Special to Yahoo Sports
Mikko Koskinen, Oilers (Past 4 starts: 3-1-0, .906 Sv%, 2.99 GAA)
Fun fact: Of the 83 goalies in the cap era who have won at least 75 games, Koskinen’s 2.98 GAA is the third-highest average in the league. He’s good enough to win games if your offense is good — which it generally is — but every game is a potential nightmare. Although the Oilers won a game they should’ve won anyway Tuesday against Detroit, they also nearly blew a 4-1 lead with Koskinen finishing with a .857 Sv%. There’s no real rhyme or reason to Jay Woodcroft’s rotation, but it seems like Koskinen has become his preferred No. 1. However, Koskinen’s lost the starting job so many times that it’s bound to happen again, so fantasy managers should be prepared to roster both Oilers goalies the rest of the season.
Ilya Sorokin, Islanders (Past 5 games: 4-1-0, .954 Sv%, 1.61 GAA)
The only reason to really justify rotating Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov is if the Isles have basically given up on trying to make the playoffs. Varlamov shouldn’t shoulder all the blame for his disappointing season — goal support has been non-existent — but the Isles do seem to be faring a lot worse than him in net. They’ve had to play back-to-back just once, so with Sorokin playing like a brick wall, Barry Trotz’s decision to split the starts is a little curious. To be fair, the eight playoff teams in the East have been pretty much decided, and perhaps the initial shock of a team that came one goal shy of making the Finals won’t even make the playoffs this season hasn’t quite worn off yet. Sorokin’s brilliant, but being forced into a timeshare hurts his fantasy value slightly due to a loss of volume.
Erik Kallgren, Maple Leafs (1st career start: 35-save shutout win, 3.56 xGF)
Kallgren has earned at least one more game after a shutout win in his first NHL start and, for now, Leafs Nation gets to breathe a sigh of relief. No matter who’s in net, it will be a tough test next game against Carolina — again without Auston Matthews due to suspension — but if the alternative is Petr Mrazek, then Kallgren looks like a no-brainer decision. It was the fourth time in Leafs history a goalie posted a shutout in their season debut, the first since Garrett Sparks on Nov. 30, 2015, whose own spectacular debut sparked a stretch of strong play. Although Sparks allowed six goals in his following game, he did not allow more than two goals in his next five appearances and finished the season as the Leafs’ starter. There’s a chance Kallgren follows a similar path, though the Leafs are better now than they were in the 2015-16 season, so there might be some hidden fantasy value. Managers should pick him up as a bench stash.
Vitek Vanecek, Capitals (Since March 1: 5-0-0, .925 Sv%, 2.36 GAA)
It hasn’t been as pretty lately but Vanecek is still getting the job done and will remain in the driver’s seat until he falters. Ilya Samsonov‘s only recent start was because the Caps were playing back-to-back, yet Vanecek is rostered in less than 70 percent of Yahoo leagues. There’s always a chance Samsonov wins back the starting job, but he might not get many opportunities to do so, and the Caps likely will commit to one goalie down the stretch drive. Fantasy managers who need goaltending help would’ve been wise to pick him up a while ago but there’s clearly still some time.
Honorable Mention: Karel Vejmelka and Scott Wedgewood, Coyotes; Craig Anderson, Sabres; Jacob Markstrom, Flames; Marc-Andre Fleury, Blackhawks; Darcy Kuemper, Avalanche; Spencer Knight, Panthers; Juuse Saros, Predators; Tristan Jarry, Penguins
John Gibson, Ducks (Since March 1: 1-4-1, .865 Sv%, 4.56 GAA)
The Ducks lost their fifth consecutive game Tuesday and trading Josh Manson was a sign that they’re not really looking to make the playoffs. That’s a bad sign for Gibson and Anthony Stolarz because it means that perhaps more veteran players are going to get shipped out, and games will be much more difficult to win. Gibson has not been reliable for some time and it’s unlikely his fantasy value will climb barring a big winning streak to finish the season.
Samuel Montembeault, Canadiens (Since March 1: 2-3-1, .853 Sv%, 4.43 GAA)
Now that the initial excitement and fervor of hiring Martin St. Louis is over, the Habs have gotten a dose of reality with three losses in their last four games and in the process of dealing their veteran players in a rebuild. Montembeault looked very good in February but has since regressed back to his former self and, once again, has become waiver-wire fodder. They will face some of the league’s elite in the coming weeks, including Toronto, Carolina and Florida twice.
Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson, Golden Knights (Combined: 11-11-3, .894 Sv%, 2.99 GAA)
The Knights allowed seven goals on just 23 shots in another disheartening loss. They outshot the Jets by 15 but were let down by their goaltending yet again, with Brossoit and Thompson both failing to even remotely give the Knights a chance to win. If Robin Lehner remains on injured reserve and the Knights don’t make a move for another goalie, there’s a good chance they really miss the playoffs. A litany of injuries have really hurt them, but Brossoit isn’t even giving them a chance most nights.
Usually, a backup goalie on a good team is worth rostering because they can at least get fantasy managers some wins, but Brossoit is a bad backup goalie on a mediocre team (due to injuries) and thus provides very little fantasy value. If there’s a better matchup or even a position player worth rostering, dropping Brossoit should hold only minor consequences and opportunity cost.
Dishonorable Mention: Dan Vladar, Flames; Elvis Merzlikins, Blue Jackets; Jake Oettinger, Stars; Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning; Petr Mrazek, Maple Leafs
Source: Yahoo Sports