Who Should You Draft In A Goalie Tandem?

Oct 19th 2020, 9:09am EDT

Remember when you could draft someone like Martin Brodeur and just pencil him in for 70 starts? It was certainly a simpler time for fantasy hockey, although those days don't appear to be returning anytime soon.

Sure, you still get the odd goalie that's good for 60 games or so, but more and more teams are now running with a tandem duo between the pipes. That's not always a bad thing. Even if it may mean less starts for one of your goalies, it might mean better numbers in certain areas like save percentage and goals against average because the netminder is fresher.

So how do you know which goalie in a tandem to choose? Well it depends on how the games are divided up and who you think the coach will have the most confidence in. Most teams don't go with an exact 50-50 split, so someone is always going to get an edge in playing time. With a very condensed schedule on the horizon, picking the better option out of a duo could make a huge difference for your fantasy squad.

Anton Khudobin or Ben Bishop?

Before heading into the playoffs the answer would have obviously been Bishop, but now it should be Khudobin. The Russian netminder carried the Stars to the Cup final with an incredible postseason run and also finished the regular season with the league's best save percentage. Dallas paid a fair chunk of change to bring Khudobin back, so they certainly plan to use him extensively in 2020-21. Bishop also has a difficult time staying healthy, meaning Khudobin could actually end up getting an edge in starts this coming season.

Martin Jones or Davan Dubnyk?

San Jose wouldn't be my first destination when trying to land a goalie, but if you have to pick a Sharks goaltender I'd take my chances on Dubnyk. It's clear Jones isn't the answer after back-to-back sub .900 save percentage campaigns and someone from the organization has a close relationship with Dubnyk and vouched for him coming in. My guess is the Sharks plan to lean on the former Minnesota Wild netminder. Dunbyk had a rough 2019-20, but he was very solid the five previous seasons. Maybe if this lengthy layoff recharges San Jose's aging defense and if Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl can stay healthy, Dubnyk might be able to put together a serviceable year.

Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins?

Merzlikins is probably the better long-term choice here and there's a good chance he's the goalie of the future in Columbus. For 2020-21, though, I'd draft Korpisalo. Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella went with Korpisalo for the playoffs when the season resumed and the 26-year-old has a much larger sample size than Merzlikins, who has played in just 33 NHL games. Those 33 games were excellent, but people often forget Korpisalo earned an all-star nod last year before he went down with an injury. Add that to a very strong postseason and I'll bet Tortorella has a bit more trust in Korpisalo right now.

Ilya Sorokin or Semyon Varlamov?

The trendy pick is definitely Sorokin, but I would stick with Varlamov for 2020-21. Sorokin's numbers in the KHL were eye-popping and all indications are he will be a very good NHL goalie one day, although the transition to the North American game isn't always a smooth one. The Islanders signed Cory Schneider for depth in case Sorokin needs some time in the AHL first and even if he doesn't, New York head coach Barry Trotz is famous for rotating his goalies. Varlamov was very solid in 2019-20, so don't expect Sorokin to step in and just start 60-plus games.

Mackenzie Blackwood or Corey Crawford?

This is a tough one and I think both goalies will have similar value, but give a slight edge to Blackwood. If the Devils are rebuilding now and struggling to make the playoffs, it wouldn't make much sense for Blackwood's development if they gave the majority of the starts to Crawford. Blackwood's numbers were very strong for a bad Devils squad in 2019-20, going 22-14-8 with a .915 save percentage. It isn't logical to stunt that growth for a soon-to-be 36-year-old. The risk with going with Blackwood comes if the Devils are actually in the playoff hunt and they trust Crawford more than the 23-year-old. Something tells me, though, New Jersey won't improve by leaps and bounds and Blackwood will get a slight edge in starts.

Igor Shesterkin or Alexandar Georgiev?

With Henrik Lundqvist no longer in The Big Apple, expect Shesterkin to be the new No. 1 option. The Russian goalie had no trouble adjusting to the NHL last season, recording a sparkling .932 save percentage in 12 games. Georgiev was given a real opportunity in 2019-20 to prove he was worthy of more playing time, but he was a bit underwhelming. Shesterkin did more with his brief chance and that should give head coach David Quinn the confidence to give him the bulk of the playing time in 2020-21.

Braden Holtby or Thatcher Demko?

Holtby is coming off a season where he registered a sub .900 save percentage for the first time in his career, so he is going to have to deliver a major bounceback campaign to hold off the emerging Demko. I think Demko will claim the No. 1 job at some point during the season and it's clear Vancouver views him as the goalie of the future. It was rumoured that the Canucks were in the mix for Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but refused to part with Demko in the trade. Demko was outstanding against the Vegas Golden Knights in the playoffs and the fact that Vancouver was willing to let Jacob Markstrom walk in free agency should tell you how much belief they have in the young netminder.

Robin Lehner or Marc-Andre Fleury?

It sounded like Fleury was going to get dealt in the offseason if not for his rich contract making it so difficult. Given that Lehner is undergoing an offseason shoulder procedure and there will be a condensed schedule in 2020-21, Vegas changed course and decided to keep Fleury. I still think Lehner is the better goalie and the Golden Knights will probably give him a slight edge in playing time. Barring an injury, I would expect Lehner to get 45-50 games, while Fleury will pick up the rest. Fleury's numbers have been trending in the wrong direction in recent years while Lehner's have been stellar, and I don\'t expect that to change in 2020-21.

Pekka Rinne or Juuse Saros?

Rinne won a Vezina just two seasons ago, but his play last year shows how fast goalies can decline in their late thirties. The Finnish goaltender will turn 38 in November and there isn't much optimism he'll be able to improve his .895 save percentage from a year ago. Saros is simply a better option at this point and unless he completely falls apart, he should earn the top job by default. I wouldn't be racing to draft Saros early on, though, but if you plan to carry three goaltenders next year he could be serviceable option on a hopefully improved Predators squad.

Mike Smith or Mikko Koskinen?

The short answer is neither. But if you are desperate for a goalie I'd take a gamble with Koskinen. Smith's going to be 39 in March and his numbers over the past two years haven't been good. Koskinen hasn't exactly run with the ball when given the chance, but his .917 save percentage in 2019-20 was very respectable. He's got a hefty contract and is only 31, so the Oilers would certainly like him to be the No. 1 between the pipes and will probably give him every opportunity to do so.


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Mar 21st 2016, 8:12pm EDT
Undercover Teams to Avoid
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) Teams to Avoid The playoffs are here for standard 12 man Yahoo! Leagues, so matchups matter now more than ever. I tweet out what matchups I like daily from @WeakGloveSide, and if you follow you probably notice the trends of teams I like to start against and ones I avoid.
Mar 14th 2016, 12:46pm EDT
Since The Trade Deadline . . .
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) The trade Deadline is one of the biggest days in the NHL as it gives teams one last opportunity to bolster their rosters for a playoff push. While this year's deadline was a bit quieter than past years, a number of teams made significant additions to their team that should impact how you view them when choosing matchups for goalies.
Mar 7th 2016, 1:08pm EST
Surging Into the Playoffs
By Brian Lemenager Playoffs are only two weeks away for standard Yahoo leagues and getting hot at the right time is just as important in fantasy as it is in the NHL. So for those looking to make a push for that playoff spot I\'ve organized the top goalies by Yahoo season long ranking and provided their stats over the month of February to give you an idea of who to utilize for your late season push.
Feb 29th 2016, 1:00pm EST
Surging Into the Playoffs
Playoffs are only two weeks away for standard Yahoo leagues and getting hot at the right time is just as important in fantasy as it is in the NHL. So for those looking to make a push for that playoff spot I\'ve organized the top goalies by Yahoo season long ranking and provided their stats over the month of February to give you an idea of who to utilize for your late season push.
Feb 29th 2016, 12:57pm EST
Goals Saved Above Average
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) A few weeks ago I wrote an article about Quality Starts by goalies and argued that some goalies may just be suffering from bad teams in front of them. After looking at home and away save percentages last week I wanted to return to that idea and present a different statistic that measured the topic in a similar manner.
Feb 22nd 2016, 11:02am EST
Home vs Away
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) In sports, the common thought is teams perform better when playing in their own stadium. Whether it's due to familiarity, the fan support or the comfort of a certain routine I think most can agree it generally holds true.
Feb 15th 2016, 9:32am EST
The Correlation Between PDO and Possession Metrics
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) With the advanced stats community continuing to grow and gain influence, it is important now more than ever to understand how these statistics play off of each other. Even when stats seem to stack in a certain team's favor, you have to understand how in practice things might not play out as such.
Feb 10th 2016, 11:41pm EST
Quality Starts
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) Last week, I tweeted what I thought was an interesting stat from @WeakGloveSide about the Devils and Cory Schneider. Up to the All Star Break, when Schneider was starting and the Devils scored more than one goal they were 22-1-3.
Feb 8th 2016, 8:44pm EST
Goaliepost Ramblings for Feb.7, '16
By Jason Banks So lots to discuss since we are past the All-Star showcase, let's dive into one of two non-recognized holidays for hockey fans, The Deadline. All year there are lots of rumors of goalies losing jobs and needing to move, but very few places to go.
Feb 7th 2016, 12:55pm EST
Why Jon Quick is the Best Goalie in Keeper Leagues
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) Since the NHL began tracking advanced stats, the Los Angeles Kings have put on a clinic in dominating the charts. Three of the past four seasons, including the current one, the Kings have ranked first in the league in possession numbers.
Feb 4th 2016, 7:05pm EST
Goalie Starts for the Rest of the Season
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) The All-Star game limited the games on the NHL slate this week but I wanted to provide a simple breakdown of the remainder of the season. This article will be more useful for those in points only leagues where number of starts matter more, but it also could be valuable to those looking to make some moves before the deadline in their respective league.
Feb 1st 2016, 9:38am EST
Team Offense Rankings
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) To supplement last week's team defense article, this week we will look at what teams sport the most dangerous offenses in the league from a daily fantasy standpoint by looking at how many shots they take for each goal they score. The teams at the top should be avoided in matchups as they leave goaltenders little opportunity to compensate for the points lost for goals against.
Jan 28th 2016, 12:02pm EST
Goalie Save % By Shot Danger
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) Last week, @terichazau introduced the idea that when looking at the ratio of shots against per goals against, we can determine the quality of shots a team surrenders. The higher average number of shots to goals, the lower quality of chances.
Jan 25th 2016, 12:56am EST
Team Defense Rankings
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) It seems like every week I find a way to mention how team defense is just as if not more important than goalies themselves when picking netminders for both daily and season long fantasy play. This week, I will rank each team based on a simplification of their team defense.
Jan 21st 2016, 12:11am EST
Second Half Projections
By Teri Chazau (@Terichazau) When it comes to a goalie in fantasy hockey, the team around him often can be more important than the goaltender himself. In this article, I'm going to look at teams whose goaltenders could benefit from improved play in the second half of the season, as well as those you should expect to regress.
Jan 14th 2016, 12:12am EST
Capitalizing on Rink Stat Biases
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) In any kind of fantasy matchup, the difference between a win and a loss can come down to a single shot or a single block. With such a small margin for error, it is critical that you take advantage of all the information available to you on any given night.
Jan 7th 2016, 1:09am EST
Advanced Stats NHL Context
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) Given @terichazau recent introduction of some advanced statistics used to evaluate both individual players and teams, I figured it best to give some context to those statistics. I'll start with PDO.
Jan 4th 2016, 11:14am EST
Advanced Statistics 200
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) After covering the basics of possession numbers in last week's article, it's time to delve deeper into the world of advanced statistics. Too often I see supposed authorities of sports writing stipulating about the implications of certain stats only to recognize that they really don't know what they're talking about.
Dec 30th 2015, 11:01pm EST
Advanced Statistics 101
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) With advanced statistics continuing to grow in popularity, they have managed to creep onto the fantasy scene as well. Consequently, I wanted to educate our audience with a little introduction to advanced statistics, also known as possession statistics, so that you may apply them when considering players of any position for your roster.
Dec 24th 2015, 11:12am EST
Hot or Not
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) This week I look at how goalies have been playing the past month. We\'re moving into the heart of the NHL season and teams should be settling in to who they are and forming their identity.
Dec 21st 2015, 11:27am EST
Why The Butterfly Is So Effective
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) It seems crazy to think that mere decades ago the butterfly was not a technique. It took a series of events, beginning with the introduction of the goalie mask and culminating in the likes of Vladislav Tretiak and Patrick Roy, to cement the butterfly as a legitimate style of goaltending.
Dec 17th 2015, 9:14am EST
Best Teams for Goalie Starts
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) Drafting the best players is important in every fantasy league. However, exploiting matchups allows owners to squeeze the best out of their rosters and maximize success over the course of the season.
Dec 14th 2015, 9:01am EST
In Search Of More Goals
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) It's obvious at this point how the NHL views its profits more goals = more fans = more money. Changes dating back to the 2004-05 lockout have largely entailed an eye for more scoring.
Dec 10th 2015, 9:23am EST
3 Stars of the Week & Looking Ahead
By Brian Lemenager (@WeakGloveSide) 3: Garret Sparks & his pads Sparks posted a shutout in his first career NHL start and did so in style rocking some of the best pads I've seen to date. He stumbled in his second start against Winnipeg surrendering 6 goals but he was able to rebound against the Blues, stopping 27 of 28 shots and winning his second game in three starts.
Dec 7th 2015, 9:11am EST
Hidden Gems in Net for Season Long Fantasy
By Teri Chazau (@terichazau) #1 Michael Neuvirth (PHI) five wins, . 939 save %, 3 shutouts The Flyers have been a slow starting team in recent years but always seem to turn on the jets as the season wears on, soyou can expect some offensive support to Neuvirth's stellar numbers thus far.
Dec 3rd 2015, 9:41am EST
November 4 Goalie Ramblings
Just a few ramblings and notes from around the league: We will start off in Calgary where they are a mess in net. Hiller is gone for at least another few days and Ramo has called up from the dead and started the last two games where he's given up 4 and 5 goals, respectively.
Nov 4th 2015, 10:02am EST
November 4 Goalie Ramblings
Just a few ramblings and notes from around the league: We will start off in Calgary where they are a mess in net. Hiller is gone for at least another few days and Ramo has called up from the dead and started the last two games where he's given up 4 and 5 goals, respectively.
Nov 4th 2015, 10:01am EST
November 4 Goalie Ramblings
Just a few ramblings and notes from around the league: We will start off in Calgary where they/\'re a mess in net. Hiller is gone for at least another few days and Ramo has called up from the dead and started the last two games where he\'s given up 4 and 5 goals, respectively.
Nov 4th 2015, 9:49am EST
September 11, 2015
Big announcement! For the first time ever, Goalie Post is offering FREE email notifications. Yep.
Sep 11th 2015, 5:26pm EDT
Goalie Post Ramblings Feb 10, 2015
By Jake Schenkman Just some quick notes regarding some goalie tandems around the league. .
Feb 10th 2015, 10:31am EST
Goalie Post Ramblings Jan 21, 2015
By Jason Banks We are nearing the all-star break, leading into deadline transactions and we are starting to see interesting situations develop. Ryan Miller is trucking along, at an elite pace since late-December.
Jan 21st 2015, 10:30am EST
Goalie Post Ramblings Jan 8, 2015
By Jason Banks Welcome back all to a new year and a time to heat up down the stretch before the trade deadline! We have to start with Semyon Varlamov after his huge 54 save shutout vs Chicago last night. As impressive as he was last season with 41 wins, last season he only compiled a pair of shutouts, while last night\'s blanking was his third in only 21 games.
Jan 8th 2015, 8:39am EST
Goalie Post Ramblings Dec 30, 2014
By Jake Schenkman Here's a few updates on happenings around the league: Brian Elliott will be back in the crease tonight after Brodeur got a shutout last night. Hitchcock hinted that they'll be carrying 3 goalies for now but it seems like Brodeur will be gone sooner rather than later, and I just don't see another team taking him unless they're desperate.
Dec 30th 2014, 11:40am EST
Goalie Post Ramblings Dec 19, 2014
By Jake Schenkman Just some quick notes on some goalie injuries and some possible extra starts. Doesn't seem like Bishop's injury is long term as the coach has said there's a shot he'll be back Tuesday.
Dec 19th 2014, 11:12am EST
Goalie Post Ramblings: Dec 10 2014
By Jason Banks Happy Wednesday all, Shall we start on Pekka Rinne? How has this guy been?! Many were selling due to his hip issues which usually sound like a career killer, but if you were lucky enough to be at the last DobberHockey event, you would have known better and attempted to buy low. Justin Goldman explained the hip issue Rinne had been suffering and discussed how the procedure would actually make him more flexible and stronger in net.
Dec 10th 2014, 8:58am EST
Goaliepost Ramblings: Dec 5 2014
By Jason Banks Happy December everyone, By now we are all into the eighth week of fantasy and it is time to start solving major team problems, there have been several moves in the past few days that could throw Band-Aids on your goaltending problems or create some. Up there with Josh Harding breaking his foot kicking a wall, Corey Crawford hurts his foot stumbling leaving a Rise Against concert.
Dec 4th 2014, 10:22am EST
Goalie Post Ramblings: Nov 26th 2014
Hello all, Jason Banks here, Dobber and co. have called me up to help watch over the world of netminding for fantasy poolies.
Nov 26th 2014, 1:32pm EST
Monday Night Review
By Jake Schenkman So Fleury becomes the third youngest goalie to get to 300 wins. I can't see I saw that coming but good for him as this is a big accomplishment and he's having a fantastic year.
Nov 25th 2014, 12:27am EST
Throwback Thursday
By Jake Schenkman Reminder that the Sabres-Rangers game that was scheduled for tonight has been postponed due to the storm in Buffalo. As of now, there has been no make up date announced.
Nov 21st 2014, 1:11am EST
Quiet Wednesday in Hockey
Cam Talbot had 30 saves in a shutout win for the Rangers against Steve Mason and the Flyers. Mason could not be faulted at all in this one and actually kept it close for the most part.
Nov 20th 2014, 9:01am EST
Sunday Night Ramblings
By Jake Schenkman Talk about making your NHL debut in style. Troy Grosenick had a 45 save shutout in his NHL debut against Khudobin and the Hurricanes.
Nov 17th 2014, 12:31am EST
Saturday Night Goalie Review
By Jake Schenkman - Rask brought the Bruins back in the win column with 33 saves over the Canes. Ward had a decent game, and while Khudobin will start today, Ward will be right back in next game.
Nov 16th 2014, 11:37am EST
Throwback Thursday
We start off with the Varlamov and the Avs beating Lundqvist and the Rangers. I am kind of surprised with this as I thought the Rangers were turning it around and Lundqvist had his A game going but Varlamov was great in this one and pretty much stole the two points for the Avs.
Nov 14th 2014, 9:23am EST
Throwback Thursday
We start off with the Varlamov and the Avs beating Lundqvist and the Rangers. I am kind of surprised with this as I thought the Rangers were turning it around and Lundqvist had his A game going but Varlamov was great in this one and pretty much stole the two points for the Avs.
Nov 14th 2014, 9:22am EST
Tuesday Night Specials
By Jake Schenkman The Devils were led back in the win column by Schneider last night. After a couple bad games, he made at least four spectacular saves last night with helped them beat the Wild.
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
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
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Oct 10th 2014, 11:32pm EDT