Today’s Starting Goalies – November 11 (early edition)

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

Montreal @ Boston

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price (Source: Habs Inside Out.)

Likely Boston starter: Tuukka Rask – Considering the fact that Tim Thomas played last night, it seems reasonable to give Rask the start. No guarantee, mind you, just an educated guess. (Confirmed – It’s Rask)

Buffalo @ NY Rangers

Likely Buffalo starter: Jhonas Enroth – It sounds like Ryan Miller will be out a bit longer … things could get ugly in Buffalo.

NY Rangers starter: Martin Biron – Henrik Lundqvist showed up sick tonight, so Biron gets the nod against his former team. (Source)

Tampa Bay @ Washington

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis (Source: Lightning Insider.)

Likely Washington starter: Michal Neuvirth – I guess it might be a while until Semyon Varlamov returns. Last I read, he was sent to the AHL for a conditioning stint, so in the mean time Neuvirth has been a nice early season steal in fantasy. (Source: Corey Masisak.)

Philadelphia @ Carolina

Likely Philadelphia starter: Sergei Bobrovsky (Source: Sam Carchidi.)

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward (Source: Canes Country.)

Minnesota @ Atlanta

Likely Minnesota starter: Niklas Backstrom (Source: Minnesota Wild Web site.)

Likely Atlanta starter: Ondrej Pavelec – Now that Pavelec is back, it looks like the Thrashers are going with a pretty steady rotation between Pavelec and Chris Mason. Does that mean that neither are particularly useful in fantasy hockey? (Source: Chris Vivlamore.)

7:30 PM ET games

Edmonton @ Detroit

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin – He played horribly in his last start, but it’s probably wise that the Oilers go with their one decent option in net for the time being. (Source: Edmonton Journal.)

Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard (Source: Ansar Khan.)

Vancouver @ Ottawa

Likely Vancouver starter: Roberto Luongo (Source: Nucks Misconduct.)

Likely Ottawa starter: Pascal Leclaire – Brian Elliott has been leading a surging Senators team, but the team might decide to give him a little breather tonight. (Source: Silver Seven Sens.)

Stay tuned for starters for the final three games later tonight.

Oilers go captain-less, name four alternates instead

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Edmonton’s made a fairly significant shift in its leadership group.

The big news is the Oilers won’t have a captain this season, as Andrew Ference will relinquish the “C” he’s worn for the last two years.

Ference will, however, remain part of the group and wear an “A” as part of a four-man alternate captain collective, one that also includes Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

The news of Ference being removed as captain doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The veteran d-man is a well-respected leader, but isn’t expected to be in the lineup every night this season.

The decision to go without a captain, though, is something of a surprise, especially given what new head coach Todd McLellan endured during his final season in San Jose.

The Sharks’ captaincy issue — stripping Joe Thornton, then going with four rotating alternates — was an ongoing problem, something that players, coaches and GM Doug Wilson had to repeatedly address until it blew up in spectacular fashion.

That said, the circumstances in Edmonton are quite different.

It’s believed the club’s intentionally keeping the captaincy vacant, on the assumption that Connor McDavid will evolve into a superstar and, subsequently, the club’s unquestioned leader.

Finally, McLellan noted that with Eberle currently sidelined, a fifth Oiler would be added to the leadership group — veteran forward Matt Hendricks, who will serve as a temporary alternate.

Brandon Sutter didn’t have the greatest preseason

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When Brandon Sutter was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks, GM Jim Benning called the 26-year-old a “foundation piece for our group going forward.”

Sutter was quickly signed to a five-year extension worth almost $22 million, more evidence of how highly management thought of the player.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Benning was asked the following question:

“What does it say that you made the trade for Sutter, you called him a ‘foundation’ player, and it took him until the final night of the preseason to find a spot (with the Sedins) on the wing, which isn’t his natural position?”

Here was Benning’s response:

“Well, [head coach Willie Desjardins] wants to try that out, he thinks that’s going to be a good fit. At various times, the Sedins played with wingers with speed, with [Ryan Kesler], who could get in on the forecheck and had a good shot. Sutter brings some of those qualities, too.”

While all that may be true, Sutter was not signed to play the wing; he was brought in to play center, specifically on the second line. He finished the preseason with zero points in five games. And as mentioned, he’ll start the season on the wing, not his natural position.

Meanwhile, youngsters Bo Horvat, 20, and Jared McCann, 19, had outstanding camps and are expected to start the regular season (tonight in Calgary) centering the second and third lines, respectively.

Though Sutter did finish the preseason with 12 shots on goal, up there with the most on the Canucks, it’s fair to say he did not look like a “foundation” player.

“I haven’t seen him play his best,” Desjardins said last week. “I see a guy who’s big and a good skater and who understands the game real well, but just hasn’t got that involved.”

Now, we are only talking about the preseason here. New players often take time to get comfortable. Perhaps playing with the Sedins can provide Sutter with some confidence.

“I know he’ll be there and I totally believe that,” said Desjardins.

But it hasn’t been the best start, and if it wasn’t for the encouraging play of the youngsters, it would be a far bigger story in Vancouver.

Related: Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado