Today’s Starting Goalies – October 20

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.

Chances are, tonight’s games won’t provide us with discussion fuel quite like last night’s unforgettable incident. Still, there are four contests on the slate and in the fantasy realm, they count just as much as Tuesday’s matches. So let’s take a look at the likely starters.

7:00 PM ET games

Anaheim @ Columbus

Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – The days when Hiller had to trade starts with the likes of J.S. Giguere are clearly long gone. He’s a solid-to-great goalie, but can he handle such a work load? I guess we’ll find out this season. (Source: OC Register.)

Likely Columbus starter: Steve Mason – Mathieu Garon played pretty well in his last start, but the Blue Jackets are betting big on Mason. I think they made a mistake by giving him a contract extension this summer, but they made their shaky goalie bed, so now they have to sleep not-so-soundly in it. (Source: Columbus Dispatch.)

Buffalo @ Atlanta

Likely Buffalo starter: Ryan Miller – No surprise after Patrick Lalime’s recent start. (Sources for both: Dan Kamal of the Atlanta Thrashers.)

Likely Atlanta starter: Chris Mason – Ondrej Pavelec is practicing again, but expect Mason to get at least the next couple starts, if not more. (Also from Dan Kamal.)

9:00 PM ET game

Vancouver @ Chicago

Likely Vancouver starter: Roberto Luongo – Despite a horrid game against the Minnesota Wild last night (and a track record of being regularly befuddled by the Blackhawks), it sounds like Luongo will get the chance to redeem himself tonight. Start him at your own risk, although anger might make him a little extra focused tonight. (Source: Nucks Misconduct.)

Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco – Turco’s starting to find his rhythm in net for the Blackhawks, which must be a relief to those who lack belief in Corey Crawford. (Source: Chris Kuc.)

10:30 PM ET game

Carolina @ Los Angeles

Likely Carolina starter: Justin Peters – Cam Ward gets a rare night off tonight, although it might be a wise plan in a back-to-back games against strong California opponents. (Source: Canes Country, which is also includes some explanation for the start.)

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Bernier – Jonathan Quick earned the chance to be the top guy because of his strong play last season and has been even more effective so far in 2010-11. That being said, Bernier has a bright future so the Kings need to give him his reps. (Source: Los Angeles Kings Twitter page.)

Bettman to players: Don’t screw up ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ with drugs

Gary Bettman
Leave a comment

The NHL wants to take an educational approach — not a punitive one — to deter its players from using illicit drugs like cocaine.

“My interest is not to go around punishing people,” Bettman told Sportsnet today.

“My interest is getting players to understand the consequences of doing something that could jeopardize this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that they’ve been given, to play in the NHL.”

While some players have expressed surprise at hearing that cocaine use is growing, the anecdotal evidence of substance abuse has been very much in the news, from Jarret Stoll‘s arrest to Mike Richards’ arrest to, more recently, Zack Kassian‘s placement in the NHL/NHLPA’s treatment program.

“We don’t have the unilateral right to do things here. We need the consent of the Players’ Association,” Bettman said. “It’s not about punishment. It’s about making sure we get it to stop.”

Related: Cocaine in the NHL: A concern, but not a crisis?

Goalie nods: Jones makes Sharks debut against ex-Kings mates

Martin Jones
1 Comment

News and notes from around the crease…

Jones goes for San Jose

Martin Jones, acquired by the Sharks this summer, will make his first regular-season start for the club tonight against his old team — the Los Angeles Kings.

Jones, 25, spent the last two years in L.A. as Jonathan Quick‘s understudy. He was flipped to Boston at the NHL Entry Draft, then shipped to San Jose. Sharks GM Doug Wilson wasted little time locking Jones in — signing him to a three-year, $9 million extension — and Jones wasted little time locking up the No. 1 gig, putting together a stellar preseason.

For the Kings, Quick will get the start in goal.

Markstrom out for Vancouver

Jacob Markstrom wasn’t scheduled to start for the Canucks tonight — No. 1 Ryan Miller is getting the call — but the Swedish ‘tender won’t even dress when his club takes on the Flames in Calgary.

Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury at practice this week and is being held out of tonight’s action. In his place, the Canucks called up AHL netminder Richard Bachman, who’ll serve as Miller’s backup.

For the Flames, Karri Ramo is the opening-night starter.


Habs at Leafs: Carey Price vs. Jonathan Bernier

Rangers at ‘Hawks: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Corey Crawford