Let the busy week begin!
There's 52 games to go this week and Monday night, usually reserved for a quiet evening, is quite the opposite, as there are seven games on the docket. And with everyone getting reset in the survivor pool, we gotta get it all sorted out for your own reference.
In Buffalo tonight, the Flames are in to visit the Sabres to start the week and this one is a survivor game. Jeremy has Robin Lehner going for the home side, trying to ease the burden in his week by getting that win in early. For the visiting side, they'll finally be throwing Brian Elliott back in the net, finally giving Derek B. a chance for some minutes early this week. The Flames have been running Chad Johnson ragged lately, so Elliott can have a chance at earning the number one job back again.
It's a survival game at the Igloo, but it isn't from the home side where the survival goalie comes from, rather it is from the visitors, as both goalies for the Rangers are still in the mix at this point in the season. Tonight, it will be Antti Raanta going for Stacey M., but will have the tough task of playing Cam's goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury, as the Penguins just continue to dazzle, even with a platoon of two goalies.
It's a full-on survivor match-up in Nashville tonight, with the Lightning in town play the Predators. Ben Bishop will be in net for Dale C. and Stacey M. will counter with Pekka Rinne, the loser will have to wait until another one of their goalies dress to see if they can make it into Week Eight. That's a good match-up, I'd say, one to watch even.
The Dallas Stars are another team where both of their goalies feature in the survival pool, which says a lot about the pool teams that have them, as their other goalies are working on those two goalies splitting time after they lose a game. Tonight, Antti Niemi will get the call for the Stars, giving Wilton a key start at the start of the week. At the other end, it will be non-pool goalie, Darcy Kuemper, getting his rare, once in a while start for the Wild. Kuemper has 2 wins in three appearances this year, so the winning percentage is there, it's just the starts that are missing.
It's reportedly going to be Semyon Varlamov for the Avalanche against Curtis McElhinney for the Blue Jackets in Columbus tonight... eliminated goalie versus a non-pool goalie. Much like Kuemper above, McElhinney isn't getting much for ice-time, only having made two appearances this year and no wins to speak of. Kristy & Don get a start from Varlamov, who only has 4 wins in 12 games this year.
It's all about the points in Edmonton, as Marcin and Marcie each have goalies going and they are both top 10 teams in the standings. Marcin will have Corey Crawford looking for a win from the visiting Blackhawks, while Cam Talbot will go for Marcie and the host Oilers. This should be a good one, as Marcie could really use a huge game from her number one guy.
Finally, Keith Kinkaid rounds out the parade of rarely used non-pool goalies, hell bent on ruining our goalie minutes collected in a busy week, as he gets the nod for the Devils in their game against the Sharks in San Jose. At the other end, Wes will keep his fingers crossed that the Sharks can get out of their funk against a back-up goalie, as Martin Jones gets the nod tonight.