Monday, February 26, 2018

Goalie Announcements (Feb 26)

In the lulls of trade deadline day, I've snuck off to post the bits and pieces about the starting goalies for tonight.

We now have six full weeks of action left in the regular season and it looks like that this is now a three-horse race to the finish in the overall standings.  Until a team figures in on Stuart, Benson and Dale B., like in the 10-point range, there really is no point in concentrating on the overall standings, except for these three teams.  I think it's still fun to look at the Mover & Shaker at the end of each week, I'll continue to do that, but without many or any points on the board, we'll look at the top three.

On Monday... nothing!  Drats!  Now what?  I've started this post with such good intentions.

Braden Holtby (Grant) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Derek B.)
Well, we know that Grant gets a start with the Capitals in Columbus tonight.  It was confirmed early on in the day that Braden Holtby had taken to the starter's net for the morning skate, which is usually a good indication of starting this evening.  Grant's team is currently the closest to the top three, opening the week 35 points out.

The Jackets were wheeling and dealing on Monday, but nothing has really changed in the crease.  Although it hasn't quite been confirmed at the time of the post, one should safely assume that Sergei Bobrovsky gets the nod tonight.  Derek B. has been watching his team fall from the middle of the pool and then fall away, as his team opens play 10 points out of 13th in 14th place.

Petr Mrazek (Mike) versus Charlie Lindgren (N/A)
The first full match-up that was noted among all the writers today was the Flyers and Habs game, where there is only one hockey pool goalie set to go.  Petr Mrazek will go for the Flyers, giving Mike another start, running the table there in Philadelphia, with the other two goalies hurt for the long-term.  I don't think Mike will complain, as his team has already moved up two spots since the trade.

Frederik Andersen (Mike) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Wilton)
One of the first goalie confirmations of the day was the Lightning going with Andrei Vasilevskiy against the Maple Leafs tonight.  This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the Russian workhorse has just continued to pave the way for a big season for the Bolts.  Wilton's team, once right in the thick of the money spots, has seen his team fall away, now 53 points out of the top three.

At the other end, Mike gets a second start on the night, as the visiting Leafs will go with the reigning Player of the Week, as they roll through the US southeast.  Mike's team is really rolling these days and the Leafs are already adjusting well to life without Auston Matthews.  Can they keep the good mojo flowing against the top team in the east?

Anders Nilsson (Brian) versus Semyon Varlamov (Stacey C.)
The Avalanche confirmed after their morning skate that Semyon Varlamov will get the nod tonight, with the traveling Canucks in town after playing last night in Arizona.  It's hard to say what Stacey's team has left to play for this season, except for pride, I suppose.  His team starts the week in 22nd, 10 points back of 21st.

All signs are pointing to Anders Nilsson getting the second half of the back-to-back nights for the Canucks, which will give Brian another start.  Ever since Nilsson got picked up by Brian's pool team, he has had a few minutes in the crease, but he certainly hasn't been producing the results.  In 11 games, Nilsson only has 1 win and 1 assist, which has not helped Brian's team at all.

Marc-Andre Fleury (Scott) versus Jonathan Quick (Chris)
The first to declare in the late, late game between Vegas and Los Angeles was the Kings and to no one's surprise, it will be Jonathan Quick taking the reins for this big Pacific Division clash.  Chris has the top team in the third segment, so far, and he owes a lot of that to his goaltending tandem, which includes Quick.  It's hard to say whether or not this run could move his team into the money, but it'll be fun to watch.

For the Golden Knights, it will be Marc-Andre Fleury, as he gears himself up towards the playoffs.  This should be a very good game here, as both teams match-up with their number ones.  Scott, in the pool, sees his team trying to fend off Steve in last place and trying to catch up to Ryan.  If the Golden Knights keep their pace, there's a chance Scott's team could finish in 23rd.
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