Vasilevskiy Woes

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Week of October 18 - 24

Great Options

Jack Campbell – Toronto Maple Leafs: Campbell had a great start to the season back on October 13th, as he allowed just one goal on 32 shots during the season opener against the Montreal Canadiens. He played just under 20 minutes of October 14th’s game against the Ottawa Senators, during which he stopped all of the 10 shots he faced. Although the season is just getting underway, Campbell does currently have a save percentage of .976. This is the highest save percentage out of any goalie in the league that has played at least one full game this past week. This upcoming week the Leafs will face off against the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, and Pittsburgh Penguins. San Jose excluded, these will be harder matchups for Campbell than what he faced during opening week. With Petr Mrazek still sidelined, Campbell has the opportunity this week to solidify the role he will play on the Leafs roster heading forward.

Vitek Vanecek – Washington Capitals: Vanecek is a netminder that was more than likely undervalued in many draft pools. He had a great season opener against the New York Rangers back on October 13th, during which he allowed just one goal on 24 shots to earn himself a save percentage of .958. The 25-year-old is entering into just his second season in the league, and thus consistency is a concern. Last season Vanecek started 36 games for the Capitals and ended the year with a record of 21-10-4. He had a save percentage of .908 and a GAA of 2.69 at the end of the 2020-2021 regular season. Last season Vanecek had some great stretches, along with some tough performances. The important thing to note is that he has a lot of upside, especially being on a veteran team that will offer him support whenever he is in the crease. He is a good goalie to add depth to any fantasy roster and as the season continues it will be interesting to see how he progresses.

Cam Talbot – Minnesota Wild: During October 15th’s season opener against the Anaheim Ducks Talbot put on a very solid performance. He allowed just one goal on 29 shots to end his night with a save percentage of .966. The only goal he did give up in that matchup was a power play goal. This upcoming week the Wild play the Winnipeg Jets, Anaheim Ducks again, and the Nashville Predators. Expect Talbot to put up solid performances against both Anaheim and Nashville. Winnipeg, on the other hand, will be his first real challenge of the year.

Anton Forsberg – Ottawa Senators: During the October 14th season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Forsberg put on quite the show. He made a whopping 46 saves on 48 shots to come out of the game with a win and earn himself a save percentage of .958. When considering goalies that have played only one game so far, Forsberg has the most saves in the entire league. The Senators will play the San Jose Sharks and the New York Rangers this upcoming week. The San Jose game will give Forsberg the opportunity to bolster his stats. This matchup would be a great opportunity to test Forsberg out in a daily fantasy scenario. The New York game will test how long he can stay solid under pressure.

Good Options

Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning: It is rare to see Vasilevskiy not be ranked in the top spot on any goalie list, but the opening week of the 2021-2022 season was not kind to the Tampa netminder. In the first game of the year on October 12th, he picked up a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. During that game he made 29 saves on 32 shots to finish the matchup with a save percentage of .906. He was given the opportunity to bounce back against an easier opponent in Detroit on October 14th, but ended up putting on an even worse performance. Although Vasilevskiy did come out of the Red Wings game with a win, he allowed six goals on just 26 shots and posted a save percentage of .769. Although Vasilevskiy is generally a reliable bet, this upcoming week the Lightning play the Florida Panthers and the Colorado Avalanche. If there is not a significant overhaul in his performance then these matchups may prolong his rough start. The reigning Conn Smythe winner will bounce back to his old form eventually, it is just a matter of when.

Darcy Kuemper – Colorado Avalanche: Kuemper picked up a win in his season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks back on October 13th. During that game he made 32 saves on 34 shots to end with a save percentage of .941. Last season Kuemper appeared in 27 contests for the Arizona Coyotes. He earned a record of 10-11-3, and ended the year with a save percentage of .907 and a GAA of 2.56. It will be no surprise if his numbers drastically increase now that he is surrounded by a strong team in the Avalanche, but there is still a lot of uncertainty in terms of how his play will pan out. Kuemper sits in the good not great column this week because the Avalanche have three tough games against the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, and Tampa Bay Lightning coming up. This is a far more difficult schedule than their opening week, so it will be a test to see if Kuemper can stay solid against highly skilled opponents.

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Bad Options

Carter Hart – Philadelphia Flyers: Hart struggled last season and really needed to prove himself in his first start of the year. In his 25 starts during the 2020-2021 campaign, Hart posted a record of 9-11-5. He ended the season with a save percentage of .877 and a high GAA of 3.67. Unfortunately a lot of the glaring issues from last season were still evident during October 15th’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. Hart allowed four goals in one period during that matchup. Three of those goals were scored within seven minutes. The Flyers will play the Seattle Kraken, Boston Bruins, and Florida Panthers this upcoming week. These will be some difficult matchups and as of now Hart is an option to avoid.

Robin Lehner – Vegas Golden Knights: Last season Vegas had a dual-threat in goal, but this season Vezina-winning Marc-Andre Fleury is no longer around to man the crease in case Lehner loses his groove. This puts extra pressure on Lehner, and the first week of the season has not gone the best for the starting netminder in Vegas. Over the course of two starts, Lehner has posted a save percentage of .887. He was pulled after 40 minutes of play during his last game against the Los Angeles Kings on October 14th after he allowed four goals on 31 shots. The Golden Knights will face off against the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, and New York Islanders this upcoming week. Based on his current performance levels, playing Lehner against these opponents has to be done with caution.

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