Swanny watch: Friday.
It's Friday, which means there is only three nights left in the week and it's starting to make John sweat a little bit... or so I am assuming. The Friday night schedule is awfully light, with only three games on it and none of them feature a team that John has a goalie for, which will limit his number of days down to two in the end.
Given that I have a few moments, I don't mind going through those three games, just to see if there is any interesting story lines in the pool to discover.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are fresh off of celebrating Sidney Crosby's 1,000th point on Thursday night and in doing so, Marc-Andre Fleury got the win against the Winnipeg Jets, which means that Matt Murray should return to the net for the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky got a rare night off on Wednesday night, so he should be back in the net tonight for the home team.
This match-up in the pool will be Scott versus Mike, 11th versus 17th, 23 points separating the two teams. Not much in this one, as Scott is already 24 points out of the money with his rookie-based team.
The Colorado Avalanche will play the second half of back-to-back nights in Carolina tonight, with the Hurricanes ready to play host. We know that Cam Ward is going to get the nod for the home side tonight, but being on back-to-back nights and Calvin Pickard getting last night's game, there's a fine chance that non-pool goalie Jeremy Smith gets his second NHL start, as they test out his mettle in action tonight.
This is a favourable match-up for Brian, our pool leader, who is trying to regain some of that ground lost to Dale B. already this week, as his lead is now down to 3 points. The Avalanche are not a strong team this year and this is a solid chance for 2 or more points tonight.
In the only late game of the night, it will be the Florida Panthers and the Anaheim Ducks duking it out in the animal kingdom. It sounds like the cramping issue that Roberto Luongo was dealing with in their last game was enough to hold him out for an extra start, so it will be James Reimer on the front end of back-to-back nights for the cats, while it should be John Gibson taking to the net for the Ducks.
Eric's 10th place team gets a start tonight, 23 points back of the money, while Dale B. tries to keep with Brian's start above, adding the Gibson nod to his night. An Anaheim win and a Carolina loss will draw the two teams much closer at the top and makes it far more interesting.