Today’s Starting Goalies – October 14

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.

It might be an emotional night for many hockey fans, but as a fantasy hockey team owner, you need to have a steely resolve and a cold heart. Choosing the right goalies and players is the key to victory, so we’re here to help to the best of our abilities.

7:00 PM ET games

Carolina @ Ottawa

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward – The Hurricanes might have played in Finland, but they certainly received a solid break to recover from the trip. Ward should be well-rested, which is important, because the Hurricanes have a rough schedule up ahead. They’re going to need the best from Ward in this trip, so we’ll see if the team can beat an ailing but angry Ottawa team. (Source: Canes Country.)

Likely Ottawa starter: Pascal Leclaire – Frankly, I’m surprised the Senators are being so loyal to Leclaire. Are they trying to get their money’s worth the “hard” way since he’s the higher paid of the two goalies? Is Brian Elliott a mess? Leclaire won’t be able to say that he hasn’t been getting a fair chance, though. (Source: Silver Seven Sens.)

Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis – Mike Smith got the win against the Montreal Canadiens, but he didn’t have to do much to earn the victory. Considering the fact that it’s a back-to-back situation and this is a solid goalie rotation, Ellis is the likely starter. (Source: Raw Charge.)

Likely Philadelphia starter: Brian Boucher – Boucher was great in his first start, so the Flyers’ system of rotation goalies seems like it might be pretty steady for the time being. (Source: Flyers Twitter feed.)

8:00 PM ET game

St. Louis @ Nashville

Likely St. Louis starter: Jaroslav Halak – It seems like both Halak and Carey Price are doing well now that they aren’t breathing down each others’ neck. Expect Halak to get most of the starts in St. Louis, aside from maybe the occasional breather. (Source: Louie Korac.)

Likely Nashville starter: Anders Lindback – Word is that Pekka Rinne is starting to feel better, but Lindback will get the start tonight and might get another game or two before their No. 1 returns. Beating Chicago probably justifies another start, anyway, right? (Source: The Tennessean.)

8:30 PM ET games

Detroit @ Dallas

Likely Detroit starter: Chris Osgood – It seems like a steady rotation in Detroit, too. Certainly worth keeping an eye on that if you’re a Jimmy Howard owner … you might want to add Osgood for fantasy hockey goalie insurance purposes. (Source: Craig Custance.)

Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen – As long as he’s healthy, Lehtonen should be the starter most nights in Dallas.

Edmonton @ Minnesota

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin – So far, “The Bulin Wall” has been so sturdy, you would think he is in a contract year or something. The Wild aren’t exactly a high-powered offense, so he has every opportunity to continue his strong play. (Source: Edmonton Oilers Twitter.)

Likely Minnesota starter: Niklas Backstrom – Backstrom is a stunning 12-0 at home against the Oilers in his career, so it seems pretty reasonable to start him in this one. (Source: Minnesota Wild Twitter.)

9:30 PM ET game

Florida @ Calgary

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Both teams feature stout goalies who play a lot of games and don’t see a lot of goal support. Should I start the “When will Vokoun get traded?” pool yet? (Source: Steve Goldstein.)

Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff – For better or worse, it’s another year of depending on Kipper for the Flames. (Source: Matchsticks & Gasoline.)

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.