Today’s starting goalies – October 13

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.

There are six games on the docket tonight, so let’s get right to it.

7:00 PM ET games

NY Islanders @ Washington

Likely NY Islanders starter: Dwayne Roloson – For all the doubts I (and many others) have expressed about their goalie rotation, a “healthy” Rick DiPietro and Roloson is actually a pretty competent duo. Roloson receives his first start of the season tonight, but it’s against the high-powered Capitals so you might just want to stay away from this altogether. (Source: Katie Strang of New York Newsday.)

Likely Capitals starter: Michal Neuvirth – It looks like Semyon Varlamov might need a little more time to heal up from minor injuries, so if you made Neuvirth a short-term goalie pickup (or “hand cuffed” him to have the Caps’ goalie duo) then you’re probably feeling moderately intelligent right now.

New Jersey @ Buffalo

Likely New Jersey starter: Martin Brodeur – The Devils are a bit of mess right now, so it’s not much of a surprise that they’re turning to the one constant in the organization beyond GM Lou Lamoriello: Marty Brodeur. (Source: Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.)

Likely Buffalo starter: Ryan Miller – Again, it will be a rare night to see Miller on the bench for Buffalo. Don’t expect tonight to be one of those nights, even if he’s gotten off to a rotten start.

7:30 PM ET games

Toronto @ Pittsburgh

Likely Toronto starter: Jonas Gustavsson – Although J.S. Giguere has been great so far (*cough* contract year *cough*), the Leafs want to give “The Monster” a chance to prove himself, too. He’ll get a serious challenge, too, as the Penguins are putting a lot of shots on net (but not in the net) so far this season. (Source: Jonas Siegel.)

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Marc-Andre Fleury – The Penguins earned their first win of the season on Monday. But it was against a comically depleted Devils roster. And it was on the road. And Brent Johnson played that game. Fleury tries to get his first win of the season while the Penguins try to make their third game in the new Consol Energy Center a charm. Should be interesting to watch. (Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

Tampa Bay @ Montreal

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Mike Smith – Smith should push Dan Ellis for starts, as long as the big goalie is healthy (never a guarantee, sadly). (Source: Tampa Tribune.)

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price – Price was absolutely fantastic against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his last start, so the Habs goalie must be feeling pretty good right now. Things can always go dark, especially in Montreal … especially against French-Canadian scorers such as Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Simon Gagne. (Source: Habs Inside Out.)

8:30 PM ET game

Nashville @ Chicago

Likely Nashville starter: Anders Lindback – It seems like the Predators’ No. 1 goalie gets injured every year; it’s a sick tradition like “Saw” sequels that extends back to Tomas Vokoun’s days between the pipes. Pekka Rinne is hurt, so Lindback reportedly will get his chance to become the new Chris Mason or Dan Ellis. (Source: The Tennessean.)

Likely Chicago starter: Corey Crawford – Is it crazy to wonder if Marty Turco is a Cristobal Huet in cheap goalie’s clothing? OK, it’s a little crazy, but Crawford gets another start after winning the Blackhawks’ first game of the season. He will face a team that gave Chicago a lot of trouble in the playoffs but doesn’t have a staggering arsenal of offensive weapons. Keep an eye on Crawford as he could be Antti Niemi-lite this season if he keeps this up. (Source: Adam Jahns.)

10:00 PM ET game

Vancouver @ Anaheim

Likely Vancouver starter: Roberto Luongo – After an up-and-down 2009-10 season, Luongo is looking pretty sharp so far. He’ll be facing an angry Anaheim team, though, so he’ll have to be on top of his game. Unless the Ducks really are as horrible as they looked in their first three games, of course.

Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – The Ducks really don’t have any other options. It’s not as if the three losses were all Hiller’s fault, but he needs to start earning that fat extension he signed last season. (Source: OC Register.)

Bruins make short work of Coreau one game after he out-duels Price

TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 1:  Jared Coreau #31 of the Detroit Red Wings holds his head after a Toronto Maple Leafs goal during the third period of the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic at BMO Field on January 1, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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Sports almost always have a “What have you done for me lately” feel to them, but the ups and downs can be especially cruel to an NHL goalie. The margin between a great performance and an early night on the bench can often be quite small.

Take journeyman goalie Jared Coreau of the Detroit Red Wings for example.

The 25-year-old generated three wins and two shutouts in his past four games. That most recent shutout came as he out-dueled Carey Price in a 1-0 win for the Red Wings. Sure, he only needed to stop 18 shots, but he won a staring contest with Carey Price.

Now, on Wednesday, Coreau couldn’t even get through the first period against the Boston Bruins.

Coreau allowed three goals on eight shots and was pulled after 8:50 of game time, giving way to Petr Mrazek.

Now, not all of this is on Coreau. Boston just keeps hammering away, and they finally got to Mrazek late in the first period. Even so, it was a tough go for Coreau, and a reminder of just how tough that gig can be.

McKenzie: Blues, Shattenkirk are open-minded about discussing a trade

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Earlier today, PHT discussed that something seems “off” about the St. Louis Blues. Might they slip enough to justify trading high-scoring (but pending UFA) defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk?

Hockey insider Bob McKenzie covered a variety of interesting issues on “NHL Live” on Wednesday, including the feeling that both Shattenkirk and his team seem more “open minded” about considering a trade.

Since Dec. 11, the Blues have gone 7-8-1, giving them a 23-17-5 record overall. That’s not disastrous by any means, but St. Louis has grown to expect robust regular seasons (and dreams of bigger playoff successes), so somewhat middling results might make them more willing to move an expiring contract.

If the slippage continues, McKenzie reasons that the Blues would become that much more willing to listen to offers.

Circumstances also might make Shattenkirk a little more interested in a deal, too.

While McKenzie notes that Shattenkirk rejected the idea of signing a contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers, possibly spurning a move, the blueliner would be more amenable to a “trial run” this season. That could mean with the Oilers or another team – maybe a Canadian one? – that could use a puck-mover.

Does that mean that a trade is on the verge of happening? No, not necessarily, but it does hint that the team and player would at least consider a wider array of possibilities.

In other words, feel free to dream up all sorts of imaginary trade scenarios. Oh, and what the full video for more.

More from McKenzie on “NHL Live”

The murky situation for the New York Islanders.

Is Paul Maurice on the hot seat for the Winnipeg Jets?

Finally, discussing the possibility of a Shane Doan trade:

Isles GM Garth Snow on coaching search, Tavares and who calls the shots

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During Wednesday’s edition of “NHL Live,” NBCSN’s Liam McHugh asked New York Islanders GM Garth Snow many of the key questions surrounding the organization following the firing of head coach Jack Capuano.

It’s interesting stuff, even if Snow managed to play coy on some of the bigger questions … or, to use his phrasing, “remain quiet” and keep much of the process “behind the scenes.”

Snow cited the team’s mediocre record in explaining his decision to fire Capuano (but also recent breakthroughs to praise Capuano and explain that the Islanders are surrounding John Tavares with the kind of talent that will make him want to re-sign with the organization). To some extent, some of the most interesting parts of the interview came in what Snow didn’t say, as he gives the impression that he’ll need to run his decisions by the team’s ownership group.

Let’s run through a few of the issues Snow addresses, though you should watch the video either way:

Gallant

He mostly avoided that issue, hence keeping things “behind the scenes.”

Interim head coach Doug Weight

“Doug Weight’s our head coach. “He’s had a tremendous career as a player and behind our bench the last several seasons … he has a familiarity with players and the players have familiarity with him.”

Tavares

Snow didn’t provide anything new here, emphasizing that Tavares loves playing in front of their fans and other common points.

Who makes the decisions?

McHugh pressed Snow on whether or not he has the final say on a coaching hire and other issues. Snow didn’t really specify, insisting that “the days of dictatorship are gone.” It sounds like ownership will have plenty of say in big decisions.

***

The Islanders play their first game with Weight as interim coach on Thursday, as they take on a team in a different form of upheaval in the Dallas Stars. The table’s set for the Islanders to at least save some face; they finish the month of January with six straight home games.

Now, the longer-term future, including Snow’s own job security? That’s anyone’s guess, as NHL insider Bob McKenzie discussed here.

Video: McKenzie on the unclear future for Gallant, Weight and the Islanders

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NHL insider Bob McKenzie stopped by NBCSN’s NHL Live on Wednesday for a really interesting session on the New York Islanders. If you want some fascinating tidbits, the video above is full of great insight … but you might be just as confused as ever about the direction of the franchise.

(Probably because the Islanders give off the impression that they’re confused, too.)

Let’s break down some of the more intriguing material:

  • In one eyebrow-raising point, McKenzie said that the Islanders may have gone one step further than asking for the Florida Panthers’ permission to speak with Gerard Gallant. The Isles might have even done so weeks before they fired Jack Capuano. Wow.
  • Even so, that doesn’t guarantee that Gallant will be their future head coach. McKenzie deems that a “long shot” for now and notes that nothing is imminent.
  • Instead, “what you see is what you get,” which means that Doug Weight may serve as interim head coach for a healthy chunk of time. The situation seems in flux overall.

Weight seems fine with whatever, as ESPN reports.

“I’m going to give everything I have, whether it’s five games or 40 games or if it turns into 10 years,” Weight said.

  • Maybe most importantly, McKenzie said that more sweeping changes could come to the Islanders organization this summer. One could imply that GM Garth Snow is in a vulnerable spot, something PHT discussed after Capuano’s firing.
  • Also, Gallant could be in the running for the coaching gig in Las Vegas.

So, yeah, that video above this post’s headline is absolutely worth watching. The NHL Live crew also provides some insight about the Islanders’ struggles and future direction, so check it out.

… And stay tuned. More twists and turns could be coming in this story.