I am coming off a huge week last column which saw me win close to $1300.00. I am pretty sure I was 9-2 on the week and hit a big parlay. I feel very confident in these weeks’ selections and even have a guaranteed pick. Not sure what I will do if I lose, but I won’t so I don’t even need to think about it.
NY Islanders at New Jersey 1:00 PM EST
Both teams played last night and will have a very short sleep before playing again this afternoon. The Isles have picked up points in 8 of their last 11 games and are coming off a big win over the Stanley Cup Champs. The Devils have points in 8 of their last 10. These teams have already faced each other in November and that game was held in the Swamp as well with the Devils winning 2-1. New Jersey has been lights-out at home lately after struggling earlier in the year. Beware an Islanders let-down after coming up big last night.
New Jersey – Home Win – H (ProLine)
Ottawa at Boston 7:00 PM EST
The Sens have lost 5 straight games in Boston and 10 of 12 head-to-head. Ottawa has some key injuries to role players. Erik Karlsson has been called up and will play meaning that his ELC starts this year. The Sens have not been affected by all their injuries and continue to play some great hockey winning 5 of their last 6 games. Last time against Boston, Ottawa let a 3-1 lead slip away in the final 90 seconds and eventually fell in a shootout. Extra time is not unfamiliar to Boston as 5 of their last 6 games have gone past 60 minutes. This game is for 1st in the Northeast Division.
Ottawa in a shootout – Tie – T (ProLine)
Carolina at Buffalo 7:00 PM EST
I will be floored in Carolina can win this game. What a brutal loss to the Thrashers last night. Both teams are playing below average hockey right now with Carolina gaining 8 points in their last 10 games, Buffalo 9 in their last 10. The Sabres are 51-26-8 all-time at home versus the Carolina/Hartford franchise; 7-3-0 in the last 10. This is the second game of Buffalo’s sixth back-to-back set of the season. The Sabres will play 17 sets of back-to-back games throughout the season. In the five to date, the Sabres are 3-1-1 in the first game and 1-4-0 in the second contest.
Buffalo by 2 or more – Home plus win – H+ (ProLine)
Washington at Montreal 7:00 PM EST
Washington closes out a stretch of five straight (1-1-2) games against Northeast Division opponents with a Saturday night visit to Montreal to meet the Canadiens. This is the second game in a stretch of four out of five Saturdays that will feature the Capitals on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. Washington is just 1-1-2 against Canadian teams this year, including a recent three-game winless streak (0-1-2).The Capitals are coming off a 2-0 win against Buffalo, the first regular-season shutout of Semyon Varlamov’s career. Washington has held a lead in the second period or later in each of its 25 games. The Caps trail, 51-67-17-1, entering the 137th meeting, and are only 20-40-8-1, in Montreal.
Montreal – Home win – H (ProLine)
Philadelphia at Atlanta 7:00 PM EST
The Flyers have a 14-game winning streak against the Thrashers, the longest current streak in the NHL. The Thrashers haven't beaten the Flyers since Nov. 18, 2005. This promises to be a wide-open affair as Atlanta leads the NHL with 3.54 goals per game and Philadelphia is fourth with 3.26. The Flyers have the third-best power play and the Thrashers are fifth. Philadelphia is fourth with 32.2 shots per game and Atlanta allows the most, 35.6. The Thrashers have been prone to slow starts, they've given up the first goal 14 times this season. This is another game where both teams played last night. Atlanta is coming off a huge comeback where they scored 5 straight in the 3rd period to beat Carolina. Those comebacks are nice, but they take a lot out of you. No way Atlanta wins this game. This is my guaranteed pick tonight!!! Philly will probably win by 2 or more, but since I am guaranteeing a win, I am just picking the win.
Philly – Visitor Win – V (ProLine)
Calgary at Columbus 7:00 PM EST
The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Columbus won 2-1 at Nationwide Arena on Oct. 13, but the Flames got even a week later with a 6-3 win at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Columbus has won the last four meetings at home. The Jackets are glad to be home after going 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip, including losses this week at New York (7-4), Montreal (5-3) and Ottawa (2-1). But the Flames are one of the NHL's best road teams (8-1-3) and come to Columbus after a 3-0 victory at Detroit on Friday. Columbus loses due to the dreaded “Honey-do-list”. After a 5 or more game road trip, the first game back at home this season, teams are 5-15-3.
Calgary – Visitor Win – V (Proline)
NY Rangers at Pittsburgh 7:30 PM EST
Eight weeks after starting the season against each other, the Penguins and Rangers appear to be headed in different directions as they open a home-and-home series. Despite a 3-2 loss Friday on Long Island, the Penguins have won 17 of their first 26 games and show every sign that once they get everyone healthy, they'll be a threat to defend their Stanley Cup championship. The Rangers won their next seven games after the opening-night loss, but are 6-10-1 since then and were blown out 5-1 at Tampa Bay on Friday night. The Rangers are not a fan of playing in Pittsburgh as the Penguins are 11-0-2 in their last 13 at home versus the Rangers.
Pittsburgh – Home Win – H
Detroit at St. Louis 8:00 PM EST
Detroit is struggling. With Friday's 3-0 loss to the Calgary Flames, the Wings haven't scored in 153 minutes, 22 seconds. The defending Western Conference champs have been shut out in consecutive games for the first time since December 2001 and the first time at home in 32 years. They lost 2-0 to Atlanta on Wednesday. This is the third of six meetings between the teams, and the first since the NHL Premier Series in Stockholm on Oct. 2-3. The Blues swept those two games, winning 4-3 and 5-3. St. Louis enters Saturday's action with some momentum -- and strong goaltending. Chris Mason made 37 saves against the Predators -- his former club -- on Friday night to help the Blues pull within two points of Detroit as they attempt to climb up the division and conference standings. This is a tough game to call. St. Louis always plays the Wings tough and in years past I can remember losing a lot of money betting on Detroit.
St. Louis – Home Win – H (Proline)
Florida at Nashville 8:00 PM EST
This is the 14th all-time meeting between the clubs dating back to Oct. 10, 1998, when the Predators played their inaugural game, a 1-0 loss at the Sommet Center. The home team has not lost in series since Dec. 23, 2002, and Nashville is unbeaten in its last five when hosting the Panthers (3-0-(2)-0), dating back to Oct. 27, 2000. The Predators are one of the leagues hottest teams and are 11-3-0 in their last 14 games, outscoring the opposition 40-30 in that span… Nashville has gone 10-for-30 (33.3 percent) on the power play over the last seven games.
Nashville – Home Win – H (Proline)
Tampa Bay at Dallas 8:30 PM EST
Tampa played at home on Friday night and left shortly after its 5-1 win over the New York Rangers to fly to Dallas for Saturday's game. For whatever the travel and playing a second game in 24 hours takes out of the Lightning, they should be bolstered by coming off what forward Martin St. Louis called "our best 60 minutes as a team in a long time." The Stars, by comparison, are licking their wounds and looking to regroup after a 5-2 loss in Phoenix on Friday. Turco was pulled in that game and if he starts tonight he is 19-7-2 with a 1.91 GAA and a .921 SV% in starts after getting pulled in the previous game.
Dallas by 2 or more – Home plus Win – H+ (Proline)
Minnesota at Colorado 9:00 PM EST
This game will finish off a back-to-back, home-and-home set between the two teams with Minnesota winning last night. The Wild are 10-1-2 in the last 13 regular season meetings against Colorado. The way the Avs have played lately, I don’t see anything changing.
Minnesota – Visitor Win – V (ProLine)
Edmonton at Vancouver 10:00 PM EST
The Oilers tried their best last night to stick it to Heatley and the Sharks. That is a tough loss and the Oilers will feel the aftermath of that emotional loss tonight against the Canucks. This one is close to a guarantee as well.
Vancouver by 2 or more – Home plus Win – H+ (ProLine)
Chicago at Los Angeles 10:30 PM EST
Chicago by 2 or more – Visitor plus Win – V+ (ProLine)