Tag: nhl

NHL Picks March 21st 2019

Detroit Red Wings vs St. Louis Blues:

This one should not be too hard for people to decide between. Blues are going to need all the momentum they can get moving into the playoffs. They are coming off a convincing win vs the Oilers Tuesday night and the Red Wings are coming off a win vs the Rangers. Blues are 18-15-2 at home this season and 4-4-2 in their last ten games. They should easily handle the Red Wings with no issues. The over/under is 5.5 and Blues are -360, therefore heavily favorites to win this game. I’d go with the Blues to cover a two-goal spread as well. They are getting Patrick Maroon back on the board, David Perron is back, Jaden Schwartz is red hot. I can see a 5-goal game from St. Louis here.

Winnipeg Jets vs Golden Knights

This is going to be a great game. These two have played two times already this season. The Jets have won both games, one in Winnipeg and one in Vegas. The only downside for Winnipeg is that Connor Hellebyuck will not be in net (probable) as he played Wednesday night and the Jets are on a back to back and the Golden Knights have Marc Andre-Fleury their ace in net. The Jets 7-3-0 in their last ten on a four-game win streak but, Vegas is 9-1-0 in their last ten and on a three-game win streak. The Golden Knights are going to use their quick pace, high tempo hockey to their advantage and probably try to push the game speed on the Jets as the Jets are on back to back going from Anaheim to Vegas in 24 hours. I like Vegas tonight. Probably the under too.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Nashville Predators

The Penguins do not seem like the same team as they have been in the past but they are still a team you do not take lightly. They have lost three-straight now and have scored four goals in those three games. They have Phil Kessel who has been quiet, Jared McCann who has been quiet lately and Evgeni Malkin not producing a lot either. The Predators are on a three-game win streak and coming off a big home win shutout vs the Leafs. As much as the Predators may regarded as the favorite here, I like the Penguins. For some reason something tells me the Penguins come into this game a little over looked by Nashville, they jump out hot and control the tempo and Predators play catch up all game. I see a big game from Malkin and Matt Murray tonight. Going Penguins on the road.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Edmonton Oilers

The Blue Jackets are playing with fire right now. With only 9 games remaining they are barely in a playoff spot, leading Montreal by one point (who play at home tonight) and Flyers by six points. The Blue Jackets need to win this game. And if they do not win here tonight, I could see the Canadiens sneaking in the last wild card spot. The Blue Jackets are 4-5-1 in their last ten and have dropped two straight games. As the Oilers are 6-4-0 in their last ten and on a two game skid as well. The Blue Jackets have a huge advantage here tonight and need to win this game to at least give them some confidence moving forward. I except the Blue Jackets to come out flying and win 4-1.

Arizona Coyotes vs Florida Panthers

The Coyotes are in the same boat as the Blue Jackets. They have dropped two straight and have a one point lead on Minnesota for the last wild card spot. The Coyotes do not get an easy opponent either as the Panthers are a tough team and a very strong offensive tam that loves to shoot the puck from everywhere. We will have to see a great defensive game from Arizona and Darcy Kuemper. The Coyotes manage to get on the Panthers early I think wee an Arizona win but if the game is tight and or tied until the third I like the Panthers. Florida is 18-12-6 at home and 4-4-2 in their last ten as the Coyotes are 18-16-2 on the road and 6-3-1 in their last ten. I like the Coyotes tonight though.

John Tavares and Jeff Carter Reach 700 Point Milestone This Weekend

Not many players can say they reached 700 points in their NHL career, let alone played enough games to reach this milestone. Still, these two Jeff Carter and John Tavares reached the 700-point marker in their NHL careers just a day apart.

Jeff Carter reached career point number 700 with an assist in Saturday’s game vs the Panthers. Carter has played in 969 NHL games, collecting 362 goals and 300 assists at the age of 34-years-old. Drafted 1st round 11th overall in 2003 by the Philadelphia Flyers, Carter spent six seasons with Philadelphia until he was shipped to Columbus in 2011 off-season. Where he played just 39 games for the Blue Jackets until he was sent to Los Angeles mid-way through the season to help the Kings win the Stanley Cup in 2011-12 and again in 2013-14. Carter has now been with L.A. for 7.5 seasons. And unless something changes he will earn his 1000th NHL game with the Kings and finish his time out in L.A. as he is signed until 2022. By 2022 he will be 37-years-old.

John Tavares also earned his 700th NHL point with a goal and an assist in Toronto’s loss to Ottawa Saturday night. Tavares notched also his 40th goal of the season the first time in his career he has tallied 40 in a season. Along with point number 79 in just 72 games this season. Tavares has played in 741 NHL games collecting 700 NHL points, a 0.94 point per game over his career. Tavares has 312 goals and 388 assists in his career. Drafted first overall in 2009 by the New York Islanders and recently leaving the Island this off-season to move back home. As much criticism as Tavares has faced this season he is en route to a hall-of-fame career. At 28-years of age with already 700 points and 741 games it is only likely to assume that Tavares will reach 1000 games and 1000 points in his career.

Looking Back At 2019 NHL Trade Deadline Deals…

Matt Duchene: Since Duchene has came to the Blue Jackets he has been a little quite and so have the Blue Jackets. Since coming to the Jackets Feb. 22 Duchene has 2 goals and 3 assists. He recorded two points on February 23rd and since then he has recorded 1 goal and 2 assists in nine games…

Ryan Dzingel: Also a member of the Senators who was sent to Columbus for a playoff push/Stanley Cup run has been better than Duchene actually. Since coming to Blue Jackets Dzingel has 1 goal and 5 assists in 9 games. Better production compared to Duchene certainly.

Mark Stone: Stone was the big deadline acquisition. Coming to Vegas on February 25th the team has been not only playing better since he arrived but Stone has been a big help it seems too. Stone has 2 goals and 3 assists in 7 games. The Golden Knights are 6-1 with Stone.

Mikael Granlund: This was a trade that came out of left field sort of. The Predators sent over young Kevin Fiala for a more seasoned Granlund. Both play similar styles but Granlund has a bit more experience and the edge over Fiala. Granlund joined the Predators on March 1st. Since then he has 1 goal and 3 assists in 6 games. The Predators since acquiring Granlund are 3-3 through six games.

Kevin Fiala: Fiala was apart of the Granlund trade a 1 for 1 deal that left some confused. Fiala is only 22-years-old and already has some experience in the playoffs. Since joining the Wild on February 25th, Fiala has 2 goals, they also came in the same game. He has 2 points in 8 games and no points in seven of them. The Wild are also 3-5 since acquiring Fiala.

Charlie Coyle: The Coyle trade was a bit of surprise for some fans as the Bruins swapped out their young prospect Ryan Donato for a struggling Charlie Coyle. Since coming to the Bruins on February 20th Coyle has played in 10 games adding 1 goal and 1 assist. The Bruins are 7-4 since adding Coyle.

Ryan Donato: Apart of the Coyle deal, Donato was sent to Minnesota and has enjoyed his time there it seems. He was not seeing regular minutes in Boston like he is Minnesota. Therefore the young forward has thrived. Donato has 2 goals and 7 assists in 11 games. Also to note he had 2 goals and 5 assists in his first five-games with Minnesota.

Wayne Simmonds: Simmonds was another deadline deal for the Predators and another forward who bolstered their already deep roster and make their power play even more of a threat. Simmonds tough and gritty style is much needed when it comes playoff time. Simmonds has played in 7 games with the Predators and only has one assists so far. The Predators are also 3-4 since adding both Granlund and Simmonds.

Kevin Hayes: The Jets big deadline acquisition was adding depth down the middle and to their already stacked offense. Hayes was enjoying a career year in New York. He was sent to Winnipeg at the deadline and has played in 8 games, in those eight games he has 2 goals and 2 assists. The Jets are also 4-4 since acquiring Hayes.

Jake Muzzin: Muzzin was not a deadline deal but was a big trade that was around the deadline time frame. He has spent already a month on the time and has played in 21 games for the Leafs. In those 21 games the Leafs are 13-6-2 in that span, Muzzin has 2 goals and 10 assists with a +5 rating.

Nick Bjugstad/Jared McCann: The two came as a package, that is why they are together. McCann has surprisingly been the more successful one in Pittsburgh but Bjugstad still has been of significance to the team. Bjugstad has 7 goals and 4 assists in 21 games. McCann has 9 goals and 4 assists in 21 games. McCann’s share has come in the last nine games where has collected 6 goals and four assists. Bjugstad’s production has been spread out pretty evenly during his time in Pittsburgh though.

Predicting Eastern Conference Wild Card Teams

The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is extremely close and looking to come down to the wire. As of now the Hurricanes have the first spot (83 pts), Blue Jackets second spot (81 pts) tied with Montreal (81 pts) with the Flyers at 76 points.

As of now there are 12 games remaining for the Blue Jackets and Canadiens, and 13 remaining for the Hurricanes and Flyers. Let’s take a look at each teams schedule.

Carolina Hurricanes playoff outlook

The Hurricanes have 8 home games remaining and 5 away games remaining. The Hurricanes are 18-11-4 at home and 20-13-3 on the road. The host the Sabres, Penguins, Lightning, Wild, Canadiens, Capitals, Flyers and Devils. On the road vs the Blue Jackets, Capitals, Penguins, Leafs, Flyers. The Hurricanes play 8 playoff contending or definite playoff teams. They play two non-playoff teams (Devils, Sabres) in which they are 2-0 vs Buffalo and 1-2 vs New Jersey this season. Grading the Hurricanes strength of schedule one being easy, ten being difficult. We can probably agree on a 7.5/8 for them. The Lightning, Capitals, Penguins are top teams in the NHL. The Blue Jackets and Canadiens are going to be two blood bath games with the playoff implications it will hold. The Hurricanes can pull out 18 of the 26 potential points. Pushing them to 101 points on the season (around that mark of 99-101).

Columbus Blue Jackets have four home games remaining and seven away games remaining. The Blue Jackets 19-16-2 at home and 20-12-1 on the road. Clearly they play a lot better on the road, so seven road games may help. The Blue Jackets have Carolina, Boston, Flames, Edmonton, Islanders, Canadiens, Canucks, Nashville, Buffalo, Boston, Rangers, Ottawa. The Blue Jackets may have the easiest schedule of the four potential wild card teams. Columbus play five non-playoff teams and six playoff teams. Therefore the five non-playoff games should be a guaranteed two points at this point in the season. The Blue Jackets should definitely get 10 points there making it 91 on the season and probably pull out a few wins vs the playoff teams they play. Blue Jackets should finish with 100-102 points. There strength of schedule is a six.

Montreal has six road games and six home games remaining. The Canaidens have a 20-11-4 home record and 17-15-3 record on the road. The Canadiens play the Islanders, Blackhawks, Flyers, Islanders, Sabres, Hurricanes, Panthers, Blue Jackets, Jets, Lightning, Capitals, Leafs. The Canadiens have nine game vs playoff teams and three games vs non playoff teams. With potential of 24 points the Canadiens will take 12 points in my opinion possibly more. Pushing them to 93 points, they can probably get around 95-96 points but the Canadiens have a very tough schedule and have not been playing all that well lately. I would say they have a 8 strength of schedule, their non playoff teams they play are no slumps too which makes it more difficult.

Philadelphia Flyers have seven home games remaining and six road games remaining. They have a 18-13-4 home record and 16-14-4 road record. The Flyers play 10 playoff teams and three non-playoff teams. They play two extremely hot and hungry Western Conference teams at the end of the year and the Capitals two times, Penguins once and Rangers at the end of the year who will not go down lightly. The Flyers have a potential 26 points on the board. I see them taking possibly half of those points or more. I see the Flyers finishing with 96 points or less. They have the most difficult schedule for sure with a 8.5 strength of schedule. Plus they are already 5-7 points behind the two wild card teams right now therefore they will need to win 2-3 more games more than the other teams do which is not going to be easy.

Prediction: Hurricanes and Blue Jackets.

Rangers Alexander Georgiev Proving To Be A Possible #1 In New York

The Rangers recorded yet another loss in extended regulation play. Of the Rangers past 10 games they have lost in a shootout or overtime in five of them. The Rangers dropped a close 3-2 game to the Edmonton Oilers Monday night.

Aside from the Rangers 69th point and 13th overtime loss on the season, Alexander Georgiev the Rangers back up (or is he a backup?) goalie played another tremendous game in between the pipes. Georgiev turned away 30 of the 33 shots he faced in the Oilers game. Aside from the Oilers power play goal and extremely controversial goalie interference goal in the first period. Georgiev shut the door in the second and third period.

Georgiev pushed aside the Oilers 14 second period shots and 10 third period shots. These were not basic saves either, Georgiev was making desperation saves, keeping the Rangers in the game and a sole reason they even picked up a point Monday night.

This was not the only game we have seen Georgiev play well and be the difference maker for the Rangers this season. In his last five starts Georgiev has allowed 12 goals on 118 shots. On the season Georgiev has a 10-11-3 record, 3.03 save percentage and .907 save percentage.

His most recent loss vs Dallas, Georgiev showed excellence yet again. Making 31 saves in a Rangers 1-0 loss. Or perhaps his 55 save performance vs Toronto when the Rangers won on February 10th. His 24 save performance vs the Islanders on January 12th. Or when he shutout the Islanders on November 21st making 29 saves leading the Rangers to their first win in eight games vs the Islanders.

Georgiev has strung together some unreal games this season. The only issue we have seen in his game. When he lets in 2-3 goals early he often continues down that road and blows up for 5+ goals against. It is not all his fault for allowing 5+ goals in five games this season and four goals against in four games this season. But aside from a few bad games, Georgiev has shown that in two or more years he has the potential to be a #1 goaltender for the Rangers.

With the Rangers splitting time between Lundqvist and Georgiev it has given him a major confidence booster. This is only a positive as it is something to look forward on a down year for fans. If Georgiev continues to play this way it will relieve a ton of stress and anxiety from fans when Lundqvist retires and the Rangers need a number one.

St. Louis Blues G Jordan Binnington The New Andrew Hammond (Aka Hamburglar)?

Jordan Binnington, the 25-year-old, 2011 3rd round pick has been quite the story this season. Binnington came onto the Blues this season when the Blues were in last place and looking to be a guaranteed top-5 draft pick for this years NHL draft.

Well, the one thing the Blues lacked was goaltending and it played a major role in their failures in the early part of the season. Along came Jordan Binnington. Much like the Ottawa Senators and Andrew Hammond aka “The Hamburglar” when he took the league by storm from mid-February to early April in 2015. Hammond was one of the hottest goalies in the league and completely changed the fate of the Senators season during his run. During his run when the Senators had Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner sidelined, Hammond posted a 20-1-2 record, 1.79 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. Hammond propelled the Senators into the playoffs placing them fourth in the division that year but they eventually lost to Montreal 4-2 in the first round.

Well, it seems Jordan Binnington is on that same type of run. Right now Binnington is 15-2-0 with a 1.61 goals against, .936 save percentage in 18 games started. He earned NHL star of the week accolades just two weeks ago and just earned Rookie of the Month for February.

But, I don’t think the Blues want Binnington to be the next “Hamburglar”. After Hammond had his famed season he went onto post a 7-11-4 record with a 2.65 GAA and .914 save percentage the following season. And since his 2014-15 storied season he has played in 26 games total.

Either way Binnington has helped shoot the Blues back into playoff contention, in the top three in the difficult Central division and now a legitimate playoff team that many will over look. Binnington continues his unbelievable season, he has lost 1 game in the last month and 12 starts. Following his first lost of the season on Jan. 21, Binnington went to win the next nine games he played in. Binnington seems to show an uncanny amount of confidence in net and with the media after and before games. The 25-year-old phenomenon continues to impress and hopefully for the Blues he is not just a one hit wonder.

My Reaction Following John Tavares Return To Long Island

As we all know by now the Islanders beat the Leafs 6-1 and John Tavares return to the Coliseum was a very hostile environment. Islanders fans, nearly all of them did not take Tavares return lightly. The stadium was filled with Islander fans wearing Tavares jersey with his name crossed out or written over his name on the back, the emotion was high but the hatred was even higher. I attended the game in section 234, wearing a Tavares jersey without his name crossed out.

Wearing a Tavares jersey without his name crossed out was essentially equivalent to wearing, pink shoes, a pink hat, pink shirt and pants. You stuck out like a sore thumb and everyone was looking at you and laughing. I may have been better off and safer wearing a Rangers jersey to this game. I had numerous fans come up to me and say “why are you wearing that?” or “get a new jersey he is not on the team anymore” or people talking behind my back saying “you see this non Islander fan wearing a Tavares jersey, what a troll”.

My takeaway from this game though and after hearing a lot of Islander fans opinions. 90% of Islanders fans are clues about the game of hockey, I am convinced a majority of the fan base has never stepped foot on ice, played hockey, or played competitively before in there life. The Islanders fan base is the fan base that picked up hockey when they were about 30+ years old, skated a few times play in the men’s league C division and think they could have made it to the NHL or be a coach if “they got their chance”. I have never been surrounded by so many clueless fans before in my life the lack of hockey knowledge and sense by these fans was embarrassing. The Islanders fan base is the fan base that scream shoot any time the player holds onto the puck for more than 2 seconds in the offensive zone. Say hit anytime someone goes in a corner and cheer for every bump or nudge on the ice and say skate anytime a player looks to be skating at half speed. Section 234 really made me think twice about the Islanders fan base…

More importantly. I understand I only heard/saw a handful of Islanders fans but the more important part of this discussion. The Islanders hatred for John Tavares. Yes, he left, yes “he lied”, yes he did not get traded so you can get assets for him. We get it Islanders fan he said he was going to stay forever but did not. He left the organization but how can you put all the blame on him. I can guarantee if Lou Lamoriello was the GM last season and this was the case, Lou would have made Tavares tell him what he was going to do and figure out his intentions.

The blame has to be partially on Garth Snow he did not find out what Tavares was doing or demand him to give the Islanders an answer therefore he can trade him. Lou would have made Tavares give them an answer. Lou would have said you have until x date to give us an answer or we are moving on from you. The same thing is happening in Columbus right now but you know what the Blue Jackets GM is doing he is not sitting there with his hands tied and slucking about the situation. He is building around Panarin to give him a ton of players to work with, making the Blue Jackets a better team and adding top players therefore if Panarin does walk, they will be able to re-sign Duchene and Dzingel so the walking of Panarin will not be so painful.

I was just completely blown away by the fact that no one, or very few Islanders fan in attendance did not even clap for the tribute video. I was blown away by the fact that Islanders fan chanted “JT sucks” the whole game. The Islanders are so bitter that he “lied” to them. Jeez, I guess these people never got lied to before. They are making it like Tavares killed someone in their family and got away with it. Islanders fan need to move on, 90% of these fans would not be fans of the team if it was not for Tavares. Most of them would not know the game if it was not for Tavares. No one off of Long Island would know what the Islanders are if it was not for Tavares. Also what was even more disgusting was some fans throwing snakes at Tavares while he was warming up and throwing a jersey at him as he was exiting the ice towards the locker room.

Look at the LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown situation both star players, won super bowls with them and just picked up and left. Look at the Ilya Kovalchuk situation, signs a 13 year contract and leaves after like 3 years. The Islanders fan base took a major hit last night and I definitely do not have the same respect for them as I once did.