National

Fantasy Hockey Puck Drops: Ready to say goodbye to these goaltenders?

By Michael Finewax, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

The NHL is only one week away from the All-Star break and most head-to-head leagues are heading into the home stretch as far as the regular season is concerned. I'm concentrating on goaltenders this week, as there is plenty of flux with so many teams when it comes to their goaltending duos. Let's consider some players who are rostered in ample Yahoo leagues but who could be easily dropped.

Vitek Vanecek, G, New Jersey Devils (66% rostered)

The Devils relied heavily on Vanecek last season, and he came through during the regular season, going 33-11-4 with a 2.45 GAA and a .911 save percentage. Vanecek has regressed on all counts this season, and not only has he lost his No. 1 ranking with the Devils, he has lost it to Nico Daws, who didn't even make his first NHL appearance this season until Dec. 29. Vanecek has struggled all season — as have the Devils — going 16-7-2 with a 3.28 GAA and an .883 save percentage. Vanecek is ranked 43rd of 56 in goals-against-average among netminders with at least 15 appearances, and an even worse 53rd in save percentage.

Ville Husso, G, Detroit Red Wings, (42% rostered)

Husso was struggling before his Dec. 18 lower-body injury and hasn't seen action in over a month. He has been replaced by Alex Lyon in the Detroit cage, with Lyon surpassing James Reimer as well. Lyon has been great, starting 10 of the Red Wings' last 11 contests. Husso is only 9-5-2 with a mediocre 3.53 GAA and an .893 save percentage. Husso also struggled through most of last season — his first with Detroit after an outstanding 2021-22 campaign with the Blues — going 26-22-7 with a 3.11 GAA and an .896 save percentage. The Red Wings will likely use Husso as a backup upon his return to action, as Lyon has given no indication that he's about to relinquish his starting gig in Detroit.

Jonathan Quick, G, New York Rangers (38% rostered)

Quick started the season off like he was back in his prime, going 9-0-1 with a 2.09 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Those numbers were reminiscent of his Stanley Cup-winning seasons with the Kings, when he was regarded as a top-three netminder from 2009-2018. But the last month of the season hasn't been kind to Quick, who is 0-4-1 with a 3.26 GAA and an .884 save percentage. He will continue to be the backup netminder to Igor Shesterkin, but expect to see Quick in action only once in every three or four games. That lack of playing time means there isn't a good reason to hold on to the 38-year-old veteran.

Antti Raanta, G, Carolina Hurricanes, (32% rostered)

Raanta has been seeing lots of action of late as Frederik Andersen (blood clotting) and Pyotr Kochetkov (concussion) are both out of action. But the Hurricanes aren't happy with the play of Raanta this season, placing him on waivers five weeks ago and then sending him to the minors, only to recall him following their slew of injuries between the pipes. Kochetkov should return shortly and when he does, it will relegate Raanta to a backup role at best. Raanta is 10-7-1 with a 3.20 GAA and an awful .866 save percentage. He is 1-2-0 in his last three starts over the past week, giving up nine goals on only 53 shots.

Devon Levi, G, Buffalo Sabres (35% rostered)

Levi was sent to the minors over the weekend, only to be recalled Sunday after giving up three goals for AHL Rochester on only 17 shots. Levi started the season as the Sabres' No. 1 goaltender, but a combination of lackluster play — he's 8-7-2 with a 3.32 GAA and an .889 save percentage — and the emergence of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen as the top netminder in Buffalo makes Levi redundant at this time. I wouldn't get rid of him in dynasty leagues (I would get rid of Vanecek, Husso, Quick and Raanta) but in redraft leagues you can look elsewhere at this time.