Banks' 2017-18 Season Opener

Oct 5th 2017, 2:26pm EDT

Welcome all to the 2017-18 season,

As our first post of the new season, we will provide you with a look at goaltending preview around the league. Let\'s get started!

Anaheim – As expected John Gibson will be the starter, with vet Ryan Miller backing up. This will be a solid 1-2 for the Ducks and having Reto Berra as a 3rd stringer, we see no issues with the outlook.

Arizona – Easily one of the most questionable tandems around the league. Antti Raanta is deserving of the opportunity and I expect to be somewhat strong, posting slightly below average numbers because of the youth and quality of the team, but still look like a starter. I\'m not a fan of Louis Domingue, but he deserves the upcoming opportunity to be a 1B not just a backup. 3rd string is a wide-open battle but I believe Adin Hill has the upper hand and best outlook above Hunter Miska and Marek Langhamer. If Arizona shows strength they might be in the market to add in net for short term outlook.

Boston – With Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, the Boston situation is very cut and dry with stability. If healthy, Rask will get his 65-70 starts with 5-8 shutouts and split in the 2-2.25 and .920 range. If you own him, it will be another year of worrying about your offence more than goaltending. Zane McIntyre is the 3rd stringer, it was looking like he was passing the claimed Malcolm Subban on the depth chart anyway.

Buffalo – Robin Lehner with quarterback another defined situation with Chad Johnson providing support. We are waiting for Lehner to take his game to the next level as well as the team, if both happen this year, the Sabers will be back to the level we seen in the Dominic Hasek glory years, but don\'t bank on that idea, plan with small upwards movement. Linus Ullmark went down to the wire and is NHL ready, unfortunately he had waiver exemption and will bide his time in Rochester and likely is the #2 next year.

Calgary – This is a tandem I have very little care for and avoid putting my teams hopes on. Mike Smith and Ed Lack will act on a 1A-1B format and be stable. But the organization gave no opportunity for growth with these signings, David Rittich was deserving of a backup opportunity after his season last year, and Jon Gillies is one of the top 5 goalie prospects around the lg. Gillies actually had the upper hand in camp and was a late send down while providing a highlight, behind the back trapper catch. The fact that nether goalie was moved into the NHL means there will be a backlog this year and I feel will stunt growth for the Flames. Both Gillies and Rittich will be 1A/B in the AHL and Tyler Parsons and Mason McDonald will battle for ECHL starts which means on the surface, I don\'t project any goalie in the professional system to get 55 starts top or bottom.

Carolina – The Canes are taking a huge gamble with Scott Darling as starter, a gamble that I don\'t think will reward well. Darling will do an ok job, but expect Cam Ward to battle well, if anything it\'s a chance for him to regain past glory. Jeremy Smith is a competent backup and has experience from Colorado. There is a good outlook for the youth of Callum Booth and Alex Nedeljkovic.

Chicago – Cory Crawford in the driver\'s seat as per usual. Surprised on the backup side with Anton Forsberg beating J.F. Berube. Both secondary options are very adequate and have good upsides, the limited playing time (26 games in two years) has stunted Berube\'s growth, getting regular starts may kick start him back to being a very notable goalie to watch.

Colorado – The made a big decision exposing Calvin Pickard to expansion, in turn that should be a boost of confidence in roller coaster Russian Semyon Varlamov. Jon Bernier is there to push, and showed there he can still be a quality netminder last season, with the Av\'s spotty defense, the goalies will be worked hard and it gives the opportunity for momentum to be won and lost. Spencer Martin will be your recall as required and the growth trend is moving upward.

Columbus – The NHL net is well protected between the international duo of Sergei Bobrovsky and Joonas Korpisalo. Expect Korpisalo to be a little protected and post better peripherals than \'Goalie Bob\', but Bobrovsky is still a top own. Third string… is very ugly. Matiss Kivlenieks is the only minor league goalie in the system, but he will not be called upon for the NHL. Expect a trade, signing or claim eventually. Brad Thiessen is AHL signed in Cleveland and might get an NHL contract in a pinch, but they need something better for sure.

Dallas – Ben Bishop will now be the anchor in Dallas with Kari Lehtonen reduced to second fiddle and maybe fighting for his NHL career. It\'s sad when you see one of your favorite talents on a trajectory downward. The expected 3rd stringer is journeyman Mike McKenna, but would not be surprised if Philippe Desrosiers earns a look late season. Outside of Bishop, this is team of placeholders.

Detroit – \'Battleground - Motor city\', we start another season of anything can happen. At the onset, Jimmy Howard is 1A, that may last 10 games and switch to Petr Mrazek. Both goalies have different looks and mojos, but both provide similar results to the bottom line, but there isn\'t enough room in this town for the both of them. Jared Coreau is ready and I was semi surprised when he was passed by on waivers, of trio I seen getting claimed only the one happened and the fact it wasn\'t the large red goalie was interesting.

Edmonton – Good goalie situation in \'Oil Country\', Cam Talbot will lead and provide solid starts and Laurent Brossoit will spell and compete hard in his first year as a full timer, trending upward and I expect him to be a/the starter here in about three seasons. Ed Pasquale is regaining his career and is the current 3rd string, but Nick Ellis will push for the chance. Neither should be seen if Edmonton is in as a legit playoff team.

Florida – Enjoy it while it lasts, I\'m expecting this as Roberto Luongo\'s last season, I have no proof, just a hunch, his contract still goes till 21-22. James Reimer is getting paid too much to back up and will be a 1B option and if he gets hot, which his has been prone to in his career, may take the reins for extended periods. Harri Sateri is continuing to prove he should be in the NHL and will be 3rd string. Very much auditioning for next year be it in Florida or elsewhere, he isn\'t picky, just wants to be paid at his proper level of talents.

Los Angeles – Jon Quick and Darcy Kuemper, pretty standard format for both. Kuemper is battling for his NHL life and he could have done worse than landing in a city that makes goalies look good. The depth battle is a large one. Jeff Zatkoff is an NHL goalie who is stuck, Jack Campbell is a wannabe that the organization wants to see and Cal Petersen comes into the fold as a dark horse at the bottom, but he can turn heads and make noise by year end. Would not be surprised if Zatkoff or Campbell get moved for more roster depth mid-season.

Minnesota – Couple of goalies of circular careers, Devan Dubnyk is one of the better owns in fantasy and that should continue, Alex Stalock is trying to show he belongs again. Niklas Svedberg is fighting to unseat Stalock and Steve Michalek is on the edge of having his foot in the door. All in all, the Wild have a wealth of professional goalies that keep their teams in games.

Montreal – Is a sentence needed here? As goes Carey Price goes the Canadiens. Al Montoya backing up, for now with Charlie Lindgren pushing and ready. Zach Fucale must have a solid AHL year or he might be one of the biggest falls of a prospect goalie since… Jack Campbell or Justin Pogge.

Nashville – Pekka Rinne is on the back end of his career while Juuse Saros apprentices. Nashville might have the best tandem in the league as long as Saros doesn\'t regress. Anders Lindback and Matt O\'Connor provide a low-cost insurance program, but no one wants to see it be utilized.

New Jersey – Behind Cory Schneider, things are dirty. Keith Kinkaid kept his job by being what he is, but holds no real advantage over competition. Scott Wedgewood has very solid upside if he can stay healthy and will try and unseat an NHLer might not be in New Jersey. Ken Appleby is very suitable for a 3rd stringer and has been trending above expectations while Mackenzie Blackwood is still a quality young prospect. The Devils good stable assets with the secondary options pretty much interchangeable for fantasy purposes.

New York I – Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak will continue on as the crease dwellers in Long Island, but either or can take the ball and run with it. Kristers Gudlevskis and Chris Gibson are the depth options which are below average, but not terrible. Really, we are just waiting for Ilya Sorokin and Linus Soderstrom to cross and then we will have some fun with this team!

New York R – It\'s hard to remember a time when King Henrik wasn\'t the man on Broadway, but these days are numbered and its looking like a career decline like Mike Richter. Ondrej Pavelec has one of the easiest jobs in the NHL, backing up on the biggest stage in America. Third string is very questionable with newcomer Chris Nell the one with the with the upper hand. Alexander Georgiev is an unknown quantity and a wild card in this game. The Rangers will be at wits end before the utilize something beyond option two.

Ottawa – Craig Anderson maintains his role in the Canadian capital while Mike Condon rides shot gun. I\'m expecting a decline in Anderson not drastic but gradual. Andrew Hammond is reduced back to third string, but its tedious as Marcus Hogberg will come out swinging and attempt to be the top AHL goalie in Belleville and is a name to take notice of.

Philadelphia – Another underwhelming duo has be created by the Flyers with Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth both being no better than secondary options, neither deserving of a starting gig. Anthony Stolarz has potential and is NHL ready, but from what I\'ve heard is banged up and may not be available to start the regular season. He will make the NHL roster because of that, but will likely be assigned to AHL to await opportunity, I\'m expecting at the very least after the trade deadline. Alex Lyon is back again and has potential to continue to make noise as an option while eating games in the AHL.

Pittsburgh – With the picture much clearer, there is a ton of pressure on Matt Murray. He is yet to show any cracks, but that is a very dangerous for fantasy managers as his fall from grace could be rapid and ugly much like Devan Dubnyk in Edmonton. Now I\'m not suggesting it, just saying beware, there are signs, but lucky for him he is in one of the best goalie cities in the NHL right now and we are not expecting this boat to be rocked. Antti Niemi is backing up as the experienced guy and will try to show his career can be extended, and he\'s cheap to boot. Tristan Jarry is on the edge of NHL preparedness and cold be fulltime next year.

San Jose – nothing changes in San Jose, nor should it. Martin Jones-Aaron Dell-Troy Grosenick, you can sleep well with this stability.

St Louis – Jake Allen will continue prove himself as an upper echelon NHL tender on a darling team. Carter Hutton will continue on his gig, but I\'m not expecting 30 appearances, I\'ll even be bold and say less than 20 in an optimal world. Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso are both battling to be first recall if a problem arises, both have upsides, but Binnington\'s stock has been falling he longer it takes him to get to the show. Luke Opilka is hurt and is a wildcard-outsider that will be interesting to watch.

Tampa Bay – Andrei Vasilevskiy will be given every opportunity to become an elite goalie, I am so high on him, I think he could be a top-5 goalie in the NHL within 2 years. Might be high hopes, but there is a ton of unsurfaced talent that glitters from time to time. Peter Budaj will once again be an NHL backup and if Vasilevskiy gets hurt, you can expect similar results to last year, mind you I don\'t know how he gets the job done. Michael Leighton is your insurance, same thing he has done his entire career.

Toronto – Things in Toronto are only interesting outside the crease as long as Freddy Andersen is healthy. His numbers should be stronger as a result of team growth, but still remain outside the top 10 on the year. Curtis McElhinney will ride pine more often than not, his career is almost done. Garret Sparks and Kasimir Kaskisuo will fight to be called up in times of need. I watch these two more often than any other goalies I pro hockey and I\'m not willing to make a prediction on who has the upper hand. I will only say I don\'t see Garret Sparks in the NHL regularly long term. (but I\'ve been wrong several times in the past, so take it as what you will)

Vancouver – Jacob Markstrom, like Tampa\'s Vasilevskiy, has a ton of talent yet to be realized, this would be a very good year to make the jump to a high-quality NHL starter. Anders Nilsson is knocking at the door, he can provide really good goaltending, and has been overcoming lots of barriers in his career. Richard Bachman is back in the AHL, but if the Canuck need starts from a recall, Thatcher Demko likely gets called upon to start his NHL career. He needs this year in the AHL and ascend to be a top AHL tender, in my opinion, the best prospect at the position.

Vegas – The Knights will have a solid goaltending core of Marc-Andre Fleury and Calvin Pickard. Not expecting either to post above average NHL numbers, but both are quality NHL netminders. We don\'t know where Malcolm Subban fits in as a 3rd option as he will have to hit waivers again to play in the AHL. Oscar Dansk and Max Legace aren\'t good enough options as depth so the Subban claim was very sensible.

Washington – Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer continue on as the core for Washington, many expected Grubauer to be in Vegas, so the Caps are lucky and strong. Remember I said I\'ve been wrong before, here is an example of two guys I\'ve disliked as goalies and didn\'t expect either to amount to anything and they have become elite and higher end NHL regulars. Pheonix Copley has returned to the organization as a 3rd string option, he deserves a string of games to show he can be an NHL backup, but that shot has yet to come. Vitek Vanecek is trending upwards, but still off the mark.

Winnipeg – Winnipeg is hoping the goaltending situation becomes more stable with the acquisition of Steve Mason whose career has been polarizing since he fell from grace after an amazing start in the NHL. Last year Connor Hellebuyck was good but not consistent enough last year. Both will attempt give the squad strong enough goaltending that it isn\'t a discussion point all year. Hellebuyck should be 1A, but like Detroit, it can flip flop. Michael Hutchinson is the main victim of last year\'s issues and is still around but was waivered and sent to the AHL and might not even be the insurance option. Eric Comrie is awaiting opportunity and was solid for an ugly Manitoba team that struggled to support its goalies. He might get the looks if required as Hutchinson is a known sub-average commodity.

As usual goaltending is its own monster and we will continue to monitor as the season plays itself out.

Jason Banks

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Nov 12th 2014, 9:19am EST
Monday Night Review
By Jake Schenkman Rask and the Bruins scored two late goals on Schneider in the second period to win this one. Schneider admittedly wasn't happy with his performance and there's a chance we see Kinkaid start tonight.
Nov 11th 2014, 9:56am EST
Saturday Night Goalie Review
By Jake Schenkman In the lone afternoon game, Montoya gave Luongo a rare night off and unfortunately, the Panthers took off the 3rd period which gave Al Montoya the loss. Ramo got into a start, and while he played well, I figure Hiller is back in there next game.
Nov 9th 2014, 3:40pm EST
Struggling Goaltenders
I posted this on Puck Daddy earlier today, but here is a snippet relative to goaltenders. Specifically - the struggling ones Cam Ward, John Gibson, Steve Mason and Semyon Varlamov.
Oct 23rd 2014, 10:34pm EDT
Berra, Bobrovsky, and Braden
by Justin Goldman It has been a really fun start to the season when it comes to scouting backups and prospects. With 49 goalies appearing in games so far (you could say that's 19 backups), minutes have been really spread out in Week 1.
Oct 14th 2014, 2:26am EDT
On Steve Mason and Mike Smith
by Dobber For our new feature on Goalie Post, we've taken a page from DobberHockey and created a Ramblings. I'll weigh in with my thoughts, but you can also expect content from goalie expert Justin Goldman, as well as Goalie Post manager Jake (known as "smack" in the Forum).
Oct 11th 2014, 11:10am EDT
Test for the ramblings
This is a test for the ramblings. This is a test for the ramblings.
Oct 10th 2014, 11:32pm EDT
Promo