Happy Belated New Year’s Poolies!

It’s been quite a week in the NHL, with an even further intensified playoff race in both conferences coming to the forefront of late with Gary Bettman’s High Parity NHL. Should be another amazing winter of exciting meaningful hockey (for most teams) down the stretch!


After a solid 1 month run of going at over an 80% clip, I split my picks in half last column. This week I’m banking on yet another above .500 card. So without further ado….


(~~ Follow Anthony Lancione on Twitter @Anthisdaman)


  • Stats as of Friday morning
  • Winning % on the season= 59%
  • Previous Week Record= 3-3
  • For ProLine Purposes= 3-3

Colorado @ Dallas (3:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools


The Avs ride up into the Mile High City dragging in with them a three game losing streak and counting. There is no coincidence that this coincides with franchise player, Matt Duchene jumping onto the long term injury shelf.  But Colorado’s status of out of the playoff picture is not for a lack of trying as they sit in 7th spot in the league for shots on goal. However, the Stars have taken three of four, and have generally seen their play pick up as of late. This has been undoubtedly aided by the return from injury of PP quarterback Alex Goligoski. After seeing a bit of a slow start after his IR stint, he has now potted markers in back to back games, and registered five points over his past six from the blue line. Beyond that, the October NHL line of the month of Louie Eriksson, Jamie Benn & champion Michael Ryder have recently got hot again, sparking this recent surge.



Tie – T(ProLine) (Dallas in SO)


San Jose @ Columbus (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools


The San Jose Sharks have arguably taken title of NHL’s hottest from the Boston Bruins! “Say whaaat” you ask?  How about these nuggets: They’ve only lost one regulation game since December 10th of last year! Over the past 5 weeks they’ve won four of five, seven of eleven, have recorded points in seven straight and 13 of 14!! Moreover, only twice since December 3rd have they allowed more than two goals in a game ending in regulation. With this hot streak, San Jose has reclaimed their annual spot atop the Pacific. Unfortunately, not much to say about the jackets, who coming off of the firing of head coach, Scott Arniel, have been sent packing out of town by 5-2 and 7-4 scores visiting Chicago and Anaheim respectively. Along with Jeff Carter’s shoulder troubles and Steve Mason appearing to be a shadow of his former self, things continue to look bleak for hockey in Ohio!



San Jose – Visitor Win– V(ProLine)


Buffalo @ NY Islanders (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers - Frozen Pools


The Sabres continue to spiral coming off a 2-0 shutout loss in Toronto, an arena in which they’ve had plenty of success in over the past decade. They’ve now lost three straight, six of seven, 9 of 11 and 11 of 14. Over the past 11 games, they’ve also had trouble finding the twine notching just under an average of two goals per game over their past 11, while allowing 3.5 goals per game over that span. The Terry Pegula era, surprisingly has not gotten off to the start the feel-good ownership takeover oozed of last summer. However, despite, a virus caught by team leader Tomas Vanek, this team must bounces back this week, despite a better than usual Islanders squad. The Isles would be well advised though to stay even keel and not get too in over their heads after a shocking 5-1 throw down of the mighty RedWings on Tuesday night.



Buffalo – Visitor Win – V(ProLine)

Boston @ Carolina (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers –Frozen Pools


The 28-11-1 Defending Cup Champs are quite simply playing BETTER than the pace and production rates achieved in their Banner raising 2010-11 season, as they lead the league in goals for, goals against & wins. Despite much less fanfare, Timmy T is once again putting up scary historical numbers this season with a .939 SV % and 1.95 GAA~~Both marks of which are slightly better than last year’s record-setting campaign. Yet shockingly his ‘backup’, if that’s what you really want to refer to Tuukka Rask as, has been posting even BETTER numbers, with a .949 SV % & 1.59 GAA, albeit in a much smaller sample size. However he remains only one shutout behind Thomas even still. All of that incredible goaltending has been blended in with great depth . Carolina, sitting at the polar opposite end of the conference has no chance, even as the hosts.



Boston – Visiting Team Win – V(ProLine)


Philadelphia @ Nashville (8:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools


The Flyers remain an elite level threat coming into the new year having taken four of their past five and five of seven. Clearly last summer’s school of thought in the hockey community that the Broad Street blowup of sacrificing the short term to extend their long term window is flawed----Flawed only in the sense that as much as they’ve opened up their window to compete for the cup, they have NOT shut the window either for the time being. They remain two points behind their 2012 Winter Classic counterparts for top spot in the NHL. Meanwhile, the Preds have been just as hot to kick off 2012, riding a three game winning streak of their own into this contest, as well as taking six of their past seven to stay right in the thick of things in the west.



Philadelphia – Visiting Team Win – V(ProLine)

Los Angeles @ Calgary (10:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools


So despite, an aging stale roster, with not much future promise, nor much current promise, to be quite honest, Jay feaster has evidently thrown all his cards on the table and had revealed the Flames are going all in for one last more run! The acquisition of disgruntled diminutive forward, Michael Cammalleri, from Montreal for steady Rene Bourque(over the 2 prior seasons), was surprising for many fans and media members alike. Adding more high end salary to the Flames payroll appears to go against the consensus feeling in recent times. That being said, after getting completely shellacked 9-0 against the zoned-in Bruins, they have had short memory, moving on to a feel-good vibe the following night when Franchise Icon, Jarome netted his 500th. They have won a troika of their own, in succession, since then. The Kings are in 7th, while the Flames sit in 12th, yet the two clubs remain only three points apart in a very crowded west. L.A. also continues to have great success from their fantastic netminding duo, sitting 5th spot in the Jennings race.



Los Angeles – Visiting Team Win — V(ProLine)



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