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.)

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?

Hitchcock going to more aggressive attack for Blues

Ken Hitchcock

ST. LOUIS (AP) After three straight first-round playoff exits, the St. Louis Blues have learned to temper expectations.

They have been consistently among the NHL’s best in the regular season and realize it is past time to build something for the long haul. The sting still lingers from the latest failure, against the Minnesota Wild last spring.

“We’re all disappointed, everybody can agree on that,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “It’s never easy to kind of think about your failures, but we grow every time it happens.”

Management isn’t ready to tear it all down yet.

“We play, in my opinion, one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the NHL, and we’ve finished first or second in the last four years,” forward Alexander Steen said. “So we have an extremely powerful team.”

Maybe a change in strategy will be enough: Coach Ken Hitchcock is back with a mandate for a more aggressive, even reckless, style of play from a roster that hasn’t changed appreciably.

“We’re coming hard from the back and we’re coming hard to see how close we can get to the attack,” Hitchcock said. “I think it’s where the game’s at; I think it’s where the game’s going to go.”

The 63-year-old Hitchcock is pushing forward, too, unwilling to dwell on the flameouts. Coach and players agree that would be “wasted energy.”

“My opinion is when you sit and think about the past, you do yourself no good,” Hitchcock said. “If you learn from the past, that’s when you do yourself a whole bunch of good.”

There were only two major roster casualties. Forward Troy Brouwer came from Washington in a trade for fan favorite T.J. Oshie. Defenseman Barret Jackman, the franchise career leader in games, wasn’t re-signed.

“If you were expecting 23 new faces to be on the roster this year, I don’t think that was realistic,” captain David Backes said. “We’re going to miss those guys in the room and on the ice, but there has been some changeover and I think it’s pretty significant.”

Things to watch for with the Blues:

GOALIE SHUFFLE: Just like last year, there’s no true No. 1 with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen sharing duties. The 25-year-old Allen missed a chance to seize the job last spring when he failed to raise his level in the playoffs.

TOP THREAT: Vladimir Tarasenko had a breakout season with 37 goals and was rewarded with an eight-year, $60 million contract. The 23-year-old winger is by far the Blues’ most dangerous scoring option and said he won’t let the money affect his play. “I never worry about it,” Tarasenko said. “If you play good, you play good.”

NEW FACES: Brouwer and center Kyle Brodziak add a physical element that was perhaps lacking a bit last season. Brouwer has three 20-plus goal seasons and Brodziak, acquired from Minnesota, fills a checking role. Veteran forward Scottie Upshall got a one-year, two-way deal after being coming to camp as a tryout. Rookie forward Robby Fabbri, a first-round pick last year, will get an early look. Another promising youngster, forward Ty Rattie, begins the year at Chicago of the AHL.

RECOVERY WARD: Forward Jori Lehteri bounced back quickly from ankle surgery and opens the season without restrictions. Another forward, Patrik Berglund, could miss half of the season following shoulder surgery.

TRACK RECORD: The Blues won the Central Division last season and Hitchcock, fourth on the career list with 708 regular-season wins, has consistently had the team near the top of the standings. “He is our coach, tough cookies if you don’t like it,” Backes said. “From my experience, he puts together one heck of a game plan.”