Notch is back again with his winners. Maybe his tips will help you with some tough decisions on your Saturday ticket.
Washington at Montreal 12:30 PM EST
Montreal is focusing on trying to improve their home record. If they could do that, they would be one of the top teams in the Eastern conference. Washington is coming off a shutout loss at the hands of The Bruins after sweeping a home-and-home series with Ottawa. The last time these two clubs met was in Washington on Dec.20th and the Canadians won 5-2 despite being outshot 37-21.
Montreal in a shootout - T
Detroit at Dallas 2:00 PM EST
This is Game 2 of a home-and home series. Dallas welcomes back their powerplay QB named Sergei Zubov. When Zubov was out they missed him desperately, losing both games by a combined 6 goals. When Detroit was missing key players including Zetterberg and Holmstrom they didn’t seem to miss a beat. Is Detroit actually this good?
Detroit in a shootout - T
Florida at Pittsburgh 3:00 PM EST
Ty Conklin…enough said. Moving on, it took Pittsburgh 2 full periods to get going against Toronto because of skating on snow-covered, poor ice the game before. With their indoor legs finally moving it was men against boys in the 3rd period versus Toronto. Florida is always up for a game and usually keeps games close. 12 of Florida’s last 17 games have been decided by one goal.
Pittsburgh – H
New Jersey at Boston
Boston’s injury troubles are well-documented. The have been struggling of late but the acquisition of Shane Hnidy calmed the waters somehow and Boston played well in a shutout win over the surging Capitals. New Jersey has won both meetings this year. New Jersey is not very good on the road, and Boston is a better team at home. This will be The Devils 3rd game in 4 nights having played Philly last night.
Boston - H
Philadelphia at Toronto
Philadelphia has one 3 in a row (maybe 4 Friday night vs. Devils), after a 6 game losing streak in mid-December. Philly has beaten Toronto in the only game they have played this year, a 4-1 home victory. Toronto has been struggling of late going 4-6-2 in their last 12. The Leafs may be able to take advantage of Philly playing on back-2-back nights.
Philadelphia - V
Tampa Bay at Ottawa
When are changes going to be made in Tampa? The Lightning do own a victory over The Sens this year, a 4-3 SO win in the only meeting between the 2 clubs this season. Tampa has lost 6 in a row, and is only 2-10-1 in their last 13. Defense and goaltending are a major problem and that may not bode well against a fast, skilled Ottawa team. The Sens have had their own struggles from the blueline back, but Volchenkov is back.
Ottawa – H+
Minnesota at Nashville
Minnesota has taken both meetings this year. Both teams are well rested and playing fairly well lately. Nashville is a different team at home, as they are 4 games over .500. Minnesota is average on the road with an overall record of 9-8-2 away from their great fans.
Minnesota – V
Carolina at St. Louis
This is our first East vs. West matchup of the night. The Eastern Conference is losing the battle yet again with a record of 29-37-6 so far. Carolina is also 0-2 against the Central Division this year. On the other hand, St. Louis is 3-1-1 against the East and 1-1-1 against the Southeast. Both teams are not playing their best hockey and are under .500 in their last 12 games.
St. Louis – H
NY Islanders at Colorado
Colorado is 3-0 versus the Eastern Conference with all the wins coming in the Islanders division. The Islanders are 1 of only 5 teams in the East to have a winning record against the West; they are 1-0-1. Ted Nolan’s team has been playing inspired hockey lately and actually scoring some goals. Colorado is reeling without 2 of their superstars.
NY Islanders – V
Anaheim at Phoenix
This will be the 3rd game in 4 nights for both teams. Phoenix got to rest last night though while Anaheim played and also traveled. The Coyotes and Ducks both save their best games when the play within their division, going 10-6 and 9-5-3 respectively. Phoenix is 3-1 against The Ducks this year.
Phoenix in a shootout – T
NY Rangers at Edmonton
This will be The Rangers 5th game in a row against a Canadian team. They beat Toronto and Montreal, followed by losses to Calgary and Vancouver. Will they continue to struggle against Western Canada? Actually it’s not just Western Canada they struggle against; it is the West in general. They are 0-5-1 against the Western Conference this year. The Oilers keep all their games close with 15 of their last 16 games being decided by 2 or less goals.
NY Rangers – V+
Calgary at Los Angeles
Calgary looks to win their 5th in a row and also their 7th road game of their last 8. This game could be a high scoring affair as LA has found their offense as well as Iginla and The Flames. Kiprusoff has lost his last 2 starts at The Staples Center. LaBarbera is hot going 2-1-0 is his last 3 starts with a 1.92 GAA. He has an even better 1.26 GAA against the Flames in his last 3 games.
Calgary – V+
Columbus at San Jose
San Jose is the worst home team in the league with a record of 6-9-4. Over their career though, home wins come easy against Columbus going 11-0-1. This year, in their only meeting, Columbus won 2-1.
San Jose – H
My Proline Ticket
Ottawa – H+
St. Louis – H
NY Rangers – V+
San Jose – H