We’re on location for this busy Friday of blogging! We’re coming to you live from the beautiful campus of our alma mater, Lehigh University, for Lehigh/Laf and the posts are cranking out! Last night, the Iceman unveiled a new Sit’Em Start’Em. Then Matty D gave us a new, Lehigh/Laf inspired Beer Corner. That was followed by my weekly Flyers Update. And now, the rest of NHL:
My Pick: Toronto on the road over Buffalo; Result: Sabres 3 – Maple Leafs 1
My Pick: Capitals on the road over Detroit; Result: Capitals 4 – Red Wings 3 (SO)
My Pick: Phoenix at home over Tampa Bay; Result: Coyotes 6 – Lightning 3
My Pick: Chicago at home over San Jose; Result: Blackhawks 5 – Sharks 1
My Pick: Penguins at home over Anaheim; Result: Penguins 3 – Ducks 1
My Pick: Capitals at home over Pittsburgh; Result: Penguins 4 – Caps 0
4-2 for the week again, 10-8 Overall. FINALLY over the .500 mark, last week was good for me (see Week 11 Pickem NFL)
Games of the Week:
Florida Panthers (16 Points) @ Calgary Flames (18 Points); Tonight at 9:00 – Battle of the basement. Well, they may not be in last in their respective conferences, but this is a battle between two teams that are playing exactly as everyone thought: horribly. My Pick: Calgary
Washington Capitals (25 Points) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (27 Points); Saturday at 7:00 – The Capitals have been surging as of late going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, but they are not so good on the road. Toronto is one of the best at home. My Pick: Maple Leafs
Anaheim Ducks (33 Points) @ Phoenix Coyotes (32 Points); Saturday at 8 – I’ve picked this exact matchup before, and it’s a good one. The Pacific Division has been extremely entertaining with both of these teams around the top. What is the down side for both of these teams is that like Washington, they’re mediocre on the road. Both teams haven’t lost in regulation in their respective arenas, but are playing sub .500 hockey on the road. My Pick: Phoenix
Like last week, the Pittsburgh Penguins (28 Points) wrap up the GOTWs. They will travel up to Boston to face the Bruins on Monday night and then return home to host the Maple Leafs. Both the Bruins and the Pens have great defenses and high powered offenses. The Penguins need to continue their recent road success as the are 5-5-0 on the road for the season. On Wednesday, they’ll hope for it to be business as usual against the Leafs. Toronto just doesn’t want to fall behind too early. It’s extremely tough to claw your way back into the game once Crosby and Malkin start lighting the lamp. I hate to say this but I’m picking the Penguins in both games.
MVP of the Week: Braden Holtby WAS (2-1-0, 116 Saves): My first goalie MVP! The Capitals went 2-1-0 on the week, largely due to this guy. Holtby saw a total of 124 shots in that three game span. Aside from the game against Pittsburgh, the guy has keep his composure tremendously. Washington was down 3-1 in Detroit last Friday but this guy kept his head on a swivel and kept his team in it.
Goal of the Week: Jonathan Toews November 21 vs. Winnipeg:
Thanks to NHL Video for that.
I snubbed the Toews shootout goal from the honor last week but this is absolute filth. Dangling through guys left and right and just sniping the near side glove before the goalie could even tell. Seriously, that glove movement came after the ping, listen for it.
This is 5th Weekly NHL Update which means I have a month of picking in the books. Here’s how I’ve done team-by-team (in terms of the teams that I picked to win):
Anaheim Ducks: 1 for 1
Boston Bruins: 1 for 2
Chicago Blackhawks: 1 for 1
Los Angeles Kings: 1 for 1
Minnesota Wild: 1 for 2
New York Rangers: 0 for 1
Phoneix Coyotes: 1 for 1
Pittsburgh Penguins: 1 for 1
San Jose Sharks: 0 for 1
Tampa Bay Lightning: 1 for 1
Toronto Maple Leafs: 0 for 2
Vancouver Canucks: 0 for 1
Washington Capitals: 2 for 1
That adds up to 10-8. I’m trending upwards though, it’s time to make some moves.