Friday, March 29, 2019
Evening Preview (Mar 29)
I'm going to try and brand these afternoon posts a little differently for the last week (and a little bit) of the season, ahead of next year. I think a little more can be done, since there are usually some news bytes that could be done here and there's a lot more to the pool than just the goalies, right?
Let's see how this goes. It's a work in progress, to say the least.
Jordan Binnington (N/A) versus Alexandar Georgiev (N/A)
The St. Louis Blues need a point to clinch their playoff berth or if fail that, Arizona needs to lose in any fashion. That's one clinching scenario tonight and the Blues will give that job to the rookie, Jordan Binnington. Actually, both the Blues and the Rangers will be starting non-pool rookies, Alexandar Georgiev going on the other side, making this game moot from the crease.
Is there any merit in this game? Grant is looking for points and he's the only one in the 3rd place race with a player in this game, Jimmy Vesey of the Rangers. He starts 9 points back of 3rd place tonight, so Vesey needs to be huge.
Pekka Rinne (John P.) versus Matt Murray (Scott)
In Pittsburgh, the Penguins can take a step closer to clinching their playoff berth with a win over the visiting Predators. Nashville is already in and could keep the Eastern Conference very interesting with a win and we'll get the two number ones head-to-head tonight. In the pool, Scott's team is in the mix for the basement again this week, only 2 points clear of the bottom at the start of play tonight, while John P. is watching his team cruise to the end without any danger signs at the moment.
Scott gets some more good news here, as Olli Maatta has been activated from the Injured Reserve, he's been out a long time with his upper-body injury. He needs some good news to finish off this season, just to feel a little bit better.
Mackenzie Blackwood (N/A) versus Jonathan Bernier (Brenda & Seward)
The Devils and Red Wings are going through the motions, as we close out the regular season and they will play at Little Caesar's Arena tonight. Brenda & Seward appear to be getting the only pool start in this game, thanks to Jonathan Bernier and the Wings, still 5 points back of Chelsea's team for 22nd in the standings.
The Detroit Red Wings have made a couple of call-ups before this game, unsure if pool forward Frans Nielsen will be able to go tonight, as he entered concussion protocol after Thursday night's game in Buffalo. He'll be listed as day-to-day for the time being, but with only a week left to go this season, Scott's forward could be pooched.
Darcy Kuemper (Neil) versus Philipp Grubauer (Jesse)
Looks like by default, this will be the hockey pool game of the night, since Jesse will get a start from Philipp Grubauer and the Avalanche, when they host Darcy Kuemper and the Coyotes. Jesse's team starts play only 6 points back of 4th place and 15 points back of 3rd with very little time left on the clock. Neil's team gets the other start tonight, sitting in 7th place, 41 points back of Jesse, but has broken away with Stacey C. from the middle of the pack, situated comfortably in 7th and 8th.
Jesse also gets some much better news from the injury department, as Gabriel Landeskog is scheduled to return from injury tonight, he has missed three weeks with an upper-body injury. This is a huge boost for the Avs and for Jesse's team in that points race.
Ryan Miller (N/A) versus Mike Smith (Brian)
The Flames have dropped their last two games and look to get back on track with a win against the visiting Ducks. Brian's team is eyeing up a Mike Smith start tonight from the Flames, not to mention looking at passing Troy's team, which is currently in a free fall and only 6 points away. The Ducks have all of a sudden been playing some better hockey, so despite their position in the west, this isn't a gimme of a game.
Devan Dubnyk (Wes) versus Malcolm Subban (N/A)
Malcolm Subban gets his 7th straight start tonight for the Golden Knights, as they can also clinch their playoff spot tonight. Much like the Blues earlier in the schedule, they need a point or the Coyotes to lose in any fashion. That's easy, right?
Wes gets the only hockey pool start in net tonight with Devan Dubnyk, which he desperately needs, since his team is only 1 point clear of the basement at the start, where Troy sits, without a Vegas start, since Marc-Andre Fleury is still on the shelf.