Now we're getting down to the nitty-gritty in the NHL season, with only 14 playing days left to go. The races are tight, the mood is electric and now these goalie starts are really starting to mean something.
Brian opens the night with a 2-point lead over Dale B. and Dale's lead on Eric in 3rd place is 10 points. Eric has a 6-point gap to Brenda & Seward, while Marcie and Ryan are still running in this race too. Let's see what these teams have to expect tonight.
Petr Mrazek (Stacey C.) versus Cam Ward (Brian)
The Red Wings and Hurricanes will play tonight, a game that needed to be made up from a winter postponement earlier this year. Brian will get a start in this one, as Cam Ward has been tabbed by the Hurricanes to go tonight, but this game doesn't have any meaning to the NHL playoff race.
Pekka Rinne (Stacey M.) versus Thomas Greiss (Dale B.)
Not to be outdone, Dale gets a start tonight too, but his goalie's assignment is far more difficult in the Nashville Predators, but the Islanders are going to be far more desperate tonight, as they are only 2 points out of a playoff spot with this game in hand. They won't be able to move into the playoff spot with a win, thanks to the tie-breakers, but they will be much closer.
James Reimer (Eric) versus Robin Lehner (N/A)
Last week's Mover & Shaker gets a start tonight as well, as Eric's keeper, James Reimer, continues to get the call for the Panthers, as they play out the remainder of the schedule, with little to no hope of making the playoffs. The Sabres are pretty much floating down the river in the same boat, but will continue to give minutes to Robin Lehner.
Scott Darling (Scott) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Ryan)
Ryan's team could really use a boost right about now, as his team now sits 11 points from the money and in dire need of a win (or five) to climb back into the race. His goalie has a tough task as well tonight, as the Lightning will host the Blackhawks, who have been up-and-down of late. Andrei Vasilevskiy needs to have a big game tonight and he does draw the Blackhawks' number two goalie tonight, which is a plus for him, certainly.
Mike Smith (Marcie) versus Jake Allen (Mike)
Lots of money action on a Monday night, as Marcie's team, likely coming way with two mini-game wins, could still walk away with even more money, as her team is still in striking range of 3rd place. The Coyotes are in St. Louis tonight and there's a good chance that Mike Smith will get the nod, but the Blues are not quite set in the playoff picture yet and still need to push pretty hard to get there.
Calvin Pickard (Derek B.) versus Brian Elliott (Derek B.)
Might as well, include this game, even though it's an all-Derek B. affair, some 84 points out of the money spots. The Flames get the lowly Avalanche in a warm-up game, trying to lock down a playoff spot.