Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday Preview (Mar 31)

It's another early start for the NHL on this second-to-last Sunday of the regular season and we're winding down in many of the races we've seen this year.

One race that has heated back up again is the one for 2nd place, as Kristy & Don have vaulted up the ranks with a Mover & Shaker-type week, already at 40 points with one more day to go and now trail Stacey M. by only 7 points, leaving 4th place behind, Grant now 13 points back.

The duo have at least one challenger still remaining for the Mover & Shaker this week, as Stacey C.'s team has been trying to keep up the pace, starting the day 4 points back in the weekly race and both teams have five projected games to play today.

Scott and Troy have been left to slug it out at the bottom of the weekly table, Scott's team down with 8 points and Troy at 10 points, no one left to be seen less than 6 points away from Troy's side.  Everyone else seems to be pretty safe.

Alexandar Georgiev (N/A) versus Carter Hart (Jeremy)
Well, I'm sure the schedule maker was hoping that this game would have meant something today, but both the Rangers and the Flyers are out of the playoff picture today and now they are just playing for position in the standings, improving or degrading their draft lottery position in the end.

Carter Hart is expected to start for the Flyers, after taking the day off yesterday, which is good news for Jeremy's side and one would think that Shayne Gostisbehere would also return from his day off as well, but that hasn't been confirmed just yet, much to the chagrin of Scott's team.  Out of the three goalie system for the Flyers, Cam Talbot will be the healthy scratch.

Devan Dubnyk (Wes) versus Darcy Kuemper (Neil)
Both the Minnesota Wild and Arizona Coyotes are on the outside looking in on the playoff picture in the west, the Coyotes just on top of the Wild by a point, but start the day 3 points back of the Avalanche.  The race isn't quite over yet and a 3-point game in the standings could really make this one interesting.

In the pool, this is a top 10 match-up, which possibly makes this the hockey pool game of the day, as Neil's 7th place team should have Darcy Kuemper going again for the home side, while Wes' team, narrowly holding onto 10th, should have Devan Dubnyk going for the visitors.  Wes' team trails Neil's by 16 points, which is a long shot to make up, but chipping away can't hurt.

Curtis McElhinney (N/A) versus Matt Murray (Scott)
The Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins are locked into a pretty good playoff battle this afternoon, as the Hurricanes could pass the Penguins and move into the division playoff spot with a regulation win today, which makes this a very good game for the television viewing, one would assume.

Scott's team gets a good look at trying to make its way out of the Basement Dweller nod with a start from Matt Murray today, unconfirmed, but assumed.  The Penguins were not active last night, unlike the Hurricanes, which leads to the assumption that Curtis McElhinney will get the nod at the other side.

Joonas Korpisalo (N/A) versus Linus Ullmark (Steve)
Both the Blue Jackets and the Sabres played last night and given that the early game today is really early, we're left to assume that the goalies that didn't start last night will start today, but that may not necessarily be the case for the Jackets, since they are still in the playoff race, holding the last wild card spot in the east and could be in need of that win.  As it stands right now, Steve would be the only one with a pool start, but the moving and shaking duo may get that back-to-back start, just to try and ensure 2 points.

Steve's team starts 20 points out of the top 10 in 18th spot and a Mover & Shaker week of his own in the final seven days could potentially have his side up there.  That whole race could be something to watch, if a team gets hot in the last week.

Jaroslav Halak (Stacey M.) versus Jimmy Howard (Tony)
The goaltending match-up for the Bruins and the Red Wings was set good and early, as we'll see Jaroslav Halak and the Bruins try to lock up home-ice for the opening round match-up, likely against the Leafs, against a Red Wings team that is stumbling with injuries, but they still have a healthy number one in Jimmy Howard, who will go at the opposite end.

This was pretty close to being the hockey pool game of the day, but Tony's team is just too far away from Stacey M.'s team in the standings, 28 points, so it didn't make too much sense.  Nevertheless, Stacey's team wants these 2 points to stay clear of the charging duo, while Tony still has a candle lit for his hopes for 3rd place, which now stands at 21 points away.  Do you believe in miracles?

David Rittich (Ryan) versus Aaron Dell (Troy)
The Calgary Flames can lock down the Pacific Division and the Western Conference with a win over the San Jose Sharks at the Shark Tank tonight.  There's nothing confirmed, in terms of goalies, but the Flames have been rotating and the Sharks played last night, so that has led this post in the direction you see above.

Ryan's team is looking for a top 10 spot, starting 6 points back and possibly getting the start from the visitors, while Troy's team is just hoping to keep out of the basement and it would be a coin flip to see if Aaron Dell indeed gets the start or the team goes to Martin Jones on back-to-back nights.  They did go to overtime last night, so don't count on it.

This will also be a great game to watch, since these two teams don't like each other and are on a collision course for the 2nd round of the playoffs.

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