Notch is back again with his winners. Maybe his tips will help you with some tough decisions on your Saturday ticket.
NY Rangers at Philadelphia 1:00 PM EST
An inter-division matinee game starts us off this week. The Rangers are 12-6-0 against Atlantic rivals this year, Philly is only 9-7-1. The Blueshirts have also won 3 of the 4 this year against the modern day Bullies. This is interesting – in games that don’t start at 7:00 EST, the Rangers have 6 wins, 11 losses. The Flyers are 7-9 in that same comparison. Lupul makes his return tonight as well.
NY Rangers in a shootout – T
Los Angeles at Pittsburgh 1:00 PM EST
East vs. West. The Western Conference holds a strong 65-36-11 record against the East this year. But if it wasn’t for Pittsburgh’s 7-1-0 record against the West things would be much more lopsided. The last time we saw Pittsburgh play a 1:00 PM game, players had toques on. LA is coming off a big 4-goal, 3rd period comeback win against Detroit. Will Dan Cloutier see NHL game action again???
Pittsburgh – H+
Detroit at Toronto 3:00 PM EST
It’s CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada, and this one will showcase the best team in the league versus the wors…..!!! Detroit is coming off a demoralizing loss to LA. Detroit is a funny team when they lose. Out of Detroit’s 15 losses, only 7 were single gamers’. The other 8 were stretched out into 3, 2 and 3 game losing streaks. OK, I am digging here with that stat, but it’s true.
Detroit – V+
NY Islanders at Minnesota 6:00 PM EST
The Isles are struggling going 2-8-1 in their last 11. The flu had a little bit to do with that, but they just can’t seem to get in synch. When they get good goaltending – they don’t score. When they score – they are shaky on D and between the pipes. Minnesota sits on top of the Northwest with a very superior home record. This will be the Wilds’ 3rd game at home before leaving on a short 3-game road trip. They may come out hard to try and get their first win of this little home stand.
Minnesota – H
Edmonton at Calgary
The Oilers lead this series 3-2 after taking the last 2 games. Edmonton has a new owner and played to impress their new boss against Chicago. Will they continue to show Daryl Katz what 200 million dollars gets you and beat their Provincial rival? The Flames are not playing well going .500 in their last 12 games. Iginla is back with Conroy - as the lines are picked from a hat for this game.
Edmonton in a shootout - T
Florida at Boston
Glen Murray will return to the lineup for Boston. The Bruins already beat the Panthers once this year in Florida where the Panthers play tough. Now the Bruins get to play to their strength, and match Chara against any line they want. Florida has a tough time with the Northeast Division going 5-8-1 this year. Both these teams keep games close with a combined 56 of 109 games being decided by only one goal. In another combined 15 games - an empty-netter was scored.
Boston - V
Montreal at Ottawa
Game 2 of Hockey Day in Canada. The last time Ottawa took over the 7:00 slot from the lowly Leafs, they handed Detroit a loss in a much-hyped Stanley Cup Finals preview on CBC. This is an even bigger statement game for the Sens. With a win by Alfie and the Senators, they will have a nice 5 point lead again in the division and 5+ in the Conference. Ottawa leads the season series 3-1, with their only loss coming without Alfredsson and Heatley (both should be in the lineup on Saturday). A win by Montreal and it will be a race to the finish. Expect Huet and Emery to get the starts.
Ottawa - H
Carolina at New Jersey
Both teams are under .500 in their last 12 games. Both teams are also playing back-to-back, with New Jersey playing 3 games in 4 nights to top it off. The Devils have a very good 9-4 record against Southeast division teams which included a 4-1 win in Carolina on January 10th. Will New Jerseys’ strong home record coupled with Carolinas’ weak road record overcome 3 games in 4 nights?
New Jersey - H
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
With 6 straight road wins (points in last 7), Tampa Bay is making people take notice. The Lightning won the first 2 games in the series before losing the next 3. A win by Tampa will put them 4 points out of the division lead…..(seriously). Atlanta is 10-7-1 in divisional games. Both teams are well rested and know how big this February showdown is.
Tampa Bay – V
St. Louis at Dallas
Season series is 1-1, with each team winning in front of their fans. For two teams that play so defensively, the scores were shockingly high (Dallas 5-4 SO and St. Louis 4-2). This game though, has these two teams facing each other when they are going in separate directions. Dallas is the hottest team in the league over the last 10 games, and St. Louis is tied with the Islanders for worst record over that same period.
Dallas – H
Colorado at Vancouver
This is a big divisional game and both teams will put up their stellar divisional records. Colorado does struggle on the road though with a record of 11-13-3. That is bad for a team that has an overall record of 29-21-5. The Canucks have struggled of late because of there depleted defense. Luongo is trying his best to keep his team in the playoff race but has only 2 wins in their last 10 games to show for it. The season series in 2-1 for Vancouver. Both of the Canucks wins have come by one goal, Colorados’ was by 2.
Vancouver - H
Nashville at San Jose
San Jose has had an easy time with Nashville this year winning both games so far by a combined score of 8-2. This will however be the 3rd game in 4 nights for San Jose.
I loved watching this playoff series last year, and will be watching this game for that same intensity.
Nashville - V
My Proline Ticket
Detroit – V+
Minnesota – H
Dallas - H