Image (1) berniersmiles-thumb-250x175-21997.jpg for post 15642

Today’s Starting Goalies – December 26th

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

Nashville @ St. Louis

Likely Nashville starter: Pekka Rinne – Looks like he’s back, and not a moment too soon, as the Predators are floundering. (Source.)

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

Washington @ Carolina

Likely Washington starter: Michal Neuvirth – If this game does take place (it most likely will), Neuvirth will play. (Source.)

Likely Carolina starter: Cam Ward (Source.)

Columbus @ Chicago

Likely Columbus starter: Mathieu Garon (Source.)

Likely Chicago starter: Marty Turco We discussed this one earlier today.

Montreal @ NY Islanders

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price (Source.)

Likely NY Islanders starter: Dwayne Roloson (Source.)

Detroit @ Minnesota

Likely Detroit starter: Jimmy Howard (Source.)

Likely Minnesota starter: Niklas Backstrom (Source.)

Toronto @ New Jersey

Likely Toronto starter: Jonas Gustavsson (Source.)

Likely New Jersey starter: Martin Brodeur (Source.)

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis (Source.)

Likely Atlanta starter: Ondrej Pavelec (Source.)

7:30 pm ET game

Pittsburgh @ Ottawa

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

Likely Ottawa starter: Brian Elliott (Source.)

8:00 pm ET game

Phoenix @ Dallas

Likely Phoenix starter: Jason LaBarbera – This one’s a coin toss, though.

Likely Dallas starter: Kari Lehtonen (Source.)

9:00 pm ET games

Edmonton @ Vancouver

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin (Source.)

Likely Vancouver starter: Roberto Luongo (Source.)

Anaheim @ Los Angeles

Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – As usual, this isn’t a sure thing, but he typically gets the nod anyway.

Likely Los Angeles starter: Jonathan Bernier – The Kings have back-to-back games today and tomorrow, so it makes sense to give the “other” Jonathan a start. (Source.)

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

1 Comment

For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.