Keith

 

After a decent start to an already riveting 2011-2012 campaign, taking two thirds of my choices, I’m looking to maintain or dare say increase that pace! Last Saturday’s trip into Boston made for quite the visit. I witnessed the defending champs in all their glory, taking the Leafs to school with TD BankNorth Arena chanting in unison “Thank You Kessel!!” with feverish aplomb. (Insert “Aren’t you a Leafs homer?” comment here..shhhh.)

 

Give Anthony a follow on Twitter - @Anthisdaman

 

  • Stats as of Friday morning
  • Winning % this Season= 67%
  • Previous Week Record= 4-2
  • For ProLine Purposes= 3-3
  • (* -1 for ProLine where I had the Caps to win by more than 1 goal; but they took it by exactly 1).

Anyhow, in moving on, although there aren’t as many juicy storylines as last edition’s preview of Mike Richard’s return to the Dry Island, or Winnipeg(old) vs. Winnipeg(new), there are still a slew of interesting contests, from which I present to you this week’s 6-Pack. Let’s hit the ice running….errr skating!

 

Florida @ Buffalo (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools

 

It’s been a week dominated by backups here with Markstrom and Enroth putting on very admirable performances.

However, it’s back to business with Miller Time in Buffalo this week. The PVB line remains red hot out of the gates, showing great chemistry & consistency in the early goings, the latter long being the downfall of Vanek specifically. Despite his 1st poor outing last time out against Tampa Bay, Ryan Miller takes his sparkling 2.01 GAA and .933 SV% into this one with plenty to be confident about as Buffalo remains one point out of 1st in the NorthEast. Florida has been surprisingly decent to start the season having won two of three in knocking out the NHL -leading Penguins and residing in 6th spot in the conference. However, despite an impressive showing from their random assortment of UFA signings and trade acquisitions, Buffalo should put them in their place.

 

Pick

Buffalo – Home Win – H(ProLine)

 

 

Ottawa @ New York Rangers (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools

 

 

I can’t imagine too many hockey pundits agreeing pre-season that the New York Rangers would be beneath the mighty Sens in the standings a month in, but that remains fact. Despite surprising many, the key contributors to this early season surge have been the core of the old guard, with Spezza leading the way at 3rd in league scoring with 13 points. Moreover, Milan Michalek sits tied in 8th, while Gonchar and sophomore Erik Karlsson are both amongst the top five in defensemen scoring. That being said, goaltending has been abysmal as Craig Anderson sits 4th last in the NHL in GAA. Meanwhile, the Rangers have not being able to muster any production with a futile ‘Goals for’ of 2.0 markers per game. Good for LAST in the league. Something had to give, with Brad Richards & Gaborik split up for tonight’s affair to spread the wealth.

 

Pick

New York Rangers – Home Win – H(ProLine)


Winnipeg @ Tampa Bay (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools

 

Gotta love how fierce geographic rivals ‘True North’-based Winnipeg & ‘Sunshine State’-based Tampa Bay lock up in a battle of the Southeast?? The Jets roll into this one likely on pain killers and Red Bulls in the locker room (Bad mix?) after an epic showdown in Philly Thursday night. Imagine owning a 6-1 lead yet still needing to score nine goals to walk away with a W! Tampa Bay will capitalize on this surely emotionally-drained Jets squad.  On the other side of the coin, it’s been a bit of a see-saw battle in the goaltending department for Tampa as Roloson had seemingly lost the reigns to Garon for the starter’s gig last week. But after a putrid performance on Thursday, it already appears that the pendulum is shooting back in Rollie The Goalie’s favour. Be sure to check out www.goaliepost.com for the latest probable starters!

 

Pick

Tampa Bay – Home Win Plus– H+(ProLine)

 

San Jose @ New York Islanders (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers –Frozen Pools

 

After a less than stellar kickstart to the season, collecting only one of a possible eight points, despite three of their first four games being at home in the Shark Tank, San Jose has rebounded nicely having won three consecutive games (heading into Friday night’s affair—after this column’s release). Antii Niemi is back and interestingly has shown a trend thus far to continue allowing less goals each game; with three in his first two matches, two after that, then just a single marker last outing. Logic would dictate a shutout is coming vs. Detroit, no?! The Isles on the other hand are already reeling having lost four straight and sit just about where most pundits have projected them to finish up at, sitting in 13th in the East.

 

Pick

San Jose – Visitor Win – V(ProLine)

 

Anaheim @ Nashville (8:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

 

Reigning MVP. Reigning Rocket Richard winner. Best trio in all hockey(Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan). Highest scoring offensive D-man in 2010-11. Yes, this offensive juggernaut of sorts is loaded with high end offensive goods. However, (and I love saying this) ultimate good guy-grey beard, 41 year old Teemu Selanne leads this high octane offense in scoring heading into the final weekend of October! He does so on the heels of a hat trick of assists Thursday night in Minny and with six points over his past three. Meanwhile, Nashville, despite achieving mixed results, has predictably received steady eddie performance from Pekke Rinne , with a respectable 2.51 GAA and .924 SV% variety. He’s a lock for years to come poolies! However with a litany of 50 point 3rd line scorers spread throughout the lineup, scoring remains a challenge for the Preds.

 

Pick

Anaheim – Visitor Win – V(ProLine)


Columbus @ Chicago (8:30pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

 

The Columbus Blue Jackets, at 1-8-1 sit alone in the NHL basement. However, their murky status thus far is not due to a lack of trying, with a 5th place rank league-wide in shots on goal. Although, with prized acquisition, sniper Jeff Carter due back any day now (possibly tonight), along with Christian Huselius by December, that conversion rate should eventually show some rapid improvement. Chicago meanwhile, has gotten off to a blistering start, with only a single regulation loss to their name. Corey Crawford has done well so far in his first season as undisputed #1 from the get-go, sporting a very spiffy 2.08 GAA. Offensively, Marian Hossa has been making the most of his first extended summer of rest since 2007 without a Stanley Cup Finals run digging into his off-season, having scored in an amazing five straight games.

 

Pick

Chicago – Home Team Win Plus — H+(ProLine)

 


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