Find out why Kwiaton likes the Lightning to keep rolling and knock off the Red Wings


Back at it for another week of picks, life at home has been crazy busy, so not much of an intro this time around. The season has been shaping up to be a great one so far, unless your favourite team is so far out of the playoff picture without much hope, only six weeks into the season (sorry Sabres and Flyers fans). Onto the games!


Panthers @ Senators


By the numbers – Frozen Pool

The Panthers have only won a single game on the road this season, and are currently winless in seven straight. During that span they’ve been outscored 25-12, and their futile power play (worst in the league with five goals) is led by rookie Aleksander Barkov accounting for 40% of their goals with the man advantage. Tim Thomas hasn’t looked great since his return to the NHL, but the drop off from the defence he played behind in Boston to Florida is enormous. Despite only posting two wins in six starts, he has still managed to keep his save percentage at .905, which is looking much better than goalie prodigy Jacob Markstrom who’s 3.36 goals against average and .878 save percentage are just downright atrocious.


Bobby Ryan continues to lead his new team with nine goals and 18 points through the first 16 games, and you always had a feeling that Jason Spezza would turn Ryan into a 40+ goal scorer like he did with Dany Heatley back in the day. The Senators are struggling with only two home wins this season, but a visit from the Panthers is just what the doctor ordered. The way Robin Lehner has performed compared to Craig Anderson, he may steal the reigns of the number one job sooner than later if the Senators want to keep their playoff hopes alive. His goals against average and save percentage are 0.98 and .035 points better than Anderson respectively.


My Pick: H+ (Senators by 2 or more)


Maple Leafs @ Bruins


By the numbers – Frozen Pool

The Leafs have been outshot by 11, 8, 17, 21, 26 and 7 shots in their last six games, and they’ve managed to pull out four wins during that span.  They’ve been able to offset staggering possession numbers with great special teams, but their power play has slowed down with only two goals in their last six games and generating only 18 opportunities. It’s kind of hard to generate power play chances when the puck isn’t on your stick. For the season the Leafs have been outshot by 10.67 shots which is the worst in the NHL.


The Bruins have the 2nd best defense in the league, which ranks sixth best at home (2.00 goals against average). Boston has struggled to find consistency dropping recent games to the Islanders and Stars after knocking off the best team in the league in Anaheim.  The offense needs to get going as the usually lethal combination of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand has combined for 11 points through the first 15 games, which may be hurting their chances for Sochi. Loui Eriksson has returned from a concussion and got on the score sheet against Florida on Thursday, but the big surprise offensively has been Reilly Smith who came over with Eriksson in the Tyler Seguin trade by putting up 10 points this season, nine of which have come at 5-on-5.


My Pick: H (Bruins win)


Wild @ Hurricanes


By the numbers – Frozen Pool

The Hurricanes are struggling to put the puck in the net this season. Carolina is ranked 28th in the league with only 1.88 goals for, that number drops to 1.56 at home. Their defense and goaltending has been good considering the injuries to Cam Ward, and Anton Khudobin, as they’re 16th in the league in goals against average. Eric Staal is tied for the team lead in scoring with nine points, however his co-leader Jeff Skinner has matched his production in six fewer games as he deals with his latest injury.


The Wild won 3-1 at home against the Canes on October 24th and will be looking to sweep the season series. Minnesota has managed points in eight of their last nine contests. The Wild are ranked fourth in the NHL with a road power play scoring at almost 26 percent, and have a goals for to goals against differential of 0.41 per game, compared to -0.93 for Carolina.


My Pick: V (Wild win)


Lightning @ Red Wings


By the numbers – Frozen Pool

If someone told you that Steven Stamkos would have 13 goals in 15 games this season, you’d figure he would be leading the goal scoring race. The last thing you would expect is that he would be trailing Alex Steen of all people (14 in 14 to start the year), and if you didn’t know that than perhaps you have been living under a rock. Stamkos has only produced four of his 22 points on the power play this year which just speaks volumes about their improvement in 5-on-5 play. Secondary scoring from Alex Killorn and Valtteri Filppula (12 points apiece), and a career year for Ben Bishop (10-2, 2.14 goals against average, and .928 save percentage) have gotten the Bolts off to first place in the Atlantic Division.


The Red Wings have been very streaky this season. After ending the Avs unbeaten run they went winless in four games before sweeping their three game Western Canada road trip, only to lose their next two contests. The usual leaders on the team are tied for points with 18 in the first 17 games, but the biggest disappointment from free agency has to be Stephen Weiss who’s managed a measly three points, and is usually found on the fourth line. I’m so glad he’s not on my favourite team. The Wings have struggled putting the puck in the net at Joe Louis with only a 2.13 goals for average to start the season.


My Pick: V (Tampa Bay win)


Islanders @ Blue Jackets


By the numbers – Frozen Pool

The Blue Jackets have won the last three matchups against the Islanders, including a win at the start of the season on Long Island. They followed up a three game win streak in mid-late October with their current five game losing streak. Sergei Bobrovsky has struggled so far this year in finding any consistency, but the team in front of him hasn’t helped. When your leading scorer is in a tie with James Wisniewski then you know things haven’t been going well.


The Islanders’ dead last power play on the road (5.0 %) isn’t striking fear into any of their opponents when they come into town. The Isles managed a couple of solid victories at the start of November knocking off Ottawa and Boston, but then followed that up by allowing four power play goals against Washington. It seems as though Kyle Okposo is finally reaching some of his potential, leading the team with 19 points and he has entrenched himself on one of John Tavares’ wings. Frans Nielsen leads the team in goal scoring with eight. Despite posting a 2.27 goals against average and a .918 save percentage Kevin Poulin has only one win in four starts, whereas Nabokov is 5-4-3 with a 3.17 goals against average and .897 save percentage. Seems like the offence has been only showing up for on goalie.


My Pick: T (Islanders win in a shootout)


Blackhawks @ Stars


By the numbers – Frozen Pool


The Hawks have won the last four matchups between these two teams by a combined score of 20-6. Dallas has yet to score a power play goal at home, while the Hawks have the best offence on the road this year scoring 3.83 goals per game. The Stars are riding a three game win streak, and I’d love to see them slow down the Hawks and take two points, but I just don’t see it happening. Dallas has only managed one win in five games against their new Central Division.


My Pick: V+ (Hawks by 2 or more)


Recently from Saturday Picks:

Saturday Picks - November 2, 2013 
Saturday Picks - October 26, 2013 
Saturday Picks - October 19, 2013 
Saturday Picks - October 12, 2013 

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Comments (2)add comment

mapletreemarty said:

... I know he plays with turris 5 on 5..
But he plays with Spezza on the PP!

It was an oversight, my apologies...
November 10, 2013
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
Bobby Ryan continues to lead his new team with nine goals and 18 points through the first 16 games, and you always had a feeling that Jason Spezza would turn Ryan into a 40+ goal scorer like he did with Dany Heatley back in the day.

so i guess you haven't followed the Senators this year
November 09, 2013
Votes: +1
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