This Hockey Survivor Pool (the original) just refuses to end. While Mike puts together a contingency plan in case our three contestants run out of teams to choose from, let’s take a look at this week’s matchups.
Keep in mind that Vancouver, Tampa Bay, Washington, San Jose, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Atlanta are off the table for all three of our remaining contestants, so short of picking some big underdogs to outright win, the choices are pretty slim.
Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Saturday, 7:00 Eastern)
Pittsburgh has done an admirable job holding it together without Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, but their lack of depth is starting to shine through. The Pens have won just three of their last ten, and they roll into Beantown to face a streaking Bruins team that has won six straight.
Not only are the Bruins on a tear, but they are the NHL’s leaders in goals against. The B’s have allowed just 148 goals so far this year. This doesn’t bode well for a Pens team that is missing its two best offensive players.
Prediction: Bruins win 4-1
Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers (Saturday, 10:00)
In a battle of two of the NHL’s worst teams, the Avs get a slight edge. They still have most of the core that made it to the playoffs last year, and can at least boast a couple of legit offensive stars in Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny. The Oilers are still too erratic, and frighteningly thin on D as long as Ryan Whitney is out. Taylor Hall injured his ankle in their game Thursday and is questionable. Dealing Dustin Penner won’t help them this year, but I can’t help but marvel at how much Steve Tambellini was able to fetch for the one dimensional winger.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-3