|Saturday Picks - February 23, 2013||Tweet|
|Written by Jeff Angus|
|Friday, 22 February 2013 10:51|
Anthony checks in with his picks for NHL action on Saturday, February 23rd.
Kudos to our boy Marty last week for A) Doing me a solid, throwing down last week’s picks in my absence while I jetted off to the Windy City to take in the Blackhawks and the visiting Stanley Cup Hangover Boys defending champs & B) Doing so with authority!
He not only nailed all but two of his picks, but also went the extra mile, boldly (and correctly) pegging the Ducks to take the Preds in SOs as well as a blowout for the boys in blue in the Battle of Ontario. Now that I’ve pumped his tires with gratitude, time to dive into this Saturday’s six pack!
New Jersey @ Washington (12:00pm ET)
We’ve spent enough time here already debating the merits of which Caps goaltender will be the one to steer the boat, and not even Adam Oates has the slightest idea who to go with. So with that being said, let’s look at this projection from another angle. I bet not many of you realized that the basement dwelling Caps actually are besting the Eastern Conference leading Devils in goals per game, albeit barely. But clearly a team that gets criticized for a lack of production from its superstars has been given an unfair rap for its team-wide goal scoring struggles. It must come down to inopportune scoring timing for me, in that they have a tendency to either not be in it at all, or romping their opponents……..and untimely goaltending of course. It’s only a matter of time before Washington puts together a run. I project that run back to mediocrity from futility to begin today.
Winnipeg @ Philadelphia (1:00pm ET)
Many of you will remember an epic encounter between these two franchises back on the opening month of last season, which saw a total of 17 goals scored in a 9-8 Jets triumph in Philly. Don’t think Philly’s forgotten, nor will they let defense go by the wayside once more after letting the bottom-feeding Panthers come in and score five on Thursday night. This remarkable inconsistency shown by the Flyers this season won't end now. I peg the Flyers to come back guns a-blazing on Broad Street. The Jets themselves have actually been far from pitiful of late. In fact, you have to go way back to February’s 1st, 8-3 drubbing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning to find the last time they gave up more than three goals. Pavelec has settled down after a mostly terrible opening few weeks. So don’t expect a complete blowout, but the above mentioned streak may well be tested.
Philadelphia- Home Win– H(ProLine)
By the Numbers
Phoenix @ Edmonton (3:30pm ET)
After an inspiring January for the young Oil Kids who sought to finally affirm themselves among the top eight in the West, Edmonton surely can’t wait for March to arrive having only won twice all month. Yakupov hasn’t scored since 21 days and nine games ago, with only a solo assist to show for his last six games. Meanwhile, stud blue line rookie, Justin Schultz has a single assist and a -6 rating over his last five games, while RNH is still sitting on one goal for the season. Time for the floodgates to open! A very strong Mike Smith for the second straight year has now proved he was no fluke in the desert last year, but he faces a stiff test against a tonne of elite talent on the brink of leashing out.
Colorado @ Los Angeles (7:00pm ET)
The defending Cup champs have no doubt come out of the gates showing a lot of rust, but they have been whipping back in to form slowly but surely of late. They’ve won four of five, due in large part to the string of strong starts put together by Jonathan Bernier, who’s finally being given a chance to take the spotlight. I wouldn’t wager to say that a goaltending controversy is at play yet, as Mr. Quick has gained the respect necessary to be given the benefit of the doubt with a mediocre start that he can turn it around. But until then, check out www.goaliepost.com daily for the latest scoops! Take the Kings with ease.
Toronto @ Ottawa (7:00pm ET)
Don’t expect a much different result from the last time the two provincial rivals faced off last week in a 3-0 Leafs shutout, as the Leafs have maintained their solid play while the Sens have seen more visits to their Nursing room.
God, A.K.A. Captain Daniel Alfredsson and the top goaltender in the NHL season are now also in doubt for this encounter joining the team’s best offensive players, Karlsson, Spezza and Michalek in the press box. The Leafs have now won six of their past eight, sit tied in the final home ice spot in the East with Pittsburgh and are playing inspired hockey. Go with a multiple goal victory for Toronto in this contest!
Nashville @ Detroit (7:00pm ET)
The Red Wings have been an interesting case study this yearduring their newfound LWL (Life Without Lidstrom). Their gradually depleted defense core is no secret, yet GM Ken Holland has built them to still be able to compete (although they have been incurring more injuries than it can handle). However, The Mule, Johan Franzen, may be returning Saturday, which would be a huge boost for the Winged Wheel. The two teams had an incredible matchup last week, including a real Datsyukian performance only he could pull out of his magician’s top hat, and I expect more of the same this week in a really tight affair.
|Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 19:50|