On Monday, two teams made it through to Week Two in the survivor pool, as both Stacey M. and Troy were winners on the night with their respective keepers. We also had a couple of eliminated teams pick up their first wins of the season, one day too late to keep playing in this pool.
The Avalanche finish off back-to-back nights and they might get a bit of an early season bonus against the Capitals, as they are not expected to face Braden Holtby, rather Philipp Grubauer will get the start for the home side, while the visitors will send Semyon Varlamov to the crease. Varlamov will give Kristy & Don an early shot at moving on to next week, while Grubauer is one of those free agent goalies in the pool. The duo could use all the help they can get, since they're down to one healthy goalie.
Cory Schneider gets the nod for the Devils and for Stuart tonight, as the swamp welcomes John Gibson and the Ducks for a game. Stuart, still in the survivor pool, gets his only start here tonight, while Gibson, belonging to Dale B., is already knocked out of the pool and just looking for the 2 points in the overall standings tonight. The Ducks are opening the season on a big road trip and it has already knocked out both keepers of the pool, in actual fact.
The New York Islanders will send Jaroslav Halak back to the cage tonight with the San Jose Sharks in town. With the Sharks having played last night in the Big Apple, they will likely be going with their new back-up for the 2017 season, Aaron Dell, who wasn't taken in the pool at the draft. Dell had a pretty good preseason with the club, so it might not be a slam dunk for Halak, but Troy has already qualified for next week, so it's more about the 2 points in the overall pool for him.
With back-to-back nights for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it may have been safe to assume that they could have gone with the back-up tonight, but no, Marc-Andre Fleury will get the call again, as they invade the Carey Price-less Canadiens home in Montreal tonight. Al Montoya will get the start for Montreal, which means Cam will have the only pool goalie in this game at the visitors end. At least the pool isn't losing out on all the minutes available in this game.
In the Sunshine State, it will be a battle of their two teams, with the Panthers visiting the Lightning on Tuesday night. The expected goaltending match-up here is James Reimer against Ben Bishop. Eric could have used this Reimer start last week, but it wasn't to be, so his team was eliminated early, while Dale C. still has a team in the survivor pool and will get his 1st round pick in the cage tonight in Bishop. One might lean towards the Bolts as the favourite, but it should be a great game.
The Ottawa Senators dropped their match-up last night, but will be getting back at it again tonight, going with Craig Anderson in net, with the Arizona Coyotes in town. At the other end, it is expected that we'll see Mike Smith in net for the dogs, as they start a trip out east. This match-up will be Wilton versus Marcie in the pool, both looking to move on to next week.
Kari Lehtonen will get his first start (and second appearance) for the Dallas Stars tonight, when they go into Nashville to take on Pekka Rinne and the Predators. Lehtonen's start will give Dale C. two cracks at Week Three tonight, while Rinne's start will try and pad Stacey M.'s stats, as her team got their win last night. I don't think anyone is going to be doing the other any favours in this game, it should be a gooder.
Both goalies in the game between the Kings and the Wild are not in the hockey pool, period, at this point in time, so there isn't much value here, other than the skaters that are going to be on the ice. Jeff Zatkoff and Darcy Kuemper are your starters for the night here, as Jonathan Quick is still injured and Devan Dubnyk gets a night off. Moving on...
The Philadelphia Flyers will roll into Chicago for a tough test against the Blackhawks and they are expected to dress Michal Neuvirth in net for this one, as he'll take on Corey Crawford at the other side. It's a tough test for Tony's keeper, as his team tries to stay alive, but unfortunately for Marcin, Crawford wasn't able to pick up a win last week and his team was already eliminated. Just because he was eliminated, doesn't mean this game is going to be any easier.
It will be a battle of former teammates in Calgary on Tuesday night, as Chad Johnson will get the start for his new team in Calgary, while Robin Lehner, who Johnson took over for in Buffalo for the better part of last season, will get the call in net for the Sabres. This match-up is a good one for the survivor pool, as it will pit John versus Jeremy early on this week, trying to advance to the next week.
Marcie gets a second crack at Week Three as well tonight, this time in Edmonton, where her goalie in this game, Cam Talbot, will try and bounce back from a poor effort against Buffalo on Sunday. At the other end, Brian will get his first crack at Week Three with a Cam Ward start for the Hurricanes. Ward has yet to register a win, but Brian didn't have to rely on him in Week One, so a Week Two win would definitely be a bonus.
Thanks to a little bit of muscle tightness, Ryan Miller won't be going in his scheduled start tonight, leaving the Canucks net to Jacob Markstrom for their Tuesday night game against the St. Louis Blues. Markstrom was a winner on Sunday night against Carolina and will look to build on that for Clayton in the survivor pool. At the other end, we're expecting Jake Allen to be back in the net, giving Mike a shot at next week tonight as well.