Only one more team qualified for Week Two in Friday night's limited action, as Stacey M. got a big win from Pekka Rinne, with the Predators beating the Blackhawks. Stacey's inclusion now means that there are 10 teams officially moving on to the next week in the survivor pool, but we have a ton of action on Saturday, 13 games, to make sure that they are not the only ones.
Let's start with the match-ups that can usher people through on Saturday night... the action getting started at 5pm MT today.
Let's start right the beginning, as the Jets and Wild will go in Minnesota tonight and John S., still in need of a win this week, will see his number one goalie, Devan Dubnyk take to the crease for a date against Michael Hutchinson. Hutchinson belongs to Grant, who had already qualified this week, thanks to Henrik Lundqvist. John is also one of four teams that start the day tied for last with 5 points on the season, so a win would go a long ways in the overall standings too.
It's a match-up between two goalies that need a win for their teams to make it through, as Cory Schneider will go for Stuart and the Devils, taking on Andrei Vasilevskiy for Ryan and the Lightning. Schneider already dropped a game this week, while the Russian number two in Tampa will get his first action tonight, trying to give a taste of when he becomes the team's number one.
Dale B. and Jeremy will each get a shot at Week Two with a match-up in D.C., as the Islanders and Capitals go head-to-head. In net, it will be Thomas Greiss, getting his first start, against Braden Holtby, who will play his second game. Holtby was the 1st overall pick in the draft, but has yet to get a point, so now would be as good a time as any. On the flip side, Greiss was a 3rd round pick, looking to play spoiler.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will open their home schedule against the Boston Bruins tonight and Frederik Andersen will get his second chance at his first win for the buds. Brian's goalie will take on one of Troy's already qualified keepers in Tuukka Rask. It's going to be a long, ceremonious night in Toronto, so they are likely hoping that the drawn out pregame celebrations will cool down the jets of the red hot Bruins.
This is the only game on the night to feature a goalie that wasn't taken in the pool, as Al Montoya will get the call again for the Habs tonight, taking on Craig Anderson of the Senators. Anderson already has a win for Wilton, so this game doesn't really have the same value in the survivor pool as the rest of them do. Doesn't mean it won't be a good game though, as Hockey Night In Canada will revel in the glow of a fast paced contest in Ottawa.
Down in Sunrise, FL, Petr Mrazek will try and earn his first win for the Red Wings tonight, as they visit the Florida Panthers and the already qualified Roberto Luongo. Mrazek was the 2nd round pick of Stacey C.'s, 49th overall, while Luongo was taken 17 picks before at 32nd for Wilton. The Panthers are still battling some injuries in their lineup, but they have already gotten off to a good start, so they're not letting anything bother them.
Jonathan Bernier is scheduled to make the start for the Anaheim Ducks tonight, when they arrive in Pittsburgh for their date with the Penguins. At the other end, it will be Marc-Andre Fleury, who is already 1-0-0 this season. Eric will be trying to move into Week Two with his 11th round pick in Bernier, while Cam has one of five teams in the pool that already have 2 wins on the season.
It was kind of a surprise to see Sergei Bobrovsky fall all the way down to the 3rd round in the draft, given how popular the goalies were and how well he played at the World Cup, but there he went. He'll try for his first win of the season, in his second game, taking on Martin Jones and the San Jose Sharks tonight. Mike doesn't need a win from Bobrovsky to qualify, he has already picked that up this week, while Wes is already through with a Jones win this week.
Stuart will get a second chance at a win, if the first one doesn't go so well earlier in the evening, Carter Hutton will get the call for the St. Louis Blues tonight. Hutton was said to have had an amazing training camp and sealed his spot early on, so it should come as no surprise that he gets a call early on this year. Hutton will get the already qualified Henrik Lundqvist at the other end, with Grant looking for another win to stay atop the standings.
The Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks will match-up again on Saturday night, after the Preds took the opening game of the set on Friday night. It is expected to see Pekka Rinne again for Nashville and Scott Darling will get the call for the Hawks. Rinne already posted a win for Stacey M., as posted at the start of the post, while Darling will give Scott a shot at a win and moving on in the survivor pool.
The Flyers are working on back-to-back nights, while the Coyotes are playing their first game of the season, setting the table for a good game in the desert. Steve Mason will get the call for the visitors, giving Brenda & Seward another crack at a win this week, while Mike Smith is the scheduled starter for the dogs, but Marcie already has her win for the week.
Kristy & Don's only healthy goalie will get his shot at a win and moving on to next week, as Semyon Varlamov and the Avalanche will play host to Antti Niemi and the Stars. The Avalanche will be playing their first game of the season tonight, while the Stars already have a win with Wilton's goalie in net. Wilton will get another shot at more goalie points tonight, as his team is another one with a couple wins already in the bank.
The last game of the night will go in Vancouver, an 8pm MT start, and it will feature the Chad Johnson's first game as a Calgary Flames keeper, taking on Ryan Miller in the Canucks' first game of the season. John S. will have a second start tonight with Johnson in net, while Brenda & Seward will also get a second start on the night, looking for their first win.