Keep Nedeljkovic in net

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Anna Dua
·6 min read
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Week of May 3-9

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Great Options

Alex Nedeljkovic – Carolina Hurricanes: With Petr Mrazek still sidelined with a lower body injury, Nedeljkovic has seen more time in the crease and has definitely been earning his starts as of late. He has not posted a single regulation loss in his past six appearances. Nedeljkovic has also posted a save percentage above .940 in five of those six games. His record currently sits at 13-4-3, along with a save percentage of .932 and a GAA of 1.94. When considering goalies who have played at least 20 games, Nedeljkovic has the highest save percentage in the league. With Mrazek still out with no timetable for return, Nedeljkovic will continue building upon his already great stats as this regular season nears its end.

Tuukka RaskBoston Bruins: The Bruins are trying to hold onto their fourth and final spot in the East division, and Rask is undoubtedly going to be a big part of that effort. He currently has five wins in his past six appearances. He picked up two wins this past week against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres, in which he did not allow more than two goals and posted save percentages above .930 on both nights. These wins were critical with the New York Rangers just behind Boston in the standings, fighting for their spot. Rask currently has a record of 13-4-2, with a save percentage of .916 and a GAA of 2.27.

Semyon Varlamov – New York Islanders: Varlamov has no regulation losses in his past three starts and is currently riding two back-to-back shutouts. He has only posted a save percentage below .900 once in his past ten appearances, so it is clear that Varlamov has been collecting some great numbers as of late. When considering netminders who have played in at least 30 games, Varlamov has the second-highest save percentage in the league with .928. This upcoming week the Islanders play the Buffalo Sabres twice and the New Jersey Devils twice, giving Varlamov plenty of opportunity to continue posting great stats. He is a must-start this next week.

Igor Shesterkin – New York Rangers: The Rangers currently sit in the fifth spot in the East, six points behind Boston and that coveted fourth and final playoff spot in the division. Thus, there is extra pressure on this next week for the entire team to play at its highest level in hopes of seeing the postseason. Shesterkin’s biggest problem has been his consistency, as he seems to be alternating between the wins and losses columns quite often. His record sits at 15-12-3, with a save percentage of .920 and a GAA of 2.44. He has shown that he has the ability to put up good individual performances and this next week will be a now or never situation for the 25-year-old, so he is worth taking a chance on.

Editor’s Note: The Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings face off Sunday on NBC starting at 3:00 pm ET. Livestream all the action here.

Good Options

Jack Campbell – Toronto Maple Leafs: Campbell had a phenomenal start to his season and it seemed like the goalie simply could not lose. However, he hit a bit of a slump in mid-April. During that time, he went four consecutive games where he failed to crack a .900 save percentage. In his past three appearances he seems to have returned back to a good level of play, as he is currently riding a three-game win streak and has only allowed one goal each in his last two games. The 29-year-old goalie has a record of 14-2-1, with a save percentage of .925 and a GAA of 2.14. The reason he is on the good and not great list is simply the chance that he will hit another mini-slump, especially since the Leafs have already clinched a playoff spot and other teams will be levying a stronger effort in an attempt to extend their seasons.

Cam Talbot – Minnesota Wild: Talbot had been playing some great hockey in the month of April, as he went on an impressive five-game win streak. However, he has gone winless in his past two appearances. He had a rough last game against the St. Louis Blues on April 29th, when he allowed five goals on 21 shots and finished the game with a .762 save percentage. This little regression is why he sits in the good not great column this week. The 33-year-old has a record of 17-7-4, with a save percentage of .920 and a GAA of 2.48.

Editor’s Note: The Vegas Golden Knights are in Minnesota to play the Wild Monday on NBCSN starting at 7:30 pm ET. Livestream all the action here.

Bad Options

Sergei Bobrovsky – Florida Panthers: Bobrovsky has gone his past three appearances without cracking a .900 save percentage even once. In his last game against the Nashville Predators Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 21 shots in 40 minutes of playing time and finished his night with a .810 save percentage. He is definitely in a little bit of a slump as of late and that is why he might be an option to avoid this next week, at least until he is able to find his stride again. Bobrovsky has a record of 17-8-2, with a save percentage of .905 and a high GAA of 2.94.

Devan Dubnyk – Colorado Avalanche: Philipp Grubauer returned to the Colorado lineup this past week, as he was removed from the NHL’s COVID protocols list. With his return, it will be expected that Dubnyk’s starts might be limited. Even if he does get the nod, his last two performances have been rather mediocre. He is riding two back-to-back losses and allowed four goals each in both of those games. He also failed to post a save percentage above .900 on those two nights. Between San Jose and Colorado this season, Dubnyk has a record of 5-11-2, with a very high GAA of 3.21 and a save percentage of .896.