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THE GOALIE EDGE: 10/24/2013

Posted by ray on Thu, 2013-10-24 14:50


A lot of good matches on the lineup card tonight but one that is a must-see is the San Jose – Boston contest pitting 2 of the top goaltenders in the game today against each other in Antti Niemi and Tuukka Rask.  I’m not calling this one, but I will be watching… Cory Schneider has been anointed the Devils Number 1 goalie by, get this, Martin Brodeur.  At least, he is on board with that decision by Head Coach Peter DeBoer.  Brodeur has realized that the changing-of-the-guard is in order, plus the stats don’t lie.  Add to the storyline that Schneider will be facing his former team mate and friend Roberto Luongo again, this time on home ice, makes for a storybook ending for Schneider beating the Vancouver Canucks….The New York Rangers are just off to a disheartening start as starting goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, is out now with a nagging injury joining Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan.  Cameron Talbot gets his first NHL start in place of Lundqvist as former backup Martin Biron has retired, thus ending his NHL career.  This bodes well for Steve Mason and the Philadelphia Flyers who are looking to turnaround their own poor start.  Mason has played well ever since coming over from the Columbus Blue Jackets at last year’s trade deadline.  He has posted decent numbers (2.37 GAA & .923 SP) but his record doesn’t show it. Look for the Flyers to break out offensively and give Mason support for a change…It appears that Nikolai Khabibulin will be making a start against his former team as the Chicago Blackhawks try to avenge their home loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The “Bulin Wall” will have extra incentive as does the entire Blackhawk team who have been struggling somewhat on offense but still managing to win behind their defense and goaltending.  Bolts’ starter Ben Bishop has been playing lights out but look for Khabibulin to extend Chicago’s win streak to 3…Not good news for Pekka Rinne owners as the elite goaltender will miss a minimum of 4 weeks after getting his hip checked out by doctors this morning.  Carter Hutton slides into the starting role and played well in his start the other night, but having to fill those skates for a while may prove a little more difficult.  However, he will be facing Winnipeg and Ondrej Pavelec who he beat in his only start of the season last week, so maybe the Preds defense can shut down the Jets’ offense once again as Pavelec hasn't instilled a lot of confidence in management with his play of late….With the remake of the movie Carrie hitting the theaters last week, the NHL will have their own “Kari” showing as the Calgary Flames Karri Ramo will be up against Dallas Stars Kari Lehtonen.  This will be Lehtonen’s return to the lineup from a LBI (lower body injury) and will be playing in front of the home crowd but Calgary has been playing the role of underdog really well so far this season.  I’ll give the nod to the Karri with the extra R.  Go Flames…Carey Price gets the start against Jonas Hiller and the Anaheim Ducks.  Price looks to halt a 2-game losing streak while Hiller looks to rebound after two poor starts, one in which he was pulled.  This should be a goaltender duel…Cam Ward faces off against Josh Harding in Minnesota.  Harding has played in 7 of the last 8 games since coming on in relief of injured Niklas Backstrom.  So far this season, Harding has posted incredible stats of 0.96 GAA and a .953 SP but has lost 2 of his last three starts.  His record stands at 4-2-1 only because in those 2 losses, the Wild could only muster 1 goal in each game.  On the other side of the ice stands Ward who has turned around his season after 5 straight losses with 2 consecutive wins on the road against the Maple Leafs and the Islanders.  In a close contest, Harding comes out ahead….In the two late games it’s the Washington Capitals visiting the Edmonton Oilers who return home after a 6-game road trip.  Returning home is usually a joy but the Caps, and especially Braden Holtby, will spoil Devan Dubnyk and the Oilers’ homecoming….The nightcap looms as a doozy as the Phoenix Coyotes, behind Mike Smith, will look to continue their winning ways while Jonathan Quick (LIKELY) and the LA Kings look to rebound after their somewhat shocking loss to the Calgary Flames.  Slight nod to Quick.



Cory Schneider, New Jersey vs. Vancouver 

Steve Mason, Philadelphia vs. NYR

Josh Harding, Minnesota vs. Carolina



Carter Hutton, Nashville vs Winnipeg

Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago @ Tampa Bay

Karri Ramo, Calgary @ Dallas



Steve (10-11) Steve Mason

Ray (8-13) Steve Mason

Mike (10-10) Josh Harding