It's the last day of the regular season and we still have so much left to play for... well, the players in the games do for us, anyways. 10 games are on the docket, starting in the mid-afternoon for us and the money is getting all set aside for divvying out in the next few days.
Dale B. holds a 2-point lead heading into the last day's worth of action and he might get some goalie action, to help defend his lead, while Brian isn't projected to have any.
It is fairly safe to assume that Brian's lead of 12 points over 3rd place may be dented, but it won't be overcome on Sunday, as Eric likely won't have the firepower to do so. Eric's team has a 3-point advantage on Marcie's team, which is in far more dangerous territory, while Ryan's team fell off and sits 10 points back and Brenda & Seward are 11 points back. For the latter two, it would take one hell of a Hail Mary to get the job done, but that's why we play the game.
Cory Schneider (Stuart) versus Jimmy Howard (Benson)
It's the last game at Joe Louis Arena today and the goalie match-up is a good one, on paper. The Greenley brothers will go head-to-head in this one, Stuart's team trailing Benson's by 8 points at the start of play.
For money sakes, Dale B. will have Frans Nielsen going in this game, as there should be no expectation of scratches on the Detroit side today. Brenda & Seward will have Kyle Palmieri looking to play spoiler on the celebration in Detroit today.
Linus Ullmark (N/A) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Ryan)
The first possible money start on the day goes in Tampa Bay, as we know the Lightning will give one more start to their new number one goalie, Vasilevskiy. He gets the Sabres for the last start of the season, which appears to be a kind gift, as Buffalo has been reeling to finish the season and they will also start their back-up today in response.
Dale will have Ryan O'Reilly as a possibility for the Sabres tonight, while Brian could have Nikita Kucherov at the other side, a good head-to-head match-up, which leans towards the Tampa forward. Ryan would likely prefer a shutout today from his goalie, but if Brian Gionta can post a hat-trick in a loss, I'm sure he'd be okay with it all.
Mike Condon (Stacey C.) versus Thomas Greiss (Dale B.)
With Jaroslav Halak getting the start on Saturday, it should be Thomas Greiss going on Sunday, as they try to finish a playoff-less season off strong. The Senators, on the other side, are going to be resting some bodies, including Craig Anderson, so they will be a shell of a usual team, which bodes well for Greiss and the Islanders.
It doesn't sound like Erik Karlsson will play for Dale today, which is a huge loss, especially when Brian will have Andrew Ladd and Chris Wideman going in this game. Eric should have Dion Phaneuf in the Sens' lineup, while Ryan will be without Travis Hamonic to injury.
Calvin Pickard (Derek B.) versus Jake Allen (Mike)
The St. Louis Blues are keeping their number one guy sharp heading into the playoffs and he gets a confidence boost by playing the Colorado Avalanche this evening, who will try and go out strong with Pickard in net. No money to speak of in this game from the goalie's perspective.
Brian has the only player among the top two teams here in Gabriel Landeskog, while Eric has the only other money player among the top five or six teams in Jaden Schwartz. This has real potential for Eric to help lock up 3rd place, given his scorer playing against a porous defense.
Joonas Korpisalo (N/A) versus Curtis McElhinney (N/A)
It's a battle of the back-ups in Toronto with the Blue Jackets in town. The injury to Frederik Andersen is likely a moot point, after the team clinched their spot last night, but he won't even dress, thanks to his upper-body injury, leaving Brian high and dry for a start here.
It wouldn't be surprising in the Leafs started scratching guys as well tonight, like Dale's Mitch Marner, but that still remains to be seen. Brian won't have Zach Werenski on his side, as the rookie defender is still injured. Brandon Saad is a possibility for Eric, while Marcie has three Leafs going in Jake Gardiner, Nikita Zaitsev and Connor Brown. Brenda & Seward also have Tyler Bozak on Toronto's side, who is also a candidate for rest, if needed.
Tristan Jarry (N/A) versus Antti Raanta (Stacey M.)
The Penguins and Rangers don't have much to play for at all here and there's a fine chance that we'll see lots of scratches, including the starting goalies, as it is expected that rookie Tristan Jarry, who is on the trip, could get a start for Pittsburgh, while Raanta gets the call for the Rangers.
Dale should have Trevor Daley playing for the Penguins tonight, as he continues to come back from injury, while J.T. Miller should be going for the Rangers, as he doesn't rank high enough on the totem pole to get a rest tonight. It's very likely that Ryan misses another game with Mats Zuccarello as a healthy scratch. Brenda & Seward could have some firepower tonight, but why risk either Sidney Crosby or Chris Kreider? We'll see how that goes.
Eddie Lack (N/A) versus Anthony Stolarz (N/A)
Brian gets robbed of a final start from the Hurricanes, as his goalie, Cam Ward, started on Saturday night. Brenda & Seward also don't get a start from the home side, leaving this game as a moot point from the crease.
The player that kept Dale's team in the lead last night, Jeff Skinner, will likely go again to finish off the season strong. Eric should get a final game out of Justin Faulk, while Ryan should have Jaccob Slavin on the same side. Brenda & Seward should get a game out of Brandon Manning on the Philly side, but that's about it.
James Reimer (Eric) versus Braden Holtby (Jeremy)
It turned out that Philipp Grubauer was the start on the first half of back-to-back games, which leaves Braden Holtby for the Panthers today, giving Eric's money chances a good run today, as he will have James Reimer in net one more time for the Panthers to finish the season.
Brian holds the only player among the top two teams in this game as well, in Florida defenseman Michael Matheson, who has 17 points in 80 games this season. Not only does Eric have a goalie starting, he might have Justin Williams playing on the other side as well. Marcie has one of each in this one, Vincent Trocheck and T.J. Oshie, while Ryan has his top two players, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, possibly playing, but they could sit, just as easily. Don't forget about Brenda & Seward, they have three potential players in Reilly Smith and Jason Demers for Florida and Marcus Johansson for the Capitals.
Ben Bishop (Dale C.) versus Jonathan Bernier (Eric)
With the Kings going yesterday afternoon, it should be a no-brainer that Bishop gets the call tonight, but that's still unconfirmed. The Ducks were one of two teams that didn't go yesterday, but there is some thought that Bernier will get the nod, but the Ducks may still want to warm up John Gibson, who missed some considerable time with his lower-body injury. Lots of arguments going both ways, but either way, it's a money game.
If Gibson doesn't play, Dale will give the green light to Tyler Toffoli on the other side, hoping for a big finish to his season. Marcie is the only other money team to have a skater going in this game in Ryan Kesler, who may or may not get the night off, saving him for the playoffs.
Richard Bachman (N/A) versus Laurent Brossoit (N/A)
With both teams playing in Vancouver last night, I can't see either team playing the same goalie on back-to-back nights. Indeed, the Oilers confirmed that Brossoit will get the call in their home finale, still trying to win the division, but the Canucks don't have anything to play for and it just wouldn't be worth throwing Ryan Miller into the fray, unless there was some other motivation.
The last game of the season isn't without intrigue. Dale has Leon Draisaitl, while Brian has Adam Larsson on his side, these two could certainly hit the scoresheet at any time, making this game very interesting. Marcie will have Patrick Maroon in for the Oilers as well, while Brenda & Seward expect to only have Daniel Sedin in the Canucks lineup tonight.
That's it. That's the final preview of the year! Let's have a good and exciting finish to the season!