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.
6:00 PM ET game
Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia
Likely Pittsburgh starter: Brent Johnson – Johnson is 2-0 while Marc-Andre Fleury is 0-3. I wouldn’t get too worried if I were a Fleury owner, as it’s early in the season and the Penguins simply want to turn things around. (Source: Inside Pittsburgh Sports.)
Likely Philadelphia starter: Sergei Bobrovsky – Bobrovsky was strong in his NHL debut against the Penguins, so the team should feel pretty about starting him against their cross-state rivals again. It might be wise to “hand cuff” Bobrovsky with Brian Boucher for the short-term future. (Source: Philadelphia Flyers Twitter Feed.)
7:00 PM ET games
Ottawa @ Montreal
Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott – With Pascal Leclaire injured, Elliott has the opportunity to seize the No. 1 job. Again.
Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price – It’s been a nice start to the Unchallenged Carey Price Era. The team (and their young cornerstone goalie) could go 3-1-1 to start the season if they earn a win in this one.
Boston @ New Jersey
Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas – If any backup could snare the No.1 spot, it would be Tim Thomas in Boston. Tuukka Rask burst onto the scene in the 2009-10 season, but the Bruins are paying Thomas big money so they have a vested interest in him succeeding. Even if it’s just to drive up his trade value. (Source: Boston Bruins Twitter Feed.)
Likely New Jersey starter: Martin Brodeur – He hasn’t had an outstanding start to the season (1-3-1 with a 3.00 GAA and 88.7 save percentage), but Brodeur will still receive a ton of starts this season. (Source: Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.)
Colorado @ NY Islanders
Likely Colorado starter: Craig Anderson – There are a handful of goalies who should get Brodeur-like workloads in net this year. Anderson should be one of them. (Source: Denver Post.)
Likely Islanders starter: Dwayne Roloson – This is a hunch, but an injury-prone goalie like Rick DiPietro probably isn’t likely to make back-to-back starts. Especially without earning a win.
Tampa Bay @ Florida
Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis – It seems like Ellis might seize the 1a role in Tampa Bay, which probably won’t surprise many. The Lightning have a chance to go 4-0 if they beat the Lightning tonight. (Source: Raw Charge.)
Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – He’s coming off of a shutout, so the already highly likelihood of him starting increased even more. (Source: Florida Sun-Sentinel.)
8:00 PM ET games
Washington @ Nashville
Likely Washington starter: Michal Neuvirth – No sense in rushing Semyon Varlamov back when Neuvirth is doing fine in net for the Capitals. (Source: Mike Vogel.)
Likely Nashville starter: Anders Lindback – It sounds like Pekka Rinne might be on the way back, so this might be Lindback’s last start for a while. Then again, the Predators are 3-0 so maybe he deserves a chance. (Source: Joshua Cooper.)
Columbus @ Minnesota
Likely Columbus starter: Mathieu Garon – Steve Mason faced a 40-shot onslaught against the Chicago Blackhawks last night, so it makes sense that the Blue Jackets decided to give him a breather. (Source: Columbus Dispatch.)
Likely Minnesota starter: Niklas Backstrom – When you pay a guy $6 million per year, he better carry the load. (Source: Minnesota Wild Twitter Feed.)
8:30 PM ET games
St. Louis @ Dallas
Likely St. Louis starter: Ty Conklin – “Conkblock” is as solid as a backup can get, so why not give Jaroslav Halak a little break? (Source: Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)
Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen – The Stars are going to take a backseat to the Texas Rangers as the baseball team plays in their first ALCS ever. Still, if Lehtonen helps them go 4-0, they might increase their relevance in the DFW area soon enough. (Source: ESPN Dallas.)
Buffalo @ Chicago
Likely Buffalo starter: Patrick Lalime – Might as well make Lalime the sacrificial lamb in this one. (Source: Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.)
Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco – Not a sure thing, but when in doubt in back-to-back situations, go with the fresher of the two. (Source: ESPN Chicago.)
9:00 PM ET game
Detroit @ Phoenix
Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard – Chris Osgood was absolutely horrible in his last start against the Stars (four goals on only 15 shots), so it’s no surprise that Howard is the starter tonight. (Source: Ansar Khan.)
Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov – I’d be very surprised not to see Bryzgalov in the Coyotes net after such a long layoff from their overseas jaunt.
10:00 PM ET game
Edmonton @ Calgary
Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin – The Oilers have to put their best feet forward when they face their hated foes in Calgary. (Source: official Edmonton Oilers Web site.)
Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff – Going out on a limb with this one.
10:30 PM ET game
Atlanta @ San Jose
Likely Atlanta starter: Chris Mason (Source: Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)
Likely San Jose starter: Antti Niemi – Might as well make the crowd pleasing move for the team’s season opener. (Source: San Jose Sharks official Web site.)