This week could be a tough one for Boston. When you look at who they’re playing (Columbus, Vegas and Washington) there is one position that sticks out at you that will give the Bruins a run for their money.
The Bruins are facing two elite-tier goaltenders by name and two goaltenders who are hotter than myself when I am December in the DOY Calendar. We’re going to analyze goaltending and if you need a refresher on the correct way to do it, head here.
Bobrovski is currently 6th in the NHL in save percentage with a .938 SV%. While that looks impressive (and it is), he’s currently 17th in the NHL in shots against which means his defense is doing their job and limiting shots to the net. He’s 5th in the NHL with a 6.85 GSAA (Goals Saved Above Average).
That doesn’t take away from what Bobrovski has done so far this season. He’s one of the big reasons why Columbus has been a serious player for the last couple of season.
Hell, if GAA is your thing (and it shouldn’t be) – you can wet your whistle with this. Bobrovski has a 1.86 GAA this season.
That’s pretty good.
Braden Holtby hasn’t been the stud you’d think he’d be. That’s a combination of a couple of things:
- His defense is shit.
– Holtby is 13th overall in the NHL in shots against at 258.
- I kept him on my fantasy team. |
– Sorry Becca.
While not looking like Braden Holtby this season, Bray-Bray still has a .919 save percentage. Again, it’s nothing incredible but when you’re only scoring 3.00 goals per game and ranked in the bottom half of the league, you can’t take any chances.
Holtby’s history against the Bruins in sensational. Grab your puke bucket, kids.
Career vs Boston:
11-2-0, .945 save percentage (holy shit), 1.80 GAA and 3 shutouts.
The save percentage, by the way, is Holtby’s career best against anyone. 13 games isn’t a small sample size either. He feasts on the Bruins.
Here’s the wild card. Who the fuck is Oscar Dansk?
Oscar Dansk is the goaltender who is lighting the league on fire. He is currently playing for the injured Marc-Andrew Fleury and Malcolm Subban. Here’s his line as of 10/29/2017 at 2:43 pm EST.
3-0-0, .959 SV%, 3.65 GSAA and a 1.34 GAA.
Could this type of performance keep up? Probably not, but it isn’t like Dansk is playing against scrubs. His three opponents so far have been St. Louis, Chicago and Colorado.
Okay – Colorado is kind of scrubby now.
So what’s this all mean?
Boston could have a hell of a time trying to score this week. I mentioned it earlier, but the Bruins are 16th in the NHL (or 17th or 18th depending on how the NHL sorting feels) in goals per game at 3.00.
That “per game” stat is a bit misleading because the Bruins have scored 6+ goals twice this season. If you want to look at their goals for this season, Boston is 23rd overall with 27 goals on the season.
That’s not a good thing you want to read when you’re going up a potential murder’s row of goaltending.
Special Teams Matter
The silver lining here is that the Bruins have one of the best power plays in the NHL. They’re currently ranked 5th in the NHL with a 26.5% conversion rate on the power play. That’s pretty goddamn good people.
Opposition Penalty Kill percent:
Columbus: 4th overall at 89.3%
Vegas: 6th overall at 86.2%
Washington: 28th overall 75.5%
Boston will get the most chances against Washington, who is 4th in the NHL in penalty kill time this season – playing over 81 minutes down a man on the season. The opportunities will be limited against Columbus and Vegas as both are top 5 in least PK time as a team. Columbus (3rd) has only played 47:54 minutes down a man this season while Vegas is 5th at 49:31.
The other silver lining is that none of the power plays they’re going up against are world beaters (Capitals excluded).
Washington: 8th overall at 22.9%.
Vegas: 19th overall at 15.4%.
Columbus: 31st overall at 10%.
Boston will need to limit their penalties against Washington because the Capitals have only played on the man advantage for 54:13 this season, the 7th fewest in the NHL. Washington has only logged 35 opportunities this season 10th fewest in the league.
So what does that boil down to? Don’t take penalties against Washington.
The good thing is that Washington has a PP/PK time difference of -26:53, meaning they spend more time on the PK than they do on the PP.
If Boston is going to beat any of these teams, they’ll need their specialty teams to do it. A high ranked power play is going to be the key, especially when you consider that Boston has the 8th fewest amount of opportunities in the league (34).
Whatever the outcome is, Boston is going to have a tough road against a stack of quality goaltending this week.
For Your Information
The Fantasy Implication
Much like Dokken, the Bruins are falling into the fire.
Don’t know Dokken? Brush up on your 80s Glam Metal or go watch Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3. ‘Tis the season after all!
Anyways, yes, fantasy!
Goalies: Bobrovsky is a solid goaltender who is more than capable of stealing a game, especially against a team that is known to go through bouts of goal droughts *coughbruins*. Assuming he starts, you could do worse in goal than him tonight. As for their backup: Joonas McWeirdname, I wouldn’t bother.
Skaters: Right now the only two players worth a damn on Columbus are Foligno (who has the added bonus of being triple-positioned in Yahoo leagues) and Seth Jones. They both have 8 points and 1 PPP apiece, so nothing spectacular. I’d recommend scooping up Foligno though if he’s available though. Multi-positional players are gold and you have to figure he’ll turn around eventually.
Goalies: Look, I know Vegas has been beating the odds and winning despite being on their 3rd string goaltender, but unless you are desperate for a goalie start or want a value DFS goalie, I CAN’T recommend Oscar Dansk or whoever his backup is.
Skaters: Ditto for skaters, with James Neal back down to earth, no one really jumps out as a fantasy must-start. Vegas is playing great hockey, but not great fantasy hockey, if that make sense. Still, Neal is probably the best bet.
Goalies: Yes. I don’t care who is in net against the Bruins. Not that Holtby and Grubauer are doing particularly well (Holtby has been a disappointment this season), but in the last 12 regular season games against Washington, the Bruins have gone 2-8-2 and been outscored 36-20. Thats less than 2 goals per game.
Skaters: Washington has a bevy of options. The force is strong with Ovie-Wan-Kenobi this season. Kuznetsov has slotted into Backstrom’s spot next to Ovechkin so start him whenever you can, Backstrom is still a solid start too. Biggest surprise for me this season on Washington has been All-American Hero: T.J Oshie. He’s got 6 goals, 4 on the PP and if your league counts hits, he’s got 25. On D, Carlson is is solid choice with 7 assists and 41 shots. One caution with Washington players is if your league counts +/-, you’re probably not getting any help there.
Goalies: Against Columbus and Vegas Rask is a solid start. Vegas’ goals per game is a bit inflated because they’ve absolutely abused some poor teams like Colorado and Arizona. I don’t see Dobby starting this week, but I’m still of the opinion that he is a value/desperation start at best. If you have another option against Washington, I’d consider sitting Rask.
Skaters: What can I say? It’s the usual suspects. Marchand, Bergeron, Pasternak, McAvoy, possibly Bjork, and Krejci if he is healthy. Get used to hearing those names, because they’re going to be popping up here a lot this season.