Only one game on Monday and the NHL lost one their best players… With 11 games on the slate tonight, there should be a lot to watch and talk about tomorrow. Some of the more interesting matchups to keep an eye on this evening are: New Jersey vs. New York, both low scoring teams but it should be a great goaltending battle between Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur. The Red Wings take on the Jets, who beat them last Monday and have scored 10 goals in their last two games. Lastly I am interested in seeing how the Lightning perform without Steven Stamkos versus a good Montreal squad.
If you do not know which goalies to start tonight, you start the guys ranked the highest. If you have Quick, Holtby and Mason… You would start Quick (1st) and Holtby (5th) while you bench Mason (14th).
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1. Jonathan Quick (@ BUF) – The Kings have lost six of their last seven, how do you remedy that? A matchup with the Sabres. Quick posted a 19-save shutout vs. Buffalo five days ago.
2. Henrik Lundqvist (vs. NJ) – The King is back! Lundqvist has only allowed seven goals in his last five starts and now the 26th ranked offence comes to the ‘Big Apple’.
3. Frederik Andersen (@ FLA) – 6-0 with a 1.41 GAA and .952 SV% to start his NHL career… Yeah I’ll take that vs. the Panthers 27th ranked offence.
4. Semyon Varlamov (@ CAR) – Aside from his legal troubles, it has been a great month and a half for Varly. He heads to Carolina to face a struggling offence, you know what to do.
5. Braden Holtby (vs. CBJ) – The Jackets have lost five of their last six and Alex Ovechkin is on a tear, expect the W for Holtby tonight.
6. Martin Brodeur (@ NYR) – Brodeur is feeling it right now with back-to-back shutouts. I don’t expect this to be a high-scoring affair, he might not win but the numbers should be there.
7. Jimmy Howard (vs. WPG) – Although he has lost three straight, he has been great. I expect the Wings to avenge their Nov. 4 loss to the Jets tonight.
8. Craig Anderson (vs. PHI) – The Flyers still haven’t shown the ability to score consistently, making Anderson a strong play in his return to the crease.
9. Carey Price (vs. TB) – If Stamkos were healthy, Price would be ranked lower. However, without Stammer this Lightning team is not nearly as tough of a matchup – so I like Price to win this one.
10. Jaroslav Halak (vs. PHX) – The fifth (STL) and seventh (PHX) ranked offences do battle here. It is hard to project this one, but I like Halak because he is at home.
11. Mike Smith (@ STL) – See Halak, Jaroslav. – Phoenix is 8-0-1 at home versus 4-4-1 on the road… If this one was in Arizona I would like Smith, in St. Louis I like Halak.
12. Ben Bishop (@ MTL) – Without Stamkos no one knows what this Lightning offence is going to look like. Bishop has been fantastic so I expect him to play well, but it is tough to see him winning this one.
13. Alex Stalock (@ CGY) – The Sharks need this win badly. They wouldn’t turn to Stalock if they did not trust him. I think he makes for a strong spot start tonight vs. the Flames.
14. Steve Mason (@ OTT) – The Senators are starting to heat up… The Flyers are not. Until Philly starts scoring on a regular basis, Mason’s value remains limited.
15. Sergei Bobrovsky (@ WSH) – Washington is a strong home team, Columbus is a weak road team. The way Ovechkin is scoring right now, Bobrovsky makes for a risky start.
16. Ondrej Pavelec (@ DET) – The knock on Pavelec is his inconsistent play, after two good games it is probably time for a stinker. I don’t see the Red Wings losing two in a row to Winnipeg.
17. Kevin Poulin (vs. NSH) – Nashville has the 25th ranked offence and Poulin’s play has been respectable so far. If you’re looking for a spot start tonight he would be my second choice.
18. Justin Peters (vs. COL) – The Avalanche have only lost two games in the first month and a half of the season… That doesn’t bode well for Peters and the Hurricanes tonight.
19. Marek Mazanec (@ NYI) – It is hard to trust someone making their first NHL start, but his 5-0-0 record and 1.97 GAA in the AHL gives you some hope if you are desperate.
20. Reto Berra (vs. SJ) – Sure the Sharks have lost five in a row, but the Flames have lost five of six and have the second worst GAA in the NHL – tough to deploy Berra vs. San Jose.
21. Ryan Miller (vs. LA) – The Sabres average only 1.63 goals per game… Poor Miller, he needs to be traded. I don’t like the Sabres to win on any given night and I especially don’t like them to beat Mr. Quick.
22. Tim Thomas (vs. ANA) – The Thomas experiment has been a flop so far. He has a 2-5-0 record, 3.24 GAA, .900 SV% and tonight he faces the NHL’s hottest team…. Nah I’ll pass.