Tag Archives: hockey survivor

Hockey Survivor Pool Picks for Mar. 12: Sabres, Red Wings, Predators

The Hockey Survivor Pool is down to two, and we came under 30 seconds from a three-way split last week, before the Boston Bruins scored on the Pittsburgh Penguins to keep ezcollectibles and markymark2281 alive. Now they go head-to-head in week 17 of the pool, and hopefully they each have at least one of these best bets available.

 
Buffalo Sabres vs. Ottawa Senators (Sunday, 5:00 Eastern)

It’s officially “must-win” time for the Buffalo Sabres who currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes nipping at their heels, the Sabres have been on a roll of late reeling off a 5-1-2 record in their last eight games.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s “must-lose” time for the 29th-ranked Ottawa Senators, but more points at this stage won’t help their cause in acquiring a top selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in June. While Craig Anderson’s stifling play between the pipes for the Sens have made wins easier to come by, the Sabres lead the season series 4-1 and need to continue beating up on weaker opponents to secure a playoff berth.

Prediction: Sabres win 3-1

 
Detroit Red Wings at St. Louis Blues (Saturday, 8:00 Eastern)

The Detroit Red Wings seem like contenders year after year, while the St. Louis Blues seem like pretenders year after year. The 2010-11 season has been no different and despite suspect goaltending, Nick Lidstrom’s Red Wings are again among the NHL’s elite. Look for the ageless wonder to lead his team to a road victory over the 23rd-ranked St. Louis Blues on Saturday night at the Scottrade Center.

Prediction: Red Wings win 4-2

 
Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche (Saturday, 8:00 Eastern)

The Nashville Predators could not have picked a worse time to hit a rough patch. Having won just two of their past nine, Nashville has slipped to 10th-place in an extremely tight Western Conference playoff battle. Fortunately for the sputtering Preds, the abysmal Colorado Avalanche come to town on Saturday having won just one of their past 17, posing an ideal opportunity for a turnaround. The Predators have been awful offensively all season, but the Avalanche have been even worse defensively. One of Shea Weber’s signature slap shots could well be the deciding factor in this matchup of slumping squads.

Prediction: Predators win 3-2

Hockey Survivor Pool Picks for Mar. 5: Bruins, Avalanche

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

Hockey Survivor Pool Picks for Feb. 26: Bruins, Red Wings, Maple Leafs

And then there were three. Yes, we finally had another elimination in our Hockey Survivor Pool last week as Eugenius was sent packing after the Phoenix Coyotes squeaked out a 3-2 victory over his Nashville Predators. Selections get even more dicey this week, so I have scoured over the streaking trends in the NHL during the past month to help shed some light on the “less obvious” favorable matchups this weekend.

 
Boston Bruins at Edmonton Oilers (Sunday, 8:00 Eastern)

The Bruins-Oilers matchup will mark the first meeting between top two 2010 draft picks Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. While Hall has had the better rookie season, it’s Seguin who will likely get the first taste of playoff hockey at the NHL level, as his Bruins have been the far superior team. With a measly 46 points, Hall’s Oilers are the NHL’s basement dwellers and appear to be just a few months away from yet another lottery pick. While the Oilers could be a perennial contender a few years from now, they are presently no more than a team to beat up on.

Prediction: Bruins win 4-1

 
Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Sabres (Saturday, 7:00)

Winners of five of their past six, the Detroit Red Wings appear poised to capture their ninth Central Division title in 10 seasons. Following some abysmal play around the midway point of the season, Red Wings’ goaltender Jimmy Howard has rediscovered his game. Detroit’s offense has also received a substantial boost since Pavel Datsyuk returned from a broken hand eight games ago.

The mediocre Buffalo Sabres have lost three of their last four, and have struggled to find consistency all season long. Superstar netminder Ryan Miller has allowed 13 goals in his past four starts en route to an 0-3-1 record.

Prediction: Red Wings win 4-2

 
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Saturday, 7:00 Eastern)

Under normal circumstances, there is no way I would take the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unfortunately for the Penguins, these are anything but normal circumstances. With Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and several other regulars on the shelf with injuries, the Penguins are mired in a slump, having won just twice in their past nine.

Conversely, the Maple Leafs are red hot with a 7-2-2 record in February. Rookie goaltender James “Optimus Reim” Reimer has been stifling between the pipes, and is making it so that the Leafs don’t have to do much scoring to win games. This is great news for the Leafs, because they’re zero for 10 on the powerplay since Tomas Kaberle’s departure.

Prediction: Maple Leafs win 3-1