SaturdayPicks

 

Marty Kwiaton gives you his picks for Saturday's best NHL games.

 

­­Feeling the time crunch this week, so we’re going to skip all the fluff in the introduction and get right to it. On the surface, there look to be a number of "slam-dunk" picks this weekend. We will see what happens on the ice, though....

 

Flyers @ Jets

By the Nubmers – Frozen Pool


This is a matchup of two teams headed in opposite directions. The Flyers have been battling, reeling off four straight victories to pull within two points of eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. The team traded for Steve Mason to push Ilya Bryzgalov, and although he’s won his last four starts he’s still allowed 11 goals against. As long as the Flyers continue to score in bunches, then Bryzgalov just needs to make the key saves, Grant Fuhr style to continue to propel his team. The Flyers win over the Leafs at the ACC snapped an 0-4-1 skid on the road. The Jets meanwhile have lost five in a row and have only scored six times. Thankfully they’re returning to Winnipeg as four of their losses took place on the road where they were outscored 17-5. I’m sure Mike Santorelli will help put some more pucks in the net.

 

Pick: V

Thunder’s Pick: H

 

Rangers @ Hurricanes

By the Nubmers – Frozen Pool


Who would have thought bringing in Ryan Clowe, Derrick Brassard, and John Moore was just what the doctor ordered for the Rangers offensive struggles? The newcomers tallied 2g1a, 1g3a, and 1g respectively in their Broadway debuts.  Brad Richards also managed only his fourth multi-point game of the season, and has six points in his last six games. The Hurricanes are spiraling out of control having gone 1-9-1 in their last 11 games and being outscored 41-17 during that span. The losses of Ward, Faulk, and now Pitkanen are going to sink the 'Canes chances at the playoffs. The Rangers have a lot more riding on this season, and I mean Carolina has Alexander Semin for another five years.

 

My Pick: V

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Lightning @ Islanders

By the Nubmers – Frozen Pool


The Bolts trade away Cory Conacher to Ottawa for Ben Bishop, and the latter turns in a 45-save shutout performance against the Hurricanes. Great way to start with your new team, however surrendering that much rubber will only catch up to you sooner rather than later. Luckily the Lightning are in the weak Southeast division where the Jets are starting to fade and the division is up for grabs to any team that can get hot down the stretch. Unfortunately the Islanders have been heating up lately going 5-1-1 on the road in their last seven only surrendering 12 goals. Hopefully they can transfer that success to Long Island where they’ve managed a measly seven wins in twenty games this season.

 

My Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Capitals @ Panthers

By the Nubmers – Frozen Pool


The Capitals are like the cream rising to the top of the Southeast Division. It seems as though the players are starting to execute Adam Oates’ systems and it’s showing on the ice. Mike Green has a goal in four straight games, the Great Eight has 11 goals in his last 12 games, and Backstrom has 21 points since the beginning of March. It’ll be interesting to see how Martin Erat fits into the Caps lineup and hopefully he can find some consistency in his game.  The Panthers, well, they have Jonathan Huberdeau, who despite being in a slump still leads all rookies in scoring.

 

My Pick: V+

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Avalanche @ Coyotes

By the Nubmers – Frozen Pool


Avs


Sucking for Seth, and firing Joe Sacco are the two things that are keeping Avs fans going for the remainder of the season. I mean, if you’re going to tank you might as well do it over a span of 48 games instead of 82. The acquisition of PA Parenteau has had dazzling results having him play alongside a transformed Matt Duchene. The fact that David Jones is making the exact same money makes me sick. The team moved Ryan O’Byrne to the Leafs for a 4th round pick, and hearing analysts describe him as a 2nd pairing defensemen made me chuckle. The Avs have one win in their last eight visits to Phoenix, not only are they the worst team in the league, but also have a pitiful two wins on the road this season. I feel like I mention this every week, but Varlamov has yet to win on the road this year, so is this the game? Short answer is no. After losing seven straight the Coyotes have gone 3-0-1 in their last four games as they try to sneak into the playoffs in the West in a fierce logjam. If not for Yandle (tied for first in team scoring) and Ekman-Larsson (fourth in team scoring) contributing offensively this team would be right alongside the Avalanche this season in the standings.

 

Keith Yandle is also the only d-man to lead his team in shots on goal with 110.

 

My Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Flames @ Canucks

By the Nubmers – Frozen Pool


Sure the Flames received two first round picks for Iginla and Bouwmeester, but when you consider the haul the Sabres got for Pominville compared to what the Flames received, it makes you wonder how Jay Feaster still has a job. These trades should have happened two years ago. The Flames are battling the Avalanche and Panthers to see who will have the highest probability at securing the first overall pick in the June 30th draft. The Flames most recently have gotten pummelled 12-3 in a home and home battle of Alberta with the Oilers, and they have managed two wins in their last nine games overall. Not to mention they’ll be coming into Vancouver with their tails between their legs after visiting the Sharks Friday night. “My contract sucks” has watched Cory Schneider start the last nine straight games going 7-2, picking up three shutouts, and posting a .914 save percentage or better in all but one game. Perhaps he could see his first start on Saturday, in which case I would be tempted to take the underdog Flames, however nothing in their game recently has struck me with any confidence as they’re packing it in for the year as well.

 

My Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: H

 

Don't forget to check out Goalie Post for the latest news on starting goaltenders around the league.

 


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Veritas0Aequitas said:

Veritas0Aequitas
TOR-NJ Where's Toronto-NJ?
April 05, 2013
Votes: +0
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