Forgive us for not having this information available to you before all the pucks dropped at 5:00 tonight. Here’s the confirmed starters for the games tonight. If we cost you your fantasy hockey matchup this week, we’re sorry… Also, why so serious?
Boston @ Atlanta
Boston’s starter: Tuukka Rask gets the start for Boston. Tim Thomas was the hard-luck loser on Friday against Carolina.
Atlanta’s starter: Ondrej Pavelec once again gets the start for Atlanta and why not? He’s been awesome in leading the Thrashers to a four-game win streak
Carolina @ Washington
Carolina’s starter: Cam Ward starts and looks to replicate the greatness he had in his 3-0 shutout over Boston.
Washington’s starter: Semyon Varlamov goes once again thanks to having Michal Neuvirth still feeling a bit wonky. Varlamov has looked good since returning from a groin injury.
Columbus @ Detroit
Columbus’ starter: Steve Mason gets the nod for the Blue Jackets.
Detroit’s starter: Who else but Jimmy Howard in goal for Detroit.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.