As a tribute to Ilya Bryzgalov taking on his former team tonight, here is a look at the eccentric Russian netminder during his time with the Flyers (2011-13). He had a bad time when he was in Philly and was ultimately run out of town, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts and plays tonight. In the other seven games here are the intriguing matchups, the Blackhawks travel to St. Louis a day after putting a whooping on the Avalanche. The Red Wings get Henrik Zetterberg as they get set to take on Florida, a team who has beat them twice this month. Here are tonight’s goalie rankings – If you don’t know which goalies to play, you simply play the goalie who is ranked higher.
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1. Tuukka Rask (@ OTT) – Rask stopped all 33 shots he faced and shutout these Senators last night, so there is no reason to worry about him tonight. (Likely)
2. Ben Bishop (vs. MTL) – I have Bishop and Price ranked 2 and 3 so I expect it to be a great goaltending duel. Bishop has won five straight and stopped 28 of 29 in a 2-1 shootout win over the Habs in their first meeting.
3. Carey Price (@ TB) – While Price is only 5-5-0 on the road he has still posted a 2.20 GAA and .923 SV% in those contests, so if he gets some more goal support the W’s will fall in-line.
4. Jonas Gustavsson (@ FLA) – The Red Wings get their captain and Justin Abdelkader back tonight, I just don’t see them losing three in a row to the Panthers.
5. Ben Scrivens (@ NSH) – Scrivens was pushed into a back-up role, but not to any fault of his own, he has played very well, but Martin Jones has been insanely good. He draws a great matchup vs. a Preds team who have lost five straight. (Likely)
6. Jaroslav Halak (vs. CHI) – While this matchup doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, there are some positives – Halak is 2-0-0 with a 1.92 GAA and .930 SV% vs Chicago and is also a fantastic 10-3-2 at home.
7. Steve Mason (@ EDM) – There is always an element of the unknown when you start a goalie against the Oilers because of all their talent. However the Flyers have been scoring enough lately to get the W for Mason even if he allows a couple of goals.
8. Cory Schneider (@ NYI) – Schneider has struggled mightily as of late, but he catches a break with John Tavares not in the Islanders lineup tonight.
9. Ilya Bryzgalov (vs. PHI) – I think one of two things is going to happen with Bryz tonight. 1) He stands on his head because he has something to prove to his former team. Or 2) He gets shelled and potentially yanked. High-risk, high-reward start.
10. Evgeni Nabokov (vs. NJ) – Nabokov is coming off of a shutout on Monday and faces a punchless Devils offence, but the absence of Tavares is a huge loss for this Islanders team.
11. Craig Anderson (vs. BOS) – Anderson just shutout the Penguins on Monday, but the Bruins took it to the Senators last night, so that should have you a little apprehensive about starting a goalie who has struggled the majority of the year.
12. Thomas Greiss (@ ANA) – Greiss has been one of the NHL’s best spot-start options this season going 4-2-0 with a 2.20 GAA and .926 SV% in five starts. That being said, tonight’s matchup with the Ducks is not an ideal spot-start setup.
13. Marek Mazanec (vs. LA) – Mazanec has not recorded a win in over a month (Nov. 27) and takes on a Kings team who is 9-1-1 in their last 11… I wouldn’t bank on win #6 of his career coming tonight.
14. Scott Clemmensen (vs. DET) – See Gustavsson, Jonas ^
Chicago – Antti Raanta / Jason LaBarbera
Anaheim – Jonas Hiller / Frederik Andersen