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Game Predictions 3/15/2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Philadelphia vs. Boston – Mike Richards returns for what should be the fourth and final heated meeting between these teams.  But unlike previous contests, the emotions will come from the standings rather than controversial plays.  Boston has sunk like the Titanic in the last two weeks, leaving the door open for the Flyers to take over the seventh spot.  – FLYERS

Nashville vs. Detroit – Potential first round matchup if the Preds can overtake the Canucks for the final spot in the West.  By the way, Detroit has now clinched the Central Division.  They are the only team in the NHL to have clinched anything, and thus the only ones not jostling for position.  – RED WINGS

New Jersey vs. Colorado – A rare cross-conference meeting this late in the season.  Colorado has been on fire, winning 8 of their last 9 games – a great stat especially in light of the many injuries plaguing this team.  But with Forsberg still doubtful for today (can anyone say deja vu all over again?) and Smyth out, their offense may be in trouble against the best goaltender in the legaue  – DEVILS

Buffalo vs. Toronto – A must-win game for both teams.  Toronto essentially has to win every game from now to the end of the season in order to make the playoffs.  A win tonight would bring them within one point of the 9th place Sabres.  They do play well when desperate, and Buffalo is home of the walking wounded at this point.  – SABRES

NY Islanders vs. Montreal – CANADIENS

Vancouver vs. Dallas  – STARS

NY Rangers vs. Tampa Bay – I don’t know if this is wishful thinking on my part (as a Flyers fan, I hate the Rangers), but I sense that Tampa could win this game.  Or maybe it’s just indigestion.  – LIGHTNING

Los Angeles vs. Minnesota – The Wild need a win if they want to hold on to playoff hopes.  That won’t be easy against the Kings, who are better than their record reflects.  – WILD

Edmonton vs. Phoenix – This one is my game of the night.  Yes, Toronto-Buffalo has playoff implications.  Yes, Detroit-Nashville could be a playoff matchup.  Yes, these teams are out.  But Edmonton and Phoenix are loaded with young talent that can skate like nobody’s business.  Also, the Coyotes aren’t out of playoff contention quite yet.  If they can win down the stretch, other teams could melt down and pave the way for Phoenix.  – COYOTES

St. Louis vs. Anaheim – I’m sure Doug Weight wasn’t thrilled about moving to SoCal earlier in the season.  He has moved around the NHL a lot over the years, and I got the sense he didn’t want to uproot his family again at this late stage in his career.  But he’s definitely got a better shot at the Cup in Anaheim, given the way St. Louis has collapsed since January.  – DUCKS

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