitalize on whatever fantasy value Hart and Jones still have.

Dishonorable Mention: Dustin Tokarski and Aaron Dell, Sabres; Darcy Kuemper, Avalanche; Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick, Kings; Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin, Islanders; Matt Murray, Senators; Ville Husso, Blues; Robin Lehner, Golden Knights