Troy Watch. Week Eleven. Thursday.
Thursday and Friday might be two busy nights, but they are the last nights on the NHL schedule and there are all kinds of back-to-back scenarios, so who really knows how much we're going to see of all of the starters before the holiday break, let alone Troy's goalies.
Our goalie survivor pool has three qualifiers for Week Twelve, will we have all four remaining teams by the end of tonight?
Only one of Troy's goalie teams appear on the schedule on Thursday's 10-game schedule and that is the Bruins in Florida to take on the Panthers. And indeed, it will be Troy's goalie, Tuukka Rask, taking to the crease for the Bruins, easing a little bit of that anxiety of just getting the start, now it will be about getting the win. James Reimer gets the start for the Panthers tonight, offering Eric a rare start before the holiday break, while Roberto Luongo will be a healthy scratch before his start on Friday night. The Panthers have called up Mike McKenna to be back-up tonight, so Luongo doesn't have to dress.
Brian has had a pretty rough week, so far, falling out of the money spots, due to a lack of help, but he gets the first of two starts in Buffalo tonight from Cam Ward and the Hurricanes and he faces Robin Lehner, Jeremy's goalie, and the Buffalo Sabres. Ward hasn't been spectacular this season, but neither has Lehner, so this could be a decent match-up.
Scott has helped to displace Brian from the money spots, now sitting in 2nd place, and he can thank his starter for Pittsburgh tonight, Matt Murray, for some of the help to do so this week. Murray already has a win tonight and will look for another in Columbus against one of Mike's key guys, Sergei Bobrovsky. Mike is still 15 points from the money and his goalies are still keeping him afloat.
The New Jersey Devils confirmed that Cory Schneider would be starting for them tonight, but with the Philadelphia Flyers playing on back-to-back nights, ahead of the holiday break, there is a fine chance that Anthony Stolarz could get the start, as Steve Mason went all the way to the shootout for a win last night. The Flyers didn't skate this morning, so nothing has been confirmed at the time of writing the post. Stuart's goalie could face Tony's goalie, but could also face Brenda & Seward's goalie... who knows?
We are expecting, albeit not confirmed, John Gibson tonight for the Anaheim Ducks, giving Dale B. a start in this one and we're definitely going to see Mike Condon in for the Senators, which is Stacey C.'s competing keeper. These two pool teams are only separated by 4 points, so this is a good match-up in the standings.
What a goalie match-up in Montreal tonight... the number two overall player in the pool, Devan Dubnyk, against the number five overall player, Carey Price. It's not a time to panic about where each goalie ranks, rather it's time to appreciate that these are two of the top goalies in the league today and John S. and Benson are cleaning up with their points.
The headline in Tampa Bay tonight is life begins without Ben Bishop in their lineup and Andrei Vasilevskiy gets his first start without the cloud of the number one hanging over top of him for a few weeks. Ryan's 16th place team hopes to make some hay with his goalie, but this first test is tough, Mike's top keeper, Jake Allen and the St. Louis Blues.
There doesn't seem to be any reason why we wouldn't see a Peter Budaj/Pekka Rinne match-up tonight in Nashville. Rinne, Stacey M.'s goalie, was confirmed earlier this morning, but the Kings still hadn't taken to the ice when this post was drawn up, so they had yet to confirm Wes' goalie in the crease. The Kings are in Dallas tomorrow night, so they could switch it up, because of the back-to-backs too.
Brian's second start of the night will come in Colorado, with Frederik Andersen going for the Maple Leafs tonight and it's a reasonable chance for points here, as the Avalanche are last in the West, by a reasonable margin. The Avs will go with Semyon Varlamov at the other end, trying to help Kristy & Don get out of the basement in pool wins this year.
Finally, in Vancouver tonight, it will be Michael Hutchinson for the Jets and Ryan Miller for the Canucks, the complete opposite of what we saw two nights ago in the same building, as they two teams play again in the same city, 48 hours apart. The Canucks will be playing on back-to-back nights, which could be the reason for the change from a winning goalie.