Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Goalie Announcements (Dec 20)

The Nashville Predators took it all the way to the shootout, but Pekka Rinne prevailed in the skills competition and Stacey M. collected her much-needed win to continue on to Week Twelve in the goalie survivor pool. Mike, John S. and Troy are now left to their own devices and it will be a busy Tuesday night again, with a whopping 12 games on the schedule, so you would think there is ample opportunity to qualify tonight.

All three teams will have their goalies in an NHL building, likely dressed, but are they actually going to start?  Let's have a look shall we?

Although it still hasn't been confirmed, all signs are pointing to a survival start for Troy in Boston, as Tuukka Rask should be getting the start for the Bruins, when they take on Thomas Greiss and the Islanders tonight.  Rask has been Troy's bread and butter in this mini-game and this looks like a good opportunity to keep it going.  Greiss will be Dale B.'s only start of the night, as he tries to keep pace with the money teams.

We've got a survival game in Minnesota, as the Wild will send John S.'s keeper to the Avalanche on Tuesday night.  Devan Dubnyk gets the nod, looking for win #16 on the season, while the Avalanche will test out Semyon Varlamov's health, as this will be his first game back from a lower-body injury, which caused him to miss a few games.  Kristy & Don are tied for last in wins in the pool and one to the good can help them out of that poor distinction.

Mike only gets one crack at survival tonight, as Jake Allen will be in the visitors net tonight in Dallas, when the Blues take on the Stars.  The Stars will send Antti Niemi back to the crease, making his 4th straight start, which has to be a new high for him this season.  Allen will be tested by the high-powered offense of the Stars, while Wilton's keeper will get a big test from the juggernaut, that is the Blues.

The last survival game of the night will come from the shark tank, where John S. will get one from Chad Johnson and the Flames, when they play against Martin Jones and the Sharks.  This will give John two survival games tonight, where his later one could be the tougher of the two, so he better hope that he isn't relying on it by the end of the night.  Wes will get the other start in the pool in this game, down with the chum in the pool.

In Columbus tonight, Wes gets an uncontested pool game, as Peter Budaj gets the start for the Kings, when they take on non-pool goalie Curtis McElhinney and the Blue Jackets. Budaj has been decent since coming on for Wes, already picking up 7 points in six games for the Kings.  The start for McElhinney, however, takes this game out of the survival conversation.

Not that it matters exactly for the survivor pool, but the Nashville Predators haven't announced their starter yet for tonight's second half of back-to-back games going in New Jersey and they could go either way: Stacey M.'s Pekka Rinne or non-pool keeper Juuse Saros.  The Devils, on the other hand, will go with Cory Schneider, giving Stuart his only start of the night, trying to join the tight knit group vying for the money.

Stacey M.'s goaltending duo continues to get starts, as Antti Raanta gets the nod again for the Rangers, as they travel to Pittsburgh for a date against Matt Murray and the Penguins.  Scott will get the first of two starts tonight in this one, as Murray has indeed taken the role of the top guy for the birds that can't fly.

The Anaheim Ducks are going to give another start to Jonathan Bernier tonight, but it isn't the most ideal match-up, as he gets to face a team he grew up watching in the Montreal Canadiens and their stellar keeper, Carey Price.  Eric gets his only start of the night here, while Benson gets the first of his two starts in this game.

The Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers will meet in Sunrise tonight and the goaltending match-up is poised to be Robin Lehner against Roberto Luongo, which makes for a Jeremy versus Cam clash in the standings.  Jeremy has made up a lot of ground in recent weeks and now sits only 5 points back of tonight's rival.

It's a favourite match-up of many, thanks to a well-built history between these two clubs, including an excellent playoff history, as the Red Wings and Lightning go head-to-head in Tampa tonight.  Jimmy Howard will go for Benson, atop of the table, and Ben Bishop goes for Dale C., who is trying to climb into the top 20.

In the Windy City, it will be Mike Condon against Scott Darling, when the Senators and Blackhawks clash.  Stacey C. trails Scott by 15 points, up in the top half of the standings and he'll need a road win from the Sens to close that gap any.  Thankfully, closing that gap will get him closer to the money.

A goalie match-up down near the bottom of the standings, as Tony and Clayton's goalies will clash in Vancouver with the Jets in town.  It will be Connor Hellebuyck against Jacob Markstrom in this one, just trying to push their respective pool teams up out of the bottom half of the standings.
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