Game Predictions – 3/23/2006
There are several very importang games on the schedule tonight. In the Eastern conference there are 3 games with 5 of the 6 teams participating in a tight battle for the last few playoff spots while the 2 of the 4 western conference games have some importance relating to who will get the last couple playoff spots.
Atlanta-New Jersey – New Jersey currently sits in 7th spot 2 points ahead of 8th place Atlanta and 3 points ahead of 9th place Montreal. A win and the Devils put some separation between themselves and the chase pack once again, a loss and the chase pack could be right on their doorsteps. I like Atlanta in this game though as they are playing pretty good hockey (8-4 in March) while the Devils are not (lost 4 of last 5).
Montreal-Toronto – The 10th place Leafs sit just 3 points behind 9th place Montreal and 4 points out of a playoff spot as they begin a back to back pair of games against the Canadiens. These 2 games are huge games for both teams and if one team could win them both it would be huge. The edge has to go with Toronto as they might be playing their best hockey of the year (5-2-1 in last 8) while Montreal has struggled somewhat (lost 4 of last 5). I like Toronto to win one, maybe both of these games.
Tampa-Washington – The 6th place Lightning sit just 4 points ahead of 9th place Montreal so their playoff spot is anything but secure. They get off easy tonight playing the lowly Capitals but with all the inconsistancies they have to deal with in goal a win is anything but assured. I still like Tampa to win but an upset would not surprise me at all.
Detroit-San Jose – San Jose is 6-0-2 in their last 8 games which has put them in the thick of the playoff race but tonight they play a very tough Red Wings team. Not only is this important for them to win with respect to the playoff race but it might be an indication of whether the Sharks can compete with the elite in the west. It’s going to be tought but I think they have the ability to pull off an upset win.
St. Louis-Calgary – Not a hugely important game though Calgary still has some work to do to lock down the division title.
Phoenix-Chicago – Yawn….
Vancouver-Edmonton – This is the middle game of 3 straight games these two teams are playing against each other. Vancouver pulled out a win in the first game and Edmonton will desperately look to pull out a win this game. I think they will get that win.
I bet on 4 games today at Bowmans:
Washington +265 (the odds are just too good to pass up)
San Jose +175
|Tampa Bay||-265||Washington||162||Tampa Bay||Strong|