Game Predictions – 11/25/2005

Thanks to the American Thanksgiving holiday weekend for giving us a full slate of games today. In total there are 11 games, many of them should be quite interesting. Here are a few worth noting.

Ottawa/NY Islanders – Ottawa will be playing without Redden, Havlat and Chris Neil so if there was a game they could lose, this could be it. It’s an afternoon game too so you never know how players will react to having their regular game day schedule altered. I still think the Senators will win but it would not shock me if this is one they lose.

Toronto/Carolina – This is a battle between two of the better teams in the east and these teams have split the 2 games they have already played against each other. I am sure it will be a close game that could go either way. With Rod Brind’amour and Ray Whitney both doubtful for this game, this is a game that could go different than the prediction below. Plus I am sure the Leafs will want to come out strong after a pretty dismal game Wednesday in Boston. Being a Leaf fan I may be biased but I think this one could go the Leafs way.

Tampa/New Jersey – These two teams I can’t figure out. Tampa has won 5 of 6 games but they seem to struggle against teams they should beat. For example, the one loss in those 6 games was against Washington and Wednesday win over Washington is one they had to battle back from an early 3-0 deficit to win in a shootout. But they beat Philadelphia twice and Carolina once in those 6 games. New Jersey has to be the most inconsistant team this season. Mostly they have looked pretty mediocre but then they will go and have an outstanding game where Brodeur plays well and you start thinking that maybe they are returning to pre-lockout form. But then the next game they look mediocre again. In the end, I have no idea who will win this game but give the home team Tampa a slight advantage.

Florida-Pittsburgh – This is an interesting battle between a team that can’t score goals (Florida) and a team that can’t stop giving up goals (Pittsburgh). And also a team that can score goals (Pittsburgh) and a goalie that is just awesome (Luongo). Again, this is another difficult game to predict. My mathematical prediction gives a slight advantage to Florida but I kind of like the Penguins in this one.

Buffalo-Montreal – This is the only pick-em game of the night. After a couple weeks of poor play the Sabres have played better recently winning 4 of 5 with the loss being an overtime loss. Montreal on the other hand has lossed 4 of 6 defeating only Atlanta and Florida while losing to Pittsburgh, Toronto, New Jersey and Washington. It seems they might be missing Kovalev a fair bit. As a result, I’m picking Buffalo to win this game.

Calgary-Edmonton – I agree with the prediction below that Calgary has to be the slight favourite in this game. I am only hi-lighting this game because these Battle of Alberta games are almost always very entertaining and if you get a chance to watch some of it, definitely do. It should be good.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Boston Philadelphia Philadelphia Some
NY Islanders Ottawa Ottawa Good
Minnesota St. Louis Minnesota Strong
Anaheim Detroit Detroit Some
Carolina Toronto Carolina Good
Columbus Colorado Colorado Good
Tampa Bay New Jersey Tampa Bay Some
Florida Pittsburgh Florida Some
Buffalo Montreal Pick N/A
Dallas Phoenix Dallas Good
Calgary Edmonton Calgary Some