Starting Goalies – October 30

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 ET games

Boston @ Ottawa

Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas – He’s been outstanding so far this season, so why not give him as many starts as he deserves? (Source: Stanley Cup of Chowder.)

Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott – Pascal Leclaire isn’t quite ready yet, so Elliott it is. (Source: Silver Seven Sens.)

NY Islanders @ Philadelphia

Likely NY Islanders starter: Rick DiPietro (Source: Islanders Twitter page.)

Likely Philadelphia starter:  Brian Boucher – Sergei Bobrovsky played last night, so chances are, Boucher will get the nod.

Nashville @ Detroit

Likely Nashville starter: Pekka Rinne (Source for both: On the Forecheck.)

Likely Detroit starter: Chris Osgood – Jimmy Howard is dealing with back problems, so Osgood will get a chance to prove himself for the millionth time in his career as a Red Wings goalie. (Source for both: On the Forecheck.)

NY Rangers @ Toronto

Likely NY Rangers starter: Henrik Lundqvist – Trusting the bunch at Pension Plan Puppets on this one. (Source for both: Pension Plan Puppets.)

Likely Toronto starter: J.S. Giguere – The Monster started last time, so the rotation goes back to Giguere. (Source for both: Pension Plan Puppets.)

Florida @ Montreal

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Vokoun should get the vast majority of starts for the Panthers, just like the goalie he’s likely to face. (Source for both: George Richards of On Frozen Pond.)

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price (Source for both: George Richards of On Frozen Pond.)

Pittsburgh @ Carolina

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Brent Johnson – At least I hope so.

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward – He played last night, so there’s a chance they will start the backup, but my best guess is Ward tonight against the Penguins.

8:00 PM ET games

Atlanta @ St. Louis

Likely Atlanta starter: Ondrej Pavelec – We covered this one already.

Likely St. Louis starter: Jaroslav Halak – Halak has been fantastic so far this season. (Source: St. Louis Today.)

Buffalo @ Dallas

Likely Buffalo starter: Patrick Lalime – Ryan Miller played last night, so I think Lalime will get his shot against a struggling Stars team.

Likely Dallas starter: Andrew Raycroft – Kari Lehtonen played every game this season, so it sounds like Raycroft will play for the first time now. (Source: Dallas Stars Twitter page.)

Chicago @ Minnesota

Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco – Another guess here.

Likely Minnesota starter: Niklas Backstrom – Another start for the Wild’s workhorse. (Source: Minnesota Wild Web site.)

9:00 PM ET games

Tampa Bay @ Phoenix

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis (Source: Damian Cristodero.)

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov – My best guess, part XVIII.

Columbus @ Colorado

Likely Columbus starter: Steve Mason – The face of their franchise starts tonight. (Source: Columbus Dispatch.)

Likely Colorado starter: Peter Budaj – The good news out of Colorado is that Craig Anderson’s injury isn’t too bad. (Source: Denver Post.)

More starting goalies later on. Good lord there are a lot of games tonight.

NCAA standout Foo leaving school, will sign NHL deal this summer

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Spencer Foo, who racked up a whopping 62 points in 38 games this year for Union College, is forgoing his senior season to achieve his “life long dream of playing in the NHL.”

Where that dream takes place remains to be seen.

Foo, 22, won’t be back at Union in the fall, but will complete his spring term at Union and not sign with a pro organization until summer, per the Daily Gazette. The decision comes after a banner three seasons in school, capped off with a junior campaign in which he was nominated for ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and shortlisted for the Hobey Baker.

Foo has reportedly drawn interest from the Flyers. There have also been rumblings of the Oilers being in the mix — Foo is an Edmonton native — but it appears nearly every team has some level of interest. Consider this, from LA Kings Insider:

The Kings are among the teams involved in [Foo’s] courtship, and asked where the stiffest competition was coming from, I was told, “about 29 other teams.”

Foo is an undrafted free agent, so there’s no real rush for him to make a decision. Sounds like NHL teams are more than willing to wait it out.

Announcing the Hobey Hat Trick: Aston-Reese, Butcher, Vecchione

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Northeastern’s Zach Aston-Reese, Denver’s Will Butcher, and Union’s Mike Vecchione are the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award.

Aston-Reese, a 22-year-old forward, had 31 goals and 32 assists in 38 games this season. Undrafted, he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this month.

Butcher, a 22-year-old defenseman, had seven goals and 29 assists in 41 games for the Frozen Four-headed Pioneers. A fifth-round pick of the Avalanche in 2013, Butcher is still unsigned and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent Aug. 15. It remains to be seen if the Avs will offer him a contract, though it’s been reported they will.

Vecchione, a 24-year-old forward, had 29 goals and 34 assists in 38 games. Undrafted, he’s expected to sign with an NHL team shortly — possibly the Flyers or Wild.

Jimmy Vesey, Jack Eichel, and Johnny Gaudreau were the Hobey Baker winners in each of the last three years.

After 12-game absence, Boychuk back for Isles

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The New York Islanders, four points back of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and having lost their last two games, will get a huge boost tonight on the blueline.

Johnny Boychuk, who’s missed the last 12 games with a lower-body injury, will return to the lineup on Thursday when the Isles take on the Flyers in Philadelphia. It’ll mark the first time the veteran defenseman has played since getting hurt back on Mar. 3.

(Boychuk draws in at the expense of Thomas Hickey, who’ll sit tonight.)

Needless to say, this is a massive addition for the Isles. Boychuk was averaging close to 21 minutes per night and had 21 points through 59 games before his injury, and led all New York defensemen in shots on goal.

The Isles are going to be an interesting team to watch down the stretch. It’s tough sledding, with five of their final seven contests being played on the road, though that’s mitigated by the fact they’re playing a bunch of teams outside of the playoff picture (Philly, New Jersey x2, Buffalo and Carolina).

McAvoy has the talent to improve Bruins right now

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Charlie McAvoy could be in the Providence Bruins’ lineup as soon as Friday against Albany.

Providence also plays Saturday and Sunday, so even if it’s not Friday, the 19-year-old defenseman is expected to get his first taste of pro hockey sometime this weekend.

Of course, the real question is when his Boston Bruins debut may occur.

“He has the attributes to be able to play NHL games right now, absolutely,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney, per the Providence Journal. 

McAvoy has yet to ink an NHL contract. He’s in Providence on an amateur tryout after making the decision to leave Boston University. If he plays an NHL game this season, the first year of the three-year entry-level contract he’ll sign would be burned.

Hence, Sweeney’s desire to see McAvoy in the AHL before making any decisions.

“This gives an opportunity for him, first and foremost, to get a chance to play professional games, which is another level for him. [We’ll] evaluate from there,” said Sweeney.

It’s certainly possible, given McAvoy’s talent, that he could help the NHL Bruins right now. The bar is essentially Kevan Miller, Boston’s third-pairing defenseman on the right side. (If McAvoy were a left shot, the bar would be slightly lower, with all due respect to John-Michael Liles.)

The NHL Bruins, who’ve yet to book a playoff spot, have six games left in their regular season. They host Dallas tonight, Florida Saturday, and then they’re in Chicago Sunday.

Assuming McAvoy stays with Providence all weekend, his first real chance to get into an NHL game would be Tuesday against Tampa Bay.

Stay tuned.

Read more: Bruins will leave door ajar for McAvoy