Jan 262006
 

It’s another busy day on the NHL schedule with 13 games being played including some surprising games that are too close to call as well as some interesting matchups.

Boston/Washington – Boston has gone 4-0-1 in it’s last five games and as a result is starting to play iteself back into playoff contention. They continue that playoff push tonight against a team which is sure to be a bit angry after getting embarassed 8-1 at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins last night. Boston is the favourite and I expect them to win.

Atlanta/Carolina – This is a pick-em game solely because Carolina is playing on the road in back to back nights. But this game is also far more important for Atlanta than Carolina and as a result Atlanta will probably come out hard so it could in fact be anybody’s game. But Carolina has been awesome recently winning 11 of their last 12 games and I think they will take this one too.

Toronto/Buffalo – I am a bit surprised that this is listed as a pick-em game because Buffalo has been the much better team this year. With that said I am confident that Toronto is going to play better tonight than they have in most of their past 6 games. Problem is, Buffalo is one of those teams that the Leafs never seem to be able to play well against and with Lindros, Tucker and McCabe still out of the lineup it is going to be tough for Toronto to win this game.

Ottawa/Montreal – Ray Emery has started 12 games for the Senators this season with 4 of those 12 starts coming against the Montreal Canadiens. He won’t start tonight though. It appears that the Senators coaching staff has lost some confidence in Emery after back to back bad outings against Atlanta and Montreal on January 2nd and 7th as Dominik Hasek will get his 8th straight start. Montreal is coming off a surprise win in Philadelphia last night but with just 15 shots on goal it wasn’t like it was a well earned win. Ottawa should win this game easily.

Detroit/Vancouver – After back to back losses against the lowly Blues and Blue Jackets the Canucks hope a change in colour can change their fortunes as they look to get back on track against the Red Wings. Currently the Canucks still sit comfortable in a playoff spot but a few more losses and things won’t look so comfortable. I am afraid tonight could be another loss for the Canucks.

Minnesota/Nashville – This is another surprising ‘pick-em’ game but after getting questioned as to why Carolina was only a Good favourite over Florida last night and seeing that game go to a shootout I am realizing that my prediction algorithm might actually know something. But Nashville is the better team and I expect them to win. That is unless they rest Vokoun after back to back wins in Detroit. In that case, all bets are off.

Colorado/Dallas – This is the final pick-em game of the night and features two pretty good teams facing each other. Dallas has better defense and goaltending and thus is the more consistant team but when Colorado’s offense is going they can be dominant too. I am going to pick the home team Avalanche to win this game.

San Jose/Anaheim – Both of these teams are trying desperately to get back into the playoff hunt. Anaheim hurt both teams chances last night by blowing a lead to one of the teams they hope to catch – the Oilers. Both teams sit 6 points back of of the Oilers but the Sharks have 4 games in hand so a win tonight will put them in a good spot. And I think the Sharks should do just that. Sharks win 5-2.

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

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