The Morning Skate: 3/14

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:
Capitals 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT)
Penguins 5, Oilers 1
Kings 3, Stars 2
Sabres 6, Senators 4
Coyotes 5, Ducks 2
Predictions record: 4-1

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Chris Kunitz, PIT (2 Goals)… In his third game back from injury, Kunitz scored a couple big goals for the Pens.
2. Jason Spezza, OTT (2 Goals, 2 Assists)
3. Ilya Bryzgalov, PHX (36 Saves, 2 GA)

Tonight’s Slate:
Lightning @ Maple Leafs, 7:00 ET
Sharks @ Blackhawks, 8:00
Wild @ Canucks, 10:00

Game of the Night:
San Jose Sharks @ Chicago Blackhawks

Overall: Sharks (39-22-8) … Blackhawks (37-24-8)
Last Ten: Sharks (7-1-2) … Blackhawks (7-1-2)
Away/Home: Sharks (21-11-3) … Blackhawks (21-14-0)
Season Series: 3-0 Sharks

Players to watch:
SJ- Ryane Clowe
Clowe has tied a career-high in goals (22) with 7 in his last 11 games.
CHI- Jonathan Toews
Captain Toews has 19 points in the last 12 games.

Projected Goaltenders:
SJ- Antti Niemi (2010/11 stats: 26-16-5, 2.39 GAA)
CHI- Corey Crawford (2010/11 stats: 26-13-5, 2.30 GAA)

Injury Report:
SJ- Scott Nichol and Kent Huskins (upper body, out)
CHI- Brian Campbell (lower body, questionable), Dave Bolland (concussion, doubtful), Jordan Hendry (knee, out)

Game Thoughts:
The Sharks head to Chicago tonight, looking to sweep the season series from their postseason nemesis from last spring. Toews and company have dropped three in a row and need to bounce-back tonight. Meanwhile, San Jose is 10-2-1 in their last 13 road games, and Niemi has had Chicago’s number this year. It seems like everything adds up to a Sharks victory, but I my gut tells me the ‘Hawks will find a way tonight.
Prediction: Blackhawks 3, Sharks 2

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Maple Leafs over Lightning
Canucks over Wild

Video of the Day:

The Playoff Drive:
Countdown – 30 days

SportsClubStats swing game of the day:
Tampa Bay @ Toronto
Maple Leafs’ playoff chances w/ win: 5.9% (+1.9)
With a loss: 1.9% (-2.1)

Playoff video of the day: