Thursday, October 18, 2018
Goalie Announcements (Oct 18)
Well, it's an early post for the goalies tonight, as it seems like everyone was on the ball, except for maybe Detroit, releasing who would be their starters for the evening. As of the time of posting this, Detroit hadn't confirmed their keeper, but it was a pretty good bet that they would go with their number one tonight.
After Wednesday night's action, 10 of 17 teams that have survived in the non-existent goalie survivor pool have all qualified for Week Four, leaving only seven teams to get the job done. Chelsea, Jeremy, Derek B., Wilton, Clayton, Dale C. and Eric are all in need of wins this week to move on and five of those teams have starts tonight. Let's have a peek to see who is going tonight, shall we?
Matt Murray (Wilton) versus Frederik Andersen (Derek B.)
A couple of goalies returning from injury are first on the docket tonight, as the Penguins and Maple Leafs will give their number one goalies a roll tonight. Matt Murray is returning from a concussion, while Frederik Andersen is returning from a minor knee injury and both have had an extra couple of days of rest and recovery, so it might be a measure of who has the least amount of rust tonight that gets the win.
It's the battle of Dereks tonight in this opening game, Wilton versus Bell. 15th and 21st place in the standings, separated by 6 points at the start of play on Thursday night, both with only 4 points on the week, among a few teams with the same affliction, being too close to the Basement Dweller nod.
Philipp Grubauer (Jesse) versus Keith Kinkaid (Neil)
The New Jersey Devils have been red hot to start the season, working a perfect 4-0-0 record and Keith Kinkaid has been a big part of that, winning all four games and adding a shutout in there as well. He goes again for the home side, looking to keep the good times rolling and the Colorado Avalanche are their opponents on the night. The Avs will be giving Philipp Grubauer a run at the Rock tonight, which looks like a scheduled start to keep him sharp.
Neil has been rocking the hell out of the pool points to start the season, including this week, as his team has a healthy lead in the Mover & Shaker race at 16 points and now a lead overall over Benson's team by 4 points. Kinkaid is a big part of the reason why his team has been so hot. Jesse's team, on the other hand, has been okay in Week Three, picking up 9 points so far and he currently ranks 9th, 13 points back of 3rd place.
Calvin Pickard (N/A) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don)
The Columbus Blue Jackets will debut their new (yet strikingly familiar) alternate jerseys tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers and they will do so with their number one guy in the crease tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky will model the new duds and he'll take on Calvin Pickard at the other end of the ice, wearing just the plain old road jerseys for the Flyers.
Jeremy is one of the teams vying for the Basement Dweller nod, with only 3 points so far this week, and he won't see his goalie going tonight, which doesn't bode well for him, while Kristy & Don have only 8 points in the week, which is certainly better, but a well-rounded evening worth of points could change that in a hurry too.
Jimmy Howard (Tony) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.)
The win-less Detroit Red Wings will have to dig deep for some extra mojo, if they are going to go into Tampa Bay and register that first W of the season. This is especially true for Jimmy Howard, who gets the call for the Red Wings, as his opponent in the crease will be last season's top keeper, Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Tony probably knew that wins were going to be hard to come by from his Detroit keeper, but the Wings are 0-for-6 in the win column and now it's just getting ridiculous. Dale, on the other hand, could really use these 2 points from Tampa tonight, since his team is still 9 points behind Tony's in the standings.
Anders Nilsson (N/A) versus Connor Hellebuyck (Jeremy)
The Vancouver Canucks are riding a 3-game winning streak into Winnipeg tonight and they will continue to ride the hot hand, as Anders Nilsson takes another start away from the hockey pool, trying to improve his streak to four games. Thankfully for the pool, Connor Hellebuyck does indeed get the start for the Jets, something Jeremy can be very thankful for, as mentioned above, his team is not having a very good week. The Jets will look to snap the Canucks' streak and get Jeremy back on the up-and-up in the weekly scoring numbers.
Antti Raanta (Brian) versus Corey Crawford (Benson)
It sounds like the concussion symptoms have dissipated enough for Corey Crawford, as he will make his season debut for the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night, when they play host to the Arizona Coyotes. That's not a bad opponent to draw in against, seeing as though Antti Raanta has struggled in the early part of this season and the Coyotes haven't had much bite to their game as of yet.
Benson, in 2nd place, gets a goalie back in his lineup and his team has already been running pretty hot, so this is a pretty good bonus for him. Brian was probably hoping for some better returns out of the Coyotes, but that has yet to happen. His team is currently down in 14th and in need of a bit of luck tonight.
Jaroslav Halak (Stacey M.) versus Cam Talbot (Mike)
The Boston Bruins are on a tour of Alberta and the second half of back-to-back nights brings them to Edmonton, which they hope will have a better result than last night in Calgary. The Bruins will be going back to their number two, Jaroslav Halak, while the Oilers will send Cam Talbot out to welcome the big bad Bruins to town.
Mike's team only trails Stacey M.'s team by 2 points in the standings, but there is a log jam of teams in the 49-to-45 point range, where a win and a shutout can ramp you up the standings in a big hurry.
Robin Lehner (Chelsea) versus Jonathan Quick (Derek B.)
It must be a celebrated day for goalies coming off the Injured Reserve or something, because you can also add Jonathan Quick to that list, as Derek B.'s goalies are now healthy and ready to resume their ascent to the top of the hockey pool standings. With two goalies going tonight, the 21 points between his team and 3rd place will be whittled down in a hurry.
At the away end of the ice, the Islanders are on back-to-back nights, so they will go back to Robin Lehner tonight, giving Chelsea a start tonight. Her team is still hanging tight near the middle of the standings, in 12th place, where a win could bump it up a few spots, if everything went well.
Carter Hutton (Wes) versus Martin Jones (Brenda & Seward)
Finally, in the last late game of the night, the San Jose Sharks will also be debuting some new duds, as their "stealth" alternate uniforms will make their regular season debut against the Buffalo Sabres. For the occasion, both teams will be sending out their number one keepers, Carter Hutton at the away end and Martin Jones at the home end.
Wes and Brenda & Seward have their teams down near the bottom of the standings to start play tonight, Wes in 22nd, 9 points clear of the duo's 25th place team. Both teams haven't fared well this week either, only 6 and 5 points between the two teams. Tonight's the kind of night where some fortunes can change.