Former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna gives his Daily face-to-face Start of the goalkeeper match of the day for Wednesday. March 29, 2023:
Why I love this game:
Georgiev is absolutely vibrant in the Colorado crease and Gustavsson is in an uphill battle for the Minnesota net. Both goaltenders have been among the best in the NHL this season.
To monitor :
I’ve been nervous about Georgiev all season, largely due to his streaks and past issues as a member of the New York Rangers. It’s unclear what will happen during the Stanley Cup playoffs. But I think Georgiev showed an ability to steal the occasional game. And he gave the Avalanche an increasingly consistent goalie as the 2022-23 season progressed. Georgiev has won seven of his last eight games. And in four of those outings, he allowed a goal or less. Georgiev has a natural athleticism that many covet. Even when his moves are precise, Georgiev has an entertaining flair to his game. He boasts a .919 save percentage and has 34 wins in 54 starts.
Gustavsson has a similar winning percentage to Georgiev, albeit on a smaller scale. With Minnesota goalie partner Marc-Andre Fleury also worthy of play, the Wild’s crease was shared. But this season could be the perfect step for Gustavsson. It’s his first full-time year in the NHL, and he killed it. Very few — myself included — expected anything close to the .932 save percentage Gustavsson has in 34 games. He has won 19 times and has a 2.01 goals-against average. Gustavsson plays a very patient and modern goalkeeper. And I think that’s reflected in his consistency. A total of 23 times this season, Gustavsson has allowed two or fewer goals.
What fantasy owners should do:
This is the kind of game where you have to rely on statistics. Both goalies have had a great season so far and their teams are hot. Start them both and hope for a close game.
Conclusion for Alexander Georgiev:
The rest test begins in a few weeks. This will be the first Stanley Cup playoffs, where Georgiev will be his club’s undisputed No. 1 goaltender.
Conclusion for Filip Gustavsson:
Gustavsson is playing against the Avalanche for the first time in his career. With the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting in less than a month, what better time for a game-changing game?