Saturday, April 07, 2018
Goalie Announcements (Apr 7)
Today was supposed to be the last day of the NHL regular season, but thanks to that winter snowstorm that blew through the Northeast United States, we will have one makeup game to watch tomorrow, so this isn't quite it... but there's so much happening today, that it might as well be.
It probably helps that it is still really crappy outside in Calgary today, so I have decided that since this is a big day overall, I will do the goalie preview for the pool for every game. The first game doesn't start until the early afternoon, so I have some time.
With 15 games on the schedule today, just about anything can happen, except for someone beating Stuart. That has been decided for way too long in this third segment of the season. I would go so far as to say, Benson's hold on 2nd place, which is about 10 points, has could teeter a bit. So, we're in for an interesting day, I think.
Henrik Lundqvist (Brian) versus Brian Elliott (Stacey C.)
The early game between the Rangers and Flyers is more important in the NHL playoff race, than anything else. The Flyers could clinch the final spot in the east with a win or a loss in overtime or the shootout today, so the pressure will be on Brian Elliott today. The Rangers can play spoiler, giving Henrik Lundqvist the last game of the year to do so.
In the pool, it's 15th versus 22nd, Brian's team the only one of the two that can really move up further today, but he'd need that spoiler win!
Carey Price (Dale C.) versus Frederik Andersen (Mike)
It's an old-fashioned match-up in Toronto tonight, as the Canadiens and Maple Leafs will go toe-to-toe with their number ones in one of the early Hockey Night In Canada games. Toronto is locked in for 3rd place in the Atlantic and Montreal could still pass Detroit in the Eastern Conference standings with a win, but really, this is a nothing game.
Carey Price goes for Dale C.'s 12th place team, while Frederik Andersen goes for Mike's 18th place team. Not much of a pool match-up here either.
Thomas Greiss (Dale B.) versus Jared Coreau (N/A)
The Islanders and Red Wings will commiserate their lack of playoff games together tonight in Detroit, when they finish off their seasons at the Little Caesar's Arena.
Dale B. gets a key start from Thomas Greiss in this one, as his team defends 3rd place and chases down 2nd place. Dale's team is 9 points clear of Tony and Clayton to start the night. His goalie's opponent is a non-pool keeper, so that has to be considered a plus, right?
Cory Schneider (Jeremy) versus Braden Holtby (Grant)
If the playoffs were to open before today's action, the Devils and the Capitals would be opening round opponents and really, they still can be, once everything shakes out on Saturday. Cory Schneider has lost the number one job, but will get the last start of the regular season, while the Capitals feel confident enough to keep Braden Holtby the start tonight.
Grant's team opens the day 7 points out of 7th, his highest possible finish this season, while it appears Jeremy's team is comfortable in 21st spot and that's where he'll finish.
Jeff Glass (N/A) versus Connor Hellebuyck (Neil)
The Winnipeg Jets will close out the season at home against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Jets already know that they are playing the Wild in the opening round of the playoffs, but Connor Hellebuyck is looking for an NHL record for wins in a season by a US-born goalie, so he get the nod tonight. At the other side, the Blackhawks played at home last night, so they'll finish off with the keeper that didn't play, non-pool goalie Jeff Glass.
It looks like Neil's team will either finish 18th or 19th after today's action. There doesn't look like many possibilities otherwise at the moment, no matter the result of Hellebuyck.
Danny Taylor (N/A) versus Anton Khudobin (Eric)
Boston is one of the two teams that will play on Sunday and they still have a shot at the Atlantic Division title with a couple of wins, but they are also going to be somewhat cautious, as they are looking forward to a good playoff run. Anton Khudobin will get the task for the Bruins and the Senators will give a start to youngster Danny Taylor tonight, just to cap off the year.
Eric's season could finish closer to the middle of the pack today, starting in 17th and 9 points back of the equator. A win against the lowly Senators can certainly help get him up high enough for a respectable season.
Adam Wilcox (N/A) versus Roberto Luongo (Stuart)
If the Flyers somehow drop this afternoon's game against the Rangers, that means that the Panthers still have a shot at a playoff spot. They have been approaching it as such anyways, as they have named Roberto Luongo as tonight's starter against the Sabres, while their opponents, on the back end of back-to-backs, may end up giving Adam Wilcox, last night's backup, a start in the finale.
Stuart's team doesn't need the points, but he might end up with a couple more anyways.
Louis Domingue (N/A) versus Cam Ward (Stacey M.)
The Tampa Bay Lightning are on back-to-back nights to close out the season as well, so I am assuming that they will opt for Louis Domingue, while the Hurricanes will likely play out the schedule with Cam Ward getting one more start before the end of the season. The Lightning can clinch the Atlantic with a win tonight, but could give it up to Boston without a win.
Stacey M. has a 4-point lead on 11th place, narrowly holding onto a top 10 spot for this season and her team could use a win to lock it up. Top 10 in a 25-team pool isn't too bad, but it is too bad that it doesn't pay.
Joonas Korpisalo (N/A) versus Pekka Rinne (Dale B.)
It's two different approaches to tonight's game in Nashville, as the Predators are not going to ruin their current momentum, starting Pekka Rinne, while the Blue Jackets are going to go the route of resting players, giving Joonas Korpisalo the nod tonight. It may be a mismatch in the crease, but the Jackets might still have enough to be a complacent Predators team.
Dale B. gets another huge start tonight, as his team could still finish 2nd in the standings this year. Two goalie starts, which should be considered favourites to win, which could be a 4-point night from the back end, if not more.
Reto Berra (N/A) versus Antti Raanta (Ryan)
The Anaheim Ducks are heading to the playoffs, but tonight will decide where they will finish in the division standings. They could finish as high as 2nd in the Pacific or they could fall to the top wild card spot, so there is something to play for, especially when it comes to home-ice. Unfortunately, they played last night and it doesn't sound like John Gibson is ready to return, so we're expecting Reto Berra to get the nod against Antti Raanta and the Coyotes.
Ryan gets the only pool start in this match-up and his pool team could still finish as high as 22nd with some help on this busy Saturday. How very exciting!
Jake Allen (Cam) versus Jonathan Bernier (Scott)
Probably the most intriguing game of the Saturday schedule is the Blues and the Avalanche, since they are playing for the last wild card spot in the west. With that being said, both teams better be coming with everything they got and that means Jake Allen versus Jonathan Bernier, loser goes home.
In the pool, it's a game between a couple of table-mates at the draft. Cam's 16th place team against Scott's 24th place team. Scott's team has an outside shot at 23rd, which would be something, since his team has been in the bottom two spots for the better part of this season.
Marc-Andre Fleury (Scott) versus Jon Gillies (N/A)
The Flames are going to play host to the final regular season to the Golden Knights' Cinderella inaugural season. They are going to see what Jon Gillies has to offer for next season, giving him the nod against the Pacific Division champions. There was no confirmation at the time of writing the post, but it is being assumed that Marc-Andre Fleury will sharpen up his skills against the Flames, ahead of the playoff run.
Scott's chase of 23rd spot would get another start this way and a favourable one, to boot. If it isn't Scott's start, it will be Wilton's, but this is my best guess.
Jacob Markstrom (Wes) versus Cam Talbot (Wes)
The Canucks and Oilers will conclude their seasons in Edmonton tonight, with a few good player story lines to speak of, but there is no playoff hope around here this time around. Both Jacob Markstrom and Cam Talbot are expected to get the nods to close it all out and it should be a pretty good finish, one would think.
It's an all-Wes finale in the late game here. His team should have a top 20 spot, even if it is 20th overall, it should be his after this one. Not quite where he wanted his team to be at the end of the year, but what can you do?
Kari Lehtonen (Brenda & Seward) versus Jonathan Quick (Chris)
Mike McKenna took the loss for the Stars last night, which means that Kari Lehtonen should get the net for the team's finale tonight in Los Angeles. The Kings, who could still move up a spot in the standings, trying to avoid Vegas in the opening round, will go with Jonathan Quick, but that's an unconfirmed starter as well.
This is the first of two possible starts for Chris' team, which has a long shot for the money, starting tonight and his fate won't be decided until after the late games, it would seem.
Devan Dubnyk (Brenda & Seward) versus Martin Jones (Chris)
The Wild gave Alex Stalock their last game and that should suggest that Devan Dubnyk will get one more warm-up game ahead of the playoffs, as the Wild visit the Shark Tank for their season finale. The Sharks would prefer a win to clinch home-ice in the opening round, avoiding some tie-breaking scenarios, so they will probably go with Martin Jones.
Two games, Brenda & Seward against Chris, in goalie form? That's kind of exciting. The duo could see their goalies play spoiler for Chris and his team's effort for 3rd place money. This should be a fun night to watch.