It was only one game on the docket yesterday, so there was no real hurry to get this post done for yesterday, especially given that both goalies were not in the survival pool. It's a little bit different on Tuesday night, as there are 13 games on the schedule.
At first glance, however, it's a backup sort of night, with a number of non-pool guys getting a start tonight, getting their reps in and saving the numbers ones for some good battles later on in the week.
Well, let's see who gets a chance to move on to Week Seven tonight.
Mike gets the first of two starts on Tuesday night from Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets with the Washington Capitals in town. The Capitals have opted to go with non-pool goalie Philipp Grubauer tonight, possibly easing the path for Mike to get to Week Seven, but Grubauer hasn't been bad, but he certainly isn't Braden Holtby and the Jackets haven't been shy, when it comes to lighting the lamp.
Wilton gets a start from the visiting Ottawa Senators, as they slide into Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. Craig Anderson is getting the call once again and he will get the test of Steve Mason, who will run unimpeded as the Flyers' number one for the next little while. This game has some potential to be a very entertaining one, as both teams are finding their legs about now.
In Detroit, the goalie match-up between the Lightning and Red Wings will be Ben Bishop against Petr Mrazek, giving Dale C. a start tonight. Stacey C. also gets a start from his Detroit keeper, but he's right in the thick of the money race to start the night, sitting in 5th place, 10 points back of 4th and 11 points back of 3rd place. This rare start will be a tough one, but very valuable points tonight.
The second start for Mike will come from Jake Allen and the St. Louis Blues, who will get the test of Robin Lehner and the Buffalo Sabres tonight, making this into a head-to-head match-up. A funny coincidence, if Holtby was playing for the Capitals, then both the Washington/Columbus and Buffalo/St. Louis games would be head-to-head match-ups between Mike and Jeremy. Sadly, they are not both swinging that way.
It's an all John Swan match-up in Minnesota tonight, as he will claim both starts in the game between the Wild and Flames tonight, pretty well ensuring that he should be qualified for Week Seven after the game. Devan Dubnyk gets the call for the home side, while Chad Johnson was in the starter's net for the visitor's morning skate tonight. I'm sure John likes two starts, but if they were in different games, he'd be line for more points for the overall race.
It's a survival head-to-head match-up in Dallas, as Stuart will get a start from Cory Schneider and the Devils and Wilton would get a second start tonight with Antti Niemi going for the Stars. Not only are these two vying for a survivor pool spot, they are only 9 points away from each other in the overall standings, despite being 10 spots away from each other, Wilton down in 16th and Stuart in 6th.
The New York Rangers are in Vancouver in one of the late games tonight and it doesn't matter who they go with tonight, both of their goalies are still active in the survivor pool. Nevertheless, it will be Henrik Lundqvist getting the call tonight, giving Grant the nod in this one and he'll get Jacob Markstrom as his opposition, a rare Clayton start in the pool.
Brian has had one of the hottest teams in the overall pool in recent weeks and his roll can continue with a start from Cam Ward for the Hurricanes, as they welcome in the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks will be giving a rare start to their backup, Aaron Dell, tonight, so Martin Jones gets the night off.
Given the match-up, you would think that these two keepers would still have their teams in the survivor pool, but neither Cam or Benson were that lucky. In Montreal tonight, it will be Roberto Luongo for the Panthers and Carey Price for the Canadiens, a marquee match-up, to say the least.
The Nashville Predators will go with the goalie that has been playing more recently with Pekka Rinne down for the night, as Marek Mazanec, their AHL starter gets the nod against the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Brian gets yet another start tonight, seeing Frederik Andersen getting the call for the buds.
We're all confirmed in Winnipeg, as the Blackhawks will go with their number one, Marcin's Corey Crawford, while the Jets will do much of the same, using Tony's Connor Hellebuyck for the game. Both are on opposite ends of the overall standings, so one would need the win more than the other for competitive balance.
In Colorado, Peter Budaj returns to his old stomping grounds with his new team, the Kings, to take on Semyon Varlamov of the Avalanche. If injuries weren't a thing, it would be Jonathan Quick against Varlamov and then it would be an all-Kristy & Don match-up, but that just isn't the case tonight.
Marcie will get her first start outside of the survivor pool tonight, with Cam Talbot getting the nod against the Anaheim Ducks, while Dale B. gets a start from John Gibson at the other end. The two teams are separated by 2 points in the standings, so there's at least something at stake in this game, no matter how early in the season it is.