It's coming right down to the wire on Grant Watch - Week Nine. Michael Hutchinson lost to the back-up of his New York Rangers keeper on Friday night, keeping the anxiety alive and the forecast for Saturday isn't looking very positive either.
The Winnipeg Jets play again tonight, this time in Calgary, as a part of the late game of Hockey Night In Canada. With the team playing on back-to-back nights, coupled with the loss to the Rangers, one would have to expect to see Tony's goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, in the Jets' net tonight, taking on that hot hand for John S., Chad Johnson.
We have one very early afternoon game, as the Stars visit the Flyers, where we fully expect to see Kari Lehtonen in net for Dale C. and Brenda & Seward will again have Steve Mason in net. Both are coming off of wins on Thursday night, which is far more applicable to the Stars, given their situation.
The Ottawa Senators will continue their run through California with a stop in Los Angeles and we expect to see a Waiver Draft goalie match-up here, as Stacey C.'s Mike Condon will get the nod for the visitors and Wes will get some work from Peter Budaj today. A very interesting match-up from the outset.
It's rivalry night at the TD Garden, as the Boston Bruins will play host to those bitter rivals from Toronto, those damned Maple Leafs. Frederik Andersen gets the nod for the Maple Leafs, to no one's surprise, giving Brian another key start in the money race, while Tuukka Rask will look to keep sharp for Troy's team, which is still in the survivor pool.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are running back-to-back nights and they are not going to be shy about running their number one goalie in both games, as Mike will get another start from Sergei Bobrovsky in this one. There was no confirmation yet, but it is reasonable to assume that Jaroslav Halak should get another start here today, which would also keep Troy's crease sharp, with more playing time, that is.
Well, it appears that Calvin Pickard may have won the immediate confidence of his head coach, as he gets another nod in the Avalanche net, much to the delight of Derek B., I'm sure. His test will be really difficult tonight, as he gets to face the #3 goalie, 4th overall in pool scoring, Carey Price in the Montreal net, looking to help Benson pad his lead up top.
It's a former goalie match-up in Sunrise tonight, as Jacob Markstrom will go for the Canucks and Roberto Luongo will go for the Panthers. For Markstrom, this will be his first game against his former team. In the pool standings, this is a match-up between Clayton and Cam, where the former trails the latter by 15 points and eight spots in the table.
We know that Andrei Vasilevskiy is going to get the call for the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to visit. One would have to believe that it will be Matt Murray on the other side, as he has been the hottest of the two Pens goalies in recent weeks. This will be Ryan versus Scott in the pool, 13 points difference, Scott chasing money, Ryan looking to climb back into the top 10.
There's no confirmation this early today, with the Nashville Predators into Arizona to take on the Coyotes, but we'll be taking a good educated guess on this one. Neither team played last night, so it will be fairly safe to assume the number ones are going here, which means we expect Pekka Rinne for Stacey M. and Mike Smith for Marcie.
This one is the latest of all the games on Saturday's schedule, with still no confirmation of the goalies for the game tonight. Carolina last played on Thursday night, which gives Cam Ward ample time to recover and be ready for tonight's game in San Jose, while it might not be the same for San Jose, who played in Anaheim last night, which could mean Aaron Dell gets the call tonight. If this is the case, it would be a Brian versus non-pool goalie match-up, good for our 2nd place team in the standings, I guess.