It's a busy Tuesday night, once again, and the race for 1st place is now getting hotter, as Eric's team is ramping up its game, now trailing Brian's team by 9 points and leaving 4th place in the dust, up by 12 points. We won't count out 4th to 6th place just yet, there is still lots of hockey to be played, but already, it doesn't look great.
Let's look at the starts for the top six teams in the standings and maybe we'll throw in some extras, just for shits and giggles.
James Reimer (Eric) versus Curtis McElhinney (N/A)
The Florida/Toronto match-up had some real potential for being the highlight game of the night, but with Frederik Andersen suffering his upper-body injury over the weekend, James Reimer will have to face off against the back-up for the Leafs, making this into a 3rd place versus non-pool goalie game. The Panthers are no screaming hell either, as Reimer was pulled from his start last night
Jimmy Howard (Benson) versus Cam Ward (Brian)
I think I had Cam Ward supposedly going last night, that wasn't the case, it was Eddie Lack who got the start. With Lack suffering a neck injury on the game-winning goal by the Red Wings last night, it pretty well guarantees that Ward will get the nod tonight, but the Hurricanes did drop the game, regardless, so do we have some extra expectations of how it will go tonight? Obviously, Brian would love those 2 points from Ward.
Jonathan Bernier (Eric) versus Ryan Miller (Brenda & Seward)
In one of the late games tonight, this could end up being the real headliner game in the hockey pool, as Brenda & Seward really need a win here tonight from the Canucks to help track down Eric's team, which has gotten away from them some. The Ducks, on the other hand, now have John Gibson healthy, but there is no reason why they won't start Jonathan Bernier, as he is running hot at the moment.
Brenda & Seward's team start the night 12 points back of Eric's team.
Jonathan Quick (Kristy & Don) versus Cam Talbot (Marcie)
The Los Angeles Kings are now the only Western Conference team, on the outside looking in on the playoffs, with a shot at a playoff spot and their hopes are quickly fading. Tonight, they get Cam Talbot and the Oilers, making this into a good playoff race game, but also a money race game, as Talbot will go for Marcie's club tonight.
Marcie's team is 13 points back of the money, but already has a couple mini-games in the bag.
Anders Nilsson (Ryan) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Mike)
The back-to-back games on the schedule have been quite good for back-up goalies this season, as they seemed to have picked up a little bit more work. For Ryan, this has been a benefit with the Sabres, as he should be getting another start from Anders Nilsson in Columbus tonight. A tough opponent, sure, but at least it's chance.
Craig Anderson (Wilton) versus Steve Mason (Brenda & Seward)
There's a second start for the pool's second duo, as the Flyers are pretty well playing out the rest of the regular season now, since they are all but out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Will that be enough for Steve Mason to pick up a win against a far-stronger Ottawa Senators team?
Braden Holtby (Jeremy) versus Devan Dubnyk (John S.)
And just because the Minnesota Wild are dressing up in their sharp third jerseys tonight, we have a bonus game on the post... I did up all these logos, so why not include them? This is a good match-up tonight, if anything, it has some potential to be a Stanley Cup Finals match-up, if one really likes what these two have done this season, they certainly have two top-end goalkeepers going.