Jeff Carter

 

Life has been fairly busy lately, so unfortunately these will have to be quick and dirty, however the last time I went with this format I managed to break .500.  Here’s hoping that trend continues as I manage to not overanalyze the hockey matchups. On the other hand, Thunder’s analysis depends on the flavour of doggie treat I hold in my hand.  Here’s what’s going down this Saturday...

 

Philadelphia @ Boston

It’s Calder vs. Vezina candidate as Bobrovsky and his 14-4-3 record goes up against Thomas and his 14-2-2 start.  Boston has outscored opponents 21-7 in December.  Lucic is only 2 goals shy of his career high.  As Boston gets healthier and players start hitting their stride (Savard); they’re only going to get tougher to beat.

 

Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: H

 

Colorado @ Washington

The Caps are winless in 4, but will face a dismal Avs defence that allows 3.14 GA per game.  However, snipers Ovechkin and Semin have combined for 3 pts. in 4 appearances versus the Avs.  This game also marks Fleischmann’s return versus his former team in D.C.  The Avs have lost 2 of 5 games on the tail end of B2B scenarios.  The Caps have managed 7 goals in 2 games after being shutout in the game before.

 

Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: H

 

Montreal @ Toronto

The Habs roll into Toronto to face a Leafs team that has given up 3 goal leads in their last 3 games.  Fortunately for the Leafs they’ve managed to pull out victories in their last 2 home meetings against the Habs.  The Leafs are over .500 (7-6-3) at home.

 

Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

NY Rangers @ Columbus

Since their 14-6 start the Jackets have gone 1-5-1 in their last 7 and have demoted Filatov to the minors.  Filatov aside, it’s difficult to win games when your team has only scored 12 goals in that span.  The Rangers are 5-1 on the road in their last 6 and Gabby loves playing the Jackets with 22 pts. in 23 career games.  Mason gave up 4 GA in 26 mins in his only starts against the Rangers in his career.

 

Pick: V

Thunder’s Pick: H

 

Atlanta @ NY Islanders

At least Kyle Okposo is skating in full gear now – about the only thing Isles fans have to look forward to.  Despite dropping a decision to the Avs the Thrashers have won 8 of their last 10 games.  Look for Big Buff and company to get back on track against the lowly Isles.  At least DiPietro is 6-3-2 in his career against Atlanta. Roloson on the other hand hasn’t lost to the Thrashers in regulation in his career (7-0-1).  It’ll give Isles fans something to clutch onto through the first 20 mins.

 

Pick: V

Thunder’s Pick: H

 

Detroit @ New Jersey

Friday’s 2 assist effort marks Kovalchuk’s first multi point game in FIVE weeks.  For $100 million, that’s pathetic!!!  The Wings continue to look like the class of the West, but have dropped their last 2 tail end back to back games.  Brodeur has a 2.11 GAA against the Wings but has only managed 8 wins in 16 starts.  Going to go with the upset and the Devils first win in December in this one (how is MacLean still have a job??).

 

Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: H

 

Pittsburgh @ Buffalo

The Pens have won 11 in a row, but Ryan Miller is 4-1-1 with a 1.64 GAA since returning from injury.  Malkin is going to skate on Saturday and hopes to be back in the lineup in this contest which should give the Pens a boost.  In 6 previous occasions the Sabres have scored 4 or more goals in a game they’ve only managed to score more than 2 on one occasion (a 6-3 loss versus Philadelphia).

 

Pick: V

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Dallas @ Phoenix

The Stars have quietly managed to go 7-1-1 in their last 9 and climb into the Pacific division lead.  Their top line of Richards-Eriksson-Neal has combined for 43% of the teams goals this season.  Dallas’ goaltending duo has managed to put up the league’s 7th best GAA and 5th best SV%.  The Coyotes are 1-2-4 in Saturday affairs in North America this season.

 

Pick: T (Dallas in the shootout)

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Florida @ Nashville

Florida’s last win in Nashville came exactly 11 years ago.  The Panthers also haven’t won 4 in a row in over 2.5 years.  Anders Lindback has stopped 97 of 104 shots he’s faced since Rinne went down with his injury. The Preds are 5-1-5 at home this year.  Prior to last Saturday the Preds had gone to 3 straight Saturday shootouts.  I’m going to take the safe victory, but it may take 65+ minutes.

 

Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Carolina @ St. Louis

The Blues are 9-2-1 at home, a great record that has helped them keep pace with teams in the West.  The Hurricanes have only won 3 of their last 12 games overall.  The Blues look to be turning things around after snapping a 5 game losing streak.  Cam Ward is 3-1 in his career versus St. Louis with a 1.75 GAA, meanwhile Halak has lost 2 of his last 3 at home after starting out 7-0-1.

 

Pick: V

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Chicago @ San Jose

Niemi is 5-7-1 with a 3.48 GAA while Niittymaki is 9-3-3 with a 2.43 GAA.  Not sure why they’re still rotating the goalies, it’s fairly obvious who should be getting the starts.  San Jose won the earlier contest at home late in November, but Crawford has won 7 straight starts with a 2.12 GAA.  Couture leads all rookies with 14 goals including 6 in his last 5 games.

 

Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Minnesota @ Los Angeles

The Kings have been impressive at home to the tune of 11-2, but have struggled to provide offense lately.  They’ve only managed 12 goals in their last 7 games, but still come into this matchup with a 3 game win streak.  The Kings are 7-2 in their last 9 meetings against the Wild.  The Wild have lost 7 of their last 9 games, giving up 36 goals in that span.

 

Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: V

 

Tampa Bay @ Vancouver

Tampa Bay heads into Vancouver after coming out of Oil Country with a point against Edmonton in Omark’s successful NHL debut.  The Bolts have lost 5 of their last 7 and haven’t received any good goaltending in a long while.  Steven Stamkos finally managed to snap a 6 game goal scoring drought on Friday, but has only managed 3 pts. in the 7 game span.  The Canucks meanwhile, will give Roberto Luongo a night off and let Schneider improve upon his 2.08 GAA and .936 SV%.

 

Pick: H

Thunder’s Pick: H


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Shoeless said:

Shoeless
... Hey Marty - always enjoy your write ups on these picks - nice little details. Thanks for doing it. Here's my prediction for the weekend - Thunder thumps you on these picks.
December 11, 2010
Votes: +0
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