Washington Capitals(30-15-5) vs Pittsburgh Penguins(28-21-3)
Could we possibly see this match up again come April? I sure hope not, these two meet in the playoffs again, I may not watch it. Don’t get me wrong I love a rivalry but this is just getting old. Anyways, the Penguins have been playing much better over the last month, winning eight of their last ten and currently riding a three-game winning streak. Much of that can be credited to Evgeni Malkin’s 12 goals in 12 games or Crosby’s ridiculous point streak, either way the Penguins have climbed into a top three spot and currently trail Washington by six points. The Capitals offense surged by Alex Ovechkin has been the story of this team, they rank within the top ten in the NHL even with a defense consisting of three rookies. Braden Holtby can obviously be credited as well but Ovechkin’s 30 goals in the first half has been the driving factor of this team. Wait I am sorry NORRIS nominee John Carlson has been a huge asset to the Capitals this year playing the fifth most time on ice among defensemen and recording 40 points in 50 games. These two have met now a million times but this year only has consisted of two meetings, and the season series is split 1-1. With the Penguins on home ice and winning 8 of their last ten, I am going Pittsburgh.
San Jose Sharks(26-18-8) vs Columbus Blue Jackets(27-19-4)
I am not as confident as I once was in the Blue Jackets at home they have dropped now three of their last five home games and dropped one recently to Minnesota. The Sharks though are not a great team on the road, posting a 12-9-5 record. Losing Joe Thornton hurts but the shootout loss to Detroit hurts this teams moral and that is the third loss in a row. They play a solid home team 18 wins on home ice is a nice numbers plus the Jackets are moments away from dropping out of a playoff spot(if the Rangers and Islanders remember what hockey is) but the Jackets do have a very versatile offense and young d-core which play a similar game to the Sharks. The Sharks dropping two of their first games back since the All-Star break will spark a fire in this team I just don’t think enough to give Columbus another home loss. Going Columbus.
Detroit Red Wings(20-21-8) vs Carolina Hurricanes(24-19-8)
This has nothing to do with the game but this a great fantasy hockey game I think we see a higher scoring game on one end and a low scoring game on the other. I think the Canes take it to the Red Wings, and Cam Ward has a solid outing tonight. The Hurricanes are now tied for a wild card spot with 56 points and on a three-game win streak. The Red Wings themselves are coming off a shootout win vs San Jose. Carolina has a mix of young forwards and right now a playoff spot may be a stretch but it is within the taking so why not go for it. The Canes want to be a successful team it comes with winning sure games like this. Going Canes.
Vegas Golden Knights(34-12-4) vs Minnesota Wild(27-18-5)
Yeah, we get it the Golden Knights are legit. They cracked the most wins for a first year team, surpassing the Mighty Ducks(33). The Golden Knights have sole possession of 1st place with 72 points leading the Sharks by 12 points. They are making the playoffs period. They also have picked up a point in eight of their last ten games and against a Minnesota team that is not bad, but nothing that is not beatable, I like Vegas. Minnesota is coming off a win over Columbus and have also picked up a point in 8 of their last ten games. They sit one point out of a wild card spot, and the alarming thing with this team not many realize it they have one of the best home records with a 17-4-4 record. Going to be a close one for Vegas, especially coming off a back to back and late night thriller in overtime, a days of travel from Winnipeg to Minnesota won’t be easy. May have to go Minnesota here, don’t take me up on this pick.
Yes, I took every home team, bite me.