Saturday, October 27, 2018
Goalie Announcements (Oct 27)
Those jerks at the NHL scheduling office have set a 10am MT game for today, so we're going to be pushing through the goalie post with likely a lot of guess work, so bear with me on this one.
11 games in total this Saturday, six of 15 teams left in the survivor pool still need wins to qualify for Week Five, two teams tied at 23 points for the Mover & Shaker nod race, eight more teams within 5 points of those two, two teams tied at 8 points for the Basement Dweller nod and six more teams within 5 points of them.
There's a lot that can happen today and let's see if I can capture a lot of it before puck drop!
James Reimer (Dale C.) versus Keith Kinkaid (Neil)
The earliest game has been confirmed already and Dale's team is within 5 points of the Mover & Shaker, while Neil's team is within the 5 points of the Basement Dweller. Definitely opposite fortunes this week, for two teams at opposite ends of the standings. It looks like everyone is starting to come together again.
Robin Lehner (Chelsea) versus Michal Neuvirth (Grant)
Grant gets his first start of the year out of Michal Neuvirth and the Flyers, which is great news for him, 4 points clear of the Basement Dweller this week. Chelsea's team is back among the movers and shakers of this hockey pool, 5 points back of the weekly lead and her team gets the Islanders' starter, Robin Lehner again. Both goalies confirmed early on.
Mikko Koskinen (N/A) versus Juuse Saros (Eric)
It had yet to be confirmed, but without Pekka Rinne, the Nashville Predators might just ride the hell out of Juuse Saros, not that Eric would likely mind that idea at all. Saros has played well for the Preds in this recent stretch and Eric has already qualified for next week. His team, however, is right in the middle of nowhere in the weekly standings, not too hot, not too cold.
Braden Holtby (Stacey C.) versus Mike Smith (Brian)
An afternoon game in Calgary today and the only confirmed goalie that we have seen here is Mike Smith for the home side, giving Brian his first start of the day. Brian's team is still in need of qualification for Week Five, but his team is certainly in tough against the Capitals, who have been running pretty hot of late. Unless they want to keep him from an afternoon start, which is a possibility, Braden Holtby could still go for the Capitals today, which Stacey C. could appreciate, adding on to his big win total already this week.
Carey Price (Dale C.) versus Tuukka Rask (Jesse)
Dale already sees his team has qualified for Week Five in the survivor pool, but he gets his second start of the day anyways, as Carey Price should be getting the nod in Boston. Jesse's goalies were not kind to him early on, failing to qualify for Week Two, but since then, they've done well. Tuukka Rask looks to keep that momentum for him tonight.
Connor Hellebuyck (Jeremy) versus Frederik Andersen (Derek B.)
The Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs match-up again this week and it has a Basement Dweller feel to it in the crease match-up tonight. Derek's team is one of the two teams at 8 points heading into today and he gets the home goalie, while Jeremy's team is 6 points clear, just outside of my mention, but still awfully close. His goalie hasn't been confirmed, but strongly assumed, given the backup went last game.
Carter Hutton (Wes) versus Joonas Korpisalo (Clayton)
The Blue Jackets have confirmed that they are going back to Joonas Korpisalo for another game this week, much to the delight of Clayton's team, which is 3 points back of the Mover & Shaker nod at the start of play on Saturday. Carter Hutton has not been confirmed, but does seem rather likely for Wes to get a start here, also in that middle of nowhere in weekly scoring in Week Four. A win could make his Sunday much more interesting.
Corey Crawford (Benson) versus Jake Allen (Steve)
Neither goalie has been confirmed at the time of the post and the Blackhawks are on back-to-back nights, tonight being the first half of those games, so they are definitely a coin flip tonight. It's fair to assume that Jake Allen will get the nod for the Blues, as Steve's team is 4 points back of the top spot in the Mover & Shaker race. This could be a big game for him there.
Semyon Varlamov (Wilton) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
Another game where the goalies were not confirmed, but the Avalanche did play last night with their backup, so Wilton should be getting the start out of Semyon Varlamov tonight, with his team only 4 points clear of the Basement Dweller to start play tonight. The Wild don't have games on either end of tonight, so this should give Wes his second start of the day, with Devan Dubnyk and the Wild. Having both these goalies in tow for their respective teams, it's no wonder that both of them have already qualified for next week.
Louis Domingue (N/A) versus Antti Raanta (Brian)
Brian's second start of the day/evening comes in the desert, where the Coyotes will be hosting the road-weary Lightning. Tampa will be playing the second half of back-to-back nights, while the Coyotes are coming off of a win, so this could play right into Brian's hands, if his first game for qualification doesn't go so well. This will be his last shot at qualification, so fingers crossed for him, as these are two tough games.
Matt Murray (Wilton) versus Jacob Markstrom (Chelsea)
Finally, the last game of the night, the late one of all the games, sees the Penguins in Vancouver to take on the Canucks, neither goalie confirmed this early in the day, but it could be fair to assume that these two get the nod. Both Wilton and Chelsea could each see their second starts of the day/evening or there is a chance that a non-hockey pool goalie could take their place. Personally, I'd rather see both starts stay in the pool.