Saturday, October 21, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Oct 21)

Whoa, early starts today!  We better get on it, eh?

Two new qualifiers last night, as Grant got his win from the Capitals and Tony was the recipient of a thumping win in Anaheim, so both of them are safe for another week, but that still leaves us with six teams yet to qualify and now very limited games to do it in.  With only one game on Sunday, a possible survival game, if needed, today has to be the day.

12 games on the schedule, but only a few of them will be worthy of the blog post and some of these starts, might be speculation, at best.  Don't shoot the messenger!

Pekka Rinne (Dale B.) versus Henrik Lundqvist (Brian)
Brian gets his last start of the week in the matinee between the Predators and the Rangers.  The woeful Rangers have yet to find their stride in the early part of this season and Henrik Lundqvist has been front-and-centre amidst the questions raised from everyone around them.  Today's test, albeit at home, in the afternoon, is against the Western Conference champs, who have won their last two games.

Cam Talbot (Wes) versus Brian Elliott (Stacey C.)
The other matinee game, starting a half hour later in Philadelphia, also appears to be a survival game, as Stacey's proxy team gets one last kick at the can with Brian Elliott going for the Flyers against the struggling Oilers.  The Flyers found a little inconsistency in their scoring against a good defensive Nashville team, but the Oilers have been giving up more than they have been scoring, which bodes well for the home side.

Frederik Andersen (Mike) versus Craig Anderson (Tony)
Of all the games tonight, this one has the only confirmed non-starter in the survivor pool, as Brian misses out on two starts today, with the Senators opting to go with their number one, Craig Anderson.  It's Andersen versus Anderson in Ottawa, with the Maple Leafs going with their number one as well, Frederik Andersen and this game should shape up to be a very good game.

Antti Niemi (Derek B.) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Wilton)
The Pittsburgh Penguins played (and won) last night in Florida behind Matt Murray, so that usually will mean that the other goalie, in this case that would be Antti Niemi, would get the start on the back half of back-to-backs.  The Penguins have been known to defy convention from time-to-time and with some shaky appearances already by Niemi, there is some reasonable doubt, as to whether or not he gets the start.  Nevertheless, it's still early in the morning and we're still hours away, so we'll offer up our best guess and say that Niemi does get the start tonight and that the Penguins offense might have to be on point for the win.

Jonathan Quick (Chris) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Derek B.)
It's assumed on both sides, that we'll see these goalies, Quick and Bobrovsky, a pretty good match-up of teams that are off to pretty good starts to the regular season.  Derek hasn't had the schedule go his way this week, but this could be the second of two starts today, depending on how the Pittsburgh game lines up for him.  Neither game will be very easy for his goalies, but at least his team is given the chance.

Alex Stalock (N/A) versus Mike Smith (Ryan)
Ryan gets his last chance at survival tonight, in theory, as the Flames will play host to the Wild tonight at the Saddledome.  It hasn't been confirmed, at the time of the post, but it is expected that the Flames will go back to Mike Smith tonight, while the Minnesota Wild, who played last night in Winnipeg, will give their backup, Alex Stalock, the crease tonight, as they try to bounce back from a road loss.  The signs are positive for Ryan to keep his place in the survivor pool, but it will be a tough test, regardless.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 21)

The Anaheim Ducks got the best of the visiting Montreal Canadiens last night, defeating them soundly, 6-2, but it came at a severe cost, as it sounds like a lower-body injury to defenseman Cam Fowler, could be significant.  The Ducks coaching staff was not going to speculate to the severity of the injury, before the doctors get a good look at him, but the reports out there are fearing the worst at the moment.  We'll be keeping a close eye on this one, for sure.

Brian's team is one of a few trying to chase down the lead that Jeremy set out before us in Week One and he currently sits in 3rd place, thanks more in part to his forwards, rather than his defensemen.  Brian's team is fairly solid at the back, despite maybe a slow start from Fowler, 2 points in seven games.

The Buffalo Sabres also lost the services of a defender on Friday night, as Nathan Beaulieu left the game against the visiting Canucks with an upper-body injury, but the details were non-existent, to say the least.  The Sabres are calling Beaulieu day-to-day for now and that's all that we really have.

Scott B.'s defense has been underachieving a little bit in this early part of the season, currently tied for 20th in the pool in points scored with 8, Beaulieu accounting for a pair of those points.  Scott hasn't been able to follow-up a good Week Two very well, so now his team currently sits in 15th.

Whatever lower-body injury that Nick Bonino is dealing with is really flaring up again, as he was placed back on the IR on Friday and is expected to miss the next couple of weeks, before getting reevaluated. Bonino didn't get a good start to the season, as he was coming off a broken leg from last year's playoffs, not getting any time in training camp or the preseason to prepare for the year, so it all might be adding up on him now.  It appears to be very touch-and-go at the moment.

Bonino was a risky pick in the draft, seeing as though he wasn't quite ready for the preseason, but Mike still took a stab at him, collecting only a goal in five games played this season.  His team currently sits in 20th, but a 10-point gain somewhere could land his team in 10th, just that quickly.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Oct 20)

Ouch! Only one team managed to qualify for Week Four last night, as Benson actually got wins from both of his goaltenders to get the job done. Both Jaroslav Halak and Carter Hutton were both good enough last night and now Benson is safe, still leaving nine teams to still qualify, now with only three days/nights left to play in the week.

Unfortunately for Scott B., with Jonathan Bernier losing last night, he is now out of projected goalie starts for the week and without a win, so his elimination is certain.

Stacey C.'s proxy team only has one more projected possible goalie start left this week, which won't come until tomorrow, so his team is certainly on the brink, as we head into the weekend.

Everyone else, the seven other teams, have at least two projected starts and with six games on the docket tonight, some of those will be checked off in bunches.  Let's see who can make it and who can't tonight.

Braden Holtby (Grant) versus Petr Mrazek (Mike)
Grant is still in need of a win from the Washington Capitals this week and this start tonight will take away two of his projected starts in one swoop, but they have one more game before the week is out, so he's not in the worst shape just yet.  The Capitals will head to the Little Caesars Arena to take on the Red Wings and it is expected that Petr Mrazek will get the nod tonight, with Jimmy Howard losing on Wednesday.

Antti Niemi (Derek B.) or Matt Murray (Stacey M.) versus Roberto Luongo (Stuart)
The Penguins are going to be on back-to-back nights, starting tonight, so there is a good chance that Antti Niemi will get a start for Derek, either tonight or tomorrow, but when the post was written, neither had been announced, the last goalie starter to be announced.  Tomorrow night is the Tampa Bay Lightning, so it is a matter of picking your poison, as it really seems unlikely that Matt Murray would get both starts.

Carey Price (Dale C.) versus John Gibson (Tony)
The late game in Anaheim features an all-survival match-up between Dale C. and Tony.  The struggling Habs will have to contend with a Ducks team that has also been underachieving to start the year, making for kind of a loser match-up tonight.  Either way, one team is bent on survival tonight... will it be Dale or Tony?

Devils Put Schneider on IR

Appearances could be a bit deceiving here, but nevertheless, on Friday, the New Jersey Devils did put their number one goalie, Cory Schneider, on the Injured Reserve with his lower-body injury.  Schneider couldn't finish last night's game against the Senators, unable to come out for the 3rd period.

Now, the reason why things look deceiving... the Devils are on their mandatory week off in the season after tonight's game, so Schneider will be eligible to return when they play game number two after his injury.  Placing him on the IR allows for the team to recall Scott Wedgewood, who will backup Keith Kinkaid with the Sharks at the Rock.

Odds are, given that the Devils were on back-to-back nights, so it was very likely that Kinkaid was going to get the start tonight, so Dale B. really only missed out on the result last night, which is a best-case scenario, assuming that the injury is minor.  We'll probably have to wait until mid-week to hear more about the injury and whether or not Schneider will be ready for next weekend, so stay tuned.

Dale's team opens the weekend in 7th place and already eliminated from the survivor pool.

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 20)

Avalanche rookie Tyson Jost isn't having much luck this week, as he was shelved mid-game again, with a lower-body injury. It wasn't clear whether or not this was related to his knee issue that forced him out of action already this week and there was no indication of his status after the game against the Blues.  He'll be considered day-to-day for the time being and an update will come, if anything changes.

Steve's team is already among the teams that have the least amount of games to be played this weekend, tied for last with 13 projected games and it could be worse, if Jost cannot go.  Steve's team is currently 20th, but only 6 points out of the top half of the standings, so it isn't terrible... yet.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko suffered a hand injury last night against the Avalanche, blocking a shot in the 2nd period, and missed the better part of the 3rd period with the ailment.  He's currently undergoing tests to see what the extent of the injury is and his availability for the weekend is now up in the air.

Parayko is off to an okay start with the Blues, 3 points in eight games, certainly not part of the big offensive group of the team, but still doing okay.  Ryan's team is certainly wishing he was cleaning up on all the points, because his team is mired in 23rd today, already 30 points out of 2nd place.

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Oct 20)

The Boston Bruins got the services of Patrice Bergeron and David Backes to return to their lineup on Thursday night, but the hockey gods seem to have evened everything out, by taking David Krejci out of their immediate lineup, as he suffered an upper-body injury in the 2nd period against the Canucks last night, not to return to the game.  The details are fairly limited at the moment, but credit the Bruins organization, their updates are by far the best in the league and when they have them, they do well to keep everyone abreast.  We're playing wait and see with Krejci at the moment.

Brenda & Seward were certainly happy to get Bergeron back, while Neil enjoyed some success with Backes returning, but Dale B., the reigning champ, can't be too pleased seeing his player go down.  Dale's team is running well with the top teams, currently in 7th, 4 points out of 2nd, so here's hoping Krejci isn't out for too long.

The New Jersey Devils are in the midst of a pretty good scare, as their number one goalie, Cory Schneider, suffered a lower-body injury against the Senators on Thursday night. Schneider was able to finish playing the 2nd period, but wasn't able to start the 3rd period, leaving the work to backup Keith Kinkaid, who narrowly pulled out the overtime win.  Schneider has to have been enjoying the added scoring punch the Devils have had given him so far this season, as he has posted 4 wins in the six appearances he has made this season, which includes his shortened appearance last night.

The lead that Jeremy's team put together is starting to evaporate, as it has gone down from 15 points on Monday morning to only 9 points on Friday morning and losing out on a key goaltender like Schneider, could be quite devastating, especially if it is significant.  Jeremy's team is tied with Wilton's for top spot in goalie points, with 16, to date.

Bruins' Rask Suffers Concussion

Well, the fears for the worst came to fruition, as the Boston Bruins announced that the collision that Tuukka Rask was a part of in practice this week did, in fact, cause a concussion and now the goaltender is going through the league protocol.

The newer protocol doesn't exactly give any minimums for time away from the ice any more, but as much as Rask can be considered to be day-to-day, he could just as easily flip over to being out indefinitely, if the symptoms get worse.  Currently, he's not on the Injured Reserve, so he'll be considered to be day-to-day for now, but this could change at any time.

Rask has appeared in four games for the Bruins so far this season, but he has only posted 1 win and 2 points, which currently has him ranked 356th overall in pool scoring, a far cry from where expectations would have him at, this far into the season.

Clayton took him with the 13th overall pick and certainly hasn't gotten the value for his pick yet this season and he'll need one hell of a hot streak to get back up into the upper echelon of the pool rankings.  Clayton's team has done alright with his minimal return, sitting in 6th place, only 3 points out of 2nd.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Oct 19)

Things are not going quite as smoothly in the goalie survivor pool this week, thanks in large part to the short week and the somewhat limited schedule. Only two goalies had the chance of registering wins to move their pool team through to Week Four, but only Cam's goalie, Jake Allen, won last night, while Dale C.'s goalie, Jimmy Howard, couldn't make it out of the 1st period against the Leafs.

Nine games on the docket tonight and it looks like we're going to have some action out there, respective to the goalie survivor pool.

Jaroslav Halak (Benson) versus Henrik Lundqvist (Brian)
It's a survival game under the bright lights and on the big stage in New York, as the rivalry continues between the Islanders and Rangers.  The Isles will go with Benson's goalie, while Brian prays that a game against the rivals will keep his goalie pairing alive for another week.

Cory Schneider (Jeremy) versus Craig Anderson (Tony)
In Ottawa, it's a damn fine match-up between two (currently) playoff bound teams in New Jersey and Ottawa and this is Tony's only chance tonight to qualify for Week Four, as Anderson has been given the nod to go for the Sens.  The Devils are currently tied for 4th in goals for in the league this season, meaning this will be a tough test for the Senators, who rank tied for 3rd in goals against.

Carter Hutton (Benson) versus Jonathan Bernier (Scott B.)
Two backup goalies in Denver going head-to-head and both of them are still active in the survivor pool... go figure! Benson gets a rare start from Hutton, just in case Halak can't go the distance and win the game on Broadway, he'll get this chance. Scott, on the other hand, gets an unexpected start from Bernier, as the Avalanche only have a couple games this week and it didn't seem likely that he'd start.  It would be some kind of miracle, if Scott can make it through to Week Four on backup goalies alone.

Scott Darling (Clayton) versus Mike Smith (Ryan)
Ryan gets his only shot of the night from the Calgary Flames, with the traveling Carolina Hurricanes in town.  Smith has been shining pretty bright for the Flames in the early part of this season but the Hurricanes are rolling along quite well at the moment and should provide a fairly stiff test for the new number one.