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.
8:00 pm ET
Phoenix @ Anaheim
Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller looks to get the nod once again for the Ducks in goal. He’s been the guy shouldering most of the team’s burden and doing about as well as you could hope for given that he’s already faced 198 shots in the five games he’s played in. Yes, he was even pulled from one of those games so it’s not even a full five. Yikes.
Likely Phoenix starter: Jason LaBarbera could be looking at his first start of the year. With Phoenix having played last night at home in a tough 2-1 overtime loss to Detroit, giving Ilya Bryzgalov the night off isn’t the worst idea in the world. Bryzgalov will be carrying the bulk of the load for the Coyotes this year, so giving him a night off early in the season makes sense to save up his energy for later in the year.
9:00 pm ET
Carolina @ Vancouver
Likely Vancouver starter: Cory Schneider looks to get his first action of the season over Roberto Luongo. The rookie netminder has yet to see any game action this year and after the first couple weeks of the season, it’s about time he got a chance to play.
Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward gets the start once again for the Hurricanes. He’s started every game for Carolina this season and the Canes and Ward have done well. Carolina is 2-1-0 to start the year, and Ward’s numbers are rather gaudy with a .936 save percentage and 2.28 goals against average. Not bad, eh?
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.