Thursday, January 25, 2018
Goalie Announcements (Jan 25)
It's the last day before the All-Star break and we have 15 games on tap and the Los Angeles Kings are the only team not participating tonight. Instead of going over all 30 teams that are playing tonight, I'm just going to do the usual recap of the top 10 teams in the pool and maybe some bonuses. I really don't want to cover all 15 games, despite probably having the time to do so.
I think with my day off of lots of posts, I will probably be looking at the Olympic rosters that have been announced since the last post, so stay tuned for that!
Pekka Rinne (Dale B.) versus Ken Appleby (N/A)
How about that? The first game worth mentioning has the top team in the hockey pool in it. Dale B.'s team gets a regular start from the Nashville Predators, as Pekka Rinne will be the starter tonight, as the All-Star keeper will get one last bit of work, before he gets to go enjoy the weekend in Tampa Bay. The injury situation in the New Jersey crease isn't great and the Devils are going to their number three guy tonight in Ken Appleby, getting his first NHL start.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Wilton) versus Michal Neuvirth (N/A)
Wilton's team has been going into the All-Star break into a little bit of a lull and that could get a bit of a boost, with Andrei Vasilevskiy hitting the crease before his All-Star appearance this weekend. Wilton's team finds itself 16 points out of the money spots, so his goalie needs to be on top of his game against Philadelphia tonight. The Flyers are going against the pool before the break, giving Michal Neuvirth a start, possibly another audition for the best available goalie in the Waiver Draft next week.
Devan Dubnyk (Brenda & Seward) versus Casey DeSmith (N/A)
With no All-Star duties to attend to, it seems very likely that Devan Dubnyk gets the nod for the Wild, making this one into a game worthy of mentioning, since the Penguins are going back to the standout youngster, Casey DeSmith, tonight, who has no hockey pool ties... yet? Dubnyk has helped guide Brenda & Seward into the top 10 over the last couple of weeks and can keep the 9th place team in the hunt with a road win.
Cam Ward (Stacey M.) versus Carey Price (Dale C.)
Stacey M. only gets one start tonight and that is with the Carolina Hurricanes, as they will go back to Cam Ward, yet again, as they visit her real-life favourite team, the Montreal Canadiens and their number one goalie, Carey Price. Stacey's team is narrowly hanging on to 10th place, tied with Jeremy (who has no starts tonight), and also only leads Dale's team by 2 points. This actually has turned into quite the swing game in the standings, hasn't it?
Tuukka Rask (Clayton) versus Mike Condon (N/A)
This had some potential to be a top 10 match-up game, but the Ottawa Senators are going to go with a Waiver Draft drop in Week Nine, Mike Condon, instead of their regular starter for the last game before the break, giving Tuukka Rask a preferable match-up tonight. Rask is Clayton's only start tonight, right in the midst of the 5th to 9th battle, which is separated by only 3 points in those positions. Those teams still have a gap to 4th place, but they could all put up some real points tonight with some wins, making the stretch run more fun.
Braden Holtby (Grant) versus Harri Sateri (N/A)
The Washington Capitals are in Sunrise tonight to take on the Panthers, which means Grant's 8th place team gets a start tonight and the Capitals are going to go with...
Jonathan Bernier (Scott) versus Carter Hutton (Benson)
Of the three money teams, at the start of play today, Benson's team is having the best week, so far, and that could very well continue with another start from Carter Hutton, who has unseated Jake Allen as the number one, this season. The Blues will go into the break after a home game against the red-hot Avalanche, who have a new number one goalie, thanks more to injury, but Jonathan Bernier continues to roll, giving Scott a ticket towards 23rd spot. This should be an excellent game and one to watch, if you can.
Curtis McElhinney (N/A) versus Ben Bishop (Kristy & Don)
The 5th place team that belongs to Kristy & Don will be getting their first of two starts tonight in Dallas, thanks to Ben Bishop getting the nod against the Maple Leafs. His competition from Toronto are on the road before the break and they were in Chicago last night, so they will go with their number two guy tonight, Curtis McElhinney, who is also vying for your consideration in next week's Waiver Draft. He's the 7th ranked goalie available, behind two goalies currently in the minors.
David Rittich (N/A) versus Cam Talbot (Wes)
The Flames pulled a fast one on me in the afternoon, after the blog was published, sending Mike Smith to the crease for the Kings and now likely saving David Rittich for tonight, against their provincial rivals from Edmonton. That would mean that the only pool representation is from Wes' team, in Cam Talbot, but his team isn't in the top 10... what gives?!?
Well, let's not forget about the side bets! Brenda and Grant made a $5 bet on each game this season and Brenda is already up 2-0 on the season series and she could be guaranteed money, if the Oilers win again tonight and with that goaltending match-up, it doesn't look bad.
Robin Lehner (Kristy & Don) versus Jacob Markstrom (Wes)
It's a game of pool teams that get their second start of the night in Vancouver. The Buffalo Sabres have the top 10 goalie of note, as Kristy & Don will likely have Robin Lehner in net again tonight, after his great performance in Edmonton on Tuesday and his counterpart in net will be Jacob Markstrom, giving Wes a second start tonight. If Wes can sneak out a couple of wins tonight, his team is already leading in the Mover & Shaker department and 4 points could shore that up nicely.
Jaroslav Halak (Benson) versus Marc-Andre Fleury (Scott)
Well, if Benson and Scott's teams weren't familiar with each other before, their goaltenders will sure know each other after tonight. The Long Island visit to Vegas sees another match-up of the two pool teams tonight, as Benson gets the visiting goalie in this game, Jaroslav Halak, which means Scott gets the home goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury. Scott's goalies, now healthy and playing, have provided some pretty good spoiler efforts already in the last few weeks, as his team is starting to chase down 23rd place.
Connor Hellebuyck (Neil) versus John Gibson (Tony)
Out of two potential starts, Tony's 7th place team only gets one start and that's in one of the late games, where the Anaheim Ducks play host to the Winnipeg Jets. John Gibson, Tony's top goalie, gets the nod for the home team tonight, as his pool team looks to climb the standings a little further, as his team is only 2 points out of 5th place. It looks like Gibson get an All-Star for his competition tonight, Connor Hellebuyck.