With the All-Star Game on Sunday and a travel day on Monday, the regular NHL schedule resumes on Tuesday. That gives you an extra day to prepare your roster for the coming six-day period. Keep in mind that you may still be in the middle of a scoring period, so you have time to adjust if you are behind in a head-to-head matchup.
Braden Holtby, who is arguably fantasy hockey’s top goalie this season, should be in for another great week. With the Capitals playing four times over the next six days, Holtby will probably start three of those games. In addition, three of the Capitals’ four games will be at the Verizon Center.
Who else will be a must-start this week? Who might struggle this week?
Jaroslav Halak, NYI (vs. MIN, @WAS, @DET, vs. EDM)
Like the Capitals, the Islanders will be playing four times over the next six days. Of those four games, only the Washington game looks problematic. The other three teams are in the bottom third of the league in offence for January. Halak will probably rest in one of the weekend games, either on Saturday against Detroit or Sunday against Edmonton. Thomas Greiss would likely start one of those games, so he would be worth at least a spot start.
Cam Talbot, EDM (vs. CLS, @OTT, @MON, @NYI)
Talbot has re-emerged as the Oilers’ starting goalie, having started all but two games in January. The Oilers start a road trip this week, yet three of the four teams they face are out the playoffs at the moment. In addition, all three of the road teams the Oilers face are in the bottom third in offence in January. As well, Talbot has a 1.96 goals-against average and .932 save percentage during January, the kind of numbers the Oilers don’t usually receive from their goalies.
Ben Scrivens, MTL (@PHI, vs. BUF, vs. EDM, vs. CAR)
We know, you probably want no part of any Canadiens’ goalies right now, in particular their third-string goalie. Especially since the Canadiens’ 5-18-1 record since the start of December is the worst in the entire NHL. But the Habs have a cupcake schedule coming up against four non-playoff teams, including two sets of back-to-back games. That means Scrivens could start twice this week, which could make sense if goalies on waivers are difficult to find in your league.
Ben Bishop, TB (vs. DET, vs. PIT)
The Lightning are one of two teams to play only two games this week, which puts Bishop owners at a disadvantage. Included is a matchup with a Penguins’ offence that is suddenly hot again in averaging over three goals per game in January. Bishop will probably have an easier time against the Red Wings, who he has allowed a combined four goals in two appearances in spite of losing both of them. Bishop will also have the additional burden of travelling back from the All-Star Game.
Jonathan Quick, LA (@ARI, vs. ANA)
Like Bishop, Quick will be returning from the All-Star Game. And like the Lightning, the Kings play just two times this week. Quick didn’t exactly enter the all-star break on a high note, losing three consecutive games while allowing a combined 10 goals. The Coyotes might not seem like a dangerous opponent, but Quick has a record of 1-3-0 with a total of 13 goals allowed against them this season.
Eddie Lack, CAR (@CGY, @WPG, @MTL)
Even though the Hurricanes’ three games are all against Canadian non-playoff teams, all three games will be on the road. In addition, Cam Ward has been activated from IR, which will reduce Lack’s value. Hurricanes’ coach Bill Peters would be wise to give Lack two starts this week anyway, as Lack has a 1.99 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage since after Christmas.
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