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Three hot goalies
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The NHL season is more than a third over and many players are building impressive resumes.

Three goaltenders, one unknown and two forgotten, are making the most of March, but fantasy owners need to figure out who will keep it up.

Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky, Anaheim's Jonas Hiller and St. Louis' Jake Allen are a combined 14-0-3 this month, with Bobrovsky putting up a 0.85 GAA and .971 SV%, Hiller posting a 1.62 GAA and .947 SV% and Allen putting up a 1.99 GAA and .933 SV%.

St. Louis seems to be the best environment for goaltenders since the Blues are first in the NHL with just 22.1 even-strength SOG allowed per 60 minutes*. The Blues are also third with 39.4 4-on-5 SOG allowed per 60 minutes despite being shorthanded 99 times, 13th-most in the NHL. * as of Sunday, March 10 (via behindthenet.ca)

Anaheim has allowed 27 5-on-5 SOG per 60 minutes (8th) with 92 penalty-kill chances (9th) and a .783 PK percentage (26th).

Columbus, meanwhile, has given up 29.3 even-strength SOG per 60 minutes, 20th in hockey. The Blue Jackets do have the fourth-ranked penalty kill percentage with an .863 in 95 chances while allowing the seventh-least 4-on-5 SOG per 60 minutes, but they certainly don't make it easy for their netminders at 5-on-5.

Still, there's no arguing that Bobrovsky has the most job security of the three players, and that could be enough to make him the best long-term fantasy option.

Allen was only recalled from the minors due to Jaroslav Halak blowing a late second-period 4-1 lead versus the Kings on March 5. Normally, the Blues have turned to Brian Elliot when Halak struggles, but Elliot has given up 23 goals over his last 286 minutes of play, a 4.83 GAA. Halak is still looming and has a 2.38 GAA this season.

Hiller's backup, Viktor Fasth, is 10-1-1 with a 1.92 GAA and has already exhibited the ability to serve as Anaheim's No. 1 goaltender when Hiller was out with an injury in February. Prior to the injury, Hiller had put up a 3.69 GAA through his first six starts and probably wouldn't be the starter right now if he didn't put together this hot streak.

Bobrovsky knows a thing or two about getting replaced -- he was Philadelphia's starter before the Ilya Bryzgalov signing -- but he doesn't have to worry about that anymore; his backup is Steve Mason. Enough said.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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