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:
Capitals 3, Penguins 0
Devils 4, Canadiens 1
Lightning 4, Blues 3 (OT)
Predictions record: 3-0
My 3 stars of the night:
1. Michal Neuvirth, WSH (22 Saves, Shutout)… ‘Neuvy’ was rock-solid against rival Pittsburgh yesterday, picking up his second shutout while filling in for the ill Varlamov.
2. Steven Stamkos, TB (1 Goal, 3 Assists)
3. Travis Zajac, NJ (1 Goal, 2 Assists)
If the playoffs started today…
1) PHI vs. 8) CAR
2) TB vs. 7) NYR
3) BOS vs. 6) MTL
4) PIT vs. 5) WSH
1) VAN vs. 8) LA
2) DET vs. 7) PHX
3) DAL vs. 6) ANA
4) NSH vs. 5) SJ
Thrashers @ Maple Leafs, 7:00 ET
Rangers @ Red Wings, 7:30
Oilers @ Predators, 8:00
Blackhawks @ Flames, 9:30
Avalanche @ Coyotes, 9:30
Senators @ Canucks, 10:00
Games of the Night:
New York Rangers @ Detroit Red Wings
7:30 ET… TV: VERSUS
Overall: Rangers (29-22-4) … Red Wings (31-15-6)
Last Ten: Rangers (3-6-1) … Red Wings (4-5-1)
Away/Home: Rangers (17-10-1) … Red Wings (15-7-4)
Season Series (09/10): 1-0 Red Wings
Players to watch:
NYR- Brandon Dubinsky
New York’s leading point-getter has one point in his first three games back from injury.
DET- Henrik Zetterberg
Zetterberg has not scored a goal since Jan. 10 – I think that drought ends tonight.
NYR- Henrik Lundqvist (2010/11 stats: 21-17-4, 2.35 GAA)
DET- Jimmy Howard (2010/11 stats: 25-9-3, 2.85 GAA)
NYR- Chris Drury (knee, out), Alexander Frolov (knee, out), Ruslan Fedotenko (appendectomy, out), Derek Boogaard (concussion, out)
DET- Pavel Datsyuk (hand, questionable), Tomas Holmstrom (hand, out), Brad Stuart (jaw, out), Mike Modano (wrist, out), Chris Osgood (groin, out), Jan Mursak (toe, questionable)
These Original Six foes will face-off for the first time this season; Detroit won their only meeting last year. Neither team is setting the world on fire coming into this one. The Rangers have lost four in a row, while the Wings have been shutout in their last two games. I believe Mike Babcock’s crew will respond tonight, but it won’t be easy.
Prediction: Red Wings 3, Rangers 2 (OT)
Chicago Blackhawks @ Calgary Flames
9:30 ET… TV: Local Networks
Overall: Blackhawks (27-21-4) … Flames (26-21-7)
Last Ten: Blackhawks (6-3-1) … Flames (7-1-2)
Away/Home: Blackhawks (11-8-4) … Flames (14-9-2)
Season Series: Tied 1-1
Players to watch:
CHI- Jonathan Toews
Captain Toews has elevated his game with seven points in the last three games.
CGY- Alex Tanguay
Tanguay’s on a three-game point streak and has 34 points in 31 career games vs. Chicago.
CHI- Corey Crawford (2010/11 stats: 16-10-2, 2.19 GAA)
CGY- Miikka Kiprusoff (2010/11 stats: 22-18-3, 2.71 GAA)
CHI- Ryan Johnson (lower body, questionable)
CGY- Niklas Hagman (lower body, questionable), Steve Staios (upper body, out), Daymond Langkow (neck, out),
If the season were to end today, neither the Blackhawks nor the Flames would make the playoffs. However, one of them can vault into the top eight with a victory tonight. Calgary had their six-game win streak snapped on Saturday, while Chicago is coming off a tough loss in Vancouver. The ‘Hawks have had Calgary’s number in recent years, especially in Cowtown. I think the Flames go down for the second straight game.
Prediction: Blackhawks 4, Flames 2
The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Maple Leafs over Thrashers
Predators over Oilers
Coyotes over Avalanche
Canucks over Senators (Lock of the night)
– ESPN… Pierre LeBrun on how Pittsburgh will respond to Evgeni Malkin’s season-ending injury.
– Pro Hockey Talk… Are the Caps and Pens headed for a first-round meeting?
– Puck Daddy… A short summary of the some of the changes that are coming to the Versus broadcasts.
– SB Nation… Joe Beninati is leaving Versus; are the Caps next?
– Preds On The Glass… I profile the Top 10 moments in Predators history.
Video of the Day