Monday, April 01, 2019

Evening Preview (Apr 1)

The end of the tunnel is beginning to show some light and the NHL regular season is finally coming to a close this coming weekend.  We begin the last week of the season with eight games on the schedule and only a little bit to play for, by the look of things.

The race for 2nd place is alive and well, as the duo of Kristy & Don jumped up there with a monster week and Stacey M.'s team is probably still dizzy, wondering who or what just rushed past them last week.  Her team better get their asses in gear if they want the bigger prize.  Stacey's team does have a slight advantage in projected games this week, but will it pay off?

Grant, Jesse and Tony will all battle it out for 4th place and I'm sure all three teams are hoping that they all have really big weeks to not only separate themselves from the other two, but to possibly catch 3rd place, but it will take another one of those record weeks, one would think.

Let's not forget about last place... both Derek B. and Scott are fighting tooth and nail to sleep down in the basement all summer long.  Hey, it's much cooler and more comfortable in that summer heat.  That's got to be rather enticing.

Pheonix Copley (Brian) versus Roberto Luongo (John P.) 
The Washington Capitals need a win and some help, if they are going to secure their Metro Division title tonight, as they will need the Islanders to lose in regulation for that to occur.  Both games go early, so we'll know before we head to bed tonight whether or not they'll have the top spot there.

Brian and John P. get starts in this one, as these two go toe-to-toe.  John's team trails Brian's by 6 points in the overall standings and it is the last gasp to try and work their way up the standings before we close up shop for the year.  There must be a little bit of pride in there somewhere.  After a quick review of the rest of the games... this is the hockey pool game of the night!

Henrik Lundqvist (Scott) versus Mackenzie Blackwood (N/A)
Scott gets a shot at passing Derek B. using a single goalie, as if to say it was really that easy.  Henrik Lundqvist has been tapped to go for the Rangers, when they head to the swamp to take on the Devils, where he'll face the rookie keeper, Mackenzie Blackwood, who has no pool ownership this season.  This game doesn't carry very much value to the overall scope of things, as the Rangers are 7 points up on the Devils in the standings and this swing won't affect the draft lottery odds very much, if at all.

The New Jersey Devils are expecting to be without forward Kyle Palmieri tonight, due to a lower-body injury.  He's considered to be day-to-day right now, but there won't be any rush to get him back, if only to possibly pad his numbers, if possible.  This will be a missed skater game for Brenda & Seward.

Frederik Andersen (Wilton) versus Robin Lehner (Chelsea)
The Toronto Maple Leafs can claim their spot in the playoffs tonight with a point against the New York Islanders tonight, but that will be far from an easy task, because the Islanders are still in the race for the Metro Division title, if they can put 2 points up from a win.

Wilton's team leads the group of teams vying for a top 10 spot, sitting in 9th and is only 11 points clear of 13th, so his team is hoping that it doesn't fall out, because the fall can be quick and painful, if he isn't getting the participation he needs to hold on.  Chelsea, on the other hand, also gets a start, but is looking to fend off the possibility of dropping to 23rd before it is all said and done, so she'd like those 2 points too.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.) versus Craig Anderson (Mike)
The 1992 expansion cousins go head-to-head in a meaningless game, but it doesn't look like the Lightning are taking tonight off or at least their number one goalie doesn't seem to be taking the night off.  Dale C. and Mike are getting starts tonight in this game, which heavily favours the visitors, if they are not going to be resting anyone.  Dale's team is eyeing up the top 10, 4 points back, while Mike's team fell out of the top 20 and starts the night 4 points back of 20th.  Strange parallels at different points in the standings.

Lightning backup goalie Louis Domingue will not be dressing tonight, due to a lower-body injury.  You could argue whether or not this was a scheduled start for him, given the opponent, but he's unable to go, so Eric might have missed out on a chance at some extra minutes tonight.  His team has the tie-breaker on Dale's team for 11th, but won't get the start.

Philipp Grubauer (Jesse) versus Jordan Binnington (N/A)
The Colorado Avalanche could win themselves some breathing room in the wild card race tonight, as they open up the final week with only a 1-point lead over the Coyotes for the last spot in the west, but they get the tough task of the St. Louis Blues tonight.  The Avs have been running pretty confidently with Philipp Grubauer in net of late and he'll go again tonight, by the look of things, so that means Jesse's team gets that key start in his last gasp chase for 3rd place.

Connor Hellebuyck (Jeremy) versus Corey Crawford (N/A)
The Jets are still vying for top spot in the Central Division and they can go clear of the Predators with at least a point, but preferably 2 points, from the Blackhawks tonight in Chicago.  The Jets are not taking any chances, wanting to take on Dallas, rather than St. Louis in the opening round, so they will go back to Connor Hellebuyck tonight in a battle of number ones, but where only the visitors have the pool selected goalie. 

Does Jeremy have anything left to play for?  18 points back of 18th... 16 points clear of 20th... not really, eh!

Mikko Koskinen (Tony) versus Malcolm Subban (N/A)
The Edmonton Oilers can officially be eliminated from playoff contention if the Avalanche get at least a point tonight against the Blues and they will be scoreboard watching a little bit in Vegas, as they try to help their own cause as much as they can against the Golden Knights, but hopes have to be awfully low at this point.  Tony is hoping that the Oilers still have a little bit of fight left in their game, since he has their starting goalie and dreams of some money back in this hockey pool, but like the Oilers, the odds are long for any return this year, but it's not over until it's over.

David Rittich (Ryan) versus Jonathan Quick (Brenda & Seward)
The Calgary Flames clinched top spot in the division and the conference last night in San Jose, so they will get onto resting some players ahead of the final week of the season, given that it's only the Kings tonight and their B team should be able to polish off a W on back-to-back nights.  David Rittich will get the nod for the resting Flames, while Jonathan Quick should be tapped for the Kings tonight, giving Ryan and Brenda & Seward starts.  Ryan's team starting in 13th, the duo chasing Chelsea's team for 22nd, not a lot to go with here.

The pool scratches for Calgary appear to be as follows: Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk, T.J. Brodie and Noah Hanifin... which means that Derek B., Grant, Troy, Wes and Brian will all miss a game and the possibility of more in this last week.  I hope they aren't hoping for too much more this season.

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