NHL Thursday Night

Four teams clinch playoff spots, Boston among them

4/18/13 in NHL   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Blog Photo - NHL Thursday NightLast night was a hugely emotional night for the Boston Bruins and their fans.  The opening ceremonies of the game were done in a respectful manner, firstly paying tribute to the people of Boston, the heroes, volunteers, victims and the City as a whole.  The National Anthem was sung by the fans in the stands, and at the end of the game, players from both the Buffalo Sabres and the Bruins saluted the fans and thanked them.  The Bruins lost in the shoot out, but clinched a playoff berth, for the first time since 2004.  

Chicago, Montreal and Anaheim have also clinched playoff spots, and the Leafs and Canucks can do the same tonight.

We have a full night of games, so without further delay, here's our schedule, all times ET.

7:00 pm

New York Islanders (22-16-5) at Toronto Maple Leafs (24-1-5)
Broadcast:  MSG PLUS 2, LEAFS TV

Bryan:  Whoa, this is actually a toughie.  Don't the Leafs still clinch with a win?  I can see this one going down to the wire, but I'll take Toronto to get the 2 points tonight.

Jess: I'm calling the Leafs too.

Debi:  Yeah, Bryan, the Leafs can clinch with the win, and, I believe, a loss by the Hurricanes.  In any case, this is a really tough one.  I think the Leafs pull it off at home.

Florida Panthers (13-23-6) at New York Rangers (21-17-4)
Broadcast:  SUN, MSG

Bryan:  LOL...Rangers

Jess: Man, the Rangers better win tonight.

Debi:  Yeah, Rangers

7:30 pm

Tampa Bay Lightning (17-22-4) at Montreal Canadiens  (26-12-5)
Broadcast:  RDS, FS-F, TSN-HABS

Bryan:   I thought the Pens would clinch the conference with a Habs loss, but the Bruins still have those now two games to make up, so they can't clinch it tonight.  With that in mind, les Habitants vont gagner ce soir!

Jess:  This seems like a no-brainer but we all know what that usually means in hockey. I'm calling a crazy upset here.

Debi:  Yeah, stupid me, I thought the Pens had already clinched, given they have secured the Division.  I hate how this works.  However, the Habs disappointed my son last night, I believe they will give him something to celebrate tonight.

Washington Capitals (24-17-2) at Ottawa Senators (22-1-6)
Broadcast:  CSN-DC, SNET-E, TVA

Bryan:  Ottawa may be the ones to snap that big win streak for the Caps.  I'm going with the Sens for the win on home ice.

Jess:  I think Ottawa wins at home tonight.

Debi:  This one is really tough for me!  I really like both teams, and want both to win, but I have to go with Ottawa, I believe, with the home ice advantage.

New Jersey Devils (15-17-10) at Philadelphia Flyers (19-21-3)

Bryan:  I refuse to pick this game, I'd rather get a root canal.

Jess: Devils, just because (and why is this of all games being nationally broadcast?)

Debi:  I don't understand why this pathetic game is being broadcast everywhere!!  I really don't care one way or another, but for my grade 7 boyfriend, I'll take the Flyers.  His brother played for them.

8:00 pm

Carolina Hurricanes (17-23-3) at Winnipeg Jets  (22-19-2)
Broadcast:  FS-CR, TSN-JETS

Bryan:   I gotta take the Jets in this one.  If we've learned anything this year, it's that Carolina is absolutely nothing without Cam Ward.

Jess: Jets!

Debi:  Yeah, poor 'Canes.  I'm still looking for a "Benny" (and the) Jets...Jets..JETS!

Phoenix Coyotes (18-17-7) at St. Louis Blues (24-16-2)
Broadcast:  FS-A PLUS, FS-MW

Bryan:   This is just about a must win for Phoenix, and they'll be in desperation mode tonight.  However, I don't think it'll be enough, Blues take this one at home.

Jess:  This one will be good, I think, but I also think the Blues are too much for the Coyotes, especially on the road.

Debi:  I agree the Coyotes are in "must win" mode, but the only way I think they will get this one is if the Blues give it to them, which is unlikely.
Blog Photo - NHL Thursday Night
8:30 pm

Vancouver Canucks (24-12-7) at Dallas Stars (21-18-3)
Broadcast:  SNET-P, FS-SW

Bryan:  Why do I get the funny feeling I'm the only one picking this game objectively since one of you will never pick Dallas and the other never pick Vancouver?  Just kidding...umm, Canucks.

Jess: Haha BK...no you're not kidding. 

Debi:  No kidding necessary Bryan, you have it all right, I believe.  Therefore, I have to pick Dallas.

10:30 pm

Columbus Blue Jackets (21-16-7) at Los Angeles Kings (24-14-5)
Broadcast:  FS-O, FS-WEST

Bryan:   I gotta take the Kings at home, but Columbus will not go down without a fight.

Jess: It won't surprise me in the least if this one goes into OT or even the shootout. Regardless, I think the Kings come out on top.

Debi:  This has all the makings of the game of the night, in my opinion.  Columbus has made a run for a playoff spot, and oddly enough, they have a ton of people on their side.  I have to admit I'm one of them!  The Kings will likely win this one tonight, which is fine with me, but it isn't a given, considering the -ahem- win against the Ducks the other night.

Minnesota Wild (24-16-3) at San Jose Sharks (23-13-7)
Broadcast:  NHLN-US, FS-N, FS-WI, CSN-CA

Bryan:   If Minnesota wins this, there's a possibility of a 3-way logjam for 4th in the West.  The Sharks seem to have it all together on home ice again, so I'm thinking they ultimately pull this one out, even perhaps in OT.

Jess:  Who this will be a good game, I think. I don't know who to pick. Eenie, meenie, miney....Sharks.

Debi:  I'm not so quick to give this to the Sharks.  I really like the way the Wild are playing lately, and I think they can pull off the win.  If not, as you say Bryan, it will go to OT, I think.

As the next few days play out, we should have our matchups for the first round of the post-season.  Some teams are anticipating those games and have posted links for tickets for the post season.  While that may seem a little premature in some instances, in others, it's a given.  Can Toronto and Vancouver clinch tonight?  Only time will tell.

Join us here for some trash-talk, agonizing, cheering, or lamenting, and don't forget to make your game picks before hand in the Sports Bars!

I want to once again pay tribute to the City of Boston.  This tribute was so moving, I'll share it with you one more time.

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4/18/13   |   Scott   |   54624 respect

Blues overcome some questionable officiating and get 2 big points.  Dallas comes to town tomorrow night

4/18/13   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Dallas is killing the Canucks smiley

4/18/13   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Ottawa wins, Rangers win, and the Isles win, so far.  Dallas and Vancouver are tied after two, as are Phoenix and St. Louis and the Sharks and Wild are about to get underway, as are the Kings and the Blue Jackets.  So far it's an okay night.  Oh yeah, and the Habs beat the Bolts.

4/18/13   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Of course, because I live in British Columbia, you all know the NHL determines that I must be a Canucks' fan, therefore they are showing me that game.  *sigh*

Ugh, go Stars????