Josh Hutchinson (@JustJoshin41)
I hope you all streamed Karel Vejmelka like I told you to last week! As it stands currently (before Sunday’s game against Minnesota) in two starts this week Vejmelka has recorded 1 win, 1 shutout, 69 saves (nice) and a combined .945 save percentage. That’s not bad for a free add! Unfortunately in week 8, Arizona only plays two games so you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not you should stream him out for someone else with more opportunity to play. If not for the schedule factor, I’d say Vejmelka is a must hold (he may still be).
The goaltending situation in San Jose could be very interesting this week. James Reimer went down with a lower body injury earlier in week 7 but made a return against LA on Friday night. He did not look himself, giving up multiple soft goals (5 goals total on only 29 shots) and he’s once again on the shelf with the same lower body injury. It sounds like Kaapo Kahkonen will definitely get the start on Sunday. The Sharks have two back-to-backs this week so if Reimer hasn’t recovered in time, we may have our first Aaron Dell appearance of the season. Maybe even our first two Aaron Dell appearances of the season. Dell has a .904 save percentage in 7 games in the AHL this year so he’s maybe not the most ideal streaming target unless you’re desperate. Kahkonen on the other hand, regardless of whether or not Reimer is healthy, will get two starts so he is a legitimate deep league target this week.
The prodigal son returns! Anton Forsberg has fallen beneath 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues for the first time this year. The #ZeroG hero from last season has struggled behind a brutal Senators defense this season and since Talbot has returned from injury has slipped to a 1B spot for Ottawa. He’s dealing with an undisclosed injury currently but if he returns this week I’d expect him to get at least 1 start. This goaltending situation in Ottawa is all but decided. They’re a team that was expected to compete and they haven’t. If one of Talbot or Forsberg gets hot, I would expect them to ride him for a while in an attempt to claw back into relevancy. Keep an eye on Anton Forsberg, he did it last year and he may very well do it again.
Week 8 #ZeroG Power Rankings:
- John Gibson (43% Rostered) – Anaheim
- Joonas Korpisalo (10%) – Columbus
- Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (5%)/Craig Anderson (15%) – Buffalo
- Kaapo Kahkonen (5%)/James Reimer (38%)/Aaron Dell (0%) – San Jose
- Karel Vejmelka (41%) – Arizona
- Spencer Martin (9%) – Vancouver
- Sam Montembeault (8%)/Jake Allen (33%) – Montreal
- Petr Mrazek (5%)/Arvid Soderblom (5%) – Chicago
- Cal Petersen (12%) – Los Angeles
- Alex Nedeljkovic (18%) – Detroit
The sub-50% #ZeroG market is slim pickings this week. John Gibson is, in my opinion, the best option out there. The Ducks have 4 games with one back-to-back so Gibson will very likely get 3 starts. The Ducks are awful and Gibson’s season totals are not good. However, his play has improved over his last 5 games. He has a .914 save percentage over that time with a positive GSAx and 2 wins. I’ve mentioned in the past that Gibson had faced the most shots against in the league. That hasn’t changed, and the race isn’t even close. Gibson has faced 564 shots. Connor Hellebuyck is in second place with 498 shots against.
The Anaheim Ducks are truly brutal defensively (32nd in xGA/60) but this won’t necessarily negatively affect your fantasy team if you roster Gibson. In a categories league that includes saves, there really aren’t many better than Gibson. He’s also very useful in points leagues with less aggressive goals against penalties. In the KKUPFL for example, he was actually the 11th ranked goalie over the last two weeks. Don’t let the Ducks deter you, John Gibson can help!
Jake Allen has been a #ZeroG power rankings mainstay this year. As I mentioned in last week’s article, his play has been slipping lately. In his latest outing against Buffalo, he allowed 7 goals on 38 shots for his 4th straight outing with a save percentage below .900. Montembeault on the other hand, had a strong start the next night against Columbus and was given a second straight start on Friday against Chicago.
Sam Montembeault has quietly had a really solid season. He’s actually 9th in the league in GSAx with +6.3. He has an overall save percentage of .924 and he’s had an individual game save percentage of .917 or higher in 6 out of 8 games. He’s certainly earned the playing time. These last two starts are the first two consecutive starts he’s had this season that didn’t involve an injury to Jake Allen. I don’t want to make bold predictions (I did last week regarding the Montreal goalie situation and was very wrong), but there is a distinct possibility that Montembeault could get 2 of 3 starts this week if Marty St. Louis’ trust is shifting in his direction. The Habs play 3 teams that are struggling to find consistency in San Jose, Calgary and Edmonton so there’s also potential for more quality starts for Montembeault if he slots in. Keep an eye on Game Day Goalie Starts on Twitter before jumping out and scooping him up, but if my suspicions are confirmed, there could be a new 1A in Montreal this week.
Thatcher Demko has been awful this year. He’s 71st out of 74 goalies in GSAx with -9.1. His overall save percentage is .882 and his overall record is 2-9-2. Demko started 61 games last year and was expected to start the majority of games for the Canucks this year, but his poor play has forced them to share the load a little bit more. Enter Spencer Martin. His individual numbers don’t jump off the page but they are an improvement over Demko’s. He’s 6-1-1 with a .907 save percentage.
Here’s why I’m focusing on Martin. Vancouver has suddenly won 4 of their last 5 games. Martin has started 3 of those 5 games and won all three. Demko went 1-1 in the other two games during this stretch allowing a whopping 9 goals including a 3rd period meltdown against Vegas where he allowed 3 consecutive goals to blow a 4-2 lead and lose 5-4. These blown leads have become a trend for Demko (and Vancouver in general) this year. The Hockey Night in Canada intermission panel discussed the fact that Bruce Boudreau’s trust could be swaying in Martin’s favor and he could see more starts in the near future in hopes that the Canucks can go on a run. They’ve already been alternating starts almost evenly for a few weeks so with Demko starting Sunday and the Canucks having 3 games this week, even if they continue the way they have, Martin would be in line for two starts this week. At 9% rostered, Martin is very available. He’s a great option this week and could be an even better one going forward. Watch Vancouver closely!
If you have any questions or concerns about my power ranking choices, hit me up on Twitter @justjoshin41 or in the Apples & Ginos Discord Server. Happy streaming everyone!
Stats and player information gathered from: