Game Predictions – 3/8/2006

There were a lot of close and hard fought games last night. Of the 11 games, 6 went to overtime and 4 of those went to the shootout. The other 5 games featured 2 1-goal games, 2 2-goal games and a 3 goal game. What a night for hockey. It wasn’t a good night for my picks though as I got just 5 of the 11 correct.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Philadelphia Carolina Carolina Some
Washington Pittsburgh Washington Some
Atlanta NY Rangers NY Rangers Some
Florida Ottawa Ottawa Strong

Tonight won’t have quite the same impact on the playoff race as last night as only Atlanta is legitimately still in a battle for a playoff spot. The rest are either out of the playoffs or have a playoff spot almost locked up. Of tonights games I am most interested in the Atlanta-NY Rangers game because I really want to see what Atlanta has in it. They are finally a healthy team and if they were to grab the final playoff spot I think they could put a scare in some of the top teams in the east. If I am Ottawa or Carolina I’d definitely want to face a Montreal or a Tampa over Atlanta. They have a fairly tough schedule the rest of the year starting with their next six games when they the Rangers, Ottawa, the Rangers, Islanders, Philadelphia and Buffalo. After that things get a bit easier including 2 games against each of Boston, Washington, and Florida and a huge 3 games against Tampa who they can still easily take a playoff spot from. I like Atlanta as a team and if I were Carolina or Ottawa I’d be a bit nervous of meeting them in the first round.

This article has 11 Comments

  1. Just a note on comments. I am getting a lot of comment spam coming through the system (at least 8 of them overnight) so I am once again making submitting e-mail addresses as mandatory. If you don’t want to use your own e-mail address I don’t really care. Make one up if you like or what I really recommend is get a hotmail or gmail account and use it as your e-mail address you use for all these online message sites.

  2. We had so many close games today, which means a lot of 3 point games, with Edmonton, San Jose, Minnesota, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and NY Islanders picking up just one point on an awesome night of games. What wasn’t awesome was my predictions, which only got 4 correct, dropping my betting balance to $112.27. As David said, all these games are Eastern Conference match-ups with 1 really appealing game: Carolina @ NY Rangers. Two of the others aren’t really relevant to the playoff race, while the NY Rangers @ Atlanta game is easily the most important game today.

    Ottawa (Good)
    NYR, WSH, CAR (Some)

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  4. your counting T.O. out of the playoffs? they are only 6 points out?

    like ottwaw tonight

    went 6 for 11 last night..

  5. No, I still think Toronto has a shot. They don’t have a real tough remaining schedule and still play 2 games against Montreal so they can certainly close the gap. But they really need to get 3 or 4 points in those 2 games against Montreal. I could definitely see Toronto and Atlanta both making the playoffs.

    Also, don’t count the Islanders out either. They have an extremely easy schedule and they play a bunch of games against the teams they are chasing. They have 4 games against Pittsburgh, 3 against Toronto, 2 games against both Atlanta and Montreal and one against Tampa. The Islanders are going to have a lot of say in who gets those final 2 playoff spots.

  6. Here are my thoughts about the Leafs:

    The Good….

    1) Nice young core. Allison (not young, but VERY steady) McCabe (if he stays)Stajan, Wellwood, Steen, Kaberle, Tellqvist, Tucker (not young, but core) Colliacovo, Kronwall, Belak (the next Domi, with MUCH less goals) and John Pohl..(who because of petty NHL stipulations cannot play again this year because if he did would have to clear waivers), Wilm, and I even like the Ondrus kid.

    2) Alex Ponikarovsky. He is BIG, fast, a great penalty killer, has a rocket for a shot, is impossible to knock off the puck when he has a burr under his saddle, and will only get better. He’s got 17 goals and will no doubt get 20. If he plays on a line CONSISTENTLY, he’ll get 30 one day. He just needs to play more in pressure situations like the PP, PK , and the playoffs.

    3) Chad Kilger. He IS the next Gary Roberts, only a little less intense and gets less ice-time. He has ONLY 65 shots and has an AMAZING 13 goals!!!! 20%!!Among everyday players in the NHL, he’s 8th.

    The Bad…

    …Let’s start from the top.

    1) Pat Quinn – no motivation, no communication. He loves the “run ‘n’ gun” but he doesn’t realize he’s got no defense….he’s DONE!

    2) Domi (useless), doesn’t fight, score, PK. ALl he does is sell jerseys.

    3) Klee (dumb penalties), Berg (not BAD but needs to be smarter and tougher), Antropov (sucks) will never grow into his body, and is outta breath after a 20 second shift, Belfour is done. He is always outta position, and not quick enough anymore. I love the drunk, but it’s the truth.


    Only 1 would happen…. Sundin to anyone.

    Sundin has earned the respect as an 8 Year captain, and smart, loyal, and likeable captain, that, if he requested, should be able to go to Fergussen and say “Hey, trade me to a contender”. The Leafs should accomodate him.

    Where would I like to see him go you ask? ………

    … a Canadian……. THE FLAMES!! I am a HUGE LEAFS FAN, but I’d like to see Iginla FINALLY play with a good Centre. They’d have a much better chance to win the cup, and I’m sure both parties would be happy…and, if the Cap goes up next year, the Flames would be able to keep him for another year. Could you imagine Sundin, with Iginla? That’d be awesome for both of them!!! This is the ONLY team I would trade him to.

    My trade if I was GM……

    Sundin, Berg, and a second rounder for Matthew Lombardi, and Jordan Leopold.

  7. John, I think you are a bit off on your assessment of some of the Leafs players.

    Allison: He isn’t a bad playmaker but is slow and has shown himself to be poor defensively. Not a bad player at the right price but I doubt he will be back next year.

    Belak: He can fight but can’t do anything else unlike Domi. He’s 29 years old and destined to be a fringe player. If the Leafs released him he might not get picked up by anybody else since fighting isn’t that important anymore.

    Kilger: Now I like Kilger as a player. He plays hard and has learned to play his role well. But he is a role player. A 3rd/4th line guy. He is in no way comparable to Gary Roberts. Kilger is 29 and his career best in goals is 15 (might surpass that this year). Roberts on the other hand is a former 50 goal scorer, and 12 time 20+ goal scorer. He has had 5 seasons with 200+ PIMs and another 5 with 100+. He is (was) a true power forward, a scorer, a leader, and one of the better players to ever play the game and might get some Hall of Fame consideration. The two are in no way comparable.

    The problem with the young players the Leafs have is that none of them project to be top players. Steen probably has the best upside but I only seem him as a very good 2-way player. Someone who can score you 25-30 goals, play solid defensively, kill penalties, and provide some leadership. A great player to have on your team, but not an elite player that you build your team around. The only prime prospects they have at this point are goalies Pogge and Rask.

    I don’t think Sundin will get traded and if he does it will not be to the Flames. They simply cannot fit Sundin’s salary under the salary cap. If Sundin were to be traded I think the only deal that might happen is Sundin to Vancouver for Bertuzzi. It makes some sense on both sides but Vancouver has cap issues as well and Sundin would cost about a $1 million more in cap space than Bertuzzi. But, I don’t see that happening either. I think Sundin will remain a Leaf.

  8. i agree with everything you siad dave it is very clear that the odds of sundin moving are very limited…and your player assesment was right on the money…


  9. The odds of Sundin are lim to none. He has gone on record and to the media as saying he loves Toronto and does not want to play anywhere else. For a player who has a ‘No-trade” clause, what he said to the media is code for “Don’t trade me, I wont accept”. Face it, Sundin is not moving unless its to a contender and he okay’s the trade.

    Last night i went 6/11….a few suprises in Detroit and Chicago. NY Islanders won again like I said they would… after the Islanders lose a game, they are MONEY!!!!!! They won last night, so safe bet is , they will lose the next game, no matter who it is on the schedule.

    Toronto Will make the playoffs…barely but they will squeek in. Toronto has the easiest schedule in the next few games compared to Montreal and Atlanta. Toronto having the easier schedule will allow them to go on a winning streak, get moral up, make an impace trade and make a playoff run. They will make the playoffs…dont count the Leafs out just yet.

    Tonight’s picks:

    -Washington (even tho Pitts is 3-0 vs WSH this season)
    -NY Rangers

  10. I like Allison. On this Leafs team, if you have 50 points you are a keeper. He’s a good vet that helps the young guys.

    As for Kilger, all I meant was that on this Leafs team he is Gary Roberts. He hits evertyhing, he hustles, and has now learned how to put the puck in the net.

    As for the guy who said I was retarded. The SUndin trade would happen. He makes way too much money. If they wanna sign McCabe, Sunidin would have to go, and go cheap…unless they moved Eddy, but I don’t think any team wants his 4.5 mill contract.

    People may think that the Richardson trade was bad, but I don’t think it was as bad as it’s being made out to be. Yes he’s older, but he’s a captain, he’s responsible, he’s tough, and he loves Toronto. Right now, he’s the second best DEFENSIVE guy on the Leafs’ defense (Kaberle being the best). And if some of you are saying McCabe is better…give your head a shake, he’s a terrible DEFENSEman. The Leafs should try to make McCabe a left-winger. Richardson will play well. Evryone’s saying that he’s old, washed up, his +/- is horrible, but since he’s -18 and Foote is -16. It really isn’t that bad…and he plays on COLUMBUS!!! A fourth and fifth rounder is too steep though.

    Klee for anything more than a bag of pucks and some water bottles is pretty damn good. On the TSN website, everyone is saying that Klee is NEVER a liability on the ice????? WHATEVER!

    This kid Sublagov LEADS an AHL team in scoring… and was traded for Ken Klee….Nuff said

  11. The Leafs don’t have to trade Sundin or Belfour to sign McCabe. The Leafs have a ton of money under the cap and will have $20-25 million to spend this summer. Belfour’s has an option next year which likely will not be picked up.

    Richardson isn’t a bad defenseman but he is older and not all that quick and is a -18 this year. He is definitely a step down from Klee. He might add some quality leadership for the other young defensemen though which will be a good thing.

    You bash Klee and how bad defensively he is but then you talk about how he got traded for a pretty good prospect who is leading his AHL team in scoring. If one of the smarter GMs in the NHL is willing to make that trade then I think it says something about Klee. My gut tells me that Lou Lamoriello knows a bit more about hockey and identifying talent than you do.

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