Tuukka Rask USA TODAY

 

Anthony Lancione weighs on on Saturday's NHL action.


Great to be back in the heart of an NHL season, with the word ‘lockout’ quickly vanishing from our vernacular!

 

Decent job for Marty in the opening column last week, sweeping the first three picks before evening out by nights end. But with parity growing all the time, 50/50 isn’t anything to sneeze about. Especially with the way top dogs in the East, for instance, have seemingly taken up residence in the conference cellar!
 

Without further ado, lets get to the action!

 

(~~ Follow Anthony Lancione on Twitter @Anthisdaman)

 

Edmonton @ Colorado (3:00pm ET)
By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

 

What will the Oil kids dymanic talents bring to us tonight, after dazzling fans and fellow NHL colleagues alike through two weeks?  More of the same undoubtedly folks! Nail is gaining increasing momentum to join the Oklahoma City boys you have just been running roughshod all year. Not to mention Devan Dubnyk has quickly bounced back from the worst moment of his career, a six goal period massacre against the scorching Sharks, with several wildly impressive performances. That, contrasted with the injury ward ravaged Avalanche should make for an uneasy night for the Colorado fandom, with Downie out longterm, Landeskog on the shelf indefinitely & much documented holdout of Ryan O’Reilly. Varlamov is going to have to continue to be brilliant to keep this one from getting messy. 


Note: Take some extra juice on the runline to win by two or more markers
 

Pick
Edmonton - Visitor Win Plus – V+(ProLine)

 

Carolina @ Philadelphia (7:00pm ET)

By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

 

Carolina is coming off a suffocating 1-0 victory over Ottawa Friday evening, for which the massively struggling Cam Ward, who sits in last place in GAA% in the NHL, watched from the bench. He is expected to take the reigns tonight looking to cut his losses and save some face. Although, unfortunately for Ward, I don’t believe its likely with a now healthy Danny Briere being partnered with Giroux on the top line, an attempt to reinvigorate the mostly dormant superstar. In general, the Flyers offense has been surprisingly underwhelming to this point, last week’s 7-1 drubbing of Florida aside. Therefore, expect a pick-me-up night for Philly

 
Pick

Philadelphia- Home Win– H(ProLine)

By the Numbers

 

 

Boston @ Toronto (7:00pm ET)
By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

 

The Bruins will be hungry against a Toronto squad which they absolutely owned last season, pasting them a whopping 36-10 in only six matchups, after having incurred their first regulation loss of the season vs Buffalo Thursday night. Tuukka Rask has made a point of consistently reminding Toronto’s previous management regime and current fans of how horrific of a decision it was to trade him for Andrew Raycroft have a decade earlier. There is no reason to indicate the Bruins won’t continue to be motivated against a Toronto squad who’ve come out of the gates stronger than expected in order to restore order in the division and take first place from an over-achieving Sens squad all for themselves.


Pick
Boston - Visiting Team Win - V(ProLine)

Detroit @ Columbus (7:00pm ET)
By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

 

After a rocky start to the 2013 (no hyphen for once!) campaign it appears the Winged Wheel of old have returned, sans legendary Nicklas Lidstrom, heart and soul, Tomas Holmstrom, Brad Staurt and Jiri Hudler. ‘Hank’ Zetterberg is heating up with a fantastic five point effort last night with Swiss rookie free agent signing, Damien Brunner happily riding shotgun. Detroit has only lost one regulation game since the opener and have recorded points in their past four. Columbus, on the other hand, is simply has not have the same success as Detroit has had in coping with their departed stars, after Rick Nash and Jeff Carter were jettisoned off to greener pastures. The Blue Jackets are reeling having now lost their past two games and six of seven.

 

Pick
Detroit – Visiting Team Win- V(ProLine)

 

Chicago @ Calgary (10:00pm ET)
By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

 

The Hawks come into this one on the heels of losing a shootout to Vancouver and a red-hot Roberto Luongo last night, but still managed to tie it up late in order to salvage a point and increase their undefeated in regulation time streak  to eight games.  Corey Crawford is out to show is rookie season performance was not a one-hit wonder, erasing any thought of a goaltending controversy in the Windy City with a sizzling 1.66 GAA and .934 SV%, good for third in the NHL in both categories among those with 3 or more starts. Marian Hossa(9points)  and Pat Kane(11points) will look to continue their marvelous starts. Calgary sits in 30th, dead last in the league, well on their way to their highly predicted dismal finish to their season by pre-season pundits and analysts all across the board (include myself as said pundit). However as a minor saving grace, Kipper is usually dependable in front of the home crowd, so its possible it may be a somewhat close contest, as opposed to a complete whipping.

 

Pick
Chicago – Visiting Team Win- V(ProLine)

 

 

Nashville @ San Jose (7:00pm ET)
By the Numbers – Frozen Pools

 

Will this be the year San Jose finally gets it together to make a legitimate run at Lord Stanley, despite this question having been posed each year since Jumbo Joe’s arrival. Although, his early season trip to Davos, where he has now spent the past two lockouts, has seen him put together what may well turn out to be a renaissance year upon his return to California, showing shades of pre-2011 Joe Thornton. He has managed to get Patrick Marleau in good position to be one of the NHL’s 3 stars for January. San Jose will remain undefeated against a pitiful Nashville offense, for whom their stifling defense will only get them so far after seeing Suter, Radulov, A.Kostistyn, Tootoo depart and an ageing Legwand and Erat becoming more visible.

 

Pick
San Jose – Home Team Win Plus – H+(ProLine)

 

Best of luck with your tickets and off shore accounts this weekend folks, and be rational tomorrow during the Superbowl as well!

 


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