Fantasy Hockey Top-20 Goaltenders
Like a starting pitcher in baseball or quarterback in football, the spotlight is always on the goaltender in hockey. He needs to come up with key saves at the right time, and his focus needs to be razor-sharp for the entire game. Like those other two pressure-cooker positions in sports, the goaltending position is also extremely volatile. One minute you can be a steady veteran 'keeper with a long-term contract, and the next some hotshot rookie comes up to the big league, registers a shutout and promptly snatches the No. 1 job away from him. It can happen in the blink of an eye! Here is a look at the top 20 fantasy goaltenders heading into 2017-18:
1. Carey Price, Canadiens
Perhaps no NHL netminder is as entrenched as a starter than the Canadiens' franchise player. Enough said.
2. Matt Murray, Penguins
Two Stanley Cup rings, one official NHL campaign. Murray is setting the bar incredibly high entering Year 2.
3. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
With Ben Bishop gone to Dallas, the talented Lightning will go as far as the young Russian will take them.
4. Cam Talbot, Oilers
The Oilers took a big step forward last season, with Talbot as their trusted backstop. Expect more of the same.
5. Frederik Andersen, Maple Leafs
With Toronto ascending to great heights, Andersen (and his fantasy owners) should benefit in a big way--soon.
6. Jonathan Quick, Kings
The acrobatic Quick is among the league's best puck-stopping talents, but questions about his health linger.
7. Devan Dubnyk, Wild
Both the Wild and Dubnyk are notoriously good during the regular season, which is good for fantasy leaguers.
8. Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets
Now a two-time Vezina trophy winner, 'Goalie Bob' has been known to have his ups and downs on occasion.
9. Braden Holtby, Capitals
In terms of regular-season play, Holtby is fantasy gold! However, will another postseason struggle affect him?
10. Corey Crawford, Blackhawks
Few goaltenders are as solid as Crawford these days. He may have to play more with Scott Darling gone.
11. Tuukka Rask, Bruins
Boston's undisputed starter, Rask should continue to place among the league leaders in wins, at least.
12. Scott Darling, Hurricanes
Carolina is a team on the rise and they are counting on Darling to emerge as their new starter this season.
13. Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers
Is 'King Henrik' past his prime? Perhaps, but the Rangers have no choice but to rely on the Swedish legend.
14. Jake Allen, Blues
He emerged last season as a 60-game starter and 30-game winner. The 27-year-old is now entering his prime.
15. Martin Jones, Sharks
The former Kings backup is now an excellent starter but the aging Sharks' window may be closing soon.
16. John Gibson, Ducks
The talent is there but Gibson needs to prove he can stay healthy long enough to become the undisputed No. 1.
17. Cory Schneider, Devils
While the Devils are rebuilding, Schneider will continue to be their best player this season He will play a ton.
18. Ben Bishop, Stars
The Stars acquired Bishop in the off-season to fill a crying need in goal. The towering 'tender is the new starter.
19. Antti Raanta, Coyotes
Arguably the best backup goaltender in the NHL last season, Raanta is now the new top dog for the Coyotes.
20. Mike Smith, Flames
Calgary has not had much success since Miikka Kiprusoff retired, but vet Smith is hoping to change that.