Pre-Christmas Hockey Games - Just what we need on a Saturday!
Last night saw 10 rounds of Shoot Out hockey before the Panthers were finally victorious over the Caps. Let's hope we don't have a repeat tonight!
Both Kramer and Jess are joining me today to make our picks to win in the twelve games on tap. So without further delay, let's get to it.
2:00 pm ET
Calgary Flames (12-15-4) at Buffalo Sabres (7-23-2)
SNET-W, MSG-B, BELL TV
Jess: Oooh...Flames. Go Debie's Team!
Kramer: Buffalo earned 2 points in a 10-round shootout the other night. They got their once-a-paycheck win. Flames will win this early afternoon matinee.
Debi: The Flames players and staff have been sent a message. The players took it seriously and beat the Avs the other night. I think (and hope) that continues with a win tonight.
Los Angeles Kings (21-7-4) at Ottawa Senators (13-14-6)
NHLN-US, FS-W, SNET-E, TVA
Jess: I don't see the Kings losing this one to the mediocre Sens.
Kramer: The Kings are en fuego right now, by far the hottest team in the league! I don't think Ottawa is the team that can stop this run. Kings win.
Debi: Yeah, the Sens don't really stand a chance against the Kings tonight, but I hope they aren't completely embarrassed.
3:00 pm ET
Dallas Stars (14-11-5) at Winnipeg Jets (14-14-5)
CBC, TXA 21
Jess: ..Go Jets!
Kramer: I have to go with the Jets here on home ice in this now divisional matchup.
Debi: I'm picking, and hoping for, the Jets to put a hurting on Dallas.
7:00 pm ET
Chicago Blackhawks (23-6-5) at Toronto Maple Leafs (16-14-3)
Jess: I'm calling a Leafs upset today. Just because.
Kramer: Original Six matchups are always exciting and this one should be too. I will take the Hawks here for a nice road win in hostile territory.
Debi: The Leafs started off the season quite strong, but have really struggled lately. Chi-town champs take it in T-O.
Pittsburgh Penguins (22-10-1) at Detroit Red Wings (15-9-9)
NHLN-US, ROOT, FS-D
Jess: Hmm I think the Red Wings are better than their record, and will give the Penguins hell. I don't think it'll matter too much though; Pens win.
Kramer: Ugh, the Pens played last night and had to spend every ounce of energy they had to hold on for dear life to beat the Devils, and Fleury had to stand on his head facing 39 shots. The Pens will probably be tired, Zatkoff will be in net, and even though Howard is now hurt the Wings are the rested team waiting at The Joe for them. That said, you know I can't go against them...LET'S GO PENS!
Debi: Sorry, Bryan, you know I don't care much either way who wins this. But the good news is that I believe that the Pens will win. This matchup is for the bragging rights.
Tampa Bay Lightning (18-10-3) at New Jersey Devils (12-15-6)
SUN, MSG PLUS
Jess: Another upset? Sure, why not?
Kramer: The Devils threw everything at the Pens including the kitchen sink last night in Pittsburgh and couldn't beat the Pens. I'm sure the Bolts are in Newark rested and waiting for them. Tampa Bay wins this one over an exhausted Devils team.
Debi: In stats the Bolts have the better record, but without Stamkos, they can't seem to put the puck in the net. However, as you pointed out above, Bryan, The Devils had a tough game last night, and will be tired. I'm taking the Bolts.
Montreal Canadiens (19-11-3) at New York Islanders (9-19-5)
CBC, RDS, MSG PLUS 2
Jess: WOW the Islanders are bad. Habs.
Kramer: The Isles are probably going to start another long losing streak now, and it won't get better until they get Nabokov back between the pipes. Les Habitants vont gagner ce soir au mausolée de Nassau! (Yes, that is "at the Nassau mausoleum.")
Debi: Yeah, I gotta take the Habs in this one.
St. Louis Blues (21-6-3) at Columbus Blue Jackets (14-15-3)
Jess: The perennial "meh" team is once again unimpressive this year. I wish they 'd just move them to Seattle already...St. Louis has this one.
Kramer: I'm feeling really blue about this game (yes, I went there). I can't see the Jackets having an answer for the Blues who just continue to impress.
Debi: Ha!! Funny one Bryan. I'm taking the Blues, errrr St. Louis.
8:00 pm ET
San Jose Sharks (20-6-6) at Nashville Predators (15-14-3)
Jess: I like it when San Jose loses; especially to teams outside the division. Pulling for a Preds upset here.
Kramer: Hmm, Sharks were just on a 4-game losing streak? That's kind of surprising. I gotta go with the home team here, Nashville takes it.
Debi: I'm in agreement about the Preds. The Sharks seem to be having their seasonal slump. Plus, the Preds have done well against the Sharks in recent matchups.
Carolina Hurricanes (13-13-7) at Phoenix Coyotes (18-8-5)
Jess: Home team wins it.
Kramer: I'm taking Phoenix in this one, Carolina is disappointing me more by the week.
Debi: The Flames beat the 'Canes. Phoenix does the same.
9:00 pm ET
Minnesota Wild (18-11-5) at Colorado Avalanche (21-9-0)
Jess: This will be a fun one to watch. As long as the Avs don't shoot themselves in the foot though, I think they can take Minny. In OT or maybe even a shootout.
Kramer: Ooh, game of the night easily! This could go either way, but with how the Avs seem to be treading water recently after that blazing start, I'm going to take the Wild.
Debi: Definitely the game of the night. I'm not so sure the Wild will be victorious, but I'm damn sure they are going to play strong. They are nearing the end of a long road trip, so I think the Avs home ice advantage may be the clincher.
10:00 pm ET
Boston Bruins (22-8-2) at Vancouver Canucks (19-10-5)
Jess: It seems like I always pick the Bruins, doesn't it? Well, they're awesome. I've got to pick them here too.
Kramer: Sorry Debi, I have to take the Canucks here. After last Saturday it will be a long time before I ever pick Boston again.
Debi: My daughter is wearing a Canucks toque today while working on the ranch. She was trying to figure out how to cover up the Canucks part of it, but she couldn't find her other one that covers her ears. She doesn't like them either. Bruins win it.
Just as I was about to post this to publish came breaking news that Toronto Maple Leafs forward, David Clarkson has been suspended for two games for his hit on Vladmir Sabotka of the St. Louis Blues. The video of the hit is below. What say you? Warranted? And who are your picks for the games today?