Happy Friday THUNDERBLOG Fans! It’s been a big week here. We’ve added The Iceman to our ranks, check out his Sit’em Start’em piece. I wanted to post this NHL Update yesterday right after the Flyers Update, but other stuff got in the way; ie. work.
My Pick: Tampa Bay on the road over Carolina; Result: Lightning 3 – Hurricanes 0
My Pick: Boston on the road over NY Islanders; Result: Islanders 3 – Bruins 1
My Pick: San Jose at home over Phoenix in OT; Result: Coyotes 3 – Sharks 2 (SO)
My Pick: Capitals at home over NY Islanders; Result: Capitals 6 – Islanders 2
2-2 for the week again, 4-4 Overall
Games of the Week:
I wanted to include last night’s Canucks/Sharks game, and it did not disappoint. Vancouver Goalie Roberto Luongo is showing that he is still a reliable goaltender. He has a 2.23 GAA, good enough for 11th in the league. He outmatched Antti Niemi last night as the Canucks downed the Sharks 4 – 2.
Toronto Maple Leafs (20 Points) @ Boston Bruins (19 Points); Tomorrow at 7:00 – This is the first matchup between these Original Six foes since the Bruins’ maraculous comeback in Game 7 of the playoffs last season. Both teams are very evenly matched. Their goal differentials are almost indentical; Toronto is scoring more goals, but Boston’s defense is a stonewall. The Bruins have only let in more than two goals in one game this season. The Leafs are playing the Devils tonight so they could be riding some momentum into Boston. Either way, this game will be great. My Pick: Toronto
Vancouver Canucks (24 Points) Trip to Southern California: @ Los Angeles Kings (20 Points) Tomorrow at 10:00 AND @ Anaheim Ducks (27 Points) Sunday at 8:00 – The Canucks have a big weekend coming off that win in San Jose last night. Both LA and Anaheim are very good at home, the Ducks being undefeated so far, while Vancouver is one of the best teams on the road. If the Cnaucks’ high-powered offense can fire away on both LA’s Jonathan Quick and matchup against the surprisingly great Anaheim offense, Vancouver could be in first on Monday. My Picks: Vancouver over LA on Saturday but Anaheim over Vancouver on Sunday
Tampa Bay Lightning (22 Points) @ Boston Bruins (19 Points); Monday at 1 – Offense versus Defense. The X-Factor here is the Lightning defense, which has been great to start the year, excpet against the Bruins. This is the third game between these division foes, Boston winning both 3 – 1 and 5 – 0. The Lightning are currently on a hot-streak and it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll fair in Boston in this Veteran’s Day matinee. My Pick: Boston
MVP of the Week: Alex Ovechkin (3 Goals, 1 Assist): Ovi missed two of the four Capitals games this week with an upper body injury. He returned to the lineup on Tuesday netting two goals against the Islanders and one more last night. He still trails St. Louis’ Alexander Steen for the league lead, despite missing those two games.
Goal of the Week: Pavel Datsyuk November 7 vs. Dallas: Who but Datsyuk would take my first Goal of the Week honors?