Friday, December 29, 2017

Goalie Announcements (Dec 29)

I'm sure the Washington Capitals had Grant sweating a little bit last night against the Boston Bruins, as they narrowly came back to beat their rivals in Beantown, in the shootout, to give Grant his necessary win to make it into Week Fourteen. The deed was done though, which means all three teams are now through to next week and we can start this all over again on Monday.

Now, we'll shift the focus over to the top 10 teams (and ties) in the pool, as 1st to 11th are now separated by 44 points.  It's a pretty big gap, but now that we're approaching the halfway mark of the season, we're establishing just how big this lead can possibly get to come back from.

11 games on the schedule for Friday night, so let's get cracking to see which games actually feature!

Robin Lehner (Kristy & Don) versus Cory Schneider (Jeremy)
Goalies for teams that are on 5th and 4th placed teams go tonight in the swamp, as the Sabres are taking on the Devils at the Prudential Center.  The pool's first duo get the first of two starts on the night from Robin Lehner, as they try and close the 9-point gap to Jeremy's team, who will have Cory Schneider in this game.  The edge in this one has to go to the Devils, they're playing well of late, winners of their last five games, while the Sabres are 4-10-6 on the road this season.

Sergei Bobrovsky (Derek B.) versus Mike Condon (N/A)
The Blue Jackets should continue to roll with Sergei Bobrovsky tonight in Ottawa, as their schedule favours their number one to continue rolling in their net.  This will give Derek his first start of the night, as his team tries to inch its way closer to the main groups up at the top of the standings.  his 9th place team is 8 points back of 8th place and once he closes that gap, the rest won't seem so far.  At the other end, Mike Condon gets the nod, a Waiver Draft drop this season, which may not bode well for the home team tonight.

Henrik Lundqvist (Brian) versus Jimmy Howard (Dale C.)
At the new Little Caesar's Arena, it's Brian's 7th place team featuring against Dale C.'s 10th place team, the two teams separated by 9 points at the start of play.  In terms of the match-up here, the Rangers are the more dangerous of the two teams and they have the statistically better of the two goalies, as Henrik Lundqvist has 39 points in 31 appearances, while Jimmy Howard has 21 points in 30 appearances.

Tristan Jarry (Derek B.) versus Cam Ward (Stacey M.)
The whole point of Derek picking Tristan Jarry was because we were not very sure how long Matt Murray was going to be out around the Waiver Draft.  Well, Murray came back fairly quickly, but now he's out again, much to the delight of Derek and here he is getting another start for his 9th place team.  Stacey M. currently holds the tied team in 11th place and it looks like her Carolina goalie, Cam Ward, has retaken the number one job again, as he gets his fourth straight start tonight.  Stacey's team trails Derek's by only 3 points, which could make this into a swing game.

Pekka Rinne (Dale B.) versus Devan Dubnyk (Brenda & Seward)
The Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild are opening a home-and-home set tonight, which goes on back-to-back nights, playing in St. Paul tonight and Nashville on Saturday.  Both teams are going right after it tonight, sending their number one goalies out for this one, as Pekka Rinne gets the nod for the pool-leading team of Dale B.'s, while Devan Dubnyk makes his first start in a couple of weeks for Brenda & Seward's 17th place team.

Jaroslav Halak (Benson) versus Connor Hellebuyck (Neil)
The New York Islanders tandem of goalies belong to both 1st and 3rd place teams in the hockey pool, so either way, they were showing up in this post.  3rd place Benson gets his goalie start tonight, as Jaroslav Halak gets the nod against one of the hot teams from the Central Division from Winnipeg.  It will be a draft table rivalry game tonight, as sitting across from Benson was Neil and it will be his Jets keeper going at the other end, Connor Hellebuyck, trying to improve on their 20th spot in the standings.

Jake Allen (Cam) versus Ben Bishop (Kristy & Don)
The second start for the duo tonight will happen in Dallas, as the Stars will play host to their Central Division rivals from St. Louis, sending Ben Bishop to the crease to greet them.  The Blues, on the other hand, are opening back-to-back nights tonight, before heading home to take on the Hurricanes, so it was a coin flip on their starting goalie tonight.  According to the reports, Jake Allen won the toss for the Stars, so he'll go tonight, giving Cam a shot at trying to get his way back into the top 10.  Cam's team starts the day in 14th, only 3 points out of 10th.

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