It's been two seasons since the NHL has completed an 82-game schedule. That's an increase of more than 40 percent from last season's 56 games, and the longer schedule means teams will have to plan their goalie rotations carefully or otherwise risk burnout in the playoffs.
It's the riskiest position in fantasy hockey because there's so few elite goalies and so many of the other teams operate on some form of timeshare. Here's a look at goalies trending up and goalies trending down.
Jake Allen, Canadiens
Allen is the starting goalie in Montreal with Carey Price entering the league's substance abuse program, which means he will be away from the team for at least 30 days. We knew Allen would play a big role when he signed with the Habs, tasked with taking some of the enormous burden off Price's shoulders and considered something closer to a 1B than a traditional backup. But Allen wasn't as good as advertised, going 11-12-5 with a .907 Sv% and 2.68 GAA on a strong defensive team, and at various points seemed like he could cost the Habs a playoff spot.
This season, Allen gets another chance to prove he can be a capable goalie, and there's no pressure behind him with young backup Samuel Montembeault still struggling at the NHL level and posting a .873 Sv% in the preseason. The Habs play back-to-backs Oct. 13-14 and Oct. 30-31, but those may be Montembeault's only appearances this month until he earns