Saturday, February 09, 2019

Goalie Announcements (Feb 9)

It's Hockey Day in Canada and you know what that means!  NHL hockey on TV just about all day!

Oh yeah... and an early goalie post, which will have plenty of guessing on it.

14 games on the schedule today, starting with a load of early ones, five games at 11am MT, another two at Noon, a 2pm game and then some regularly scheduled Saturday night starts at 5pm and 8pm.  Today will be a good day to get your fill, especially since we're all freezing and we don't really want to go outside, if we don't have to.

Stuart is continuing to run away with the hockey pool standings again this year, leading the Mover & Shaker race this week at 27 points heading into Saturday.  Stacey M., 2nd overall, is also 2nd in that race with 22 points, tied with Jesse and Brenda & Seward, four more teams are at 20 points, so if there was any day to try and make it into a real race for Sunday, it would be today.

At the bottom, both Ryan and Scott are hanging around with 9 points, Mike is 2 points clear at 11, Troy and Dale C. are at 12, while Derek B. and Wes are at 13, all within a shutout of the bottom.

Let's see how this post will shake out this morning.

Jonathan Quick (Brenda & Seward) versus Tuukka Rask (Jesse)
In Boston this morning/afternoon, Tuukka Rask has indeed been confirmed for the Bruins, giving Jesse one confirmed start today.  His team is still in the hunt for the Mover & Shaker and a start against the lowly Kings is a good bonus.  There's no reason not to think that the Kings won't be starting Jonathan Quick today, they're in a fine pickle, down at the bottom of the standings and they're pretty well playing for pride now.  The pool's second duo sure hope that they have at least a little pride left.

Jimmy Howard (Tony) versus Linus Ullmark (Steve)
We have had confirmation that Linus Ullmark will indeed get the start for the Sabres this morning/afternoon, when they take on the Detroit Red Wings, giving Steve a shot at 2 or more points today.  Steve's team starts action today with 16 points, well back of the top and well clear of the bottom, so it will be more about staying competitive in the top 10 today, where he starts 7th.  Jimmy Howard was given the nod in the Red Wings' projected lineup this morning, so we expect him in net today, one of two possible starts for Tony's team, which starts the day at 15 points, comfortably situated in the middle of the weekly standings.

Alex Stalock (Ryan) versus Cory Schneider (N/A)
We know that the Devils are going with a non-pool goalie this afternoon, that much has been confirmed so far.  The Wild are opening back-to-back nights and the Devils are not playing as well as they did last season, so if I was managing, I would go with Alex Stalock for this game and save Devan Dubnyk for their next game, against a much more difficult opponent, the Islanders.  That would be my suggestion/guess.

Semyon Varlamov (Wilton) versus Robin Lehner (Chelsea)
Both the Colorado Avalanche and New York Islanders open up back-to-back days with games with an afternoon tilt here today and the goaltending match-ups can definitely go any which way today.  For the sake of posting anything, I'm guessing Varlamov against Lehner, but there is no rhyme or reason to it, as both teams have capable goalies in the 1A and 1B position, both are facing quality opponents today and tomorrow, so I'm ready to be right and/or wrong in any combination or fashion here.

Chad Johnson (N/A) versus Carter Hart (Jeremy)
With the Ducks making a goalie recall last night/this morning, that pretty well seals the deal that Carter Hart will be the only hockey pool goalie going between the Ducks and the Flyers in Philadelphia this afternoon, giving Jeremy a start today.  Jeremy's team is among those at 20 points at the start of play today, so another win from the young Flyers rookie would make a big difference, one would think.

Pekka Rinne (John P.) versus Jordan Binnington (N/A)
Neither Nashville or St. Louis revealed a goalie for their division clash tonight, so we'll ride the hot hand for both teams, naming Pekka Rinne and Jordan Binnington as the supposed starters tonight.  Rinne had the night off on Thursday while Binnington shut out the Lightning in his last start, so that adds up to two quality guesses for me.  I think I will run with it.

Laurent Brossoit (Benson) versus Anders Nilsson (Stuart)
We're all confirmed up for the Jets and Senators game for Hockey Day in Canada in Ottawa this afternoon.  The first game of the broadcast schedule will feature the two number two guys for each team, both riding some hot hands, and it will be a game that only features goalies from teams of the brothers Greenley.  We already know how well Stuart is getting along, but Benson's team is up at 19 points this week, 8 points back in the week, finally bouncing back from a rough middle portion of the season, it would seem.

Anton Khudobin (Grant) versus Darcy Kuemper (Neil)
The first fully confirmed game of the day is the Stars and Coyotes game, which is the 2pm MT start today. For both pool teams, this will be their only starts of the day, as their other goalies have been confirmed to be on the bench, in their respective games.  Neil's team currently leads Grant's, 17-14, in weekly scoring here in Week Nineteen, so Grant's team is well in range, if he gets a good result here today.

Martin Jones (Brenda & Seward) versus Cam Talbot (Mike)
No confirmation for the Sharks and the Oilers tonight, but with a huge win against the Flames on Thursday night, I would imagine that Martin Jones will be back in the crease for San Jose, while the same could be said about Cam Talbot with his win over the Wild on Thursday, probably getting another start here against the daunting Sharks.  Again, no confirmation, just reasonable speculation.

Frederik Andersen (Wilton) versus Carey Price (Stacey M.)
Expect a goalie battle in Montreal tonight, when the Leafs and the Habs meet head-to-head.  Both Andersen and Price were confirmed nice and early this morning by the major outlets, so that means Wilton and Stacey M. get starts out of this game.  Wilton appears to be getting a second start today with this game and his new Waiver Draft pickup, while this will be Stacey's only start of the day.  Wilton's team start the day 5 points back of Stacey's team in the weekly scoring and with two starts and hopefully 4 points, that gap could close in a hurry today.

Casey DeSmith (Benson) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.)
Andrei Vasilevskiy was the first goalie off the ice for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their morning skate routine, which means that he'll be donning the new black alternate jersey again this week in net for the game against the Penguins.  Good news for Dale C., who sees his team among those down at the bottom of the weekly standings.  Plenty of speculation early on, with Matt Murray on the tips of everyone's tongues at the morning skate, but Casey DeSmith was the first goalie off for the Pens' skate, so he should be the one in net, giving Benson a second start today.

Roberto Luongo (John P.) versus Braden Holtby (Stacey C.)
We know that Braden Holtby has been given the nod for the Washington Capitals tonight, when they take on the Florida Panthers at home.  Stacey C. got a huge 4 points last night from his goalie and is probably hoping for much out of the same out of his goalie tonight.  That's a good way to stay out of the basement.  No confirmation of the Panthers goalie, at the time of hitting the publish button, so with a win on Thursday night, I would say that Roberto Luongo does get the nod again, rewarding his shootout effort.

David Rittich (Ryan) versus Jacob Markstrom (Chelsea)
No confirmation for the Flames and the Canucks this early in the day, but we're leaning towards the top two guys who have played the most for each team in recent memory.  It seems like a pretty good bet that we'll see Rittich and Markstrom tonight, unless the Flames do go with Mike Smith after a pretty ugly game last time out against San Jose.

Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don) versus Marc-Andre Fleury (Troy)
No confirmation from the Columbus and Vegas game either this morning, but this seems like an even  safer bet that we'll see Bobrovsky and Fleury get the reins for their respective creases tonight.  Both men eat a lot of minutes for their club and both teams are in the playoff hunt in the last third of the season, so they'll want to throw their best foot forward here.

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