Top 10 Goalie Battles

Tom Collins


One of the concerning trends in fantasy hockey in the past few seasons is the decrease in the quantity of dedicated number one goalies.

Gone are the days of 70-plus starts in the NHL for a netminder. Heck, we may be at a stage where we see only five goaltenders start 60-plus games. It seems as if teams are more willing to rest their starters in hopes for a big playoff push. Which is great if you want your favourite team to win the cup, but not great if you want your fantasy team to win the championship.

This means that instead of rostering two goalies who will get you 130-plus games, you may have to roster three or four, which will take away from other roster spots. It also means that you'll have to be aware of goalies in time-share situations. You're going to want to get a goalie that will start a minimum of 55 games, and those will be harder to find.

Even though the NHL season doesn't begin for another two months, except for maybe a trade, the goalie situations are pretty set for the upcoming season. The best unrestricted free agents left are Craig Anderson, Ryan Miller, Cory Schneider and Jimmy Howard. None of those players will be pushing for a starter's job if they sign anywhere.

Below are 10 teams where the goalie situation is murky for next season, with no clear-cut number one. You may want to drop the netminders on these teams down a little bit in your rankings unless one can guarantee the starter's job.

10. Vegas Golden Knights

At the start of the offseason, it appeared as if Marc-Andre Fleury's career in Vegas was finished. However, the team couldn't find a taker for the three-time Stanley Cup champion. Now the team is in the awkward situation of keeping Fleury for next season after signing Robin Lehner to a five-year contract. While Lehner may be the favourite to be the number one goalie, Fleury is well-loved in Sin City and could easily challenge for 45 per cent of the starts. Especially if the team is hoping to showcase him for a trade.

9. New Jersey Devils

I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but Mackenzie Blackwood and Corey Crawford posted pretty similar numbers last season. At 23 years old, Blackwood may seem like he's got the inside track, but New Jersey isn't paying Crawford almost $4 million a year to play 20 games a season. Crawford will be expected to push Blackwood, a