thunder

 

Wow, just look at that cocky grin on my dog. She’s clearly egging me on and rightfully so after wiping the floor with me last week picking nine winners out of 13 matchups to my lowly five. Perhaps those few errand passes she got hit with as a puppy running around on the ice while we played shinny have instilled her with a superior hockey intellect? Nah, who am I kidding, she’s a mutt from the humane society and last week was just beginner’s luck. Plenty of games on the schedule so let’s get things started!

 



Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins
The Caps are barely over .500 on the road this season, but a 3-0-1 record in February has them showing signs of heating up at the right time. However, that’s where the good news ends in this matchup as the B’s have won the last 5 at home versus the Caps and are 10-1-2 since 2001.

Prediction: H
Thunder’s Pick: H

Florida Panthers @ New Jersey Devils
The Devils look to take 3 of 4 from the Panthers this season when both teams square off Saturday afternoon. The Devils have a 5 game winning streak on home ice, and have won 5 straight front ends of B2B game sets, strangely enough all 5 of those were on the road. Marty’s back and he doesn’t seem to have missed a beat. This year the Panthers have scored 25 goals in 5 matinees, which will help keep this a one goal game.

Prediction: H
Thunder’s Pick: V

Anaheim Ducks @ Dallas Stars

After Thursday’s defeat the Stars face their first 3 game losing streak of the season, they’ve had one 3 game winless streak which was snapped with a victory in Phoenix. The Ducks are 1-4 coming of losses of 3 goals or more. Their only win came after a wakeup call from Western powerhouse Detroit, could Eastern powerhouse Boston have the same effect? This one’s a tossup.

Prediction: H
Thunder’s Pick: H


Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators

Another instalment of the battle of Ontario sees the Leafs attempt to go for their 8th straight victory over the Sens in Saturday HNIC matchups. The Leafs have the 7th best PP on the road, while the Sens have given up 7 PPG on 15 chances in their last four games. I can’t believe I’m taking the Leafs two weeks in a row.

Prediction: V
Thunder’s Pick: V

Colorado Avalanche @ NY Rangers

Despite winning the last 5 head to head matchups a lot has changed for the Avs in the 14 months since these two teams last met. The league’s worst road PP unit heads into MSG to face the league top PK unit. Tortorella will pick up his first win as a Rangers head coach although we’re still waiting for this aggressive offensive style that’s supposed to increase scoring.

Prediction: H+
Thunder’s Pick: V

Buffalo Sabres @ NY Islanders
Since the lockout the Sabres are 7-2 on Long Island versus the Islanders. The Isles haven’t won more than 3 games in a month since Novemeber. They were 2-10-2 in December, 3-7-1 in January, and so far 3-7-2 in February. The astonishing part is that there is actually a 4 game win streak in those 8 wins in the last 3 months (end of Jan. headed into Feb.). The man advantage is clicking for the Sabres as they have 13 PPG in their last 11 games.

Prediction: V
Thunder’s Pick: V

San Jose Sharks @ Montreal Canadiens
San Jose has won 4 of the last 5 meetings between these two teams. The Sharks are 5th in road GA, while Montreal is 7th in home GA. In B2B situations, Montreal has dropped 4 straight on the back end. All of those losses were with Price in net; he’s 3-6 on the year while Halak is 2-0. Against San Jose, one man won’t make the difference.

Prediction: V
Thunder’s Pick: V

Carolina Hurricanes @ Atlanta Thrashers
Carolina is 8-2 in their last 10 meetings versus the Thrashers, and Ward is 8-1 in his career when visiting Atlanta with 41 GF backing him up. The Canes special teams haven’t been anything to write home about this season but at least they’re keeping themselves out of the box with a league low 10.0 PIM/game. Combine that with Atlanta’s worst home record in the NHL and the worst home PK and I like the visitors by a few.

Prediction: V+
Thunder’s Pick: V

Detroit Red Wings @ Nashville Predators
A few interesting matchups heading into this one: The 2nd worst PP (NSH) up against the worst road PK in the league. The league’s best PP (DET) up against the 2nd best home PK in the league, with NSH giving up the 6th most PP chances this season. Not a favourable statistic against a team that has averaged 4.4 GF/game including 1.6 PPG/game in their last 10. The Wings are 3-8-4 in their last 15 games on the road.

Prediction: T
Thunder’s Pick: V

St. Louis Blues @ Phoenix Coyotes
The Coyotes are 10-4 against the Blues since the lockout. The Coyotes snapped a season high 6 game home losing streak back on Feb. 19th and look to continue to carry that success against a team that is 3-1-2 on the road in February. Bryzgalov has only ever beaten the Blues in February, a trend that should continue on Saturday night.

Prediction: H
Thunder’s Pick: V

Minnesota Wild @ Edmonton Oilers

The Wild sport the 2nd best road GAA in the league heading into Alberta this weekend. Unfortunately they have only won 1 of their last 5 visits to Rexall place and are 3-9 on the back end of B2B sets. The Oilers have been able to bounce back with victories the last two times they’ve been shutout. The Oilers need this one to keep up with the pack in the Western Conference.

Prediction: H
Thunder’s Pick: H

 


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