NHL
March 31, 2022

Ranking the 5 Best DFS Goalies for Remainder of NHL Season

Goaltending is the great equalizer in the NHL. An average or decent team has a chance to be great when the goaltender is in peak form. Conversely, a bad night from a highly ranked goaltender can lead to a shocking loss in a big game.

The latter point is also an issue in fantasy hockey. Goaltenders who are off in their performance can cost a team badly in the fantasy realm. In many daily fantasy games, such as DraftKings’ Classic, a goaltender will earn 6 points for earning a victory in the game, .7 points for each save, 4.0 points for a shutout, and lose 1.5 points for each goal allowed.

In Toronto’s 6-4 victory over the Boston Bruins Tuesday night, Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman was abused by the Buds. He gave up six goals and was removed after 40 minutes. Anyone who had opted to put Swayman in the lineup during his worst game of the season would have watched the Original six matchup with his or her head in their hands because it almost certainly would have resulted in a fantasy loss.

But much like the NHL game, a bad game by a goaltender does not define your season. Swayman is one of the top-ranked goaltenders in the league in his rookie season, and he has had a solid season as the Bruins have become one of the hottest teams in the league despite their poor showing against Toronto.

As the NHL hits the home stretch for the regular season, here are the top five goalies to consider playing in daily fantasy hockey. Playoff hockey recommendations will be offered prior to the start of the NHL postseason.

5. Frederik Anderson, Carolina Hurricanes (15 games remaining) 

The guideline for this piece is the top goalies for the remainder of the regular season, and Anderson has proven that he deserves a spot. The postseason may be a different story given Anderson’s track record (previously with the Maple Leafs), but he has been arguably the league’s most consistent netminder this season.

Anderson has a 32-10-3 record with a spectacular 2.05 GAA and a .927 save percentage along with three shutouts. The Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers will fight it out for the Eastern Conference’s best record over the final month of the season, and either team could make a run at the Colorado Avalanche for the league’s best record. Anderson will not let them down through April.

4. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning (16 games remaining) 

Widely recognized as the best goaltender in the league as a result of back-to-back Stanley Cup titles, Vasilevskiy has to be on this list even though the Lightning have not had their best regular-season showing.

The Lightning have struggled throughout March, but with the playoffs one month away, look for Tampa Bay to pick up its overall game.

If Vasilevskiy gets just a little bit of help, he should have a brilliant final month. He has a 34-14-4 record with a 2.37 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Vasilevskiy has two shutouts this season, and it would not be a surprise to see him double that total in April.

3. Ville Husso, St. Louis Blues (16 games remaining) 

The 2019 season was a magical year for the Blues as they rose from the depths of the NHL standings to earn their first Stanley Cup with rookie Jordan Binnington in goal. It appeared Binnington was an emerging star at the position and would lead the Blues for years to come.

However, Binnington has slipped quite a bit in 2021-22 and Husso has become the team’s No. 1 goalie. He has grown in stature as the season has progressed, and he has put together a 17-6-4 record as the Blues battle for a playoff spot (currently in the No. 1 wild-card spot in the Western Conference).

Husso has a 2.38 GAA, and a .924 save percentage, and he has two shutouts this season. He has won the confidence of head coach Craig Berube and his teammates, and he gives his team and fantasy players a chance to win nearly every night.

2. Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames (16 games remaining) 

The Flames have been one of the NHL’s most pleasant surprises this season as the team has responded positively to Darryl Sutter’s old-school leadership.

Markstrom has emerged as one of the league’s top regular-season goaltenders this season, and his prospects appear to be excellent for the final month of the regular season.

Markstrom has a 31-13-7 record to this point in the season with a 2.16 GAA and .925 save percentage. Markstrom’s ability to challenge shooters and dominate has resulted in a league-leading 9 shutouts this season.

He often sets the tone for his team with a couple of sharp saves early in the game, and that allows his teammates to follow his lead. The Flames are in first place in the Pacific Division, and Markstrom’s should allow them to finish the regular season without losing their hold.

1. Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers (14 Games Remaining)

Shesterkin has received plenty of attention this season because he gave the Rangers a consistently high level of play early in the season when the team was trying to establish itself as a legitimate contender.

The numbers have been brilliant this season, as Shesterkin has backstopped the Rangers to a 32-9-3 record in the games he has been between the pipes with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage. Shesterkin has also registered three shutouts this season.

Those numbers would be good enough on their own, but the difference that puts Shesterkin in the top spot has been the play of his teammates.

Earlier in the year, Shesterkin was stealing victories for the Rangers with his breathtaking play. The team has improved quite a bit as the year has progressed as Shesterkin has shut the door on opponents with his teammates dominating at the other end. This bodes well for the remainder of the season.

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