Today's starting goalies – October 9 [updated]

Whether you’re interested for fantasy hockey reasons or just want to know which goalie your team is playing in a given day, we thought it might be helpful to share our best guesses (based on various previews from newspapers and Web sites plus our own instincts) on who might start each day.

Note: I’ll update this periodically tonight so you can have time to set your rosters. 8:00 PM ET will be updated shortly.

7:00 PM ET games

Rangers at Sabres

Likely Rangers starter: Henrik Lundqvist – King Henrik should still get most of the starts in the Big Apple, but Martin Biron could be useful when it comes to giving the talented Swede the occasional breather. That might bring down the quantity stats just a touch, but could improve the quality of each start. (Source: Rangers Rants.)

Likely Sabres starter: Ryan Miller – Chances are, with a home opener, you start your Olympic Hero in net. I’d be very surprised if Ryan Miller didn’t play against Lundqvist tonight.

Stars at Islanders

Likely Stars starter: Kari Lehtonen – He should be the workhorse unless he gets hurt.

Likely Islanders starter: Rick Dipietro – So he’s really alive? I might need to see it to believe it. (Source: Katie Strang of New York Newsday.)

Canadiens at Penguins

Likely Penguins starter: Marc-Andre Fleury – Haven’t been able to track down confirmation on this game, but both goalies should get most of their starts and each one had the night off so there’s no worries of a back-to-back.

Likely Canadiens starter: Carey Price – see Fleury’s explanation.

Senators at Maple Leafs

Likely Senators starter: Pascal Leclaire – Maybe the funny looking goalie will find his long-lost groove after a rough couple seasons? He’s certainly getting paid to play the part of a No. 1 goalie, that’s for sure. (Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman.)

Likely Maple Leafs starter: J.S. Giguere – I guess Ron Wilson is rewarding Giguere for a strong first game? A slight surprise but perhaps he’ll start the season on a hot streak. It’s certainly another winnable game for both teams. (Source: The Toronto Star.)

Devils at Capitals

Likely Devils starter: Martin Brodeur – Again, Brodeur is going to get something like 95 percent of New Jersey’s starts.

Likely Capitals starter: Michal Neuvirth – With Varlamov on the mend, expect Neuvirth to get most (if not all) of the nods in D.C. (Source: Washington Post.)

7:30 PM ET game

Thrashers at Lightning

Likely Thrashers starter: Chris Mason – Considering Ondrej Pavelec’s scary fall, it’s not surprising that Mason will be the starter tonight. He’s a perfectly suitable backup/1b anyway.

Likely Lightning starter: Mike Smith Perhaps Dan Ellis is serving a one-game suspension for using Twitter too much? This could be an interesting goalie duel in Tampa Bay. (Source: Tampa Bay Lightning’s Twitter page.)

8:00 PM ET games

Flyers at Blues

Likely Flyers starter: Brian Boucher – Some might be surprised that Sergei Bobrovsky won’t get the start, but with Michael Leighton out 6-8 weeks it’s wise to give both goalies a fair shake at the top job. (Source: Philadelphia Flyers Twitter Feed.)

Likely Blues starter: Jaroslav Halak – I really like the Blues goalie rotation, but they have very clear roles: Halak is the starter and Ty Conklin is the backup. Halak should be pretty familiar with the Flyers as they were the team that splashed a bucket full of reality on the Montreal Canadiens’ hot streak during the playoffs.

Ducks at Predators

Likely Ducks starter: Jonas Hiller – Last night was a rough one for the Swiss goalie, but the team doesn’t have many goalie options outside of him. Expect him to take the majority of the starts, even on back-to-back days. (Source: OC Register.)

Likely Predators starter: Pekka Rinne –  With Dan Ellis in Tampa Bay, most of the day-to-day intrigue about who might start for Nashville is gone. Expect Rinne most nights.

8:30 PM ET game

Red Wings at Blackhawks

Likely Red Wings starter: Chris Osgood – Much like the Flyers with Sergei Bobrovsky, the Red Wings are allowing their 1b a start even though Jimmy Howard earned a goose egg against the Ducks last night. I think it’s a good move, even though Osgood tends to need smelling salts before the playoffs begin. (Source: Ansar Khan.)

Likely Blackhawks starter: Marty Turco – There will be some pressure on Turco to succeed as Chicago raises its Stanley Cup banner tonight. Luckily, this game isn’t in Detroit, so Turco at least has a chance to succeed. (Source: Chris Kuc.)

10:00 PM ET game

Kings at Canucks

Likely Kings starter: Jonathan Quick – I’m on record of saying that the other Jonathan (Bernier) could be a genuine threat to steal the top job (or at least promote himself from “1b” to “1a”), but so far the Kings are resolute in saying that Quick is their man. (Source: Los Angeles Times.)

Likely Canucks starter: Roberto Luongo – Vancouver is more or less married to Luongo for … oh, the next decade or so. Unless Corey Schneider pulls a Tuukka Rask and steals the starting job during the season, of course.

Scroll Down For:

    Video: Whoa, this is one sweet Mike Hoffman backhand goal

    1 Comment

    Monday’s game won’t help the Ottawa Senators defy critics about last season running on luck, at least in that it doesn’t count in the standings.

    Senators sniper Mike Hoffman didn’t seem to care.

    Hoffman owned last night’s pre-season NHL highlight reel (sorry Nico Hischier), scoring two very different goals.

    The best one can be viewed in the video above this post’s headline, as he burst through the Maple Leafs defense for a ridiculous backhander on the rush. Wow.

    His first of the night was memorable for a different reason, as Hoffman shook off a near-miss (eventually) to score this goal.

    Weird/cool/good, indeed.

    Prediction: Hoffman will score a lot of goals that will “count” in 2017-18, too.

    Wild extend captain Mikko Koivu’s contract for two years, $11M

    Getty
    3 Comments

    Minnesota Wild fans fearing that the 2017-18 season could be Mikko Koivu‘s last can breathe a sigh of relief, and that suspense didn’t even carry into opening night.

    Instead, the Wild signed Koivu to a two-year contract extension worth $11 million.

    That $5.5M cap hit kicks in during the 2018-19 campaign and ends after 2019-20. It represents a minor cut in pay for Koivu, as he’s entering the final year of a deal with a $6.75M cap hit.

    Koivu, 34, enjoyed a strong first season under Bruce Boudreau, becoming a Selke finalist for the first time in his underrated career. He’s been Minnesota’s captain since 2008-09.

    Koivu’s deal would qualify as a 35+ contract, according to Cap Friendly.

    The Finnish forward likely valued stability, maybe taking a little less in AAV for the sake of peace of mind.

    This continues a busy week-or-so for the Wild, who also broke their impasse with RFA Marcus Foligno by handing him a four-year, $11.5M deal.

    Opinion: this Koivu deal is a much, much easier decision to justify, even taking into account his advanced age.

    Predators captain announcement looming; they have some great options

    Getty
    1 Comment

    Multiple reporters* indicate that the Nashville Predators will name their captain (and alternates) on Wednesday.

    Mike Fisher briefly held the title, and before him, Shea Weber wore the “C.” Both were safe, obvious choices; this time around, there are some intriguing options. The Tennessean’s Adam Vignan reports that the Predators themselves realize that there are quite a few logical captains in their midst (which probably isn’t a bad problem to have).

    “It’s totally different this time around,” Pekka Rinne said. “I think Mike last year, I think everybody saw that coming. Everybody agreed. Everybody was really comfortable with it. I think now we have, in my opinion, at least four great options to choose from.”

    Note: the Predators would be wise not to pull a Canucks with Roberto Luongo as captain experiment, even if Rinne’s easily one of the team’s leaders.

    Some of the most obvious options include young-yet-veteran defenseman Roman Josi, big-dollar-center Ryan Johansen, and star blueliner P.K. Subban.

    (Honestly, though, it’s difficult to imagine Subban wearing the “C” after all the weird, Listerine-scented stuff with the media happened during the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.)

    As strong as those options are, it sure feels like Josi is the favorite, especially since he’s been around longer than Subban, Johansen, and Viktor Arvidsson.

    Vegas oddmakers agree:

    And so do reporters covering the team on a day-to-day basis:

    One moment of devil’s advocacy, though: Subban, Johansen, Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg, and Mattias Ekholm all have more term on their contracts than Josi, who is a bargain at $4M for three more seasons.

    OK, that’s kind of a weak argument, but hey … sometimes it’s a pain to have to deal with captain questions so often, and you never know if the team might determine that Josi is expendable, considering their deep war chest on the blueline.

    Nah, Josi’s probably the easy and correct choice. Right?

    * – Including Cory Curtis of WKRN-TV and Justin Bradford of 102.5 The Game.

    Duchene dusts off ‘one day at a time’ for Avalanche trade questions

    Getty
    6 Comments

    The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers posted an exclusive video interview with Matt Duchene, who was verbose …

    … Compared to the terse statement he provided, without questions, last week regarding what must seem to him like ubiquitous Colorado Avalanche trade rumors.

    Check out Duchene’s comments in the video below, which seem to mix saying a lot of the right things – and finding a new way to use the “one day at a time” cliche – with a little bit of edge that makes you wonder how well he’ll contain his frustration in other situations.

    How often will he be available for such questioning on the road, particularly in big media markets and/or around reporters covering teams who’ve long been connected to Duchene?

    Either way, Chambers’ video is another reminder that, for all the times people roll their eyes at canned responses during press conferences and locker-room interviews, reporters can get less-guarded moments where you can parse out greater truths.

    (And, hey, it’s nice to give Duchene a chance to make faces that seem a little less … depressed?)

    Chambers transcribes an especially intriguing part at the end of the interview (click here for more transcriptions from Chambers at the Denver Post, if video isn’t an option or your preference).

    What if he’s not traded? “I’m not looking that far (ahead),” he said. “I’m taking one day at a time.”

    Hmm, interesting, right?

    /Refreshes the #FreeDuchene hashtag.