There's no more important races than the money races and they are still pretty good, as we head right down to the wire. And there is nothing better to fuel a couple of important races than games on the NHL schedule, 12 games to be exact.
Dale B. has zoomed into the lead this week and he begins this busy night with a 5-point lead over Brian's team, but Brian's team has five more projected games on the schedule, which includes possible goalie starts, but neither of these two teams may fulfill all their goalie starts this week.
The gap from 2nd to 3rd is 15 points, so that isn't quite a race anymore, but the race for 3rd place is damn good. Ryan holds the spot at 629 points, while Eric and Marcie (ordered in tie-breakers) are only 1 point back and Brenda & Seward may still have an outside shot at it, only 8 points. We'll include the duo, just in case they start making a run tonight.
Jaroslav Halak (Troy) versus Eddie Lack (N/A)
In a twisted kick in the pants, this game could have been a match-up between 1st and 2nd place goalies, but no... it's not. Neither are playing. Both Thomas Greiss and Cam Ward are going to sit on the bench and play, if needed, but that wouldn't necessarily mean they'd come into a winning situation. How disappointing.
Corey Crawford (Marcin) versus John Gibson (Dale B.)
The Ducks are moving forward with Gibson as their number one, as he continues to get the work ahead of the playoffs, which means our pool leader gets a key start tonight. The Ducks will be sizing up the Blackhawks tonight and this will be a telling game, indeed, but certainly not an easy one.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Ryan) versus Frederik Andersen (Brian)
If that Long Island/Carolina game would have ended up a little better, it would have been the highlight game of the night. Instead, Tampa Bay at Toronto features two money teams, not necessarily racing each other, but there's lots on the line when Vasilevskiy takes on Andersen at the ACC.
Jake Allen (Mike) versus James Reimer (Eric)
The Florida Panthers will welcome James Reimer back to their crease, as they play host to the St. Louis Blues tonight. This will be Eric's only start, since the Ducks opted for their true number one, so he'll need some extra effort from Reimer, upon his return tonight, especially since the Blues will be out to sharpen their teeth against a non-playoff team.
Ryan Miller (Brenda & Seward) versus Louis Domingue (N/A)
This also could have been an all-money game match-up, but the Coyotes opted to throw a wrench into Marcie's party, by starting Domingue instead of Mike Smith, so Brenda & Seward get a bit of an extra boost by this match-up, in theory. The duo are in desperate need of a win, plus more points from across their roster, but this is a good start for them.
Cam Talbot (Marcie) versus Martin Jones (Wes)
Marcie does end up with a start tonight from the Edmonton Oilers, as they will be sizing up a potential playoff opponent in the San Jose Sharks. Talbot will get a good test with the Sharks, even though they have been reeling with injuries of late. Martin Jones carried the Sharks to the finals last year and he's probably getting to playoff mode now, meaning the test will be exceptional.