As obvious as this seems, one of the most critical things you have to do is to make sure your goalie is actually playing. Because of the number and frequency of games played over the course of a long NHL season, teams will periodically rest their top goalie even if he is playing well and is not injured. It is accordingly important check your DFS site or a reputable media outlet for confirmation of starting goalies for each game night. Making assumptions can saddle you with a score of zero from the position that will normally be counted on to be one of your top scorers. DFS sites typically award bonus points to the winning goalie in each game.
The normal bonus is three points, and these points can be huge difference-makers in the relatively low-scoring worlds of hockey and its fantasy equivalent. The implication of this is that, especially in cash games, you want to lean toward paying up for an elite goalie instead of taking a chance on one whose probability of victory is slim. The most basic strategy for picking a likely winner is to review the Las Vegas betting lines. Oddsmakers have much at stake in setting accurate lines, and they normally do so fairly well. A goalie starting for a team that is favored to win is, therefore, generally a better bet than one on an underdog.
For the same reasons, star goalies who win a lot and have high save percentages are better choices than ones who are struggling or unproven. The ideal scenario is having a stud goalie on a team that is heavily favored to win. Further, while contrarian plays make more sense in tournaments, you still want a goalie who has a reasonable probability of winning. In these situations, you might take a chance on a backup on a good team that is playing against a lesser team, but you still probably do not want to roster the worst goalie on the worst team. Reviewing the betting lines is a good research strategy because it is a way to benefit from the research done by the professional oddsmakers without having to do all of the same research yourself. However, you can quickly and easily compare the offensive production of competing teams. You want a goalie on a team that typically scores a lot of goals, thereby increasing the chance that he will still win even if he gives up a few on his end.
Looking for a High Volume of Save Opportunities
It goes without saying that you want your goalie to give up as few goals as possible, preferably none. DFS sites give a bonus to goalies who post a shutout. Although sites vary, this bonus is typically two points and is added on top of the bonus given for winning the game. So, a goalie who manages a shutout win usually adds around five points in bonuses alone to your fantasy team's scoring. On the flip side, goalies are normally penalized a point for each goal they give up.
While this means, on the surface, that you want to target goalies who are playing against low-scoring teams, the math on this can get a little tricky. This is because DFS sites give points for each save made, typically 0.2 points per save. Accordingly, even accounting for bonuses, your goalie's ceiling can be capped by facing a team that normally does not shoot that much. Putting all of this together, you see that the ideal scenario is to find a goalie who is playing against a team that scores few goals but tends to shoot a lot. In other words, they fire a lot of poor-quality shots that are easy to save. This sets your goalie up with the best of all worlds wherein he can rack up a high volume of saves, win the game, give up few goals and maybe even compete for a shutout.
You do not want to overlook the quality of defensive play of the team in front of your goalie. A goalie's best friends are skaters who are effective at limiting the shot quality of the opposition. In contrast, even great goalies will not usually hold up forever when they are constantly facing a deluge of good scoring chances.
Chasing Offensive Upside and Penalty Minutes
By far, the criteria previously discussed are the most important ones to look at. However, if you have to make a close call, then you can look at more marginal upside opportunities. While goalies are not generally involved in their team's offensive attack, they can handle the puck, and some are better and more aggressive at doing this than others. Although this is rare, goalies do sometimes manage to score if they are good at shooting into an empty net. This happens when they are ahead late in the game, and their opponents have pulled their goalie in favor of an extra skater.
Even if they do not score, good puck-handlers will also have chances to pass the puck to goal-scorers and get credit for an assist, which also pads fantasy scoring. Some DFS sites actually give fantasy points for penalty minutes. When this is the case, it may make some sense to look at goalies who are aggressive at engaging their opponents and accordingly more likely to be penalized. Of course, this can be a double-edged sword because you do not necessarily want a goalie who faces an unusually high number of power plays.
Daily Fantasy Hockey Goalie Strategies
When playing daily fantasy hockey there are going to be two styles of games that you are playing, which are cash games and tournaments. In cash games you are going to find yourself taking less risk with the goalie position, as you find a safer floor. Now you still want your goalie to face some shots, but the win is going to be important. Those Vegas lines pointing towards heavy favorites is going to identify some of the top goalies to target. You can find them on teams that are overall in the top of the standings. Goalies are very important for a lineup’s success, because if a goalie is struggling, your night is basically over.
Goalies are going to score fantasy points based off saves and wins. The negatives will come through goals against. We want a high volume of shots because the impact of a goal against isn’t as high. For example a goalie allowing two goals on 22 shots is different from a goalie allowing two goals on 40 shots. That is where finding a goalie who is going to see some shots against will be a positive. Now you don’t want to just take goalies on bad teams, because a win is unlikely.
There will be backup goalies on a slate, and they will often be priced a bit lower because they are not seeing regular time. If they are a more popular backup goalie and get more playing time, then they might be higher in price. Either way there can be some value here for selecting backup goalies, especially when it comes to GPPs. The public may not know of them, and just simply overlook them for a more notable name. In tournaments you can take more chances on a lower owned goalie who is going to see a high number of shots against. That doesn’t have to be the case for every goalie you choose, as cash game style goalies can perfectly fit into a tournament style lineup.
Targeting Goalies In Daily Fantasy Hockey
Now if you are looking to target specific goalies with offensive players, you are going to start with how an overall team defense and style of play is first. Bad defenses will allow goals more than goalies will. You will also want teams that take a lot of penalties, meaning they are giving up power play chances. However there are goalies to target, because not every goalie in this league is going to be good. Also not every team is going to have two viable goalies on their roster where they can rest and still have a productive goalie in net.
You can find goalies that allow more goals based on their goals against average. However you are going to want to pair this with shots against for an overall team. Goalies can also be going through a hot and cold streak, but that isn’t an easy prediction that the streak will continue, because it has to end at some point. Teams that allow a lot of goals against are going to be obvious and the goalies within those teams are going to stand out as well.
NHL Starting Goalies FAQ
When Are Goalies Confirmed Starting?
On a slate of games, goalies can be confirmed anywhere from the night before to when the puck drops. In most circumstances we know around the morning skate or mid-afternoon for a night game. A scratch might be the reason for otherwise or no morning skate.
How Many Goalies Are On An NHL Team?
Teams will most likely carry two goalies on a night, where they are sitting on the bench as a backup. On occasion teams will carry three goalies, but only two are usually active on a night there is a game.
What Is GAA For A NHL Goalie?
One of the way to measure the amount of goals allowed by goalie is GAA, which stands for goals against average. If a goalie is allowing two to two and a half goals per game, you are looking at a strong goalie. Anything higher is not good.
How Often Do Goalies Rotate Starts?
Every team is going to have a different system in how they rotate their goalies. You might see a 50/50 split where they rotate two strong goalies to keep them fresh. They also might use them 60/40 or even a 70/30 split.
What Is Butterfly Goalie?
A butterfly goalie is going to spend most of his time blocking the lower side of the net, which can leave him a bit vulnerable up top. More and more of the goalies are opting towards a hybrid goalie because it blends butterfly and stand-up styles.
What Is A Hybrid Goalie?
There are different goalie styles, and the older style is stand-up. The newer style is butterfly. We have seen a mesh of the two styles in more recent years, and a hybrid goalie is not going to be classified as any one style.
Who Won The Vezina Trophy In 2019?
Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Vezina Trophy in 2019. He is considered to be one of the best young goalies in the game. Vasilevskiy won 39 games in the 2018-19 season, and he allowed 2.4 goals per game.
Who Has Won The Most Vezina Trophies?
Jacques Plante has the most Vezina trophies in NHL history. He won seven total Vezina trophies, and played from the 1952 season to 1975. He won five straight Vezina trophies during the 50s and also won one at age 40.