The Morning Skate: 3/2

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:

Sabres 3, Rangers 2
Capitals 2, Islanders 1 (OT)
Hurricanes 2, Panthers 1
Canadiens 3, Thrashers 1
Bruins 1, Senators 0
Flames 6, Blues 0
Stars 3, Coyotes 2
Oilers 2, Predators 1 (SO)
Canucks 2, Blue Jackets 1 (SO)
Sharks 2, Avalanche 1 (SO)
Predictions record: 6-4

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Jarome Iginla, CGY (2 Goals, 2 Assists)… Iggy’s four points engineered the Flames’ beat down in St. Louis.
2. Alex Ovechkin, WSH (1 Goal, 1 Assist)
3. Tuukka Rask, BOS (33 Saves, Shutout)
Close but no cigar: C. Price, MTL; R. Miller, BUF; M. Kiprusoff and A. Tanguay, CGY; C. Ward, CAR; M. Gerber, EDM; R. Luongo, VAN; J. Benn, DAL; A. Niemi, SJ

Tonight’s Slate:
Penguins @ Maple Leafs, 7:00 ET
Lightning @ Devils, 7:00
Wild @ Islanders, 7:00
Flames @ Blackhawks, 9:00
Red Wings @ Ducks, 10:00

Game of the Night:
Calgary Flames @ Chicago Blackhawks
9:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Flames (33-23-9) … Blackhawks (34-23-6)
Last Ten: Flames (6-2-2) … Blackhawks (7-1-2)
Away/Home: Flames (14-13-5) … Blackhawks (19-14-0)
Season Series: 2-1 Flames

Players to watch:
CGY- Brendan Morrison
Very quietly, Morrison has collected 15 assists in 14 games since the All-Star break.
CHI- Jonathan Toews
Toews was deservingly the No. 1 star in February with 21 points in 13 games.

Projected Goaltenders:
CGY- Miikka Kiprusoff (2010/11 stats: 29-20-5, 2.51 GAA)
CHI- Corey Crawford (2010/11 stats: 23-12-3, 2.13 GAA)

Injury Report:
CGY- Adam Pardy (shoulder, out), Daymond Langkow (neck, out), Raitis Ivanans (concussion, out)
CHI- Fernando Pisani (concussion, questionable), Jordan Hendry (knee, out)

Game Thoughts:
Chicago and Calgary meet up tonight in what is a huge four-point game in the jam-packed Western Conference. The ‘Hawks have won four straight and look to be regaining their form from late last year. Meanwhile, Calgary has been one of the best teams in the NHL in the New Year, coming off back-to-back shutouts over the Blues. The home team has won each game of this season series, and I see that continuing tonight.
Prediction: Blackhawks 3, Flames 1

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Maple Leafs over Penguins
Devils over Lightning
Wild over Islanders
Red Wings over Ducks

Morning Links:
CBC… As always, Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts are a must-read.
Puck Daddy… Is Mark Cuban a realistic possible new owner for the Stars?
Pro Hockey Talk… Joe Yerdon on the Sharks’ extension of Antti Niemi.
Defending Big D… A solid read about the upcoming lockouts in pro sports.