Today’s Starting Goalies – December 11th (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

NY Rangers @ Columbus

Likely NY Rangers starter: Henrik Lundqvist (Source.)

Likely Columbus starter: Steve Mason – He’s lost four in a row. (Source.)

Colorado @ Washington

Likely Colorado starter: Craig Anderson (Source.)

Likely Washington starter: Michael Neuvirth (Source.)

Atlanta @ NY Islanders

Likely Atlanta starter: Chris Mason – Ondrej Pavelec finally gets a breather after an amazing (but probably exhausting) run. (Source.)

Likely NY Islanders starter: Rick DiPietro (Source.)

Pittsburgh @ Buffalo

Likely Pittsburgh starter: Marc-Andre Fleury (Source.)

Likely Buffalo starter: Ryan Miller – My best guess on who’s going to start.

Detroit @ New Jersey

Likely Detroit starter: Chris Osgood (Source.)

Likely New Jersey starter: Martin Brodeur – Three problems: 1) Brodeur starting is not a sure thing; 2) this would be a back-to-back; 3) it’s against the Red Wings, so it’s a risky start anyway.

Philadelphia @ Boston

Likely Philadelphia starter: Brian Boucher (Source.)

Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas (Source.)

Montreal @ Toronto

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price – An educated guess, but I’m pretty comfortable saying this one will happen. (Update: Sometimes the gut is a liar. Alex Auld gets a rare start tonight.)

Likely Toronto starter: Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Source.)

8:00 pm

Florida @ Nashville

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Vokoun plays against his old team tonight. (Source.)

Likely Nashville starter: Anders Lindback (Source.)

Dallas @ Phoenix

Likely Dallas starter: Andrew Raycroft – Kari Lehtonen is injured, but Raycroft is playing great hockey. (Source.)

Likely Phoenix starter: Ilya Bryzgalov – (Source.)

Carolina @ St. Louis

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward – Not 100 percent sure about this one, but the Hurricanes didn’t play for quite some time before last night’s game, so it’s not crazy to think that he’ll start.

Likely St. Louis starter: Jaroslav Halak (Source.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.