New York Islanders
If your fantasy league counts wins for goalies, stay away from these guys. But, alas, I will write about them anyway. The Islanders have lost 20 of their past 21 games. Dwayne Roloson is 2-12-1 on the season, despite a .906 save percentage and a 2.67 goals-against average. To boot, he’s lost his past 12 starts. After seven straight starts by Roloson (in which he went 0-6-1), Rick DiPietro has started six of the team’s past nine games. He has lost eight of his past nine games and is getting starts despite allowing tons of goals (14 in the past three). Bottom line is, there has got to be someone better out there, even several backups who get the occasional start (Peter Budaj, Martin Biron, to name a few)
Over the past 14 games, both Pascal Leclaire and Brian Elliott have made seven starts. Elliott has gone 1-6, while Leclaire has gone 3-4. Elliott (10-9-2, 2.93 GAA, .907 SV%) has more wins than Leclaire (3-7-1, 2.99 GAA, .905 SV%), but their other numbers are quite similar. Elliott started Monday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to Atlanta, and has allowed eight goals in his past two starts. Leclaire was sitting out with a lower body injury but could be back for Thursday’s game against Minnesota. In ths last five years, Leclaire has only started more than 50 games once and averaged 31 starts a season. He gets hurt putting on his equipment, so while they have split time now, it’s probably only a matter of time before Leclaire gets hurt and Elliott takes the reigns once again.
Including Tuesday night, Brian Boucher has started three in a row for the Flyers, having won all three. He has allowed just four goals in three games, stopping 87 of 91 shots. Boucher played brilliantly in a 3-2 win over the Penguins Tuesday, ending their 12-game winning streak. True, Sergei Bobrovsky is 14-4-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage, but Peter Laviolette always goes with the hot hand, which right now is Boucher. When Michael Leighton returns soon, it’s anyone’s guess as to which goalie will be the odd man out.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Dan Ellis has started the past four games for the Lightning. Despite going 3-3 in his past seven appearances, he has given up at least three goals in each of those games. (25 goals, or 3.57 per game). Mike Smith hasn’t fared much better. He’s allowed 12 goals in his past three games. Smith has a goals-against average of 3.57 and a save percentage of .872, compared to Ellis’ 3.23 goals-against average and .876 save percentage. The Lightning have allowed a league-high 106 goals on the season, so right now, neither goalie will provide you will much in the way of decent stats. The Lightning are not a half bad team this season, so the sheer ineptitude of their goaltending has sparked rumors that Evgeni Nabokov could be on the move from St. Petersburg in Russia to St. Petersburg in the USA.