After such a forgettable summer across professional hockey circles around the globe off the ice, it brings me much pleasure to get back to on-ice action. Last year, I finished with a year-ending winning percentage of 63%, finishing particularly strong , going 17-7 over my final 3 entries of the 2010-11 season. Here’s to picking up where I left off!


Chin-chin! (That’s actually the sound of Zdeno smashing down Coke bottles on the bench since we’re abiding by the Dry Island challenge)


Let’s get right into the thick of it with this Saturday’s action---and there are plenty of juicy matchups for us to chew on!

(~~ Stats as of Friday morning)


Ottawa @ Washington (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools


Frozen Tools

The Battle of the Nation Capitals is probably not a matchup the third period specialist- Ottawa Senators are exactly jumping for joy about.  The Sens, having nearly overcome colossal 3rd period deficits of 5-0(to DET), 4-0 & 5-1 (to TOR) & 3-1 (to MIN), have shown a penchant in the early goings to sleepwalk through the first 40 minutes and come out gangbusters in the final frame. Should they continue this trend, they may be rudely awakened by the sleeping giant Ovechkin-led Caps. Alexander the Great has yet to hit his stride, albeit just a couple games into the season. Though despite premature talks that he has already peaked at the ripe old age of 26, let’s be honest, there’s a reason why Ovy continues to go #1 in the vast majority of pool everywhere of all varieties. Unfortunately for Ottawa they will be the first guinea pigs Alexander the Great and co. truly feast on this season.



Washington – Home Win Plus – H+(ProLine)


Winnipeg @ Phoenix (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools


This is awkward isn’t it? Winnipeg Jets 1.0 vs. Winnipeg Jets 2.0 may very well form the basis of a history meets the present rivalry, over bragging rights for which franchise is held most endearing by Manitobans & Jets fans alike. The bigger question might just be, “Is this the final home opener in Glendale?” Heading into this one, after Winnipeg has gotten their two game honeymoon on home ice over with, they can now wipe away those season opening jitters in front of an electric crowd in the desert and get back to business. Don’t expect it to be of the low-scoring variety. So make sure to take a close look at the over-under on this one, as goaltending and defense in both markets are not particularly strong points.



Phoenix – Home Win – H(ProLine)

Los Angeles @ Philadelphia (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools


The first chapter in the ‘M-Rich returns to Broad Street’ saga is on tap tonight folks! It goes without saying that Mike Richards will be doing everything in his power, along with fellow former Flyer, Simon Gagne, to put a dent in Philly’s perfect 3-0 start out of the gates. Of course this won’t be an easy task for L.A. who has lost twice in row since their home opener. Kopitar, meanwhile, has been one of the lone bright spots out of the gates with five points in three games, showing why the upper brass was reluctant to take the highest paid player tag away from him in favour of Mr. Doughty. The Flyers have come out guns-a-blazing, in showing the City of Brotherly love there will not be a transition period in waiting for the new regime to re-establish itself. It will certainly be grounds for an thrilling encounter, but prized UFA import, Ilya Bryzgalov is already showing fans that he was worth the investment and transactions frenzy.



Philadelphia – Home Win – H(ProLine)


Detroit @ Minnesota (8:00pm ET)

By the Numbers –Frozen Pools


The Winged Wheel really never does slow down, does it!? The Motown boys in Red are back and at it from the starting blocks, winning all 3 matchups. This includes a 2-0 shutdown of the defending Western Conference Champs & President Trophy winners. Thursday’s victory laid to rest any critiques regarding their 3rd period meltdown vs. Ottawa last week, when they let a 5-0 lead with less than 10 minutes to go slip away with a trio of late Senator snags. However, with a juggernaut of offensive weapons—all now healthy, the Wings remain a certified force! Minny, on the other hand have collected points in a cool three of four games in front of an inspired Nicklas Backstrom looking to have a nice bounce back season. The electric new trio of Setoguchi, Heatley and Captain Koivu will be looking to show that all the trouble they caused netminders throughout the pre-season was no fluke.



Tie – T(ProLine) (Detroit in SO)


Vancouver @ Edmonton (10:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

This western battle surprisingly has the upstart Oilers kids playing better in the first week than the Canucks, following a surprisingly sensational opening start for each of Dubnyk and the Bulin Wall. Both goalkeepers have only allowed a single goal in regulation thus far, taking Edmonton to a shootout in both outings and splitting the pair. The Sedins have been steady, Ballard has looked reinvigorated, Hodgson finally appears ready for the big-time and of course there has already been some extremely early talks of a season-long goaltending controversy. On that note, be sure to check out the “Starting Goalie Grid” over at www.goaliepost.com throughout the day Saturday for the latest insider news on which of the two will be slated to get the nod. That being said, one would think the Canucks are ready for a statement game. Unfortunately for the Edmonton youngsters, that time is now!



Vancouver – Visitor Win – V(ProLine)

St.Louis @ San Jose (10:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools


With San Jose the only team in the NHL to have just one game played (at the time of release) will the inactivity cause problems for them in back to back encounters Friday and Saturday? I doubt it!! ‘The Men of Teal’ are obviously a high octane bunch, with several sparkplugs sure to set the tone early. With a six goal output in their only affair thus far, they still have found the twine as much or more than a third of the league. It must be noted though that the Blues have shown an incredible nearly 2:1 shots for/against ratio through their first three games with 106 on goal and only 57 against! If they can even remotely keep this up, factoring in a relative drop-off, they should be an above .500 team this season. But on this night, the Shark Tank crowd will be delighted.



San Jose – Home Team Win Plus — H+(ProLine)


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Comments (3)add comment

Tyler Haskell said:

... Well put, Chad. Agree with everything in your post.
October 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... If we wanna really talk betting, then let's use online sportsbook odds here.

ProLine is for suckers.
October 14, 2011
Votes: +0

Chad said:

Easy Games? I like the column and all but I think part of this column is for Proline and to breakdown the close match-ups, or upsets you see.

You picked what had to be 6 of the easiest games out of the 15 games on Saturday and picked the favourites for every game. That's not very useful for Proline or even a casual fan who wanted to read on the close match-ups this Saturday. Sure you were 63% last year but if you made picks like this every week I'd hope you finished with a good W%. I am not trying to bash you this is meant to be constructive criticism.

I would like to see the close match-ups and maybe have an "upset pick." Could other dobberites tell me their thoughts? Maybe I'm in the minority here but that's just what I would like to see out of this column.
October 14, 2011
Votes: +3
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