Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Goalie Announcements (Mar 19)
It's Tuesday! The days are just flying by, aren't they?
We'll be having a quick peek at the playoff situations for a bunch of these games tonight, 10 games on the schedule. There was only one night worth of action so far this week, so I won't get too crazy about the weekly scoring numbers yet. Let's make this post quick and dirty.
Just the way you like it... I know.
Tuukka Rask (Jesse) versus Robin Lehner (Chelsea)
2nd place in the Atlantic faces the division leader of the Metro tonight at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, as the Bruins take on the Islanders. If these two were to face each other at some point in the playoffs in their current standing, they would be playing in the Conference Finals.
Jimmy Howard (Tony) versus Henrik Lundqvist (Scott)
There's no playoffs to speak of in this match-up, as the Red Wings and Rangers will meet at MSG, playing for a bit of pride and maybe some career numbers. Henrik Lundqvist is eyeing up 5th place all-time in the wins list, as he now trails Curtis Joseph by 5 wins for 5th place on the list, 454-449. By comparison, Jimmy Howard, the Detroit starter tonight, sits 65th all-time with 239 wins. Still not a bad place to be in the grand scheme of things.
Carey Price (Stacey M.) versus Carter Hart (Jeremy)
Both the Canadiens and the Flyers are on the outside, looking in on the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Montreal 3 points back of Columbus and Philadelphia is 6 points back. The window for the Flyers is closing quickly and they'll turn back to their young phenom Carter Hart, trying to right the ship and get back on track. This is an important game for the Canadiens as well, since they can't let these 2 points get away and Carey Price will be leaned upon again to get them.
Matt Murray (Scott) versus Curtis McElhinney (N/A)
As it stands on Tuesday afternoon, both the Penguins and the Hurricanes are sitting in playoff spots and it would be heartbreaking for the game above this one, if this one was to go to overtime and the dreaded 3-point game would really hinder those teams chasing these two. Matt Murray continues to play well for Pittsburgh, getting the nod tonight, while it sounds like Curtis McElhinney will get a spin tonight at home.
Pheonix Copley (Brian) versus Mackenzie Blackwood (N/A)
The Washington Capitals are still vying for top spot in the Metro Division, as they are currently losing the tie-breaker with Long Island for it right now, with both teams playing tonight. The Capitals open up back-to-back nights against the Devils, playing the Lightning tomorrow, so they will go with Pheonix Copley tonight, trying for those 2 points in the standings. The Devils are giving Mackenzie Blackwood another go tonight and why not? He's played pretty well this season and the Devils may be looking to giving him a bigger role next season.
Mikko Koskinen (Tony) versus Jordan Binnington (N/A)
The Oilers are quickly running out of time, when it comes to their playoff hopes. They can top out at 91 points in the Western Conference and the Arizona Coyotes are currently at 78 points in the last wild card spot, but their road is going to be long and difficult, starting with St. Louis tonight, who are rocking a playoff spot already. The Oilers are going back to the well with Mikko Koskinen, while the Blues are riding the hot hand with their rookie Jordan Binnington. Nothing is ever easy for those Oilers.
Frederik Andersen (Wilton) versus Pekka Rinne (John P.)
Both the Maple Leafs and the Predators should feel relatively comfortable in their playoff spots, but the Leafs have been less than stellar of late, while the Predators have been mediocre in their last 10 as well. There's certainly no reason to start hitting panic buttons in either market, especially with goalies like Frederik Andersen or Pekka Rinne in tow, both confirmed starters for tonight. This game, however, does look like a good measuring stick game, especially between conferences.
Philipp Grubauer (Jesse) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
The only NHL playoff berth clinching scenario stems from the game between the Avalanche and the Wild, where if the Wild were to lose to the Avalanche in any fashion, the Sharks would officially have their spot sealed up. It's all but certain, but just for it to be official, that's what would need to happen. So, the Sharks are pulling for Philipp Grubauer and the Avs to do the deed, but they will get Devan Dubnyk and the Wild at the home end, so it could be a tough sell tonight.
Sam Montembeault (N/A) versus Ben Bishop (Clayton)
Ben Bishop is currently running on a shutout streak of 230:53 and will return from a brief stint on the shelf with a lower-body injury tonight, when the Stars host the Panthers. The Stars are also looking to shore up their footing in the Western Conference playoff picture with a win tonight, as 2 points would draw them even with St. Louis for 3rd in the Central, but drop down to the wild card on games played. The Panthers will be going back to their rookie keeper, Sam Montembeault, who has been pretty good, auditioning for a role in next season's team.
Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don) versus David Rittich (Ryan)
The Calgary Flames are the only team, before tonight, to have clinched a playoff spot, but they are still looking for home-ice through the division round and the Conference Finals, and they will continue their search against a Blue Jackets team, which has been stumbling through this last stretch, 5-4-1 in their last 10. The Jackets still hold a playoff spot, but they haven't had the results to suggest they want to keep it. Nevertheless, it will be a good battle of keepers tonight, each trying to achieve different goals tonight.