Ottawa Senators(19-25-9) vs Toronto Maple Leafs(32-19-5)
Ottawa has been causing some top teams in the leagues a bit of a headache lately, beating the Devils. Flyers, Predators, and Anaheim within the last the five games. We expected the Senators to play like this all season unfortunately with some inconsistent goaltending and mediocre offensive production, the Senators are well out of a playoff spot and currently in the basement of the league. The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, have been enjoying a bit more success, with a little offensive help and Frederick Anderson playing his best the Leafs have found themselves 7-2-1 in their last ten. This won’t be an easy game for Toronto though a cross-Canadian rivalry like this one these two date way back and the history is rich here. On the season series, Ottawa holds the advantage 2-1, the Senators beat the Leafs on the road exactly a month ago. It would be a shame to see the Leafs drop the season series 3-1 to one of the worst in the league, which is why I think we can see a Leafs win. Playing much better as of late, a healthy lineup and solid goaltender, the Leafs will come away with this one. Currently, 16-8-2 on home ice and the Senators are 7-14-4 on the road. I like the Leafs tonight, who wouldn’t.
Nashville Predators(32-12-9) vs Montreal Canadiens(22-26-6)
The history we know about these two is the trade of Shea Weber for PK Subban, which may still be leaving some scratching their heads in Montreal. Despite Weber’s Norris trophy defensive play year in and year out, Subban has a solid number of years on him and definitely possessed more upside. Look at Subban now leading the Predators in points, a top team in the NHL and playing some of his best hockey as he inches in on the Norris trophy. The Predators are coming into this game off a tough loss to Ottawa Thursday night, a bad team, a bad loss and now they face another bottom of the pack Atlantic team. On the road should not be too hard for Nashville, they are well rested and definitely possess the depth and talent to get it done. The Canadiens, on the other hand, have not seen any success this season a very streaky team that showed small glimpses of turning their season around to eventually fall off. The Canadiens are 14-10-5 on home ice and 4-6-0 in their last ten coming off a loss to Philadelphia Thursday night. I think we have to favor the Predators, all around better team, coming off a terrible loss and looking to regain composure as they head home to play St. Louis and Calgary next week. Going Predators.
Los Angeles Kings(30-19-5) vs Tampa Bay Lightning(37-14-3)
Luckily the Lightning slotted five home on the Canucks, gives them a little confidence booster and they now return to home ice to welcome the Kings. The Kings are coming into this game on back to back, but the travel was not too far as they played Florida Friday night. In which they won with ease and are starting to get back to the Kings hockey we saw earlier in the year. The Kings are on a three-game win streak and have taken the second spot in the Pacific division with the Flames lose Friday night. In their last ten, the Kings are 6-4-0, with a road record of 16-10-2. The Lightning are coming into this game off a win but before that they have not been playing like the number one NHL team we know, they struggled to score and string together wins over their last ten as they are 6-4-0 in their last ten, probably the most losses in a 10 game stretch the Lightning have lost all year. This team is 100 percent a Stanley Cup contender, knocking off a Western Conference opponent that is also making a push for Lord Stanley is crucial. These two met once before in the beginning of the season on Kings home ice where the Lighting won 5-2. Do we see the Kings return the favor three months later and beat the Lighting on home ice? Doubtful. Staying with the Lighting tonight.
New Jersey Devils(27-18-8) vs Columbus Blue Jackets(27-23-4)
Man, why is nobody talking about that fact the Blue Jackets have now dropped out of a playoff spot, lost 7 of their last ten and are on a four-game losing streak. This team once thought to be a Stanley Cup contending team and now fast forward a month of poor play and they are looking like a bubble a playoff team. I am not sure what is contributing to this teams lack of success but they must figure it out soon before things start to slip away. The Devils are another team playing mediocre hockey as of late and luckily have been able to stay within in a wild card spot due to other Metro teams playing like crap. The Devils are currently a point ahead of Philadelphia for the three seed in the Metro and Philly plays Arizona tonight, so you better believe the Devils know that. Over their last ten, the Devils are 4-6-0 on a two-game losing streak. It has not helped that Corey Schneider has been out and Keith Kinkaid has started a majority of these games recently. And Kinkaid will get the start tonight, I don’t have much confidence in this guy as he has started in now 17 games and has 3.12 goals against. Not something you want to take on the road with you and hopefully win. As bad as the Blue Jackets have been I think they win tonight, they can’t lose five straight or all the wheels will fall off the bus. Going Jackets.
Chicago Blackhawks(24-22-8) vs Minnesota Wild(29-19-6)
The Wild are coming off a terrible loss to the Coyotes, a game where they let a bad team come from behind and score four unanswered goals. Not something you want to see out of a team contending for a playoff spot. The Blackhawks have also been terrible as of late though and all season a matter of fact, they did state they are not buying any rentals at the deadline so their youth of Schmaltz, Debrincat, and Ducalir will be seeing more time now. The Blackhawks are out of a playoff spot 100 percent and are 2-6-2 in their last ten, on a two-game losing streak and post a 12-10-5 away record. The Wild, on the other hand, are battling for a playoff spot and are 6-2-2 in their last ten. These two have met four times this season already and the final meeting comes tonight. The series is tied at 2-2, a win tonight determines the season series winner. Play it like a playoff game Chicago have something to play for at least. Still, I don’t see the Wild coming out slow or bad this game after coming off a terrible loss the other night. Regroup, refocus and the Wild take this one tonight.
Other games on tonight…
Sabres vs Bruins: NEXT
Flyers vs Coyotes: Flyers
Avalanche vs Hurricanes: Hurricanes
Oilers vs Sharks: Sharks