Made the mistake of not doing a goalie post for the one game last night, as it turned out to be a key game in the money race, as Ryan's goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy got the start for the Lightning, playing the Habs, and it turned out to be a huge win and now Ryan's team opens the day, 7 points back of 3rd place, with no tie-breaker in hand.
Let's go back up to the top for a second, Dale B.'s lead is now only 1 point over Brian for 1st place and everyone and their dog is pretty well playing today. The gap between Brian's 2nd place team and Eric's 3rd place team is a whopping 14 points, which is very improbable to close up. Eric's team leads Marcie's team by 3 points, 7 points to Ryan's team and 12 points to Brenda & Seward. These are your racers!
So, now we open up the second-to-last day of the season and it's a doozy! The races are thick, the teams are running hot and we've really got something to watch here today/tonight. Unfortunately, it's a very early start for the games today, so we're going to do some assuming
Jaroslav Halak (Troy) versus Cory Schneider (Stuart)
This was Dale's only potential start tonight, but the Islanders have opted to go with Halak instead of Thomas Greiss, as they still try to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win over the Devils in New Jersey. Dale is going to have to rely on his skaters today/tonight to keep his 1st place hopes alive.
Matt Murray (Scott) versus Frederik Andersen (Brian)
The Toronto Maple Leafs have their playoff destiny in their own hands, but involves a win with the Pittsburgh Penguins in town tonight. The Penguins are comfortably clinched, so they may not be dressing all of their big stars, but that shouldn't matter. Andersen is going to have to be on point for the win and that's what Brian is hoping for in this one.
Carter Hutton (Stuart) versus Cam Ward (Brian)
The Blues could clinch 3rd place in the Central with a win, while the Hurricanes are playing out their schedule for pride. We know the Blues are going with Hutton tonight, giving Stuart two starts in the pool but the Canes could go either way tonight, given that they are also playing tomorrow in Philadelphia, so Ward and Eddie Lack should be splitting starts.
Robin Lehner (N/A) versus James Reimer (Eric)
This would truly be a nothing game, if there wasn't any pool implications in this one. Eric's only possible start today comes from James Reimer and the Panthers and they get the task of the frustrated Buffalo Sabres, who should be starting Robin Lehner tonight, since it sounds like Anders Nilsson is still ailing from his lower-body injury. With Nilsson being on the shelf, Ryan's only shot at a start in the pool today goes up in smoke.
Darcy Kuemper (N/A) versus Mike Smith (Marcie)
With Louis Domingue getting the last start for the Coyotes, it seems fair to think that the dogs will go back to Smith for their last game of the regular season tonight. The Wild are also concluding their regular season and with nothing to play for, they will give Kuemper his last start of the regular season as well.
Cam Talbot (Marcie) versus Ryan Miller (Brenda & Seward)
This being a late game makes it very difficult to call, but if I was the Edmonton Oilers, I would be looking to keep my foot on the gas and try to clinch that home-ice spot, be it as the division winner or as the number two team in the Pacific, so I would send Talbot out for game one of the home and home series against the Canucks. I think Marcie would agree. The Canucks, on the other hand, should be playing their number one at home for their fans, likely saving Richard Bachman for the other half tomorrow.
Joonas Korpisalo (N/A) versus Steve Mason (Brenda & Seward)
The duo actually get their first start of the day with one of the early, early games this morning and it was confirmed last night, that Steve Mason would get the start for the Flyers and the miracle run to the bronze medal and money would begin early for them. If I was the Jackets, I would not be wasting Bobrovsky's energy with a potential ugly match-up against the Flyers in the early afternoon, I'd save him to play spoiler against the Leafs on Sunday evening.
Corey Crawford (Marcin) versus Jonathan Quick (Kristy & Don)
How about a bonus coverage game? The Los Angeles Kings will conclude their home schedule against the Chicago Blackhawks in a meaningless game in the standings, but they will be wearing those sharp 50th anniversary jerseys tonight, so there's no better way to celebrate that, than by using the logo on the blog site. Marcin's team is shooting for 9th place this season, while Kristy & Don aim for 16th.
Braden Holtby (Jeremy) versus Anton Khudobin (N/A)
Oh yeah, I tend to forget... a Saturday afternoon game in Boston usually means that the Bruins will wear their alternate duds for a game too, so even more bonus coverage! Washington also plays on Sunday, so they will be splitting the starts, one way or another, but the Bruins are done today and they are going to go with Khudobin to finish the year, just for the sake of.