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Game Predictions 3/11/2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Colorado vs. Atlanta – The Foppa Opera continues – will he play or won’t he?  I’m a classically trained musician.  I’ve seen operas, and I’ve seen the Forsberg drama firsthand here in Philly.  Let me put out there that any composer looking for a topic should think about Foppa because there’s enough flopping around to fill hours.

But despite the numerous injuries to the Colorado club, Atlanta is a team in deeper trouble.  Just check out this quote from goaltender Kari Lehtonen: “It’s just frustrating.  I don’t even remember when I won a game last.  There’s only so much you can take of this.”  Not a good mental condition for the last line of defense to have.  –  AVALANCHE

Philadelphia vs. Toronto – Leafs Nation sees this home-and-home series as crucial to Toronto’s playoff hopes.  The Leafs certainly have the special teams to battle down to the wire, and Mats Sundin is more than capable of carrying a team.  However, with Philadelphia gaining confidence by the day – especially with the return of veteran defenseman Derian Hatch – I doubt Toronto will grab all 4 points.  – FLYERS

New Jersey vs. Montreal – Eastern Conference final, anyone?  Montreal won in the last meeting between these two teams with Carey Price in net.  They, unlike the Flyers, are capable of beating Brodeur.  – DEVILS

Boston vs. Ottawa – Theme of this game: wounded leadership.  Alfredsson has been out for a while, and his team plays horrendous hockey without him.  Chara left Saturday’s game with an injury, returning just long enough to score on Washington’s Cristobal Huet on a power play slapshot.  These squads heavily rely on their leaders, and winning may come down to which is healthier.  – BRUINS

NY Islanders vs. Tampa Bay – The only player for the Lightning who has scored on DiPietro this season now plays for Dallas.  That is no recipe for success.  – ISLANDERS

Chicago vs. Detroit – Detroit, for all its dominance in the NHL this season, is only 9-9-2 against teams in the Central Division.  And Chicago has already beaten the Red Wings twice at the Joe this year.  Frankly, I think Toews and Kane are the most dominant young pairing in the league – even better than Ovechkin-Backstrom.  – BLACKHAWKS

San Jose vs. Nashville – SHARKS

St. Louis vs. Edmonton – OILERS

Anaheim vs. Phoenix – Yes, I am choosing the underdog here.  Anaheim is at their best when they use their physicality to slow down the opposition.  But we’ve seen teams beat them with a combination of solid defense and skating.   The Coyotes do struggle at home, but they’ve had the Ducks number all year.  I expect some confidence for these young guys, and that can work wonders.  – COYOTES

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