The Morning Skate: 2/16



RLD Hockey is an NHL blog of mine where we take a look at the hot topics around the league on a daily basis. One of our staples is the 'Morning Skate', where I rundown everything going on in the NHL, including predictions on the big games. The PensBlog has been nice enough to let me share the Morning Skate with you .  You can follow us on Twitter @RLDhockey!


The Morning After:
Yesterday’s scores:

Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 3
Sabres 3, Canadiens 2 (SO)
Islanders 4, Senators 3 (SO)
Flyers 4, Lightning 3 (SO)
Sharks 2, Predators 1 (OT)
Canucks 4, Wild 1
Oilers 4, Stars 1
Predictions record: 3-4

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Mikhail Grabovski, TOR (2 Goals)… Grabovski provided the slick game-winner late in the third to give the Leafs a dramatic comeback win.
2. Antti Niemi, SJ (30 Saves, 1 GA)
3. Shawn Horcoff, EDM (2 Goals, 1 Assist)
Close but no cigar: C. Schneider, VAN; P. Kessel, TOR; P. Marleau, SJ; M. Grabner, NYI; P. Rinne, NSH; J. van Riemsdyk, PHI; T. Chorney, EDM

Tonight’s Slate:
Maple Leafs @ Sabres, 7:00 ET
Hurricanes @ Devils, 7:00
Kings @ Blue Jackets, 7:00
Flyers @ Panthers, 7:30
Wild @ Blackhawks, 8:00
Penguins @ Avalanche, 9:00
Stars @ Flames, 9:30
Capitals @ Ducks, 10:00

Games of the Night:
Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames
9:30 ET… TV: TSN, Local Networks

Overall: Stars (31-20-6) … Flames (29-22-8)
Last Ten: Stars (2-7-1) … Flames (7-1-2)
Away/Home: Stars (14-12-1) … Flames (16-9-3)
Season Series: 2-0 Flames

Players to watch:
DAL- Mike Ribeiro
Ribeiro needs to step up with the absence of Richards.
CGY- Jarome Iginla
Iginla is currently riding a six-game point streak.

Projected Goaltenders:
DAL- Kari Lehtonen (2010/11 stats: 23-16-6, 2.66 GAA)
CGY- Miikka Kiprusoff (2010/11 stats: 25-19-4, 2.68 GAA)

Injury Report:
DAL- Brad Richards (upper body, out), Jamie Benn (shoulder, out), Nicklas Grossman (hip, questionable), Adam Burish and Krys Barch (eye, out), Ray Sawada (shoulder, out)
CGY- Olli Jokinen and Tim Jackman (lower body, questionable), Adam Pardy (upper body, out), Daymond Langkow (neck, out), Raitis Ivanans (concussion, out)

Game Thoughts:
Calgary and Dallas are going in different directions, but are locked in the crazy Western Conference logjam between 3rd and 10th. You can start to see the wheels coming off for the Stars, who have lost six of seven and five straight away from home. Meanwhile, the Flames keep rolling after a 9-1 win in Colorado. I don’t expect this to be as high-scoring as their last meeting (7-4 CGY on Jan. 21), but with a similar result.
Prediction: Flames 3, Stars 1

Wednesday Game of the Week:
Minnesota Wild (30-21-5) @ Chicago Blackhawks (28-22-6)
Season Series: Tied 1-1

Prediction: Blackhawks 4, Wild 2
More to come from this game…

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Sabres over Maple Leafs
Hurricanes over Devils
Kings over Blue Jackets
Flyers over Panthers
Penguins over Avalanche
Ducks over Capitals

Morning Links:
Yahoo!… Nick Cotsonika profiles Shea Weber and why Nashville needs to keep him. Great read!
Fox Sports Detroit… Steve Yzerman talks about facing the Wings for the first time as a GM.
Puck Daddy… Is Joe Sacco on the hot seat in Denver?
SI… Are the Sabres in danger of burning out Ryan Miller?
CSN Philly… Kris Versteeg will wear a new number in Philadelphia and explains why.

Video of the Day: