Monday, March 11, 2019
Goalie Announcements (Mar 11)
The last four weeks of the regular season start tonight and the races remain much tighter in the NHL playoff race, than they do in the hockey pool standings, but that doesn't mean I won't try and point out the little races that are going on in there... they're in there somewhere, I swear!
The race for top spot isn't much of a race, Stuart has held that spot for the longest time and it doesn't look like he'll relinquish that spot any time soon. 2nd place still has a pretty good race, as Stacey M. holds an 8-point lead over Grant's team and even Kristy & Don still have a sniff for 2nd place, 18 points back of the spot with the four weeks left.
15 points separates 9th place from 17th in the standings at the start of play this week, so if your team is looking for a top 10 spot in that segment of teams, it's going to be a good time to jockey for position, as no one is safe and a Mover & Shaker week away from moving all the way up. Just ask Neil and his reigning Mover & Shaker team.
Finally, Scott's team, which has been buried in last place since Week Thirteen, may have found his way out, as Derek B.'s tanking team is doing just that and now sits only 3 points out of last place. I don't think it's much of a race nowadays, as Scott's team should zip right past Derek's, but until it happens, it's still considered somewhat of a race.
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Dale C.) versus Frederik Andersen (Wilton)
Huge Eastern Conference tilt tonight in Toronto, as the Lightning are in to take on the Maple Leafs, 1st versus 3rd in the Atlantic Division, with the Bolts already having clinched their playoff spot. This game won't be short on intrigue, with both number one goalies going tonight, Dale's team trailing Wilton's by 17 points in the standings at the start of play tonight, 14th up to 8th, in terms of positioning. Wilton has really cashed in here on his Waiver Draft pick, that's for sure.
Sergei Bobrovsky (Kristy & Don) versus Thomas Greiss (Stuart)
The Blue Jackets and the Islanders are both holding playoff spots in the Eastern Conference and they will tangle tonight at Nassau Coliseum, the Jackets looking to hold onto their wild card spot, while the Islanders want to move one step closer to top spot in the Metro Division. Kristy & Don are looking for those 2 points to help track down the money spots, while Stuart is just looking to pad his lead with another win from Thomas Greiss, one of the bargain picks of the pool this season.
Craig Anderson (Mike) versus Brian Elliott (Troy)
If you were wondering what the difference between 20th and 11th place is, it's 44 points. Mike's team trails Troy's team by that margin and their two goalies go head-to-head in Philadelphia, with Troy's team holding the goalie on the team that is still in a playoff hunt in Brian Elliott. The Senators and Craig Anderson are no strangers to playing spoiler, so that would be what they are looking to be tonight in Philadelphia.
Martin Jones (Brenda & Seward) versus Devan Dubnyk (Wes)
96 points is the difference between Brenda & Seward's team and Wes' team, 23rd to 7th place, so I don't think that anyone is kidding themselves in this race here. Still, the Sharks and the Wild should shape up to be a very good game, given that the Sharks are dealing with injury concerns and the Wild are fighting for their playoff lives, barely holding onto the last wild card spot in the west. The top goalies are going here tonight, so if you can, tune into this one.
Darcy Kuemper (Neil) versus Corey Crawford (N/A)
Neil is the only pool team involved in the crease match-up between the Coyotes and the Blackhawks tonight in Chicago, as Darcy Kuemper continues to roll through this schedule and try to push the Coyotes into the playoffs. The dogs start the night only 1 point out of the playoffs and Neil starts in 9th place, 7 points behind 8th, trying to make those baby steps up the standings.
Petr Mrazek (Stacey C.) versus Philipp Grubauer (Jesse)
39 points separates the two pool teams featured in tonight's goalie match-up in the game between the Hurricanes and the Avalanche, as Stacey starts the night in 17th and has Petr Mrazek going for the visitors, while Jesse has moved his way into a reasonable spot in 5th place and has Philipp Grubauer going for the home side tonight. It's the first of two inter-conference games on the schedule, both going in the west, so going to overtime and/or the shootout won't be such an issue for a game like this and this is a good candidate to be a 3-point game in the standings.
Henrik Lundqvist (Scott) versus Mikko Koskinen (Tony)
The Edmonton Oilers will play host to the New York Rangers tonight, as the blueshirts start their Western Canada road swing and the Oilers are going back to Mikko Koskinen again tonight, as they try and scratch and claw their way towards the playoffs. They start 7 points out and four teams to jump to get there, but Tony is more worried about the points, the 2 points up for grabs, as his team starts the night 6 points behind 5th place. We still haven't seen who the Rangers are going to toss out there, but for the sake of the pool, let's all hope for Henrik Lundqvist, because that would be far more interesting.