Thursday, April 05, 2018
Goalie Announcements (Apr 5)
Missed out a day's worth of previewing, now we're heading into Thursday's action with some blanks in between.
Benson's team has gotten off to a 10-point start to the week, increasing the gap between 2nd and 3rd to 6 points over Dale B.'s team. Tony's team overtook Clayton's by a point, but still trails 3rd place by 12 points heading into tonight's action.
The Thursday schedule is a big one, 12 games on the docket. Our focus will be these four teams, so that could mean upwards of eight games on this preview... but how many will there be? I haven't counted yet.
Ondrej Pavelec (N/A) versus Jaroslav Halak (Benson)
We'll start at the top and work our way down... Benson has only one possible start and it looks like he gets it, as Jaroslav Halak is expected to take to the net for the Islanders in the Battle of New York. The Rangers are in Brooklyn tonight to take on their crosstown rivals and they'll send Ondrej Pavelec to the crease for this one. Neither team have playoff hopes, so it's going to be a matter of pride, more than anything.
Since it is Halak in the net tonight, that means one of Dale B.'s two possible starts gets hijacked by the team ahead of his in the standings.
Juuse Saros (Eric) versus Philipp Grubauer (Grant)
Dale's second possible start was riding on the Predators in Washington tonight, but the Predators are apparently going to go with Juuse Saros for their last road game of the year, likely saving Pekka Rinne for the season-finale in Nashville on Saturday. The Capitals are also going the same route, not that it really matters to Grant, as he has both Caps goalies. Tonight, it will be Philipp Grubauer, likely giving Braden Holtby the nod on Saturday as well.
Which then brings us to Tony's teams and the schedule didn't favour his teams today, as neither Anaheim or Ottawa are going... they both went last night!
Tuukka Rask (Clayton) versus Roberto Luongo (Stuart)
The Boston Bruins will indeed give Clayton at least one of two possible starts tonight, as Tuukka Rask has been named the confirmed starter for the Bruins on Thursday night. The Bruins are in Sunshine, FL to take on the Panthers and they have tapped Roberto Luongo for this start and this game is a long shot away from being an opening round playoff match-up in the East, assuming the Panthers could win this game and stay in the race.
Scott Darling (Clayton) versus Brian Elliott (Stacey C.)
At the time of writing up this post, the Hurricanes hadn't confirmed their goalie, so there is a chance that Scott Darling that could get the nod, but there is an equal chance that Cam Ward would get the start too... so, we're calling it 50/50. Clayton or Stacey M. gets a start here, it's just too hard to call at this point. The Flyers, on the other hand, have confirmed that Brian Elliott has been activated from the IR to start tonight for the Flyers, giving Stacey C. a late season start.