Saturday, January 19, 2019
Goalie Announcements (Jan 19)
We have ourselves an early start in Saturday's schedule, so the rush is on to get this all posted and done with... not to mention a whole boatload of guess work, since only a few goalies have been confirmed by this point.
Brian caught up to Tony in the Mover & Shaker race on Friday night, both teams have 25 points heading into today's schedule. Stuart is up with 24 points, helping to increase his overall lead, but a weekly nod would be extra frosting on the cake. Eric's team rounds out the shutout reach at 21 points, but there's still lots of action and teams within striking range yet.
Grant and Wes continue to share the basement, each team sitting with 12 points, but there are eight teams within 4 points, a shutout, of those two, so if any one of these teams were to stumble this weekend, it's a short fall to where the big chest freezer is kept.
John Gibson (Kristy & Don) versus Mackenzie Blackwood (N/A)
The Ducks are going back to the well with John Gibson, according to one report this morning, as they get the matinee game in New Jersey against the Devils. The duo are sitting on the door step for the Mover & Shaker, up at 20 points and they could be in pretty good shape with a road win from these Ducks. One really begins to wonder if they'll burn Gibson out here before too long.
Jonathan Quick (Derek B.) versus Semyon Varlamov (Wilton)
No confirmations for the Kings and the Avalanche this afternoon, both sides have been quiet this morning, so we're just posting the number ones for good measure. It could be a battle of the Dereks in the pool in this game, which really has no overall value, but Wilton's team could really use the 2 points to help his side back into the top 10 and stay well clear of the basement.
Craig Anderson (Mike) versus Jordan Binnington (N/A)
We do know that the Blues are going to be going with their rookie goalie (and Week Eighteen Waiver Draft hopeful) Jordan Binnington tonight against the Senators, but we haven't seen confirmation on the Senators goalie quite yet. Craig Anderson did return to the lineup, albeit in a backup role, this week, so there's a fine chance that he'll get the nod today, which would be huge news for Mike's team, which has managed to stay in the top 10 in his absence.
Connor Hellebuyck (Jeremy) versus Ben Bishop (Clayton)
The Dallas Stars confirmed that Ben Bishop will get the start tonight against their division rivals from Winnipeg. Clayton's team hasn't had much for consistency for games played and starts this week, so he's happy to see one more tonight, with his team at 17 points this week, 8 points back of the top. No confirmation for the Jets, as of first thing this morning, but it does seem fair to think a division game will put Hellebuyck in the crease.
Henrik Lundqvist (Scott) versus Tuukka Rask (Jesse)
This was a completely confirmed game this morning, as Lundqvist and Rask are your starters for the Rangers and Bruins tonight in Boston. Scott's team has been doing fairly well this week, up at 18 points, while Jesse's hasn't been too bad, but not quite as productive, at 16 points. Both teams are actually closer to the basement than the top, so a win here could do wonders for keeping them clear.
Carter Hart (N/A) versus Antti Niemi (N/A)
The Canadiens played last night, while the Flyers are looking to go with their fresh new franchise goalie, which makes the this game in Montreal a bit of a wash, by the look of things. Neither goalie was actually confirmed at this point, but it did seem fairly safe to assume.
Martin Jones (Brenda & Seward) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.)
There were strong indications that Andrei Vasilevskiy would be the starter for the Tampa Bay Lightning from the morning skate, so he's more-or-less confirmed to go tonight, giving Dale C. some help to stay out of the basement this week. His team opens play only 1 point clear of the bottom. The pool's second duo should expect to see their keeper for San Jose, given the opponent and how the Sharks' schedule looks.
James Reimer (Dale C.) versus Juuse Saros (Eric)
The indication from the morning skate is that Nashville will be going with Juuse Saros tonight against the visiting Panthers, which is good news for Eric's team, as it tries to chase down his first Mover & Shaker nod of the season. A win here would keep him in good shape, heading into Sunday. The Panthers played last night, so the assumption, not confirmation, is that James Reimer would get the nod tonight, which could give Dale C. two starts tonight.
Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
Nothing confirmed here for the Blue Jackets and Wild game, but with Columbus going with Joonas Korpisalo last night against the Canadiens and the Wild not having played last night, the match-up above seems very, very likely. Both goalies are workhorses and there is very little reason why this match-up can't happen.
Casey DeSmith (Benson) versus Marc-Andre Fleury (Troy)
No goalies confirmed here, as of first thing on Saturday morning, but this is the match-up that I am expecting. The Penguins went to Matt Murray last night in Arizona and they really shouldn't be pushing him too hard, so Casey DeSmith should get the call. Then the question becomes, why wouldn't Marc-Andre Fleury play against his former team?
David Rittich (Ryan) versus Mikko Koskinen (Tony)
This doesn't appear to be your grandfather's Battle of Alberta with this possible goalie match-up, does it? The Flames are on back-to-backs and they are a little more predictable, to say that they will be going with the goalie that didn't start the night before, so we're expecting, although not confirmed, David Rittich in net tonight. His counterpart is expected to be Mikko Koskinen, but again... not confirmed. Who would have seen this goalie match-up, considering them as number ones, coming in the preseason?