This article is part of our Crashing the Crease series.
Every season, a few teams prove themselves to be so inept defensively that any goaltender they try fails. The Flames were a prime example last year, and their acquisition of Brian Elliott from the Blues has done fantasy owners few favors besides finally freeing up the starting job in St. Louis for Jake Allen. Calgary is far from alone, though, as seven other teams are allowing at least 3.60 goals per game as of this writing. It's important to determine whether their slow starts are systemic or just small-sample issues so you can be proactive in minimizing their goaltenders' role on your team or, conversely, buy low on slow starters destined to turn it around.
Arizona (five games, 4.20 GAA) has been absolutely horrendous with Louis Domingue in net, but Mike Smith's 3.27 GAA in two appearances prior to getting injured was nothing to write home about, either. It's probably safe to cut bait with Smith while he's week-to-week, as he'll be returning to a young team that's still very prone to defensive zone breakdowns.
Calgary (seven games, 4.00 GAA) ranked dead-last in the league with 3.13 goals allowed per game last season, and the offseason additions of Elliott and Chad Johnson in net don't seem to have helped. Expect a bumpy ride for both netminders for the remainder of the season.
Carolina (five games, 4.00 GAA) was a mid-to-bottom tier defensive team with 2.70 goals allowed per game last season, but that number was likely propped up