Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Today’s Starting Goalies – December 9th

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

Florida @ Washington

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – My best guess.

Likely Washington starter: Semyon Varlamov – I’m guessing there might be something of a rotation developing in Washington now, although it seems like Varlamov could hold the upper hand. (Source.)

NY Islanders @ Boston

Likely NY Islanders starter: Rick DiPietro – I pity you if either the one of the Islanders goalies are your starters. (Source.)

Likely Boston starter: Tuukka Rask – A rare break for Tim Thomas. Then again, if you want to improve Rask’s confidence, playing against the lowly Islanders is a pretty good way to do it. (Source.)

San Jose @ Buffalo

Likely San Jose starter: Antti Niemi – Again, it seems like Niemi is gradually winning the starting job back. That being said, it’s also pretty safe to say that until he does, it will be a “1a/1b” rotation. (Source.)

Likely Buffalo starter: Ryan Miller – Haven’t been able to find an official word on Miller starting, but it’s usually a pretty safe bet.

Philadelphia @ Toronto

Likely Philadelphia starter: Brian Boucher – Sergei Bobrovsky played yesterday – and lost – so it makes sense that Boucher will play the second half of a back to back. (Source.)

Likely Toronto starter: Jean-Sebastien Giguere – He’s returning to the lineup tonight and apparently that means he’s going to start. (Source.)

7:30 PM ET game

NY Rangers @ Ottawa

Likely NY Rangers starter: Henrik Lundqvist – The Rangers will dress one of the best dressed athletes in sports for this one. (Source.)

Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott (Source.)

8:00 PM ET game

Columbus @ St. Louis

Likely Columbus starter: Mathieu Garon – He broke up a losing trend and won most of his starts so far this season, so Columbus is justified in giving their efficient backup another nod. (Source.)

Likely St. Louis starter: Jaroslav Halak – I feel like I’ve written this before, but Halak really needs to straighten things out soon. (Source.)

9:00 PM ET game

Minnesota @ Phoenix

Likely Minnesota starter: Niklas Backstrom (Source.)

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov (Source.)

10:30 PM ET game

Calgary @ Los Angeles

Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff – Shocking, I know. (Source.)

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Quick – Also not surprising. (Source.)

NHL on NBCSN ’15-16 coverage begins tonight with doubleheader

Corey Crawford, Derek Stepan
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After months of waiting, we’re finally ready to begin the 2015-16 campaign and NBCSN will kick off its coverage with a doubleheader tonight.

The action will begin with the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the New York Rangers, starting at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Chicago has been called a dynasty by some for winning the Stanley Cup three times over the last six campaigns, but one thing that the Blackhawks haven’t done is successfully defend a title. The last team to do so was the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98 before the salary cap era kicked off. That change was on display this summer as the Blackhawks were forced to move or otherwise walk away from Johnny Oduya, Kris Versteeg, Patrick Sharp, Antoine Vermette, Brad Richards, and Brandon Saad in the name of cap compliance.

Even after losing all those pieces of their 2015 championship team though, Chicago has emerged from the summer with much of its core intact. It also has some promising new players, such as 23-year-old KHL star Artemi Panarin, who is attempting to make the leap to the NHL after outscoring former teammate Ilya Kovalchuk on his way to leading SKA St. Petersburg to a KHL championship.

The New York Rangers should be a great first test for the Blackhawks as they begin their new quest. The Rangers advanced to at least the Eastern Conference Final in three of the last four years, but they haven’t earned a championship since 1994. With Henrik Lundqvist set to celebrate his 34th birthday in March, the Rangers’ window for winning the Cup in front of their all-star goaltender is closing and thus the stakes are high for New York this season.

Starting at 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN will air the San Jose Sharks’ contest against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. This is the second straight year that these two teams have been matched for the opener, but this time it’s under much different circumstances.

A year ago, Los Angeles had its sights set on defending its title while the Sharks were seeking revenge after suffering a reverse sweep in the first round against the Kings. In the end, neither team had the season they were looking for as they both fell short of the playoffs.

For the Sharks, that miss ended a playoff streak that dated back to the 2003-04 campaign while Los Angeles suffered its first major setback since it celebrated its first championship in 2012. Both teams have to be hungry to bounce right back this season and given that each both of these squads are certainly capable of obtaining that goal. First though, they need to settle the latest chapter of their rivalry.

PHT Morning Skate: Remembering 10 years of Crosby, Ovechkin

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (

Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)

After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)

Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)