The Morning Skate 2/2

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:

Bruins 3, Hurricanes 2
Devils 2, Senators 1
Maple Leafs 4, Panthers 3 (SO)
Islanders 4, Thrashers 1
Blackhawks 7, Blue Jackets 4
Penguins 4, Rangers 3 (SO)
Lightning 4, Flyers 0
Canadiens 3, Capitals 2 (SO)
Flames 3, Predators 2 (SO)
Wild 1, Kings 0 (SO)
Canucks 4, Stars 1
Sharks 5, Coyotes 3
Predictions record: 6-5

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Dwayne Roloson, TB (38 Saves, Shutout)… ‘Roli the Goalie’ now has four shutouts in 11 starts with the Lightning after last night’s great performance vs. Philly.
2. Niklas Backstrom, MIN (27 Saves, Shutout)
3. Brian Gionta, MTL (2 Goals, SO Goal)
Close but no cigar: J. Pavelski and P. Marleau, SJ; K. Okposo, NYI; T. Purcell, TB; J. Toews, CHI; C. Ehrhoff, VAN; Z. Chara, BOS; D. Jeffrey, PIT

Tonight’s Slate:
Red Wings @ Senators, 7:00 ET
Islanders @ Penguins, 7:00
Panthers @ Canadiens, 7:30
Canucks @ Coyotes, 9:30
Kings @ Oilers, 9:30
Sharks @ Ducks, 10:00

Games of the Night:
Vancouver Canucks @ Phoenix Coyotes
9:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Canucks (32-10-9) … Coyotes (25-18-9)
Last Ten: Canucks (5-2-3) … Coyotes (5-5-0)
Away/Home: Canucks (15-7-4) … Coyotes (10-9-5)
Season Series: 1-0 Coyotes

Players to watch:
VAN- Ryan Kesler
Kesler scored a big goal last night, moving into third in the NHL for goals (28).
PHX- Keith Yandle
The red-hot Yandle has 23 points in his last 18 games.

Projected Goaltenders:
VAN- Roberto Luongo (2010/11 stats: 23-8-7, 2.27 GAA)
PHX- Ilya Bryzgalov (2010/11 stats: 19-12-6, 2.64 GAA)

Injury Report:
VAN- Alex Edler (back, out), Andrew Alberts and Alexandre Bolduc (shoulder, out), Sami Salo (Achilles, out), Aaron Rome (knee, out), Guillaume Desbiens (hand, out)
PHX- Michal Rozsival (lower body, out), Vernon Fiddler and David Schlemko (upper body, out)

Game Thoughts:
These two ended last night on different ends of the spectrum. Phoenix blew a 3-0 lead in San Jose, losing 5-3; while Vancouver picked up an impressive 4-1 win in Big D. The Coyotes won their lone meeting this year, but have struggled at home lately. Can Vancouver take advantage? I see Dave Tippett’s club squeaking out two points, but it really is a toss up.
Prediction: Coyotes 2, Canucks 1

Wednesday Game of the Week:
San Jose Sharks (26-19-6) @ Anaheim Ducks (28-20-4)
10:00 ET… TV: Local Networks
Season Series: 2-1 Ducks

Prediction: Ducks 3, Sharks 2 (OT)
More to come from this game…

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Red Wings over Senators
Penguins over Islanders
Canadiens over Panthers
Kings over Oilers

Morning Links:
CBC… Elliotte Friedman’s weekly 30 Thoughts.
Puck Daddy… Andrew Brunette’s 1,000th game is celebrated.
Fox Sports South… Jeff Skinner is approaching rock-star status in Raleigh.
Pro Hockey Talk… What is going on with New Jersey’s ownership?
View From My Seats… Non-traditional fan bases getting dismissed once again.

Video(s) of the Day