Friday, November 26, 2010

After near day off, the NHL returns in almost-full force

After watching Colorado lose to Edmonton (note: I didn't actually watch it), I'm excited for some actual NHL action. Oh, snap! In that game, Taylor Hall scored with 29 seconds left and also had an assist as the Oilers won 3-2. Martin Gerber made a return to the NHL with 35 saves for the win. Matt Duchene had a goal and assist for the Avs.

As for Friday's games, there's 13, so how about another power poll?! The last one was so well received.

1. Tampa Bay (13-7-2) at Washington (15-6-2), 5 p.m. ET

I swear I didn't plan it this way, but the inaugural power preview also featured the Lightning at the Capitals. The difference is this time I no longer believe the Lightning will be a threat to the Capitals' division title but with Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin, plus these teams' questionable (at best) goaltending, the red lights should be on a lot.

Washington 5, Tampa Bay 3

2. Detroit (13-4-2) at Columbus (14-6-0), 7 p.m.

Now here's a fun one. Battle for first in the Central Division. The Red Wings have still been winning (7-2-1 last 10) but they've been giving up some goals. The Blue Jackets are one of the hotter teams in the league, on a five-game winning streak.

Detroit 4, Columbus 2

3. Montreal (14-7-1) at Atlanta (10-9-3), 7:30 p.m., RDS

The Thrashers have been giant killers lately, downing Detroit and Washington in two of their last three games by a combined 10-1 margin. So, watch out, Habs. The funny thing is, Atlanta needed overtime to beat the woeful Islanders. As I said once before, I give up trying to predict this league. (The next line is a prediction. Oh well.)

Montreal 3, Atlanta 1

4. San Jose (10-6-4) at Vancouver (11-7-3), 10 p.m., TSN

Both these teams have hit something of a mediocre stretch but there's a lot of talent on the ice in this one.

Vancouver 4, San Jose 3

5. Chicago (11-11-2) at Anaheim (10-10-3), 4 p.m.

Ditto for this one, though it's a bit worse for the Ducks, who have lost five straight. That's bad, not mediocre. Even though two of those losses were at home, Anaheim is significantly better at home.

Anaheim 3, Chicago 1

6. Ottawa (10-11-1) at Pittsburgh (13-8-2), 1 p.m.

The Penguins are on fire with a 6-0-1 stretch led primarily by Marc-Andre Fleury and Sidney Crosby, who has a 10-game points streak. The Senators always present a tough matchup; plenty of hatred too after three playoff meetings in four years.

Pittsburgh 4, Ottawa 2

7. Calgary (8-11-2) at Philadelphia (15-6-2), 1 p.m.

The Flyers are probably the cream of the East right now. The Flames are the cream of, um, Alberta. Barely.

Philadelphia 5, Calgary 2

8. St. Louis (12-5-3) at Dallas (11-8-1), 8:30 p.m.

At least these two teams are over .500.

St. Louis 2, Dallas 1

9. Carolina (9-10-2) at Boston (12-6-2), noon

The Bruins are good but not entertaining, except for the whacky Tim Thomas. The Hurricanes? Bad.

Boston 3, Carolina 2

10. Rangers (12-10-1) at Florida (9-11-0), 7:30 p.m.
11. Nashville (9-7-4) at Minnesota (10-8-2), 2 p.m.
12. Toronto (8-9-3) at Buffalo (8-12-3), 7:30 p.m., TSN
13. New Jersey (7-13-2) at Islanders (4-12-5), 1 p.m.

I can't think of anything good to say about these matchups, so I'm not even going to try.

New York 4, Florida 1
Nashville 3, Minnesota 2
Toronto 2, Buffalo 1
New Jersey 2, New York 1

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