Saturday, November 10, 2007

500 And More?

Good morning from the High Desert! is still morning here. That being said it is time to enjoy all that is Saturday Night Hockey. The rivals continue to face off against each other and better still...the Hall Of Fame Game is tonight between the Rangers and Maple Leafs. All that really means is that it is only two days till the induction of Scott Stevens as well some guys named Francis, Messier, and MacInnis. It is probably one of the, if not greatest induction classes ever to be seen. However, there is still some hockey to cover. Eleven games that will leave you screaming for more and some battles that could only be drawn up in a backyard playground.

A rare CBC tripleheader is scheduled for today. Gotta love those Canadian hockey folks just for that alone! Can Ottawa bounce back from their "hiccup" against the Habs? Well we will all find out at 3pm ET as that is today's matinee. Not for nothing but Montreal is off to a hot start (9-3-3) Ottawa (13-2) may have its work cut out for them....especially going up against the #1 Power Play in all the NHL. When you convert at nearly a 30% clip (even if its early)...that commands respect so Ottawa best stay out of the penalty box...something they have had problems doing the past few games. Ottawa is 6th in the league on the PK at 87% so this could shape up to be one hell of a game. The goaltending is right up who knows...maybe 3-2 Montreal in an upset....sounds good to me.

Then there is the Hall Of Fame game between the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs at 7pm PT. Something has to give here....the Leafs are abysmal at home and the Rangers are downright horrid on the road. Someone has to win as league mandates rule...but it makes you wonder sometimes. Toskala and Lundqvist will be in net tonight. So this may be just what the Rangers need...then again who knows...this could end up in a 0-0 tie heading into a shootout. I seriously doubt that however. There will be some goals scored tonight. Not only that...expect a Ranger road win for the first time this a 4-2 victory.....I am pretty sure I am going out on a limb here. Then again, that is what makes hockey fun.

Finally there is the Battle Of Alberta tonight at 10pm ET. Ah the joys of watching the Flames and Oilers slug it out...Vernon and Lanny against Gretzky, Messier, Fuhr...etc...etc. Oh wait....tonight's battle! Oops! Really it is just Hemsky and Rolo versus Iginla, Kipper and company in a steel cage err ice rink. Both teams come in reeling off 4 game losing streaks. Since getting that fat extension, Kiprusoff has actually been playing worse if that is possible. At some point, he has to snap out of it one would think...right?? The Calgary PK is awful at 74.7% while the Oilers PP is a calamitous 7.8%. These are numbers you can't make up but I do believe the Flames may be the ones more apt to get out of this funk tonight and they will with a 4-1 victory over the Oil.

Now there are other games like the Battle Of Pennsylvania tonight as the Penguins play the Flyers in Philly. Philly dominated in a 3-1 fashion in their first meeting of the season, avenging last year's Pens sweep. Can Philly bounce back from that humbling 4-1 loss Thursday night? I believe so. In another Atlantic Division war, the New Jersey Devils try for the 500 mark in more ways than one in Long Island against the New York Islanders. The Islanders won the last matchup 4-3 in OT as Billy Guerin scored with just seconds left. Martin Brodeur has the opportunity to become only the second goalie ever to win 500 games (Roy - 551). I really don't know who is going to win this one...honest. One thing is for sure.....and that is is going to be one hell of a night. So sit back...get your food and beer, and watch some hockey!!

~ stevens8204


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