Heatley

 

I could have had a better October starting off 4-8 for pro-line purposes (6-6 picking straight up winners), while Thunder was a steady 6-6.  Like Luongo, I’m a slow starter out of the gate, but November is a new month and a clean slate.  This is the month where we find out which teams are the contenders, and which are the pretenders.  I also think this new baby/lack of regular sleep thing is really affecting my thinking and coming to a correct winning decision.  There are some great match-ups this Saturday with 11 games on the schedule; I stayed away from the red-hot Leafs as I know it’s simply just too good to be true.

 

Ducks @ Red Wings

By The Numbers – Frozen Pool

 

After Thursday night’s loss the Red Wings find themselves winless in six after opening the season 5-0. Scoring has been an issue for the Wings this season, and I can’t remember the last time they had more goals against than goals for on the season. Zetterberg and Datsyuk are a combined 12 points in 22 GP with a -11 rating, which is very uncharacteristic, and coach Babcock has talked about splitting up the pair again. The good news is both Datsyuk and Zetterberg have 33 points in their career against the Ducks in 33 and 28 GP respectively. On the other side of the ice Hiller’s career 3.22 GAA against the Wings may be just what the doctor ordered to snap this team out of their offensive woes.

 

Pick: H (Red Wings)

Thunder’s Pick: V (Ducks)

 

Blue Jackets @ Flyers

By The Numbers – Frozen Pool

 

Hmmm, the Jackets are 2-10-1 on the season and haven’t won a game on the road yet this season. This seems like easy pickings and the main storyline of Jeff Carter returning to Philadelphia to play his former team is dead since he’s out with a hairline fracture still.  All of us poolies hope he’s back next week. The lone bright spot for the Jackets has been the play of Ryan Johansen, since moving to the wing he’s put up five points in six games and is second on the team this season with a +2 rating, and he saw almost 17 minutes against the Leafs.  The Flyers on the other hand are still struggling with consistent goaltending, however Hartnell has fit very nicely alongside Giroux and Jagr on the top line. The Flyers are averaging 3.62 goals for per game (2nd in the NHL), while the Blue Jackets are surrendering 3.22 goals per game (2nd worst in the NHL). Columbus is winless in Philadelphia.

 

Pick: H+ (Flyers by 2 or more)

Thunder’s Pick: V (Blue Jackets)

 

Sabres @ Senators

By The Numbers – Frozen Pool

 

The Sabres have defeated the Senators in their last four meetings, and six of their last seven.  Buffalo is fourth in the NHL in 5 on 5 goals for to goals against, while the Senators are 28th in the league. If Buffalo stays disciplined it will minimize the opportunities for the NHL’s top ranked PP, thus far the Sabres average 4.5 minors per game.  The Senators are 6-2 in one-goal games this season, while the Sabres are 1-4. Anderson has a 3.62 GAA against the Sabres in his career, and both teams are going to be playing on the tail end of back to back nights.  The Sabres are 2-0 this season in the tail end matchup, and this will be the first of seven straight Friday-Saturday back to backs. Ryan Miller has struggled against the Sens in his career going 13-15-2, but surrendered only eight goals against in five starts last season.

 

Pick: V+ (Sabres by 2 or more)

Thunder’s Pick: V (Sabres)

 

Jets @ Devils

By The Numbers – Frozen Pool

 

The Devils have won six of the last seven head to head matchups and have only lost ten games in regulation in their history against Jets/Thrashers in 44 games. The Devils are notoriously slow starters, tied for an NHL worst five goals for in the opening stanza. On the other hand the Jets have been terrible in the 3rd period scoring only seven goals while allowing sixteen. The Devils are 3-1 in shootouts this season scoring on seven of ten attempts should this one go past overtime.  Parise has 12 goals and 19 points in 20 games played against the Jets.

 

Pick: H (Devils)

Thunder’s Pick: V (Jets)

 

Blues @ Wild

By The Numbers – Frozen Pool

 

The Blues entertain the Canucks on Friday night before heading to Minnesota to face the Wild on Saturday night.  Minnesota has won four of the last five head to head matchups.  The Blues have done well in even strength situations, with a 1.17 GF:GA ratio, however it has been their special teams that have let them down.  The Blues have the worst powerplay in the league, and the 2nd worst penalty kill. Jaroslav Halak has a league worst .750 save percentage with his team a man down (minimum 3 starts), and has struggled overall this season. Elliott has kept the Blues around .500 this season with four of the teams’ five wins in five starts.  Elliott could be in net against Vancouver on Friday as he has a career 2.23 GAA and a .928 save percentage against the Canucks which would leave Halak to start on Saturday. Halak isn’t the only one to blame as the Blues are riddled with underachievers, and a lot of people have been calling out the coach for juggling to lines on a period to period basis, making it difficult for players to build any sort of chemistry. The Wild are third in the NHL with a 1.97 GAA.

 

Pick: T (Wild in the shootout)

Thunder’s Pick: H (Wild)

 

Oilers @ Coyotes

By The Numbers – Frozen Pool

 

Wow.  Nikolai Khabibulin, can you say contract year? The soon to be 39 year old is 6-0-2 with a 0.98 GAA and a .963 save percentage.  He should surpass his total number of wins from last year by mid November (10 wins in 47 starts last season). Let’s have a quick look back: Contract year in Phx/Wpg: 32-23-7 2.13 GAA 8 SO; TB: 28-19-7 2.33 GAA wins Stanley Cup; Chi: 25-8-7 2.33 GAA .919 SV%.  Hmmm I’m seeing a trend. The Oilers as a whole are an improved team, and one of the main reasons behind their success is blocking shots, the team is 3rd in the league in blocked shots this season, and of course they lead the league with a 1.31 GAA. Despite 11 points in 12 games to begin his rookie campaign, RNH is pointless on the road in four contests this season, while the biggest stinker for poolies is Paajarvi’s ZERO points this season. After being written off last season in Tampa Bay, it shows that Mike Smith is perhaps only as good as the system he plays in? With Phoenix, Smith is 5-2-2 with a .927 save percentage this season and the Coyotes are getting scoring contribution all across the board with four players at 10 or more points. Phoenix has won 6 of the last 7 matchups with the Oilers, however the Oilers have won the last game in the desert.

 

Pick: V (Oilers)

Thunder’s Pick: H (Coyotes)


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Comments (3)add comment

Martin said:

mapletreemarty
Khabibulin Ahhh good point about Khabby, my bad, that's 4 hours of sleep a night for ya. I guess in that case he'll come crashing back down to earth and be supplanted by Dubnyk as the starter by Christmas smilies/smiley.gif
November 04, 2011
Votes: +0

saints said:

gmw
... Khabibulin isn't in a contract year.
November 04, 2011
Votes: +1

Gandhi said:

Gandhi
Sweet Mullet Look at the sweet mullet #68 is rocking in the background
November 04, 2011
Votes: +0
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