Your morning shot of hockey to go with your coffee.
LAST NIGHT’S SCORES:
Quick Hits today. Here are yesterday’s picks in case you missed them. Asterisk indicates who I picked:
Maple Leafs* edge Sabres 4-3 (SO) – That’s the Maple Leafs’ ninth shootout win of the year, that leads the NHL. The Leafs are under .500 at 24-20-5 and have a -13 goal differential. They currently sit in 4th place in the Atlantic Division, definitely one of the more disappointing first halves in the NHL.
Penguins* down Capitals 4-3 – This was a pretty wild, back-and-forth game. Ovi scored AGAIN, making his mark on “Rivalry Night.” The difference maker in this game was the fact that the Pens outshot the Caps. The thing with Alex Ovechkin is that he takes a ton of shots. Last night, he took 6 of the the 28 Washington Shots, that’s over 20%. Replace Ovi with someone who takes a normal amount of shots, and the Pens outshoot the Caps to an even greater extent.
Ducks annihilate Canucks 9-1 – The Ducks went 6 for 11 on the power play. Torts is probably still yelling at the Canucks for their lack of discipline. They final count for the Canucks was 73 penalty minutes. Granted the Ducks had 31 penalty so this game was just crazy. Corey Perry has continued to be the key for this team. Perry had two goals and two assists last night.
3-0 (!!) last night. 54-46 on the season now.
Highlight of the Night:
The Flyers return home tonight to host the Nashville Predators. These two teams met earlier in the season in Nashville, a game that the Flyers won 3-2 in a shootout back on November 30th. The Flyers’ suffered their first home loss since the middle of November last Saturday but are still 12-8 at the Wells Fargo Center. The Predators are a team that are who we thought they’d be: sub-par. The Preds currently sit at 20-21-7, 6th in the Central Division. They are a team that wants a low-scoring affair, as they have an extremely talented defense. Look out for both Shea Weber, the Preds’ captain, and Seth Jones, the #4 overall pick in last year’s draft who was expected to go #1. The key for the Flyers will be to get on the Preds early. They can do by continuing to stack men in front of the net. With Matt Read back in the lineup, the forward unit is deeper. This game starts at 7pm from the Well Fargo Center.
LET’S GO FLYERS!!!
Ten other games around the league. Three games to lookout for are: Kings @ Blues at 8, Oilers @ Wild at 8, and Bruins @ Stars at 8:30. Blues over Kings: two of the league’s best going at it tonight. High powered offenses and great defenses anchored by great goaltending. Ultimately, this game is in St. Louis, where the Blues are almost unstoppable. Wild over Oilers: The Oilers are in last in the West, easy pick. The real story here is that the Oilers made two key trades. Trading goalie Devan Dubnyk to the Preds for forward Matt Hendricks, adding depth to their forwards. They replaced Dubnyk by acquiring Ben Scrivens from the Kings in exchange for a third round pick. This doesn’t make the Oilers a playoff team this year, no chance at that, but it does help the team. Scrivens doesn’t have experience Dubnyk has, but he did come from a organization that does cater to goalie development. Stars over Bruins: The Stars have an uncanny ability to rock Eastern Conference teams when they come to Dallas.
IN OTHER NEWS: Jamie Langenbrunner announced his retirement today. Langenbrunner, a two-time Stanley Cup Champion and US Olympian, spent his career with the Stars, Devils, and Blues. He captained the Devils as well as the 2010 US Olympic team in Vancouver.