Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Quick has not started as many games this year, which has been frustrating to owners. Over the past month, he has almost split games 50-50 with backup Jonathan Bernier. Quick usually sits out on one night of back-to-back games, and last week, it was reported that he would get some rest down the stretch. But now, Quick will probably start most of the Kings’ remaining nine games. Los Angeles doesn’t have to travel very far for their road games, and plays no back-to-backs the rest of the year, both advantages to Quick. Also, LA is still competing for a playoff spot and needs all the points they can get. If you have him, this is probably a great time to deploy him every night. Quick helped his cause last night by stopping 27 shots in regulation and then two more in the shootout as the Kings beat the Flames 2-1. Also, Quick has only allowed six shootout goals this year, while making 30 stops.
Jonas Hiller has been out since February with dizziness. While he says he is getting better, who knows if he will actually return to action this season. This is why the Ducks acquired Dan Ellis from the Lightning prior to the trading deadline. Ellis has played fairly well for the Ducks, compiling a 6-2-1 mark. But he is being challenged by Ray Emery, who got his first two starts as a Duck last week. Emery won both games, and has allowed just two goals in almost eight full periods of work. While I still give Ellis the upper hand, Emery could be used somewhat down the stretch, especially because he has played very well and the Ducks are trying to make the playoffs.
Braden Holtby had started five games in a row- all wins- before being sent down to the AHL on Sunday. While he has had a few stints with the big club this season, his numbers have been excellent (9-2-2, 1.95 GAA, .930 SV%). The Capitals have won 12 of 14 games, the last two both started by Michal Neuvirth. What this means is that Seymon Varlamov, who has been out since late February with a knee injury, is probably healthy enough to start some games soon or at least back up Neuvirth. This is good news for Neuvirth owners, as he should see most of the starts in the Caps’ remaining games.
The Panthers have not won back-to-back games since winning three straight from January 11 through January 15, having gone 8-13-8 since then. And while Tomas Vokoun has gotten most of those starts, Scott Clemmensen has started three of the past four. That being said, I don’t think it is beneficial to start either of them for the rest of the season, for a few reasons. First, they haven’t won many games, and probably won’t win too many more in their remaining ten games. Second, Florida has a ridiculously tough schedule. Seven of their final ten are on the road, including a five-game road trip that starts Wednesday in New York (Rangers), followed by games in Chicago, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Columbus. Then they play Ottawa, before two games with the Capitals, one more with the Penguins and one with the Lightning. So it is not out of the question for Florida to lose all those games. Whether you’re in a head-to-head or rotisserie league, it is not worth risking raising your goals-against average and save percentage, especially since could mean the difference between ending the season with a trophy/money or with nothing.