#ZeroG to Victory: Week 10 Power Rankings

Josh Hutchinson (@JustJoshin41)

Elvis is alive! Merzlikins returned to the Blue Jackets this week and played in 3 games! Unfortunately he and Korpisalo were victims of Tage Thompson and the Buffalo Sabres going absolutely nuclear in a 9-4 loss. In his most recent appearance he stopped 19 of 20 against the Flames in relief of Joonas Korpisalo. This relief appearance is the reason I’m bringing Merzlikins up at all. Korpisalo left the game with a lower body injury and will be out at least a week. This means Merzlikins will likely start all 3 of Columbus’ games this week. Unfortunately, they play Florida, Tampa Bay and Boston who are all in the top 7 in the NHL in xGF/60. Merzlikins will surely see a lot of pucks this week and will get you some save volume, I’m just not sure he’ll return you any quality starts. Proceed with caution.

Pyotr Kochetkov started both games for the Hurricanes this past week (as I predicted). He has now played in 9 of Carolina’s last 10 games and started 8 of those games. He’s the starter until Andersen is ready to play (he started skating with the team on Thursday). Carolina plays 4 games this week and I anticipate Kochetkov will start 3 of those games unless Freddy is cleared to play before then. If he’s out there in your leagues, this is the week to pick him up, but as usual keep an eye on those Andersen injury reports.

Charlie Lindgren has played very well in Darcy Kuemper’s absence. In 3 games this week, he has 3 wins, he’s made 82 saves and has a .953 save percentage. It honestly doesn’t get much better than that. I would tell you he’s a must add for next week if it weren’t for the lack of clarity in Kuemper’s injury status. He’s listed as day-to-day, but he’s been out for almost a week now. There’s been some speculation that the injury could be a concussion. Because of the unpredictable nature of concussions, there is likely no defined timetable for return. He could return as soon as Sunday, or be out for weeks. Keep a keen eye on the injury reports but until then, try riding the Lindgren wave. He and the Capitals have been red hot.

Week 10 #ZeroG Power Rankings:

  1. Dan Vladar (39% Rostered) – Calgary
  2. Pyotr Kochetkov (47%) – Carolina
  3. Jake Allen (34%) – Montreal
  4. Charlie Lindgren (17%) – Washington
  5. Elvis Merzlikins (22%) – Columbus
  6. Arvid Soderblom (4%) – Chicago
  7. Philipp Grubauer (18%) – Seattle
  8. Karel Vejmelka (47%) – Arizona
  9. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (8%) – Buffalo
  10. James Reimer (31%) – San Jose

Dan Vladar

Dan Vladar has started 6 of Calgary’s last 8 games including 3 of 4 games this past week. Over the last two weeks, he is the 15th ranked goaltender in KKUPFL scoring in terms of fantasy points per game. He’s been really solid this year in general and he’s being rewarded by Darryl Sutter. The question remains, is he their starter going forward?

Calgary has the coveted 4 game/4 off night schedule this week. Could Vladar start all 4? I think that considering the fact that Markstrom is signed to a long term contract, they probably want to get him into at least one of these games. But let’s look at the situation in Edmonton. Jack Campbell hasn’t played in 10 days and has only started 3 games in the last month. He’s signed to a long term contract, has struggled mightily to find his game and has been outspoken in the media about his lack of confidence. Sound familiar? I only say this because I don’t think it’s out of the question that Vladar could stick going forward. Calgary is battling to stay in a playoff spot and they need to keep winning. It’s been working with Vladar and I feel more comfortable taking a flyer on him than I do a lot of these other “sub 50% rostered” options, especially this week.

Philipp Grubauer

The Seattle Kraken have played 4 games since that infamous 9-8 barn burner against the Kings last week. Philipp Grubauer has started 3 of those 4 games. He’s had a save percentage above .900 in 3 of his 4 starts since returning from injury and although that’s a low bar, that’s a step in the right direction for him. He also had a positive GSAx in those 3 games including his most recent game where the Kraken got absolutely dominated by the Capitals and he stopped 34 of 36 to keep them in it with a +2.25 GSAx. Is this a sign of Grubauer finally finding his game again? Maybe. But I think my faith in Grubauer as a fantasy relevant goalie has more to do with the Kraken typically playing well in front of him and Martin Jones turning into a pumpkin again.

Seattle has 3 games this week against difficult opponents (Carolina, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg). There is a possibility that Grubauer could start all 3 games but it’s more likely that he’ll get 2 of the 3. Either way, I’m regaining hope for Grubauer and you should too.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is everyone’s favorite name in the NHL. He’s also quietly become Buffalo’s favorite goalie. He’s started 4 of the Sabres’ last 5 games. His numbers are not strong and he’s actually been outplayed by Craig Anderson in general this year. However, it seems the Sabres are more comfortable using Anderson in a backup or 1B role rather than using him as a starter, so for the moment UPL seems to be the guy. The Sabres play the inconsistent LA Kings, the injury ravaged Colorado Avalanche and the tanking but surprisingly scrappy Arizona Coyotes this week. UPL could get two of those starts based on the way they’ve been deploying their goaltenders of late and with the way the Sabres have been scoring, he may also get you a couple of wins.

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:

  • moneypuck.com
  • hockey-reference.com
  • naturalstattrick.com

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