The March of Vasilevskiy

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Anna Dua
·6 min read
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Week of March 22-28

Great Options

Andrei VasilevskiyTampa Bay Lightning: Vasilevskiy is currently riding an extremely impressive 10-game win streak. The Lightning netminder has yet to post a single loss during the month of March. He currently boasts a record of 19-3-1, with a save percentage of .932 and a GAA of 1.90. He has the most wins in the league. He also has the second-highest save percentage in the league, when considering goalies with at least five starts. Vasilevskiy is a great option every single week for reasons that go beyond his great individual level of play. He is surrounded by a very talented team that ensures wins game after game. The divisional realignment this season also puts teams like Tampa Bay at an advantage, since they have a far easier schedule than they normally would have.

Ilya SamsonovWashington Capitals: In his time back with the Capitals Samsonov has definitely proved that he deserves to be there. He currently has four consecutive wins and has picked up some great numbers during that stretch. Samsonov is a player that fantasy managers expected a lot from prior to this season, but for the most part he underperformed and had a plethora of difficulties that impacted his start to the year. It seems that he has now found some momentum so if he is an option to trade for it might be a good move. He currently has a record of 6-0-1, with a save percentage of .907 and a GAA of 2.54.

Vitek Vanecek – Washington Capitals: The Capitals earn two spots on the great column this week, as Vitek Vanecek has also been posting some worthy performances. He is on a three-game win streak and picked up his first career shutout on March 15th against the Buffalo Sabres. He has a record of 13-5-3 so far this year. His save percentage sits at .911 and his GAA is at 2.66. It seems that he is rotating starts with his counterpart Ilya Samsonov as of now, but regardless of which Washington netminder is in the crease they are sure to be a great option.

Marc-Andre Fleury – Vegas Golden Knights: In terms of value, it is hard to argue against Fleury being the best fantasy goalie so far this season. He has an impressive record of 16-5-0. Additionally, he has a save percentage of .933 and a GAA of 1.87. When considering goaltenders who have started at least five games, Fleury has the best save percentage and second-best GAA in the entire league. He is also currently on a four-game win streak. To kick off the year Fleury was rotating starts with Robin Lehner, until Lehner suffered an injury. Lehner recently returned to the lineup and it will be interesting to see whether Vegas allows Fleury to keep the amount of ice time he has been getting, even though they have no reason not to.

Kaapo Kahkonen – Minnesota Wild: This is the week of win streaks for NHL goalies, and Kaapo Kahkonen is no exception. The 24-year-old netminder has won his past nine consecutive games. He also has two shutouts in his past three appearances. Kahkonen is clearly riding some awesome momentum and should be a great option this upcoming week, as the Wild play the Anaheim Ducks twice and the St. Louis Blues once. He has a record of 12-4-0, with a save percentage of .927 and a GAA of 2.05.

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Good Options

James Reimer – Carolina Hurricanes: Reimer has been having a pretty good season so far and has been a solid fill-in after Petr Mrazek suffered an injury. He has won four of his last five contests, and in each of those wins he posted a save percentage above .900. He has a record of 12-4-0, with a save percentage of .907 and a GAA of 2.74. The reason that Reimer falls into the good column this week is because the Hurricanes will play the Tampa Bay Lightning, which has been a tough opponent for Reimer so far. Also, it is unclear whether he will even get the start, as Petr Mrazek was medically cleared this past Wednesday and could return to the lineup any day.

Robin Lehner – Vegas Golden Knights: Lehner made his return to the ice this past Friday, as he picked up a win against the Los Angeles Kings. This was his first start since he was sidelined with an injury back on February 7th. Prior to his injury he had a record of 3-1-1 and was rotating starts with Marc-Andre Fleury. However, in his absence Fleury put on some dominating performances and showcased that he deserved to be the go-to netminder. Yet, it is also clear that despite Fleury’s excellent level of play, Vegas is not afraid to throw Lehner into the mix. It is unclear whether he will be able to split starts again, and it would be illogical as of now for the Golden Knights to do so, but Lehner is a good daily fantasy option for the days he is in the crease.

Editor’s Note: The Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights face off Sunday on NBCSN starting at 5:30 pm ET. Livestream all the action here.

Bad Options

Carter Hart – Philadelphia Flyers: Hart has not been having the best time as of late. He has gone seven consecutive games without cracking the .900 save percentage mark. During that time, he had some especially tough outings, such as when he gave up three goals on eight shots and was pulled in a game against the Buffalo Sabres on March 9th. These recent performances have brought his save percentage down to .880. He also has a very high GAA at 3.70. It is clear that Hart has a lot of promise, but until he finds some positive momentum the 22-year-old netminder should be avoided.

Igor Shesterkin – New York Rangers: Shesterkin last played on March 4th before being sidelined with an injury, but his return to the lineup is imminent now. Prior to suffering a groin strain that kept him out for seven games, Shesterkin had picked up two straight wins. The reason Shesterkin is an option to avoid this week is because the rookie goaltender has been very inconsistent this year. It is unlikely that he will carry any significant positive momentum to his return to the crease so he is a big gamble this upcoming week. His counterpart, Alexandar Georgiev earned a shutout against the Philadelphia Flyers this past week and will probably continue to get a decent amount of playing time even with Shesterkin’s return. Thus, his reduced starts combined with the uncertainty of his performance makes Shesterkin a big risk for this next week.