Sunday, December 18, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Dec 18)

These damn early games are a killer!  Very few teams have their goalies confirmed at this point in the morning, especially with the first game going at 11am MT.  Oh well, we'll make do with what we have.

The Los Angeles Kings have a likely starter in Peter Budaj today, as they kick off the day's action in Boston, which should be a match-up against Tuukka Rask, who doesn't seem to mind those afternoon starts.

If this match-up is indeed the case, it's the battle of the basement dwellers, as Wes and Troy are down at the bottom, 9 points apart.  Troy is more likely hoping for a classic Rask meltdown for 17 PIM or something like that.

The Avalanche were nice enough to have their starter confirmed for us on Saturday, saying that Calvin Pickard will get another start for the team, this time in Winnipeg. taking on the Jets.  The Jets haven't confirmed anyone yet, but the assumption is that Connor Hellebuyck will get the start in this one.  Derek B. could move well clear of the week's Basement Dweller nod with a win from his confirmed goalie today, which is what we're looking at in this one.

Only one confirmed goalie in Vancouver today and it doesn't belong to the Canucks.  Sergei Bobrovsky is the confirmed goalie for the Blue Jackets, much to the delight of Mike, who is still scratching and clawing to stay up in the money conversation.  With the Canucks not playing on Saturday night, it seems very likely that they'll go back to Ryan Miller, who won on Friday night, but that has yet to be confirmed.

The Sharks were in Montreal on Friday night and the Blackhawks were in St. Louis last night, so they have both traveled to Chicago for the Saturday evening game against each other.  No one confirmed here, but the guess would be that Martin Jones would head back to the net for the Sharks, as the number one guy should, while the Blackhawks, still without Corey Crawford, will probably continue to run Scott Darling ragged.  The chances of Lars Johansson getting his first NHL start still appear slim.

We know for sure that the Islanders are going back to J-F Berube for back-to-back starts in their schedule, much to the chagrin of the hockey pool, which has the other two goalies selected and this three goalie system has done us all in.  The Senators haven't been afraid to run Mike Condon on back-to-back nights, so with nothing confirmed, the Sens could go back to Condon or finally give Andrew Hammond another shot.  Who knows?

No one is confirmed for Broadway in tonight's "late game" at 5:30pm MT and this one is up in the air as well.  It's back-to-back nights for both teams and if they went with the goalie who didn't play the night before, the match-up would be Cory Schneider against Antti Raanta, but neither coach has been playing to normal conventions of late, trying to really make a point these days.  I would say that the mentioned match-up would be most likely, but I would make the odds anything concrete at this point.

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