In among the breaks in play, we saw the news that Chicago had survived, yet again, to go right to the midway point of the shortened season with a streak of wins. That's right, although they have gone to OT and even a shoot-out, they have not lost a game in regulation time.
However, today is another day, and we have two battles on tap. Firstly, the New York Rangers (Dan_B's team) take on the Islanders. In the second battle, Bryan's Penguins will attempt to brow beat the Flyers into a win.
Here's the full schedule:
Toronto Maple Leafs (15-9-0) at Boston Bruins (14-3-3)
Broadcast: TSN, NESN
Jess: Toronto's been surprising me this season, and it'll be fun to see them finally make the playoffs if they keep it up. If they were at home tonight, this might be a more difficult pick for me, but I think that Boston will win this one.
Bryan: The Leafs have been very impressive, but the Bruins are just too strong of a team for them. I gotta go with the B's in this one.
Debi: The Leafs managed to rebound last night after initially leading the Ottawa Senators. The Sens came back in the third period, but Toronto prevailed. If they had that kind of trouble with the Senators, can they defeat the Bruins? I'm inclined to think not.
Buffalo Sabres (9-13-2) at New Jersey Devils (10-8-5)
Broadcast: MSG-B, MSG PLUS
Jess: Wow; despite the mediocre records, would this be the noted "woof" game of the night? I wouldn't be surprised to see Buffalo pull this one off, but I'm going to give the Devils the benefit of the doubt just this once.
Bryan: The Sabres are still "feh" and the Devils continue to drop like a rock...so much for that incredible start to the season. I am actually feeling the upset here as bad as New Jersey has been playing lately. I'm going with Buffalo to pull off the surprise road win.
Debi: While we have the battle of the winning teams, so do we also have the battle of the losing teams. Neither of these teams seems to be able to put much together lately, so it's a toss-up for me. Devils I guess.
New York Rangers (11-8-2) at New York Islanders (10-11-2)
Broadcast: MSG, MSG PLUS 2
Jess: Hmmm. The Rangers are looking a lot better offensively but I'm still a little hesitant to put much confidence in them just yet. They looked great against the Flyers but I'm thinking that the Isles might put up a better fight against their cross-town rivals. Tough call. I'll go with the Rangers (big shock).
Bryan: The Islanders still don't impress me enough to overcome the rest of the Atlantic Division. I gotta go with the Broadway Blue Shirts for a "road" win tonight.
Debi: This one really has the makings of an excellent game. I wish I could see it. I honestly don't know which team will win, but certainly without Marc Staal, the Rangers will struggle. If Brad Richards is out as well, the team could well be discombobulated. However, I will take them in this one, because I think they can overcome the difficulties.
Pittsburgh Penguins (15-8-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (11-12-1)
Broadcast: NHLN-US, ROOT, CSN-PH
Jess: ooh will this game be as chippy as it promises? Eh, I was expecting the three-game series between the Ducks and Yotes to offer up some great brawls or at least nasty hits and I was proven wrong. Also, Malkin's back, right? Regardless of whether or not this rivalry game is rough, I think the Pens win on the road here.
Debi: Much as I really want to take the Flyers in this one, in honor of an old friend, I just can't. I don't think they can hold of a very strong Pens team, and especially Sidney Crosby.
Florida Panthers (7-11-5) at Washington Capitals (9-11-1)
Broadcast: FS-F, CSN-DC
Jess: I like the Caps here.
Bryan: The Caps are playing better and that was quite impressive coming all the way back the other night against the Bruins. They're playing a Panthers team that even when they win it's ugly and shaky. I think this one might be a runaway for Washington.
Debi: The Caps surprised me the other night and I was really happy to be wrong. Tonight I think they will win, They finally (like the Flames) seem to be getting it together.
Montreal Canadiens (14-5-4) at Carolina Hurricanes (13-8-1)
Broadcast: RDS, TSN-HABS, SPSO
Jess: Why does it seem that these two records shouldn't be this close? I know Carolina is a good team but the Canadiens have been so impressive that it seems they should be so much further ahead of the 'Canes. That said, I'm calling an upset. All that hemming and hawing over nothing.
Bryan: This one could be tricky. I don't really know who to go with...I'll just be Devil's advocate and go against the grain...Canes win.
Debi: Well, I just don't know. The Habs have been so strong with the brick wall of Price in net, but what the heck happened to him? Ugh. On the others side, another brick wall, by the name of Cam Ward has kept the Hurricanes going strong. But Ward is out for a number of weeks with his MCL sprain, and who will win tonight is anyone's guess. I'll take the Habs I guess, for my son.
Vancouver Canucks (11-6-5) at Columbus Blue Jackets (7-12-4)
Broadcast: SNET-P, FS-O
Jess: Oye. Well, what do I have to lose? I'm calling a huge upset special tonight for Debi's sake.
Bryan: Debi, I know you will never pick Vancouver, but I don't see the Jackets being able to contain them. Canucks might have this one wrapped up by the first intermission.
Debi: Is it insane that I think Columbus can actually beat the nuckleheads? Cuz I think they can!
Winnipeg Jets (10-11-1) at Tampa Bay Lightning (10-12-1)
Broadcast: TSN-JETS, SUN
Jess: Tossup. Eenie-Meenie-MIney-Bolts.
Bryan: The Bolts are at home where they play a hell of a lot better than they do on the road. For that stat, I'm taking the Lightning to win it.
Debi: Too evenly matched to call it, and I like both teams, but I'll take the Jets
Edmonton Oilers (8-9-5) at Detroit Red Wings (11-8-4)
Broadcast: SNET-W, FS-D
Jess: I don't see Detroit losing to Edmonton right now, especially in Joe Louis. If this were earlier in the season when the Wings looked questionable I would pick the Oilers. This may very well come back and bite me but I'm going with Detroit right now.
Bryan: *sigh* Wings, even though I'd love to see Edmonton pull off the big upset.
Debi: Dislike both teams, but I think I have to give this one to Detroit. Edmonton has just sucked lately (gigglesnort)
St. Louis Blues (11-9-2) at Phoenix Coyotes (11-9-3)
Broadcast: FS-MW, FS-A
Jess: Ordinarily I would take the Coyotes here, but I think Phoenix might be tired. I'm calling the road team.
Bryan: The Coyotes are playing better, but I think defense wins out in this one and the Blues will prevail.
Debi: To look at the stats, the teams are pretty evenly matched, but St. Louis has struggled lately, while Phoenix has gained ground. I have to take the Coyotes.
Dallas Stars (11-9-2) at Los Angeles Kings (12-7-2)
Broadcast: FS-Southwest, FS-West
Jess: Even if there was any possibility that I would ever, ever pick the Stars...ever...I'm going with the Kings here. And please, for the love of sports gods, do it in regulation. While I realize that the better the Kings do, the more dangerous they are to my Ducks and I should worry more about them right now than the Stars, I just can't find it in myself to care in this case.
Bryan: Would you look at that? There they are, climbing up the ladder! I gotta take the Kings for this one.
Debi: Kings. Just can't go against the Champions here.
So we have quite a lineup of games tonight and most of them are earlier in the evening, meaning most of them will be in the third period by the time I get home from work. I have my handy dandy NHL App, so I'll likely post some thoughts whenever I can. The rest of you, please join in with us!!
To start things off tonight, let's take a look at Miikka Kiprusoff and one of his amazing saves last night against Patrick Marleau:
Enjoy the games!