Saturday, December 22, 2018

Goalie Announcements (Dec 22)

A busy Saturday leads to a busy Sunday and then into the holiday break, which will extend all the way to Thursday, making Week Thirteen an awfully short one.  So, be sure to get your fill of puck before the league packs it up for a few days.  Thankfully, the World Juniors start on Boxing Day, so our addictions will be fed before too long.

Stacey M. continues to make waves this week, as her team currently holds the overall lead in the hockey pool, thanks in large part to her lead in the Mover & Shaker race as well.  Her team sits at 26 points, coming into Saturday's early action, followed by Kristy & Don at 24 and Mike at 22.  Stuart and Chelsea have also seen their teams pop the 20-point mark this week and with 14 games on today, there will be points flying all over the place!

Stacey C. bookends the weekly scoring race, down with 7 points through Friday night, but Wilton has 8 points and Jesse is at 9 points, the only three teams to not break double-digits.  If all was to go well over the next couple of days, we might see a big week from the Basement Dweller.  There will certainly be enough chances for points for everyone down there.

The goalie survivor game still has a little bit of intrigue to it, as Wes' team still hasn't qualified for Week Thirteen yet and his team only has two more possible opportunities this weekend.  Something to watch out for.

Pekka Rinne (John P.) versus Jaroslav Halak (Stacey M.)
Our current leader for the Mover & Shaker is just killing it with the goalies this week, already posting 3 wins and opens the day with yet another start from the Boston Bruins, as Jaroslav Halak has already been confirmed to go today.  It's quite the hot streak that Stacey's team is riding, but it will be tested by the Predators today.  There was no confirmation of the Predators' goalie at the time of the post, so we're assuming it's the number one, since there was no game last night and the Preds won't play tomorrow either.

Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don) versus Carter Hart (N/A)
The duo are keeping the pace in goalie starts, so far on Saturday, as they will get a start from Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets, when they go into Philadelphia to take on the young phenom Carter Hart and the Flyers.  The duo have also seen 3 wins this week from their goalies and going start for start with the leader is making this race awfully interesting.  This could be a really good game to watch, as the division rivals have played hard against each other in recent games.

Roberto Luongo (John P.) versus Jonathan Bernier (Brenda & Seward)
The pool's second duo is still trying to scratch and claw their way out of the overall basement these days, but they have been getting added opportunities for points from the Red Wings and their goaltending situation and it has been confirmed that they get another start from Jonathan Bernier this afternoon, taking on the Florida Panthers.  This duo still needs 5 points to catch Scott's team to get out and this game gives them an opportunity for a couple, at least.  The Panthers haven't confirmed their starter for this one and they play tomorrow as well, so flip a coin, pick a keeper.

Carey Price (Stacey M.) versus Marc-Andre Fleury (Troy)
Once you've had a taste of the lead in the hockey pool standings, you desperately want it back, if you lose it.  Troy had a good taste of it in recent weeks and his number one goalie, confirmed for today, Marc-Andre Fleury of the Golden Knights, is expected (but not confirmed) to take on Carey Price of the Canadiens, possibly giving Stacey a second start today.  Troy's team has fallen 11 points back of Stacey's in the last couple weeks, so this win won't have an immediate effect, but clawing back points is a good start.

Jonathan Quick (Derek B.) versus Martin Jones (Brenda & Seward)
An afternoon California rivalry game in San Jose tonight, neither team having any confirmation at the time of this post, so we're assuming number ones for each side.  Both teams go on Sunday as well, so it is a bit of a toss up and could go either way for either team.  Since this is the bigger rivalry game between the three games in question, I like the idea of the big guys going today.

Jake Allen (Steve) versus Mike Smith (Brian) 
The Flames will be in their awful retro jerseys this afternoon for a matinee game against the Blues and they have already tapped Mike Smith to go in this one.  Brian's team has been quietly floating around the middle of the standings in recent weeks, only posting 12 points, so far, this week and has just been rather unassuming.  A start here may be what the doctor ordered to boost his team back to life.  The Blues, on the other hand, are playing their last game before the break, no game last night, so we're assuming Jake Allen gets the nod again.

Semyon Varlamov (Wilton) versus Adin Hill (N/A)
This was the first game to fully confirm their keepers and it is between the Avalanche and Coyotes, which is an early evening game in Arizona, which seems a little odd, but I'm sure there's a good reason for it.  Wilton has the only pool start in this game, as no one actually has an active Coyotes goalie in this second segment.  Semyon Varlamov will go for the Avalanche, hoping to aid Wilton's chances of staying out of the basement this week.

John Gibson (Kristy & Don) versus Linus Ullmark (Steve)
One team played last night and the other didn't and won't play tomorrow either, so this is the basis for the assumed goalie match-up in Buffalo, since no one wanted to confirm by now.  I think this is pretty reasonable, but if this is the way it goes, Wes misses out on one of his two possible starts, since his Sabres goalie lost last night and probably won't play again today.  The intrigue mounts!

Alexandar Georgiev (N/A) versus Frederik Andersen (Derek B.)
A big match-up between the Rangers and the Leafs tonight in Toronto, but the Rangers are on back-to-back nights, starting with tonight's game and they have opted to give this game to their backup, leaving their number one for tomorrow against Columbus.  That just leaves Frederik Andersen as the only pool goalie in this game tonight, possibly giving a better edge to the home side and the expectation of 2 points for Derek's team in the standings, which couldn't hurt.  Derek's side has 11 points this week, only 4 points clear of the bottom at the start of play tonight.

Pheonix Copley (N/A) versus Mike McKenna (N/A)
With the Ottawa Senators having played last night, it seems rather likely that Mike McKenna will get the nod tonight, making this into a moot backup goalie battle in the hockey pool, but with the Senators media availability not for another few hours, we're left to guess an unconfirmed starter.  We know Pheonix Copley is going for the Caps, but that's about all we know.  This is the expectation and it sounds like Craig Anderson may not even be healthy to backup, let alone start, so we'll see.

Casey DeSmith (Benson) versus Curtis McElhinney (Wilton)
No one confirmed for this game in Carolina tonight, between the Penguins and Hurricanes, so this will be my best guess.  The Canes are playing tomorrow as well, so we're giving this our best guess, a coin flip, to decide who might be going today.  It will be really interesting to see who the Penguins go with, just for how well DeSmith has played and Matt Murray's assumed role with the club.  For the pool's sake though, we're pulling for DeSmith.

Ben Bishop (Clayton) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
The second game to fully confirm was Dallas and Minnesota, giving us a very good goalie match-up here in this one, the 16th ranked goalie Ben Bishop is in to visit the 20th ranked Devan Dubnyk.  Maybe by this point in the season, either goalie would have been expected to do a little bit more, in terms of wins and points, but their reputations are still pretty firm and expectations are high.  In hockey pool action, Wes needs a win this week and Clayton's goalie is looking to spoil the party.

Connor Hellebuyck (Jeremy) versus Jacob Markstrom (Chelsea)
Interesting game in Vancouver tonight, when the Jets are in to take on the Canucks.  Neither goalie confirmed for this one, a little too early for that, but it would seem fair to believe that this would be our match-up.  The Jets want to show that they are the real deal, while the Canucks are showing everyone that they are on the upswing.  Get your popcorn ready!

Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.) versus Mikko Koskinen (Tony)
The NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning appeared to be saving their number one goalie for this game, instead of having him play against the number two team in the league, which seemed odd, but they are up against one of the league's top players in Edmonton, so maybe that was why?  It should be Andrei Vasilevskiy going for Tampa tonight, given he didn't play in Calgary a couple nights ago and there's no reason not to think that Mikko Koskinen won't still be getting the top bill from the Oilers.  Neither team have confirmed at this point, but between Dale and Tony, they could use the starts.

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