JoePavelski


Look for San Jose's winning streak to continue on Saturday night.



Another Saturday means that we have another great slate of games this week. Including an outdoor classic from California, well the only classic thing about this matchup is if it turns into a game of water polo or underwater hockey. Some teams are riding some serious hot streaks as they position themselves for a playoff push and some more buyers and sellers shake out prior to the trade deadline that’s just over five weeks away. Let’s get onto the action.


Bruins @ Flyers

By the numbers – Frozen Pool


Despite dropping the last two head-to-head meetings between these two teams, the Bruins have won seven of the last 10 against Philadelphia, while averaging 3.5 goals for versus 2.10 goals against. The Flyers recent struggles can be attributed to their lackluster defensive play (20 goals allowed in their last five games), and paltry home power play that is only converting at 13.04%, good for 27th in the NHL.


My Pick: V (Bruins win)


Blues @ Islanders

By the numbers – Frozen Pool


The Blues continue their East coast road trip that saw them get absolutely embarrassed in New Jersey to the tune of 7-1 before grinding out a tough 2-1 win at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. Luckily they are facing an Isles team that they have defeated by a combined 10-2 score in their last two meetings. However, both occurred in St. Louis whereas the Blues have lost two out of three on Long Island. With the Isles boasting the league’s 2nd worst defense (3.30 goals against) and going up against the league’s 2nd best offense (3.46 goals for), it’s hard to imagine anything other than a Blues victory Saturday night.


My Pick: V (Blues win)


Maple Leafs @ Jets

By the numbers – Frozen Pool


After winning six games in a row, the Leafs decided to lose by six in ending the team's’ longest win streak since the 2005-06 season, when Pat Quinn was still behind the bench and Ed Belfour was their starting goalie. The Jets have gone on to win four of their first five games under new coach Paul Maurice, including a 3-2 victory in Anaheim, handing the Ducks their first regulation loss at home this season. The team has done a fantastic job defensively allowing only eight goals over that span, while the offense has responded scoring 16 goals. The Jets have won four of their last five against the Leafs at home.


My Pick: T (Jets win in a shootout)


Sabres @ Blue Jackets

By the numbers – Frozen Pool


The Sabres have lost five in a row, including a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jackets last Saturday night. The Blue Jackets continue to roll along, with eight wins in a row, which has leapfrogged them over Philadelphia and New Jersey into 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division with a couple of games in hand. The Jackets have also won their last three against the Sabres and seven of the last ten, outscoring the Sabres by an average margin of 3.5 to 2.2. The Sabres are still ranked as the lowest scoring team in the league at 1.88 goals for per game, which actually drops to 1.67 on the road.


My Pick: H (Blue Jackets win)


Avalanche @ Lightning

By the numbers – Frozen Pool


The Avalanche had their latest win streak snapped by the Maple Leafs, in a game where rookie Nathan MacKinnon really turned some heads with his speed, and ability to finish around the net and in the slot. The team rebounded holding on to a 3-2 win over Florida Friday night, where they got outscored 2-0 and outshot 20-6 in the third period. Hopefully they were leaving something in the tank for the Lightning. Tampa Bay has really held on admirably and in a first place tie with the Boston Bruins (Boston has two games in hand). It also sounds like Steven Stamkos’ return is just around the corner. The Avalanche are 8-2 in their last ten games against Tampa Bay, but these two teams haven’t met in over two years, so that all more or less goes out the window. Colorado is 6-1 versus the East on the road, while Tampa is 7-1-1 at home against the West. Throw in that J.S. Giguere will be starting and it’s difficult not to give Tampa the edge in this one.


My Pick: H (Lightning win)


Wild @ Sharks

By the numbers – Frozen Pool


The Sharks are on a roll with five wins in a row and their 72 points would have them two points out of top spot in the East. Instead they are 4th in the Western Conference, behind Anaheim, Chicago, and St. Louis. All the statistics and team health seem to point to the Sharks in this one. Perhaps if this game were in Minnesota where the Wild have won four in a row against San Jose you could give them a chance, but that’s not the case. Instead they face a Sharks team that’s only allowed seven goals during their win streak and has the 2nd best home record in the NHL at 18-2-3.


My Pick: H+ (Sharks by two or more)


Recently from Saturday picks:

 

Saturday Picks - January 18, 2014 
Saturday Picks - January 11, 2014 
Saturday Picks - January 4, 2014 


You need to login to post comments. Registration takes 5 seconds. See link at top left under "home"