Through three nights of action, nine of 19 qualified teams in Week Two have already qualified for Week Three, leaving 10 teams to work their magic in the last four nights of the week. There are still 30 games left to play, including a busy night on Thursday night, where 11 games are on the docket... how many will have meaning in the survivor pool?
Brenda & Seward are looking for a win to move onto next week and they will get a start from Steve Mason in the Flyers' home opener on Thursday night and they will get the tough task of playing the Anaheim Ducks in this one. Mason will get the already eliminated John Gibson as his opponent tonight, as Dale B. looks to take back 1st place in the standings with a win (and a little bit more help).
In another survivor pool game, Cam will get another start from Marc-Andre Fleury on Thursday night for the Pittsburgh Penguins, with the San Jose Sharks in town for a Stanley Cup Finals rematch. As expected, it will be Martin Jones in the Sharks' net, as you know they will be taking this game seriously, trying to exact a little revenge for their playoff loss. Wes will get his first crack at moving on to next week with the Jones start, making this game very interesting.
If one chance to move on wasn't enough for Cam, he'll get another shot with Roberto Luongo on Thursday night, but this one won't be easy either. The Washington Capitals are in town and the best goalie in the NHL, over the last two seasons, will be getting the nod, as Braden Holtby gets the call for Jeremy's pool team. Jeremy is also in need of a win to move on to next week, but with the weekend still ahead of us, it's not a time to panic for either team... yet.
The return of Carey Price is upon us! The 3rd overall pick in the draft for Benson will be making his season debut tonight with the Arizona Coyotes in town for a game. At the other end of the ice, it will be Louis Domingue, the 8th round pick for Wes, as Mike Smith will be sitting out of this one with a lower-body injury. Unfortunately for Benson, he's already out of the survivor pool, but Wes is not and he's the one getting the rare start from the dogs. Benson might have the last laugh though, since he's opening the night in 2nd place, 1 point out of 1st.
The St. Louis Blues are continuing their trip through the Pacific Division with a stop in Edmonton on Thursday night to take on the Oilers. Mike is still in need of a win for Week Three and he'll see Jake Allen head to the Blues' crease to take on Cam Talbot at the other side. Talbot belongs to Marcie this season and she already has her win this week, but a win could move her into a possible money spot at the end of the night.
In Tampa Bay, Kristy & Don will get another shot at Week Three with their only healthy goalie, as Semyon Varlamov will get the call for the visiting Avalanche, but he'll face a tough test in Ben Bishop and the Lightning. Dale C. has already moved onto Week Three in the survivor pool, now he's looking towards Bishop to help his team get out of the bottom half of the standings.
In the last game of the night, it is the last game that has any meaning in the survivor pool as well, as the Buffalo Sabres invade Rogers Arena in Vancouver to take on the Canucks. Jacob Markstrom, the Canucks starter, has already qualified this week, thanks to the win against St. Louis, but Buffalo's Robin Lehner could use a win for Jeremy, who getting a second chance at a win this week. The 1970 expansion cousins should put on a decent show tonight, since they are both teams of lowered expectations and still have some to give.
The survivor pool doesn't come into play here in the Los Angeles/Dallas game tonight, as Dale C. has already qualified, meaning Kari Lehtonen's start is only for points for him, while the Kings are going to give Peter Budaj a spin in net and he wasn't taken in the pool, to no surprise. With two starts tonight, Dale can move much closer to the middle of the pack, if they both come in with wins.
Both Stuart and Troy have their tickets punched for Week Three, so this one will be more about moving up in the standings tonight. Stuart opens up in 12th place in the standings and will have Cory Schneider in the Devils' net, while Troy opens up in 22nd and Tuukka Rask will be in net for the Bruins. Rask hasn't exactly been 100%, which has to be a concern for Troy, but a game against the Devils could be a good way to feel better.
John S. already has his win tonight, so Devan Dubnyk is not fighting to stay in the survivor pool tonight, when he takes on non-pool goalie Jhonas Enroth tonight, with the Maple Leafs in Minnesota to take on the Wild. John is off to a decent start in the week, picking up 11 points, so far, and moving up to 19th in the standings. A win tonight would get him much closer to the top half of the standings.
It's a battle of eliminated goalies in Calgary on Thursday night, as the Carolina Hurricanes come to town to take on the Flames, where the goalie match-up will be Eddie Lack against Brian Elliott, playing for Stacey C. and Derek B., respectively. Stacey is still right in the thick of the money race, early on this season, and a win from the visitors would certainly go a long ways to helping his team stay in this race.