If you’re looking to get ahead and get some goaltending help for the upcoming fantasy week, there are some goaltenders with starting roles you can consider. This week is also unique because of the trade deadline, so some backup goalies on the waiver wire have the opportunity to assume starter roles if they are traded to the right situation, which could also make for a useful fantasy streamer.
Semyon Varlamov – New York Islanders – 61% Rostered
His roster percentage is likely very high considering he started the first game of the Islanders’ back-to-back set over the weekend but it should decrease quite a bit to start the new week. If he is available, you should be scooping him up with the potential for a trade to occur. The Vegas Golden Knights were one of the teams to check in on a potential move for Varlamov due to the news of Lehner’s injury being long-term.
With only Laurent Brossoit and rookie Logan Thompson healthy to man the crease in Vegas, they will need some insurance between the pipes. Varlamov was a starting goalie in the past but took a backseat to Ilya Sorokin this season and would benefit from a trade off Long Island. He posted a save percentage over .906 in each of his last three starts with a goals-against average below 2.78 in that span. The Isles have a back-to-back set at the end of the week, so if he remains on the team, expect him to get at least one start although a trade to Vegas would be ideal.
Jake Allen – Montreal Canadiens – 26% Rostered
The Canadiens are playing much better hockey in the second half of this season thanks to their coaching change. With a better team being put out on the ice and Jake Allen returning from injury, there is a starting goaltender available to be had in just under 75% of leagues. Allen was not good earlier this season but getting goal support should at least help provide wins.
He struggled in his first game back, which is expected considering it was his first start in almost eight weeks. He shined in the team’s most recent 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators allowing only one goal and stopping 29 of 30 shots. Although Montreal has some tough matchups this week against the Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, and Toronto Maple Leafs, they do get a friendly matchup against the New Jersey Devils later in the week. If you are desperate for a starting goaltender’s volume, Allen is your guy.
Erik Kallgren – Toronto Maple Leafs – 36% Rostered
The 25-year-old rookie netminder was involved in an eventful last week as he was summoned and started the last three games in a row for the Toronto Maple Leafs. With starter Jack Campbell working his way back from injury and Petr Mrazek’s struggles in the crease, he was relied on to get wins and has delivered so far.
He had a shutout in his first NHL start against the Dallas Stars before holding the Carolina Hurricanes to two goals on 36 shots. He was knocked around for five goals in his most recent start against the Nashville Predators but appears to be the Leafs’ goaltender of choice for the time being. Toronto waived Mrazek on March 20, 2022, meaning if they don’t bring in a starting goalie, the net belongs to Kallgren until Campbell returns. The Leafs will play the New Jersey Devils and Montreal Canadiens this week before taking on the Florida Panthers to finish off the week in a battle of Atlantic Division powerhouses.