Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's games

Calgary (3-3-0) at Columbus (3-2-0), 7 p.m. EDT

The Blue Jackets have won two straight games. Steve Mason played very well in his last start, a 3-1 win over Anaheim, and (assuming he starts) he faces an offense that is the worst in the league. Naturally, I expect a blow to my fantasy team. Calgary 4, Columbus 1

Ottawa (1-4-1) at Buffalo (2-4-1), 7:30 p.m.

The "Ugh" game of the night. Two playoff teams from a year ago who have only eight points through 13 games between them. The Senators pretty much can't score, can't stop the puck, can't kill penalties, and their goalies have a Toskala-like reaction when shots go their way. The Sabres snapped a five-game losing streak and this is a big game. After tonight, Buffalo goes on a four-game road trip, which includes New Jersey, Philadelphia and Dallas. The Sabres might be in big trouble in a week. Buffalo 3, Ottawa 2

Tampa Bay (4-1-1) at Atlanta (3-3-0), 7:30 p.m.

The Lightning are still looking for either Mike Smith or Dan Ellis to establish himself as the go-to goalie. Both players have three starts but their numbers are not pretty. Tampa Bay is 29th in goals against per game. The good thing is, the Lightning have the offense to pick up their goalies. Atlanta's modest two-game win streak came to an end, and in an ugly fashion (the Thrashers were out-shot 42-18). The Thrashers' defense is Anaheim-esque, having given up at least 31 shots in each game. Chris Mason needs to steal some games. Tampa Bay 5, Atlanta 2

Chicago (5-2-1) at St. Louis (2-1-2), 8 p.m.

The Blackhawks might be hitting their stride, winners of four straight. Marty Turco is playing well and has had to, as Chicago's defense isn't as strong as it was last season. The Blues are a team going in the different direction. After winning their first two games, they've dropped three straight, including an overtime defeat to Chicago. Turning that into a positive, two of St. Louis' losses were by one goal and the other was in a shootout, so the Blues aren't getting blown out. St. Louis 3, Chicago 2

Minnesota (3-2-1) at Vancouver (2-3-2), 10 p.m.

Am I the only one who thinks the Wild should trade for Derek Boogaard for just one game and have him go after a Canucks fan? Anyway, the numbers indicate Minnesota is even better since the last game. The Wild are third in goals per game, seventh in goals against and their power play is unstoppable. Plus they throttled the Canucks just a few days ago. Vancouver and Roberto Luongo bounced back nicely, holding Chicago to one goal but they still lost. However, they're at home now where they've gotten their only two wins and have given up just three goals in three games. Vancouver 4, Minnesota 2

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