Stralman

While you’re deciding whether to spend your weekend working on a six-pack of Labatt suds or still somehow striving toward your NY’s resolution of sculpting a six-pack of abs, here’s my NHL Saturday Night Six-Pack Special for you to chew on. With a new precedent set by Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke since I last spoke to you, the glorified madness of Deadline Day has seemingly lost a bit of its lustre. A monkey-see monkey-do reaction by eager GMs league-wide has resulted in an early and frankly unprecedented frenzy in the market in the weeks prior to the traditional deadline caving.  Thus, with tonnes of new faces zipping off to strange settings and meeting new teammates all over the league, new chemistries will be abuzz, making for an interesting weekend for sure.

 

Let’s cut to the chase...

 

Colorado @ L.A. (4:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools

You think Paul Stastny will be affected by his dad’s calling out of his boss, amidst rumours out there suggesting he’s being shopped?? Either way this will be a statement game for him. So look for him to be Colorado’s X-Factor. The Avs are 5th last in the NHL- in terms of both goal differential & goals allowed.  The post-all star game stretch has been absolutely hideous for Colorado, finally winning their first game of the month Tuesday........Only to be shellacked 5-1 the next game against the NHL’s worst, Edmonton Oilers.  L.A. on the other hand, has essentially been the polar opposite!! (Only ONCE losing in regulation over the same span). The Kings are seemingly beginning to put it together and are starting to gain a little momentum.

 

Pick

L.A. – Home Win – H(ProLine)

 

Detroit @ Buffalo (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools

After a phenomenal 5-goal outburst a few weeks back, ‘The Mule’, Johan Franzen has been almost invisible from the score sheet. This animal is surely due to end this drought soon. The Red Wings meanwhile have dropped consecutive games in regulation for just the 2nd time in 11 weeks! They remain the legitimate Cup Contender that many pundits (including myself) had maintained would be exactly that, pre-season. Buffalo has seen a semi re-emergence of Ryan Miller to the elite level we’ve come to expect of in the last couple weeks. On that note, he also holds a .951 SV% against the Wings in the last 3 times he faced off against them.  Should go right down to the wire.

 

Pick

TIE – T(ProLine)----(Sabres in SO)


Carolina @ Montreal (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools

Both the Canes & Habs are sporting sub .500 records over their past 10. The Canadiens are going to have to continue piling on the shots , a department they rank 3rd league-wide, if they hope to have a reasonable shot at posting a W. They’ll be hoping droughts from Kostitsyn & Gomez finally come to an end, and recently returned sniper, Mike Cammalleri finds his stride back. On the other side of the rink, is it possible the Caniacs are suffering from post ASG hangover?? The Hurricanes are going to have to show more reason to believe they can hold down the 8-spot in the East. Time for Team Staal to get back into ASG mindset and rise back to respectability.

 

Pick

Montreal – Home Win – H(ProLine)

 

Washington @ NY Islanders (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

The Caps enter their 4th meeting of the season vs. the Isles, only having given up four goals total thus far. Washington has been hovering around the Mendoza line as of late, sitting on a consistently consistent ‘win every other game’ trend dating back five weeks. However, the goaltending war is in full effect, essentially going with the ‘1 game each’ rotation, likely until one of Neuvirth or Varlamov falters. The Bad Boys from Long Island have not been shy of their bullying ways and scoring in bunches as of late, but at the end of the day, this one should be a rather ho-hum victory for the visitors, despite the surprising relief netminding of newly acquired Montoya .

 

Pick

Washington – Visitor Win – V(ProLine)

 

Philadelphia @ Ottawa (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

The NHL leading Flyers (as I write this) have been on an absolute tear, well.. pretty much all season! Sitting at nearly identical 20-8-3 home & 20-7-3 away records, Philly has been ever hotter as of late, taking 29 of a possible 36 points in their last dozen and a half contests.  Moreover, they have compiled exactly double Ottawa’s win total of 20 & have scored @ a rate greater than 1 goal PG more than the Sens this season. With The Sens in the middle of an all-out fire sale, and a pair of their remaining threats Alfie & Gonchar taking up space on the IR, this one could shape up to be a laugher in Canada’s nation capital!

 

Pick

Philadelphia – Visitor Win by 2 or more goals – V+(ProLine)


Boston @ Vancouver (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

The Boston Bruins have rebounded nicely from a rare 3-game losing skid by turning around and ripping off an equal trio of victories, lighting the lamp 13 times. Amazingly, the Bruins have still somehow managed to continue their fantastic success on the road relative to their very modest 15-12 home ice record. However this trend will certainly be put to the test in this Saturday evening’s finale as the Canucks hold title to the NHL’s best Home record. Vancouver is slowly but surely getting their blue line troopers back from the infirmary, with the return of Dan Hamhuis & Keith Ballard mid week. They will surely be looking to shake out of the mere .500 clip they’ve been playing at over the past couple weeks.

Pick

TIE – T(ProLine)----(Bruins in SO)

 


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