Oct 312005
 

Only 2 games tonight but one of them is identified as too close to call so in that game I’ll predict the Rangers win a close game over Montreal.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
NY Rangers Montreal Pick N/A
Toronto Florida Toronto Good
Oct 292005
 

Here are my game predictions for tonights NHL games. A curios one is that the Tampa-Atlanta game is a pick-em game. I’ll keep an eye on that game to see if Atlanta can keep pace and have a chance to win.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Boston New Jersey Boston Some
Toronto Ottawa Ottawa Good
Montreal NY Rangers Montreal Strong
NY Islanders Buffalo Pick N/A
Atlanta Tampa Bay Pick N/A
Pittsburgh Carolina Carolina Good
Florida Washington Florida Good
Nashville Edmonton Nashville Strong
Minnesota Columbus Minnesota Some
Chicago Detroit Detroit Strong
Colorado Vancouver Vancouver Some
Phoenix Dallas Phoenix Some
Los Angeles St. Louis Los Angeles Strong
San Jose Calgary Pick N/A
Oct 282005
 

Here are the predictions for tonights games.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Carolina Philadelphia Carolina Some
Columbus Minnesota Pick N/A
New Jersey Buffalo Buffalo Good
Tampa Bay Washington Tampa Bay Good
Dallas Edmonton Dallas Strong
Anaheim St. Louis Anaheim Some
Los Angeles San Jose Los Angeles Strong
Oct 272005
 

We are about 3 weeks into the season and I thought it might be a good idea to start reviewing some of my pre-season predictions. Lets start off with a look at my sleeper picks and see how they are doing.

Kari Lehtonen – He has yet to give up a goal but he has only played 1 period of hockey before re-injuring his groin. He should be back in the next week or two and I still have high hopes for him, and his team who has also been struggling.

Alexander Frolov – Frolov so far has 3 goals and 7 points in 10 games and is currently on a 5 game point streak. Both he and the LA Kings are doing quite well. My prediction of 30 goals and 70 points is still a possibility.

Marc Savard – Tied for 7th in the NHL with 12 points. In 9 games so far he has 4 goals and 8 assists and despite his teams poor performance, Savard has been everything you can expect and more.

Ryan Malone – Malone has 4 goals in 9 games (tied for team lead) which puts him on pace for 36, but he has no assists. Expect him to eventually add a few assists to his point totals.

Mike Cammalleri Despite missing a couple games, Cammalerri is off to a good start to the season with 2 goals, 6 points in 8 games. Keeping up that pace for the rest of the season is a good possibility.

Tyler Arnason – The Blackhawks have struggled immensely but not Arnason who has 3 goals, 10 points in 9 games. I predicted he could reach 70 points this year and so far so good.

Nikolai Zherdev – Zherdev has been a dissapointment and has received some criticism from his coach and general manager. And with just 3 points in 10 games it is probably well deserved. He, and his team, should do better once Rick Nash returns but Zherdev really has the talent to do it on his own. It seems the effort might not be there so far this season.

Thomas Vanek – I can’t figure this guy out. He was a sniper his whole hockey life so far usually getting as many goals as assists, if not more. So far this year he has been held goalless but has produced a more than respectable 7 assists in 9 games. For some reason Brierre (7 goals) has become the goal scorer on that line which seems like a bit of a role reversal for both players.

Henrik Zetterberg – The Red Wings are playing well and Zetterberg is a significant part of that. I predicted he’d improve to being a 25-30 goal scorer and 65-70 point producer this year but that seems to be an under-prediction. He already has 5 goals and 13 points in 10 games which has him tied for 4th in the NHL for points. Not bad for a sleeper pick.

Brandon Bochenski – So far he has been a bit of a flop and has at times lost his job on the first line late in games when the Sens need a goal. But he does have 1 goal and 4 points in just 7 games so he hasn’t been a complete flop. But playing with Spezza (12 points) and Heatley (10 points) you might expect more.

Oct 272005
 

Ok, back to a bit of reality after that 8 for 8 night. Last night I was 1 for 4. Still, that’s a pretty good 2 night average. Here are tonights game predictions.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Boston Toronto Toronto Good
NY Rangers NY Islanders Pick N/A
Philadelphia Florida Philadelphia Some
Ottawa Montreal Ottawa Good
Pittsburgh Atlanta Atlanta Good
Detroit Chicago Detroit Strong
Colorado Vancouver Vancouver Good
Phoenix Calgary Phoenix Good
 Posted by at 5:36 am
Oct 262005
 

So the NHL has finally decided to shut the coaches up about complaining about the new rules so I guess it is up to us hockey bloggers to pick up the slack. The talk of the day today was about Sidney Crosby and the fact that he drew six penalties last night on his own. I just watched the guys on TSN talk up Cosby and his knack for drawing penalties. Well, I watched a fair bit of that Penguins-Panthers game and I saw all the highlights and I must say what most people are forgetting to mention is that half of those penalies were not in fact penalties and I will go so far as saying that it looks like Crosby got in the diving act like so many other NHLers these days. On one of the penalties called he was skating down the middle of the ice and about halfway between the blue line and the Panthers goal, two Florida defensemen close in on him and pinch him off (looked like a smart defensive play) at which point Crosby made his body go limp and he fell to the ice in a heap. He was not hooked or even hit very hard, but because he went a penalty was called. Crosby was not hooked or tripped and since he had the puck he was not interfered with. You are still allowed to hit players with the puck. At least that is what I thought. It should not have been a penalty and honestly, I think Crosby embelished his fall on that play. On another penalty Crosby was cutting in from the right side towards the net like Glenn Anderson was so famous for. He was heavily leaning into the defenseman who was in good position to cut his drive to the net off and the second the defenseman bumped him, Crosby falls and a penalty is called. Again, there was no hook or hold and Crosby had the puck and hitting the puck carrier is allowed. And it wasn’t a hard hit either and the fact that Crosby was heavily leaning into the defenseman probably caused him to lose balance very easily. One or two of the other penalties he drew were pretty suspect too.

But it isn’t just Crosby. People are ‘losing balance’ on the lightest of hits and almost any time a player goes down to the ice the refs seem to feel the need to call a penalty, whether a penalty was deserved or not. I was just watching the Boston-Carolina game and Bret Hedican and a Bruin went into the corner to retrieve a puck. The Bruin player lost his balance like players so often do when skating hard into the corner and trying to stop, turn and play the puck in all one motion. Hedican was right with him but didn’t interfere at all but since the Bruin lost his balance and went down, the refs automatically thought penalty. So Hedican goes off for 2 minuted for tripping. To make matters worse when the Bruin player was falling his stick came up and he high sticked Hedican drawing blood for what should have been a 4 minute penalty on the Bruins.

In the Carolina-Ottawa game the other day Jason Spezza bumped into a Carolina player at the offensive blue line and upon contact Spezza let his body go limp and fell to the ice. Penalty gets called. This diving and chintzy penalty calling is getting rediculous. The newest skill in hockey is whenever you get bumped to relax every muscle in your body and fall to the ice in a heap. The refs are certain to call a penalty then because it seems the new directive to the refs is that they must call a penalty everytime someone falls to the ice. It is getting rediculous. This game is becoming a joke. There is becoming less contact in hockey than there is in basketball. There are fewer hits in most hockey games than the Houston Astros could muster in last nights 14 inning game (that’s 8 if your counting). Sure, there may be more goals. Sure, certain aspects of the game may be faster. But surely, there has to be a better way to do it. Creating more offense through more power plays on horrible penalty calls is not how to do it. It’s a joke.

 Posted by at 8:02 pm
Oct 262005
 

I didn’t pick the Penguins to make the playoffs this year so to see them struggle is no real surprise for me but I am starting to really feel bad for them because this is much worse than anyone could have imagined and the fact they 5 of their 9 losses have come in overtime must make it even more frustrating for them since they have had opportunities to win. Maybe once they get their first win they will rack up a few wins in a row, but for now they remain at the bottom of the HockeyAnalysis.com power rankings.

I am curious what everyone thinks of these rankings. Are any teams ranked too high or too low for your liking or do they more or less look reasonable? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

Rank Team Win-Loss Power Rank
1 Ottawa 6- 1 14.2
2 Nashville 8- 0 13.6
3 Montreal 7- 2 12.9
4 Detroit 9- 1 12.9
5 Vancouver 8- 2 12.8
6 Toronto 5- 4 12.2
7 Los Angeles 7- 3 12.1
8 Buffalo 6- 2 12.0
9 Dallas 5- 3 11.7
10 NY Islanders 5- 4 10.7
11 Philadelphia 4- 3 10.6
12 Minnesota 5- 5 10.4
13 Carolina 5- 3 10.3
14 Florida 6- 4 10.1
15 Colorado 4- 5 9.7
16 NY Rangers 4- 6 9.5
17 Tampa Bay 4- 5 9.4
18 Phoenix 4- 7 9.3
19 Boston 4- 6 9.0
20 Calgary 4- 6 8.8
21 St. Louis 2- 7 8.7
22 New Jersey 4- 4 8.6
23 Atlanta 3- 6 8.4
24 Washington 3- 6 8.2
25 Anaheim 3- 6 8.1
26 San Jose 3- 6 8.1
27 Edmonton 3- 7 7.9
28 Chicago 3- 6 7.9
29 Columbus 2- 7 7.3
30 Pittsburgh 0- 9 5.2
 Posted by at 10:27 am
Oct 262005
 

My picks were a perfect 8 for 8 yesterday. Let’s hope the hot streak continues with todays games.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Buffalo Washington Buffalo Strong
Carolina Boston Carolina Good
Columbus Nashville Nashville Good
New Jersey Tampa Bay Pick N/A
Dallas San Jose Dallas Strong
Anaheim Calgary Pick N/A
 Posted by at 12:14 am
Oct 252005
 

Here are my game predictions for tonights games.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
NY Islanders Atlanta NY Islanders Good
Montreal Philadelphia Montreal Good
Pittsburgh Florida Florida Strong
Nashville Chicago Nashville Strong
Minnesota Vancouver Vancouver Some
Colorado Edmonton Colorado Good
Phoenix St. Louis Phoenix Some
Los Angeles Anaheim Los Angeles Strong
 Posted by at 10:27 am