It has been a crazy year for goalies in the NHL, and therefore fantasy hockey. If you lucked out and drafted Igor Shesterkin, Ilya Sorokin, Jake Oettinger, or Connor Hellebuyck, then you probably have nothing to complain about. For the rest of you, it’s been tough sledding.
Goalie pre-season versus current fantasy rankings
|Andrei Vasilevskiy – TBL||9||185||-176|
|Igor Shesterkin – NYR||10||56||-46|
|Ilya Sorokin – NYI||34||48||-14|
|Jacob Markstrom – CGY||41||325||-284|
|Juuse Saros – NSH||42||205||-163|
|Jake Oettinger – DAL||46||57||-11|
|Frederik Andersen – CAR||58||311||-253|
|Thatcher Demko – VAN||59||572||-513|
|Marc-Andre Fleury – MIN||65||132||-67|
|Sergei Bobrovsky – FLA||66||412||-346|
|Darcy Kuemper – WSH||67||107||-40|
|Tristan Jarry – PIT||70||384||-314|
|Connor Hellebuyck – WPG||74||10||64|
|Jeremy Swayman – BOS||88||511||-423|
|Cam Talbot – OTT||94||301||-207|
|Jack Campbell – EDM||116||596||-480|
Even then, only one goaltender in the top tier list, Hellebuyck, has actually outperformed their average pre-season draft ranking so far this season.
The question on the minds of most fantasy mangers at the quarter pole of the season is: will my goalies bounce back?
One way to make a prediction is to look at each goalie’s save percentage at various danger levels. If a goalie is letting in a lot of goals from high danger areas, this likely indicates a tougher road back. If a goalie is getting beat from low or medium danger areas, there is a higher likelihood of them finding their game again and becoming more valuable as the season progresses.
For this analysis, we took a look at every goalie that has played at least 10 games this season. That includes most of the goalies above, plus several more.
Goalie save percentage at high, medium and low danger
The table below shows the raw values for each included goalie’s save percentage overall and at the three danger levels. This is for reference.
An easier way to visualize this table is by calculating the ranking of each goaltender’s value in each category.
From this view, you can more clearly see where each goalie is struggling the most.
Goalies on the right track
Several goalies pop out right away as struggling to save low danger shots and excelling at high danger shots. This, in my eyes, indicates a goalie that has a much higher chance of turning things around.
- Demko is ranked 27/28 on the list for overall SV%, but 15th in HDSV% and just 27th in LDSV%.
- If he can shut things down from low danger, his overall SV% will climb in turn.
- Markstrom is ranked 25/28 in overall SV%, but 14th in HDSV% and 22nd in LDSV%.
- He’s made incredible stops at high danger this season, so as the team in front of him tightens up and he starts making more routine saves, his numbers will surely turn around.
- Gibson is ranked 23/28 in overall SV%, but 13th in HDSV% and 19th in LDSV%.
- Gibson’s team isn’t very good, but he’s still a very good goalie. Maybe you shouldn’t rely on him as a G1, but as a G2 or G3 he is a perfect candidate for a bounce back.
Goalies on the wrong track
On the other side, several goalies immediately stand out as ones that are just having bad years, and can’t seem to stop a puck from anywhere on the ice.
- Campbell is ranked 28/28 in overall SV%, last on the list, as well as 27th in HDSV% and 21st in LDSV%.
- Skinner should be the Oilers’ starter and it’s not particularly close at all.
- Fleury is ranked 14th in overall SV%, but is 7th in LDSV% and just 24th in HDSV%.
- This doesn’t bode well for Fleury’s stats to go up as he is already stopping a very high percentage of easy shots. If anything, his numbers could go down.
- I’ll preface this by acknowledging the fact that Vasilevskiy is still probably the best goaltender on the planet (if not then easily top-three), and if I had him on my team I would have 100% faith in him turning things around.
- His numbers aren’t favourable at this stage, however.
- Vasilevskiy is ranked 14th in overall SV%, but 1st in LDSV% and 20th in HDSV%. He’s doing a great job stopping the easy ones, but is really struggling when teams get quality chances against him.
Surprising goalies to hold onto
Finally, there are a few surprising goalies that should be able to keep up their solid pace so far.
- Hart is ranked 4th in overall SV%, 1st in HDSV%, and just 16th in LDSV%.
- He should be just fine. Of course, he could see a drop from high danger, but an uptick from low and medium should cancel that out nicely.
- Georgiev is ranked 7th in overall SV%, but 2nd in HDSV% and just 25th in LDSV%.
- His numbers could easily come up even higher as he stops a higher rate of easy shots.
- He should remain the Avalache’s starter.
- The Devils are a wagon right now, and Vanecek is performing very well. He ranks 8th in overall SV%, 17th in HDSV%, and 24th in LDSV%.
- He should be able to hold pace.