Tonight’s starting goalies – October 22nd

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.

7:00 pm

Calgary @ Columbus

Calgary’s likely starter: Rookie Henrik Karlsson gets his first NHL start and if there was ever a team to get your first shot against, Columbus is as good as any. The Blue Jackets have enough guys that can threaten to score but also play inconsistent enough to give Karlsson a shot at winning.

Columbus’ likely starter: Steve Mason gets the nod once again in goal for the Blue Jackets. He’ll be hoping to keep the NHL’s worst scoring team off the board and keep himself from being their offensive slump buster.

7:30 pm

Ottawa @ Buffalo

Ottawa’s likely starter: It’ll be Brian Elliott looking to keep his undefeated record against Buffalo alive. In his career, he’s 8-0-0 against the Sabres.

Buffalo’s likely starter: Ryan Miller gets the nod once again for Buffalo. If anyone’s been snake-bitten by an in consistent team this year, it’s Miller. Having Ottawa come to town with Elliott in goal with his record certainly puts the pressure on Miller to be outstanding. Luckily for him, Ottawa’s offense has been about as inconsistent as Buffalo’s.

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Tampa Bay’s likely starter: Mike Smith gets the call tonight after Dan Ellis was the hard-luck loser against the Islanders last night.

Atlanta’s likely starter: Chris Mason gets the call yet again. Mason had a hard time handling the Sabres his last time out and he’ll be looking for a strong bounce back effort against the offensively struggling Lightning.

8:00 pm

Chicago @ St. Louis

Chicago’s likely starter: Marty Turco gets the nod tonight. With back-to-back games coming up for Chicago it was a toss-up whether Turco would go tonight or tomorrow against Columbus. Looks like the coin toss went Turco’s way tonight to draw the Blues as he’ll be making his fifth start in a row.

St. Louis’ likely starter: Jaroslav Halak looks to be the man in goal tonight for the Blues. The Blues will need the best to deal with Marian Hossa and his seven goals scored already this year.

10:00 pm

Minnesota @ Vancouver

Minnesota’s likely starter: Jose Theodore gets his first start and first action in general as a member of the Minnesota Wild. Theodore was a late signing by the Wild after Josh Harding blew out his knee in the preseason.

Vancouver’s likely starter: Cory Schneider will start for Vancouver and the biggest reason why is because Roberto Luongo’s past efforts against the Wild have been abysmal. Allowing Luongo to not continue living out a reoccurring nightmare is probably in the Canucks’ best interests. That sort of action is better off left for the playoffs anyhow. It’ll be Schneider’s second start of the season.

Milbury, Jones: Tkachuk walked the walk; Kings’ response was embarrassing

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The Los Angeles Kings got revenge on Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames on the scoreboard on Wednesday. But was that 4-1 win enough?

Mike Milbury and Keith Jones provided a lengthy “overtime” segment on NBCSN that brought about some really fascinating takes on the situation between Tkachuk and the Flames versus Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings.

Watch the full video above, as it’s worth your time.

A few interesting lines if you’re (tsk tsk) skipping it:

Milbury: Believes that Doughty didn’t “do enough,” noting that star players sometimes have to stick up for themselves. On the other hand, Tkachuk showed that he can “walk the walk.”

He also gave the Kings a “C-, D+ if not worse” for their overall response. “Fight your own battles,” Milbury said of Doughty.

Jones disagreed to some extent, believing that Kings teammates won’t look at Doughty differently. But Jake Muzzin? He believes that Muzzin’s frequent defensive partner (at least over the years, maybe not this season) backing down from a fight was an embarrassment.

Spicy stuff.

For what it’s worth, Drew Doughty has one career fight (against Joe Thornton [!] in 2011-2) while Jake Muzzin’s lone bout came against Andrew Desjardins in 2012-13, according to Hockey Fights. Does that mean they shouldn’t have dropped the gloves on Wednesday? Milbury and Jones seem to believe that they should have answered the bell.

For more, check out a collection of the early violent moments and Tkachuk’s attempted shot at Doughty. The Kings win is summarized in greater detail here.

Measure of revenge: Kings delay clinching efforts for Flames, Blues

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Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.

OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.

It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.

Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.

In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.

Seriously, that fight with Deryk Engelland:

That goal included a bit of luck, but hey …

Iginla was named the first star of the contest, and cameras captured his big smile in enjoying a special night. For all the nastiness of that game, it was refreshing to see such a heartwarming moment.

For more on the violence, check out this post on the early stuff and this one on Tkachuk’s missed missile launch on Drew Doughty.

Kings and Canucks will square off in first NHL exhibition games in China

graphic via NHL
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It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.

The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?

“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”

The press conference inspired some jokes tonight.

Some of the best bits came in roping in … Kobe Bryant and David Beckham?

Alrighty then.

Click here for more details.

 

Video: Drew Doughty (mostly) avoids massive Matthew Tkachuk hit

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Hockey is such a fast sport that it’s probably not so easy to make someone your “target.” Instead, a big hit often comes down to the right combination of circumstance and timing.

Still, there’s no denying that Matthew Tkachuk is gunning for Drew Doughty (and the Kings are gunning for Tkachuk) on Wednesday.

Doughty isn’t oblivious to that notion, either, as you can see him avoid what looked like a pretty terrifying hit above.

We’ve already covered the early violence in this game, and it’s quite possible that there will be more carnage going forward. Stay tuned.