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.)

Early thoughts – and praise – for Capitals landing Kevin Shattenkirk

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Jaws dropped around the hockey world when news broke that the Washington Capitals landed Kevin Shattenkirk in a blockbuster trade. Heads were then scratched as people tried to make sense of the “conditions” of a conditional second-rounder involved in the move.

With a little time for the smoke to clear and with the assets revealed, here are some scattered thoughts.

PHT will likely cover more of the fallout on Tuesday and beyond, though, so stay tuned.

Brian MacLellan deserves consideration as a top GM

Judging an executive can be really tricky; while a GM of the Year award is easy to justify, it’s also easy to mock. Even the best managers inherit a roster (aside from MacLellan’s predecessor George McPhee, who will build one in Vegas), so you have to credit some successes to the guy who came before.

And, yes, McPhee helped put together a core that includes Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby and Nicklas Backstrom.

Even so, MacLellan evokes Stan Bowman in masterfully adding tremendous electrons to a fantastic nucleus.

He added Matt Niskanen (and, admittedly, flubbed it with Brooks Orpik) to beef up a defense to help the shrewd hiring of Barry Trotz as head coach. Trotz seems like he’s ending what was a busy procession of shaky bench bosses.

MacLellan really nailed it the next summer, trading for T.J. Oshie and signing Justin Williams to a bargain deal. A year later, the Capitals added a fantastic third-line center option in Lars Eller via a smart trade.

And now this. It’s not clear where Kevin Shattenkirk will fit in the Capitals’ lineup, but either way, he boosts an already formidable group.

Misc.

Let’s lightning round some other thoughts.

  • Scottie Upshall joked about all the one-timers Shattenkirk is primed to set up for Alex Ovechkin … but he has a point.
  • It’s difficult to imagine the Capitals re-signing Shattenkirk, putting continued emphasis on the talk of Washington being in the last season of a “two-year window” to make their greatest push for a Stanley Cup. At the same time, there aren’t a lot of problem contracts beyond Orpik’s in Washington, so the plus side is that MacLellan can also show how he might be Bowman-like in making the right calls in who to bring back. Make no mistake about it, getting Shattenkirk is about now, not later.
  • Oh yeah the Capitals also got a nice sneaky bonus in landing Pheonix Copley, who better have the nickname “typo.”

All things considered, it’s no surprise that the Capitals are excited.

There’s at least a chance Shattenkirk might be able to suit up for Washington as soon as Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, but either way, this sure looks like a slam dunk.

Wild just wouldn’t stay down, edge Kings in OT

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Don’t blame Ben Bishop if, deep down, he was glad that he didn’t make his Los Angeles Kings debut on Monday.

After seeing the kind of speed, drive and all-around electric play displayed by the Minnesota Wild, you can understand a goalie shuddering at the often wide-open action. Despite falling behind four times against the Kings, the Wild ultimately edged Los Angeles 5-4 in an overtime thriller.

Mikael Granlund‘s 20th goal of the season ended it in OT, and quickly. And it was beautiful:

…. Unless you’re Jonathan Quick and the Kings, that is.

Granlund is absolutely on fire right now.

Ryan White made a great first impression for the Wild, scoring a goal and an assist (while displaying great flow). Martin Hanzal wasn’t able to score, though he did make his presence felt with five hits. And, again, Bishop might have secretly been relieved to put his Kings debut on hold.

Marian Gaborik turned back the clock a bit to his Wild prime, scoring a goal and an assist. He generally made quite a bit happen for Los Angeles.

It was a tough one for Anze Kopitar, meanwhile, who was unable to generate offense and suffered a -3. He wasn’t able to stop Granlund in OT, though who could?

The Wild still must worry as mumps sidelined at least Zach Parise and Jason Pominville, but for now, they’re battling on. Just ask the Kings how resilient this group really is.

Sell this: Kucherov, Lightning put trades behind them, blast Senators

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The Tampa Bay Lightning might be in sell mode, but that doesn’t mean their players are quitting on this season.

After shipping Ben Bishop and Brian Boyle out of town, they could have rolled over against a hungry Ottawa Senators team. Instead, they blew them out, winning 5-1 on Monday.

Nikita Kucherov was the biggest standout, collecting a natural hat trick, which you can watch above. (He also generated an assist.)

Jonathan Drouin had a big night in his own right, assisting on all three of Kucherov’s goals. Victor Hedman and Tyler Johnson generated two assists apiece, as well.

And, yes, Andrei Vasilevskiy inspired at least a few “Ben who?” jokes by making 39 out of 40 saves, including this beauty:

As you can see, Ottawa actually had a 1-0 lead at that point, so it could have been a different game if the agile goalie did do the splits there.

The Lightning are still five points out of the final wild card spot, trailing Boyle’s new team in the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Senators, meanwhile, find themselves slipping a bit out of the race to win the Atlantic Division, especially considering Montreal’s comeback win against New Jersey.

Tampa Bay may may not be done making moves and recognizing painful truth that the odds are against them rallying to a playoff spot. That said, nights like these make you wonder if a run is at least possible.

Canadiens’ big guns trigger comeback OT win against Devils

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 27:  Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates the game winning power play goal by Alex Galchenyuk #27 at 2:54 of overtrime against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 27, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey.  The Canadiens defeated the Devils 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Things were looking a little grim there for the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.

The New Jersey Devils had, at one point, a 2-0 lead. At least in some corners there were murmurs about a bad start for Claude Julien. Then their big guns swung the game.

The comeback started with Alex Radulov, though the drama was just beginning:

Travis Zajac made it 3-1 for the Devils on the power play, only for Radulov to assist on two Max Pacioretty goals to send the game to overtime.

From there, Alex Galchenyuk scored the overtime-winner for Montreal on the man advantage. Radulov got yet another secondary assist – he ended up with four points tonight – while Shea Weber nabbed the primary helpers on the last two tallies.

Long story short, the Canadiens biggest names came through, allowing Julien to maybe utther a sigh of relief.