Twenty-four teams take to the Ice [NHL Saturday Night Live Thread]

Saturday Night Hockey, in Canada and across the US

12/12/09 in NHL   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

My beloved Flames lost in OT to the Minnesota Wild last night, so get to sit out tonight, but there are plenty of other games to keep you entertained, if you are a hockey fan.

Seven of the 12 games get underway at 7:00 pm ET, and there will hopefully be some actual games in the matchups.

The Washington Capitals are having an incredible year, and I have to honestly admit I cheer for them every time they get on the ice.  At 20-6-6, their matchup against the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs likely won't be too much of a challenge, however, the Leafs have defeated the Caps once this year, at home, although it was in a shoot out.  This is the rubber match, and Toronto has the home ice advantage.  Added to that the difficulties Washington experienced getting to Toronto (their Charter plane had to turn around on the runway due to "sparks" from underneath the plane) and Toronto may have a distinct advantage. I certainly hope not.   Canadians can catch the game on CBC.

Also at 7:00 the Anaheim Ducks visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The Ducks are coming off a loss last night to the Detroit Red Wings, also in OT, after jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the earlier going.  The Philadelphia Flyers also visit the New Jersey Devils at 7:00, and the Flyers are struggling mightily at this point in the season.  Their win/loss record in the last 8 is deplorable, but the Flyers have won the first two against the Devils this year.  Unfortunately, the Flyers are without goalie Ray Emery, so this one will be a contest. 

The New York Islanders are slumping, losing more than they have won recently, and they take on the forceful Boston Bruins at home tonight.  Boston looked mothing like the team from last year in the earlier games and couldn't seem to get a puck in the net. but their offence has obviously figured that out, as they have been on a winning streak of late. 

The New York Rangers host the Buffalo Sabres tonight in their second meeting on consecutive Saturdays.  New York won last Saturday night, so you can bet Buffalo will be out to even the score.  At the same time, Montreal visits the Atlanta Thrashers.  The Habs and the Thrashers are fairly evenly matched, surprisingly enough, and again this should be a decent matchup, with the teams sharing one win each in their previous meetings this season.

The final 7:00 pm game is the Carolina Hurricanes at the Ottawa Senators, but neither team is looking like a winning team this season.  One team or the other will have to win, but at this point, picking the home team might be the only advantage.

Only one game gets underway at 7:30 and that one features the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the Florida Panthers.  This one is also a tough one to call as, although Pittsburgh came out of the gate strong and got to 20 wins before any other team, they seem a little disjointed lately, having trouble even with the Montreal Canadiens earlier this week.  Florida, on the other hand, just came out of a losing slide, defeating New Jersey.  They won't want to slide backwards again, so could have a surprise in store for the Pens.

At 8:00 pm, the Phoenix Coyotes, who today announced they finally have an owner, will take on the San Jose Sharks.  The Coyotes have been surprisingly strong so far this year, perhaps the players showing any prospective purchasers that they want to be in the NHL and want to be contenders.  The San Jose Sharks again came out strong, right from the first drop of the puck, so again, this could be the game to watch.  At the same time, the Detroit Red Wings take on the Nashville Predators.  Nashville has more wins than Detroit, yet the Wings are the favorite. 

At 10:00 pm, the Minnesota Wild continue their road trip west and take on Vancouver.  As I mentioned, Minnesota defeated Calgary last night, coming from behind, so they will be on theat winning hype and looking to dominate Vancouver. 

The final game of the night is the Dallas Stars visiting the Los Angeles Kings.  The Kings are finally having the season Becky has been predicting, and winning games one would have scoffed at last year.  This is the third meeting for the two teams this year, splitting a win each, but honestly, I have to take the Kings in this one.  Although Dallas is having success, the Kings have just been playing too good to go against.

So, as always, if you aren't into College games and hockey is YOUR game, just as it is mine, chat if up here, trash talk, brag, taunt or whatever.  Don't forget to make your picks, and remember, there are still rewards for getting the right picks! 

Here's the full schedule, complete with links to the game pages:

7:00 pm

Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs  CBC
Anaheim Ducks at Columbus Blue Jackets Prime
Montreal Canadiens at Atlanta Thrashers CBC
Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers
Boston Bruins at New York Islanders  NESN
Philadelphia Flyers at New  Jersey Devils
Carolina Hurricanes at Ottawa Senators  CBC

7:30 pm
Florida Panthers at Pittsburgh Penguins

8:00 pm
San Jose Sharks at Phoenix Coyotes
Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators

10:00 pm
Minnesota Wild at Vancouver Canucks CBC

10:30 pm
Dallas Stars at Los Angeles Kings
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

12/13/09   |   kteacher   |   33985 respect

And if the season ended today, because of wins, the Kings would be 1st and the Sharks would be 4th. lol

12/13/09   |   nyrangers   |   192 respect

Rangers making the race for the #1 overall pick in next year's draft interesting...how the !@$% do you let that clown Kaleta score twice on you, one shorthanded no less?

Man they suck. It's funny, too, because we have the #1 goal scorer in the league on our team

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

3-1 Vancouver now, wow and it's still only the first period

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Vancouver draws first blood so to speak, scores twice in the first peiod, so far

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

They just interviewed Malkin and I could understand everything he said, his English is getting muuuuuuuch better.

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

waiting on the Canucks and Wild to start and watching Don Cherry in a very butt ugly jacket

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

Jordan Staal gets tackled after Vokoun poke checked the puck away, Malkin scores the game winner quickly on the ensuing PP.  3 games against the Panthers, 3 3-2 wins for the Pens.

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

Pens are headed to OT for the 5th time in the last 6 meetings with the Panthers.

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

Time ticking down in regulation, the first 2 meetings between the Pens and Panthers ended up 3-2 in favor of the Pens, once in a SO and the other in OT.  Right now it looks like they're headed for OT again.

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Thrashers WIN!!!!  I know a truck in a Cape who will be VERY happy

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Michal Neuvirth, you're not quite ready for the NHL yet.

You said that earlier

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

and the Habs and Thrashers go to OT

12/12/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Michal Neuvirth, you're not quite ready for the NHL yet.

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Montreal and Atlanta tied at 3, and the Thrashers have the PP

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

AND the Coyotes, celebrating their potential new ownership, are ahead of the Sharks 2-0

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

 Panthers tie it at 2 just as their penalty expired.  Johnson stopped the breakaway, but fell down and left a wide-open net for an easy rebound.

12/12/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Time to start drinking (more) now.

12/12/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Crap. Semin took a puck to the face.

12/12/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Although the Caps came out with two quick goals in the first period, Toronto is staying in the game, and it is actually quite a good contest.  AND the Leafs just took the lead for the first time against the Caps, Stajan gets his second of the night.

If the Caps could ever play a full 60 minutes, they'd be dangerous.

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Although the Caps came out with two quick goals in the first period, Toronto is staying in the game, and it is actually quite a good contest.  AND the Leafs just took the lead for the first time against the Caps, Stajan gets his second of the night.

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

 2-1 Pens on a goal (FINALLY!) by Ruslan Fedotenko, first goal in 14 games.

12/12/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Ovi goes off, Toronto gets on the offence, Ovi comes back on, Toronto plays defensive hockey

Caps have a defensive breakdown, Neuvirth shows he's not fully ready for the NHL, Toronto ties it up.

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Ovi goes off, Toronto gets on the offence, Ovi comes back on, Toronto plays defensive hockey

12/12/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
And just as quickly, Backstrom makes it 3-2 and I feel like i'm the only one watching the game

Hey, I'm back. I had to grab my dinner, and beer for tomorrow. Important business.

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

And just as quickly, Backstrom makes it 3-2 and I feel like i'm the only one watching the game

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Toronto on the PP almost get it in again, Green takes another penalty making it 5 on 3 and Toronto Ties it up.  STILL on the Power Play

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

WOW!!! Toronto gets one, and it's a beautiful goal, to be honest.  Stagan gets the rebound off Kessel's shot  and the second fan connects with the puck and in it goes.  Caps still ahead, 2-1.  It's a hockey game again!

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

(Edited by kramer)

 Jay McKee just pushed from behind, and as a result McKee headbutted Brent Johnson, who fell back and hit his head against the crossbar.  Johnson is still in though.

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

 Pascal Dupuis ties it for the Pens.

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

 Panthers score first on a goal that I didn't see because of a fire alarm.

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

Caps lead after one, but honestly Toronto doesn't look totally inept even though they are down two.  They could use Luke Schenn today - wonder why he is a "healthy" scratch?

12/12/09   |   kramer   |   11003 respect

 Looks like Brent Johnson will get the start for the Pens tonight.  The reason it wasn't an easy game against Montreal is because Carey Price has been playing better recently.  Also, it's never an easy contest with Vokoun in the net.

12/12/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
number 1 team in the league against the Leafs and already 1-0....hope it isn't a total blow out

2-0 now after some beautiful passing, with Backstrom finishing. That'll take some pressure off of Neuvirth, who's making just his 5th career start in net.

12/12/09   |   Debi_L   |   11287 respect

number 1 team in the league against the Leafs and already 1-0....hope it isn't a total blow out