Game Predictions – 4/17/2006

The game to watch tonight is Atlanta at Washington. This is a must win for Atlanta as a loss means golf next weekend, not playoff hockey for the Thrashers. I can’t see the Thrashers losing this game. The only thing not decided in the west is whetherAnaheim finishes in 6th and Colorado in 7th or Colorado in 6th and Anaheim in 7th. That makes the Colorado-Edmonton and Calgary-Anaheim games somewhat meaningful though I am not sure the difference between playing Dallas and Calgary is that significant that it really matters whether you get 6th spot or 7th spot. What might be more interesting is that the Calgary-Anaheim is a potential first round preview (should Calgary win and Colorado get a point)

Home Team Fair
Road Team Fair
Predicted Winner Confidence
Washington 110 Atlanta -111 Atlanta Some
Pittsburgh 107 NY Islanders -108 NY Islanders Some
Detroit -123 Dallas 119 Detroit Some
Edmonton -113 Colorado 111 Edmonton Some
Anaheim -112 Calgary 111 Anaheim Some
San Jose -143 Los Angeles 130 San Jose Good

This article has 23 Comments

  1. Biggest question to me is how hard are the thrashers going to come out in Washington??? I guess an equally important question is how bad the Caps are gonna want to play the role of spoiler…..but either way, the motivation just isn’t the same as compared to a team who isn’t out of the playoff picture just yet!

    It’s been roughly six weeks since my last bet on an NHL game (though I really haven’t been betting on anything as of late…..trying to take a break!!), but this time of year is just too good to miss sometimes! Let me know what you guys are thinking, but personally, I expect the Caps to get pounded both tonight and Tuesday.

  2. i’ll keep it quick
    ovechkin holds the key to any possibility washington winning here. Its known ovechkins favorite player is kovalchuk. Its also known they have a good friendship. You may not believe this but ovechkin rather see his buddies team in the playoffs then tampa. Its not that hes gonna completely give up but hes not gonna go full tilt tonight, thats for sure!!! Atlanta has won the last 3 meetings and will bring it hard tonight.

    Take atl in a one game playoff for em!


  3. Zack…what you just wrote above was a joke. I disagree with everything you wrote in that blog. That was not a very sport educated statement.

  4. Reply to the MVP this year… I think Jagr will get it becuause he plays in New York and he gets a lot of media attention there. Personally Id give it to Thornton or more importantly Ovechkin….why you ask? simple…hes scored 25% of the Capitals goals. Yes they are dead last but imagine how bad they would be without him????? My hands down pick is Ovechkin, Thornton 2nd and Jagr 3rd.

  5. very interesting perspective here…… much as I hate to say it, you never know with the Russians either! I like the Thrashers in this position regardless though.


  6. Kudos to ATL, Columbus and SJ for having a horrendous 1st H and coming back and finishing strong, especially SJ and ATl. Columbus is having fits and starts but they seem to be progressing. Hopefully they will have a productive off season adding some much needed scoring. They have good goaltending and defense.

  7. lol Who are you Ovechkins brother? You think because his friend is Kovalchuk he doesnt want to beat him? Ovechkin is a gamer

  8. If Atlanta wins tonight, the pressure isn’t just on Tampa. assuming that Tampa can beat the Caps @ home, then it’s BIG time on the Habs. Atlanta wins tonight and beats Florida tomarrow then the Habs have to get at least one point @ New Jersey or they get BOUNCED. they would both have 93 points BUT the Thrashers would have 43 wins to the Habs 42 and that’s the tiebreaker.

  9. David,

    Are there any teams that would have an easier first series if they loose or tie tonight or tomorrow e.g. not having to travel to Canada for the opening round?

    And/or is there a situation where, if they get a higher seed, they get home advantage but other factors balance it, so it’s not important.

    For example, if San Jose looses, do they then have to meet Calgary in the first round instead of Dallas? Is there any team that prefers playing as the underdog or on the road?

    A lot of questions here, so an anwser to the second question would be enough.

  10. San Jose has 5th spot locked up and they will play Nashville in the first round. Detroit will play Edmonton in the first round too. The only question in the west is whether which order Colorado and Anaheim finish up for 6th and 7th spot. The 7th place team will play Dallas and the 6th place team will play Calgary. Anaheim gets 6th with a win or an OT loss or a Colorado loss while Colorado gets 6th with a win and an Anaheim loss. I am not sure if one would rather play Calgary or Dallas. Dallas has better offense but Kipprusoff can be unbeatable in goal for Calgary. I’d probably lean towards wanting to play Dallas but only because Calgary plays more physical and if you did happen to win the first round you are likely to be healthier after playing Dallas than Calgary.

    In the east there is still a lot still to be determined. The only certainty is that Buffalo will get the 4th seed. Ottawa and Carolina still have to figure out who wants to be the first seed and who gets second. Philadelphia, New Jersey and NY Rangers have to battle it out for 3rd, 5th and 6th seeds. And Montreal, Tampa and Atlanta have to figure out who gets 7th and 8th spot.

    In the east, no matter what happens I do not want to face New Jersey. They are playing awesome right now and have the best and most experienced goaltending in the east. With Hasek looking like he won’t be playing even Ottawa might be a better opponent to play than the Devils. That said I expect Ottawa and Carolina to be tough in the playoffs.

    Once the playoff matchups are set I’ll post my predictions for each series.

  11. just found out Hasek a no go for tomorrow, and prolly round one .. it’s panic time

    With a hurt Ray Emery and a useless Mike Morrison … Ottawa is SOL

  12. As a Russian I think that a friendship would not stop Ovechkin to score tonight, you’ll see, because, for instance, he is a Russian _in America_.

    Of course it is not OK when only one player should make everything for a team. I remember last season one 1000-year-old russian city built a “dream-team” from NHL players to capture the championship for its birthday. They have won nothing there! This season they have got it without superstars! Why you are seaking a MVP in looser’s teams? Just because they are so bright on such a poor background?

  13. The good news is that the Sens have a ton of experience choking in the playoffs….too bad for them….this is the one year they don’t have to worry facing the Leafs….maybe they should have hung onto Lalime lol

  14. It’s too bad John. I really thought there were moments during the year where Ottawa seemed unbeatable and destined to win the Cup. But their poor play of late and especially heading into the playoffs is a cause for concern. I bleed blue and white but if my team is not in I still root for Canadian teams. I am still hoping for a Ottawa vs Calgary Cup final. Now if Hasek doesn’t return I don’t think Emery is the guy who can carry them through. Hopefully he will prove me wrong. What is the mood like in Ottawa now that this news has come out?

  15. I haven’t heard a lot out of Ottawa, but i think Sens fans have to be concerned with the goaltending issue.

    The slump they’ve been in wasn’t as bad as it looked because they had so many players out of the line-up who have returned and are nearing 100 percent.

    Ray Emery is hurt, with a bad hip, and has been ineffective since the injury.

    His back-up Morrison is useless.

    The Hasek thing should be no surprise but it is because we’d been hearing he was getting close, but lets face it, he’s over 40, and hasn’t played since the Olympics.

    If they run into a team with a hot goaltender, it might get ugly.

  16. Thanks David,

    Lots of info in that post, along with the answers to my questions. Looking forward to your playoff predictions.

  17. ya… atlanta lost a must win… but what i said is true, if you watched to olympics and the ovechkin interview you would know kovalchuk is one of ovechkins fav players!!
    Atl defense couldnt hold it together!

  18. ATL was pathetic tonight especially Hossa who missed a two-on-one open net shorthanded opportunity and was called for stupid a penalty. They should be ashamed of themselves losing to the pathetic Caps. They were shameful.

  19. For what its worth, Florida is a good play tomorrow. Now that Thrashers are done, i would take the Panthers. Rested team against a Thrashers emotional let down, poor goal tending. Just my thoughts. Anyone else have opinions on this match up?

  20. It would have been a hell of a play if Atl won! It would be tough to ask for Atl to win back to back nights at that intensity.

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