Much, much better effort Saturday night.
The Wild beat the BJs 3-2. Brent Burns had the GWG in the third off a nice pinch and a sweet look from PMB. The "second" line of PMB, Rolston and Belanger has been on fire in the first two games. The Gaby/Demo/warm body line (it was Parrish Saturday) was much more involved than it sounded like they were on Thursday, but no goals. Even Skoula only had one mistake.
For the BJs, Rick Nash looked very strong, and I thought Nik Zherdev also played pretty well. I had "scouted" the BJs Friday night when they played the Fowl, and Nash was also a beast in that game. Big kid, tons of skills. All this talk about the Wild needing a #1 center...what about Sergei Fedorov? He's a UFA after this season, but he's making $6.08M right now and he's 37...he's obviously very strong defensively...?? I have absolutely NOTHING to back that up. All I'm saying is that he jumped out at me as a guy who could fill that #1 center spot pretty nicely. I wouldn't necessarily even want them to sign him beyond this season...but if we are one guy away at the deadline, and the BJs are out of it by then...
The Grease are in town Wednesday for the first of our 27 meetings this season.
BOTTOM LINE: Wild showed much more what their true capability is. Love the second line, where's the first?
STUD: Belanger had his first goal for the Wild, looks fast and involved on both ends of the rink.
DUD: Foy. Didn't play poorly, per se, just didn't play well. He just doesn't have the margin for error to not contribute.
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Sports Book Picks (SBP) update
For the record, I lost the Vancouver pick from Friday, and I bet three games on Saturday, going 2-1.
I took the Lightning against Atlanta (win), the Wild against Columbus (win) and the Flames against Vancouver (loss).
My next picks aren't until Thursday's games. (Has anyone figured out my "system" yet?)
Season record: 3-2
Season winning %: 0.600
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Out of Town Update
*The Avs' Paul Stastny is off to a red-hot start.
*I heard Brian Burke on HNIC radio (Sirius, channel 122 from 4-6 M-F) justifying his team's early schedule. Specifically, he took responsibility for the fact that they played three road games between returning from London (where one of the games was also a road game) and their season North American home opener on Wednesday the 10th. His point, and I admit it makes sense, was that as long as they had to travel across all those time zones anyway, they might as well knock off four road games. That allowed them to not have to make those trips later in the season. He said that anytime you can reduce the overall travel burden on your team it's a good thing. Fair enough. The Fowl played in Detroit, Columbus and Pittsburgh. Again, I can see the rationale. But now that they've started 1-3, and have played either two or three more games than everyone else in the division, you wonder if the Kings didn't choose the wiser of the two paths by returning directly to LA and re-acclimating. Hindsight being 20:20, of course.
*I watched the Pens get demolished by the 'Canes the other night. M-A Fleury was horrendous in goal, and only lasted two periods. Crosby was, by in large, a non-factor. Those high expectations can be heavy.