Tuesday, May 15, 2007

NHL Playoff Odds: Can the Sens Sweep?

The Ottawa Senators hold a 3-0 strangle hold over the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference finals and are one win away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals in the history of this young Canadian franchise. And Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is confident his team is up to the challenge, despite having endured plenty of frustration along the way.

"You always go though life's ups and downs, and the belief you have is that every year is a new chance," Alfredsson said. "Even though you go through tough times, I'm not going to complain too much."

Detroit Red Wings vs. Anaheim Ducks: 9 PM EST

But enough about the Sens. Tonight's got the Detroit Red Wings taking on the Anaheim Ducks, a nail-biting series that has both teams tied at one game apiece. Will tonight's lineup change for the Red Wings be enough to fend off a determined Ducks squad that may be bigger and faster (but not necessarily better)?

Maybe. Maybe not.

"I don't think anybody thought this was going to be easy," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. "I think everybody thought this was going to be a real battle. Thus far, it's been that way. I don't want to take anything away from the other team, because I think that's real important, but we don't think we've played as good as we can - not even close. We have to play better."

For more on the Ottawa Senators vs. Buffalo Sabres series, and the Detroit Red Wings vs. Anaheim Ducks series, check out offshore sportbook Betting guide ("Second-Round Highlights"). And for all your NHL betting, go to the nhl playoff odds

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sharks, Devils and Some Horses In Between

May 5th may be the perfect day for hockey fans with a penchant for horse racing. At 2:00 PM ET the Sharks take on the Red Wings in Detroit; at 8:00 PM ET the Devils play host to the Senators. And between this all the 133rd Kentucky Derby (2 minutes as opposed to 3 hours, for those with short attention spans), with post time slotted for 6:04 PM ET.

How do these matchups stack up in the sports books? The Sharks are given 7/2 to win this year's Stanley Cup, compared to a distant 8/1 for the Red Wings. The Devils are 10/1 to take the Cup in the futures, where the Senators -- like the Sharks -- are given 7/2.

And in the ever-exciting world of Kentucky Derby odds, the favorite horse is Curlin, currently given 3/1 to win the Road to the Roses.

So bundle up in the jersey of your favorite NHL hockey team, watch the Sharks gobble up the Red Wings, have a late lunch -- and then recline with a cooling Mint Julep as the ponies work their way to the gate. After you've recovered from the excitement at Churchill Downs, you can get on your skates and return (at least virtually) to the ice.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

NHL Winning Streaks

Longest winning streaks in NHL history:

17 - Pittsburgh Penguins, March 9 to April 10, 1993
15 - x-Buffalo Sabres, April 8, 2006 to present
15 - New York Islanders, Jan. 21 to Feb. 20, 1982
14 - Boston Bruins, Dec. 3, 1929, to Jan. 9, 1930

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Marian Gaborik Still Out

Minnesota Wild winger Marian Gaborik will probably be out for another 10 to 14 days because of a mild groin strain.

Gaborik was hurt in the third period of Friday's game at Anaheim and did not play Saturday against San Jose. Gaborik is second on the team with four goals and also has three assists. He's been skating on a line with fellow Slovakia native Pavol Demitra, who was acquired in an off-season trade.

The Wild, whose 7-1 record is tied with Dallas for the best in the Western Conference, host Los Angeles on Wednesday.

I'm just glad I don't have him in my hockey pool.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yelle Injures Ankle

Stephane Yelle was taken off the ice on a stretcher because of an ankle injury Thursday night after falling backward and being pushed into the boards by Bruins defenseman Jason York.

"He went into the boards awkwardly and he jammed up his ankle," Flames coach Jim Playfair said. "He'll fly home with us tonight and we will get it checked out."

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Brendan Shanahan is on Fire

Brendan Shanahan is on FIRE! Shanahan scored his NHL-leading seventh goal of the season Monday night, when the Rangers held off the New Jersey Devils 4-2 in New York.

Rangers coach Tom Renney is maximizing what he has in Shanahan, who has 605 NHL goals but is about more than grabbing points.

"My scoring is getting a lot of attention but I really go out and concentrate on playing a complete game," Shanahan said. "I get just as much of a rush out of making defensive plays or killing off a penalty. I just feel very involved."

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bourdon Gets Another Shot

Young Canuck Luc Bourdon will be given another chance to show if he should stay when the Vancouver Canucks face the San Jose Sharks Friday night in their NHL home debut.

Luc BourdonBourdon, picked 10th overall by Vancouver in last year's draft, will replace Sami Salo, who will miss the game with a groin injury.

After almost making the team last year, a lot was expected of the six-foot-two, 200-pound Bourdon this season. He has size, he likes playing physical, and he can move the puck.

The 19-year-old struggled during the exhibition season. He then looked tentative and nervous in his first NHL game Tuesday night in Minnesota where he saw almost eight minutes of ice time dressed as a seventh defenceman.

All eyes will be on the young defensemen on Friday night at GM Place. Fans will be looking for a new dman that can chalk up some points like special Ed.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Blackberry to Save Penguins

Jim Balsillie, chairman and co-CEO of Research in Motion, the Canadian-based company behind the popular BlackBerry products and services, has signed a purchase agreement to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins. The remaining step for Balsillie is to get the approval of the NHL Board of Governors, a process which is expected to be completed this fall.

This is great new for the penguins, a storied franchise that with this deal will live on!

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Season Under Way

Daniel SedinLet's hit the ice. The season starts today and I got my hockey pool done yesterday.

I'm feeling pretty good about my team: Crosby, Kovalchu, Savard, Spezza, Marleau, Lecavali, Sedin, Lupul, Smyth, Pronger, Malkin. I know Evgeni Malkin might be out for a while but I am hopefull.

Last year Daniel Sedin killed me in my pool, so this year he was one of my first pics. We will see!

You will also notice at the bottom I have started using Technorati Tags this is apparently a great way to get more people infront of the game we love!

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Edmonton Still Alive

Alive to see another game. Oiler fans where happy with the effort their team displayed on Saturday night as they beat out the Carolina Hurricanes in their home ice.

Edmonton has it's work cut out for them tonight when they face Carolina in game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Check out Bodog Sports for all your Stanley Cup Betting Lines and Odds.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Canes battle Sabres

The Carolina Hurricanes will be looking to finish off the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday by grabbing a win in Game 6.

The Canes lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, and would move on to face the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals with a win.

Carolina comes in as a small road dog, as the line opened at 130 in favor of the Sabres. The OVER/UNDER has been set at 6 goals for this game.

In Game 5 the Hurricanes picked up a 4-3, overtime victory as the favored team. The seven goals made that game an OVER play. It was Carolina's second straight victory.

If the Sabres manage to win on Tuesday night Game 7 of the series will take place at the RBC Center in Raleigh on Thursday night.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Round 3 Game 3

By the time this game ended (in nail-biting, ulcer-inducing fashion, btw) the Sabres were able to field, by my personal count, 3 NHL-Quality defensemen: Jay McKee, Brian Campbell (my how times have changed) and Toni Lydman. For those who don’t know Henrik Tallinder left the game with 6 minutes to go (timing eerily coincidental with Lydman’s penalty) with what appears to be some kind of hand injury.

Carolina skates into Buffalo

The Buffalo Sabres can move one step closer to the Stanley Cup Finals if they can defeat the Carolina Hurricanes at home Friday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Oddsmakers like the Sabres in this one, opening the line at 140 in favor of Buffalo.

Carolina skates into BuffaloLast time out, at HSBC Arena against Buffalo, the Hurricanes as underdogs lost to the Sabres 4-3. The game was an over play. The Sabres took a 2-1 series lead with the win.

Daniel Briere scored a pair of goals for Buffalo in the Game 3 win and now has seven playoff markers. He leads the Sabres in playoff scoring with 17 points.

This game is likely to come down to the Hurricanes's execution on offence. They rank 3rd in the league in scoring and look to sustain their 3.5 goals per game average against the Sabres's #10-rated defensive unit.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gretzky impressed by Oilers

Gretzky, who won four Stanley Cups in Edmonton, would never openly admit to rooting for the Oilers, but certainly admires how they've performed in this year's playoffs.

"They're fast, they're explosive, they play hard, they play gritty," Gretzky told Pierre LeBrun of Canadian Press.

"And I think [head coach] Craig MacTavish has done an incredible job - the best coaching that he's done in his career."

Led by MacTavish, Edmonton eliminated the top-ranked Detroit Red Wings in six games and lead the fifth-seeded San Jose Sharks 3-2 in their NHL Western Conference semifinal.

Sharks Fight to Stay Alive

The San Jose Sharks will be fighting to extend their season when they visit the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday at Rexall Place for Game 6 of their Western Conference playoff series.

San Jose trails the series 3-2, having lost three straight games to the Oilers after winning the first two games in San Jose. Edmonton won Game 3 in triple overtime and then posted back-to-back 6-3 victories to take a stranglehold on the series.

Oddsmakers like the Oilers in this one, opening the line at 165 in favor of Edmonton. In Game 5, the Oilers won as underdogs in San Jose and the 6-3 final sent the game over the total.

Sharks coach Ron Wilson has indicated that Vesa Toskala will once again get the start in goal for San Jose tonight.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Oilers Bite Back

The Oilers will be looking to even their playoff series with the San Jose Sharks at two, when the two teams face off tonight for Game 4 in Edmonton.

Ryan Smyth Face of the NHLThe Oilers are favored, opening as 145 chalk, with an opening total of 5. They are 46-31-14 this season and 41-44-6 OU. The Sharks are 50-28-12 and are 39-46-5 OU.

After losing last time out, Ron Wilson's team looks to rebound with a solid showing on the road Friday in Edmonton. They were moneyline underdogs in that game, which went under the total of 5.5.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Senators on the Brink

The Ottawa Senators will try and do what only two other teams have ever done and that's come back from being down 3-0 in a best-of-seven-game series.

They face the Buffalo Sabres in New York Thursday as the Sabres look to advance to the Conference finals with a sweep tonight.

Ryan Miller is making the big savesOttawa will try and end the Sabres five-game winning streak and try and put some rubber past standout goalie Ryan Miller.

The Sabres opened as -110 home favorites in this game, with an opening total of 6.5 goals.

Last time out, at HSBC Arena against Buffalo, the Senators as underdogs lost to the Sabres 3-2 in overtime. The game was an under play.

Ottawa will need its best players to step up and they need to get more traffic in front of the rookie netminder, who plays with poise.

Avs Look to Avoid Sweep

The Avalanche are facing a 3-0 deficit as they look for a win in Game 4 Thursday when they face the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the Mile High City.

Joffrey Lupul on Fire for the DucksThe Mighty Ducks hope backup, turned starter Ilya Bryzgalov can continue his magic between the pipes, while Colorado will need to score some goals as they have tallied just three goals in three games.

The Mighty Ducks come in as slight 105 road favorites and look to sweep the series from Colorado. The Avalanche will try to bite big as a home dog. Totals bettors see the line opened at 5.5.

Randy Carlyle's team was busy last game winning against the Avalanche 4-3 as underdogs. The seven goals sent that game over the total of 5.5.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Oilers Face Shark Attack

Down 2-0 to the San Jose Sharks, the Oilers will be looking for a win tonight in Game 3 in Edmonton to try and climb back into this series.

Oddsmakers like the Oilers in this one, opening the line at 140 in favor of Edmonton. They are 45-31-14 this season, while the Sharks are 50-28-11.

Last time out, at HP Pavilion against Edmonton, the Sharks as favorites defeated the Oilers 2-1. The game was an under play.

Senators set for Game 3

Down 2-0 in their second-round series with the Sabres, the Ottawa Senators will be desperate for a win tonight when the two teams faceoff tonight for Game 3 in Buffalo.

Ottawa takes its 56-23-10 mark to Buffalo to rumble with the 58-26-6 Sabres.

Oddsmakers like the Sabres in this one, opening the line at 135 in favor of Buffalo. They are 58-26-6 this season, while the Senators are 56-23-10.

Last time out, at Scotiabank Place against Buffalo, the Senators as favorites lost to the Sabres 2-1. The game was an under play.

This game is likely to come down to the Senators' execution on offence. They rank 1st in the league in scoring and look to sustain their 3.9 goals per game average against the Sabres' #11-rated defensive unit.

Not Pro Hockey But

This post isn't about hockey, but it is definitly hockey related. I came across a website this morning called Bluemile.ca.

Some of you might remember the Redmile, the famous fans from Calgary, Alberta. The Bluemile not suprisingly represents the hotties in Edmonton, Alberta. All I can say is I hope Edmonton gets back on track other wise the Bluemile will become a dead end.

"Some pictures from last night but not too much action due to the loss so you will find some pic's in this gallery from last Monday's win(Round 1, Game 6, we beat Detroit duh!). If you see bluemile.ca crew tonight, don't be such a boob and show some!"

Giants Win Championship

The Vancouver Giants have moved into the WHL record books with their 12th win in a row in the playoffs. And in the process, the Giants have picked up their first ever league championship with a 6-3 win in Moose Jaw over the Warriors Tuessday night. Vancouver sweeps the championship final match-up 4-0 and now have secured a spot in the MasterCard Memorial Cup Finals in Moncton, New Brunswick.

For the fourth time in the series, the Warriors opened up the scoring and it came in the opening two minutes. Dustin Boyd capitalized with a shot from the slot that beat Dustin Slade. Kenndal McArdle and Steven Gillen collect the helpers on Boyd's 7th of the playoffs at 1:17.

Vancouver responded a few minutes later on the power play as captain Mark Fistric blasted home a slap shot from the right face off circle that beat Joey Perricone through a screen. Jon Blum and Kyle Lamb pick up the assists on Fistric's 1st of the post-season at 7:01.

Stay tuned for more news in the coming days about the Giants plans for the 2006 MasterCard Memorial Cup. The Giants will leave for Moncton next Wednesday and take part in Canada's quest for junior hockey supremecy May 19-28.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Vancouver Giants Take Two

I know the name of this blog is Pro Pond Hockey, but the Vancouver Giants are rockin the house right now in the Western Hockey League finals and I wanted to give them so much deserved space.

Gilbert Brule scored three goals and added three assists Saturday night to help the Giants to a 7-5 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.

It gave the Giants their 10th win in a row and a 2-0 series lead in the 2006 WHL Finals. It was also a night full of entertainment for the crowd of 13,823 fans, but a nightmare of a performance for both teams defensively.

These guys are on fire. Keep up the good work boys!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Avs roll into Anaheim

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Colorado Avalanche open their second-round playoff series on Friday night with Game 1 down in Southern California.

The Ducks went the distance against the Calgary Flames in the first round, winning that set in seven games. The Avs got past the Dallas Stars in just five games in Round 1.

Oddsmakers opened Anaheim as -130 home favorites in Game 1, while the opening total was set at 5.5 goals.

As for the series, the Ducks opened as -136 favorites, while oddsmakers opened the Avalanche as +116 underdogs.

The Ducks and Avs play again in Anaheim in Game 2 on Sunday afternoon, while the series shifts to Denver for Game 3 on Tuesday night.

Senators host Sabres

The Ottawa Senators, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, will be looking to score a home win in Game 1 of their second-round series against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

Ottawa eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the first round, while Buffalo needed six games to get past the Philadelphia Flyers.

Oddsmakers like Ottawa's chances in this game, as they've been opened as -210 home favorites. The opening total was set at 6.5 goals.

The Sens are even bigger favorites in the series, where they opened at -270 to get through to the third round. The Sabres opened as +230 underdogs on that line.

Game 2 of the series will take place on Monday night, while the set shifts to Buffalo for Game 3 on Wednesday and Game 4 on Thursday.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Do or Die in Game 7

Neither team has won back-to-back games yet in this series but the Anaheim Mighty Ducks will be looking to change that tonight when they visit the Calgary Flames for Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Andy Mcdonald Anaheim Mighty DucksOddsmakers like the Flames in this one, opening the line at 170 in favor of Calgary. They are 49-27-12 this season, while the Mighty Ducks are 46-29-13.

Last time out, the Mighty Ducks defeated the Flames 2-1 as favorites. That contest went under the closing total.

You can't expect much in the way of offensive fireworks from Calgary. Saddled with the 28th-ranked offence and averaging just 2.7 goals per game the Flames' offence needs to give its defensive unit some help Wednesday in order to have a chance against the Mighty Ducks.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ducks Still Alive

This is where they play hockey!

The Ducks showed us how to stay alive last night. When they got their first goal disallowed I thought it was all over. The Ducks showed resilience and battled back after the blown call for the win.

I found this picture of a Flames fan online and had to add it to the post. If your a Flames fan and have a Duck funny Ducks picture send it to me and I will add it to the next post!

The NHL playoff lines haven't come out for game seven yet, but when they do it will be interesting to see who the odds makers favor in this contest.

Get your online hockey betting information at the Bodog hockey.

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Sabres Can Advance

The Buffalo Sabres can advance to the second round of the NHL Playoffs if they can pull ou a victory tonight when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for Game 6.

The Flyers are favored slightly by the bookmakers, who opened the game at 125. They are 47-28-12 on the season, while the Sabres bring a 55-26-6 mark to the table. The total has been set at 6.

After being shut out in last game's loss against Buffalo, Ken Hitchcock needs more production from his offence. If the forwards and power play falter again, don't expect many over players Tuesday.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Ducks on Brink of Elimination

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks need to win Monday night to stay alive in the playoffs - they face the Calgary Flames in Game 6 of their series at home.

Calgary leads the best-of-seven series 3-2. Jarome Iginla scored twice in Game 5 to allow the Flames to maintain home-ice advantage.

Oddsmakers like the Ducks in this one, opening the line at 140 in favor of Anaheim. The OVER/UNDER is set at a low 5.

Calgary won at home against the Mighty Ducks last game as favorites, tallying a score of 3-2. The total went into the books as a push.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed three goals on eight shots before being pulled in favor of Ilya Bryzgalov last game, and if the Ducks are to win tonight they need solid goaltending to match Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff.

Oilers Seeking Playoff Upset

The Detroit Red Wings need to pick up a win in Game 6 of their playoff series on Monday night to avoid being eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers.

Betting on the NHL Playoffs? Oddsmakers like the Red Wings in this one, opening the line at 165 in favor of Detroit. OVER/UNDER betting opened at 6.

Mike Babcock's team hopes to rebound from a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Oilers in Game 5. They were favorites in a game that went under the total.

The Oilers have taken an early lead in the last four games, but have let the Wings back into the game every time. Dwayne Roloson will need to stay hot in net for Edmonton to clinch.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Avs to Eliminate Stars

The Colorado Avalanche will hope to eliminate the Dallas Stars in four straight games as the two teams battle Friday night in Denver.

The Avalanche are favored, opening as 160 chalk, with an opening total of 6. They are 46-30-9 this season and 51-30-4 OU. The Stars are 53-24-8 and are 40-42-3 OU.

The No. 2 seed Stars are coming off a 4-3 loss against the No. 7 seed Avalanche, a game in which they were underdogs. The game went over the closing total of 6.

Embattled goalie Marty Turco will be under the gun to extend the Stars' season, while Colorado netminder Jose Theodore will be looking for his fourth straight victory in his first taste of playoff action with his new Avalanche teammates.

Flyers are Favored

The host Philadelphia Flyers will be looking to even their playoff series at 2-2 versus the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

The Flyers are favored, opening as 140 chalk, with an opening total of 6.

The Sabres come off a 4-2 loss in Game 3 against the Flyers, a game where they were underdogs. The game went as a push against the closing total of 6.

Philadelphia is 46-27-12 this season and 42-38-5 OU. The Sabres are 54-25-6 and 33-47-5 OU.

Peter Forsberg scored twice against the Sabres in Game 3, finally lighting a fire under his teammates after Buffalo posted victories in the first two games on home ice.

Canes Underdogs in Montreal

Oddsmakers don't give the Hurricanes much of a chance Friday, opening them as underdogs when they visit Montreal at the Bell Centre.

The Hurricanes come in as a slight road underdog and look to improve on their 53-23-9 mark. The Canadiens, 44-31-10, will try to pay out for bettors at home as -110 favorites. Totals bettors see the line opened at 6.

Peter Laviolette's Carolina team was busy last game winning against the Canadiens 2-1 as underdogs. The 3 goals sent that game under the total of 6.

This game is likely to come down to the Hurricanes's execution on offence. They rank 3rd in the league in scoring and look to sustain their 3.6 goals per game average against the Canadiens's #12-rated defensive unit. The Canadiens will be missing captain Saku Koivu, who suffered an eye injury in Game 2.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Senators to Avoid Lighting

The Ottawa Senators will be looking to grab a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series when they play the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Wade Redden missed Game 2 to be with his family, but came back for Game 3 to notch a power play goal and two assists in the Sens' victory.

Oddsmakers like the Senators in this one, opening the line at 160 in favor of Ottawa. The total opened at 6.5 goals.

Bryan Murray's team hopes to build upon an 8-4 win over the Lightning in Game 3. They were favorites in a game that went OVER the total.

This game is likely to come down to the Senators' execution on offence, as Martin Havlat, Jason Spezza, and others have been piling up the points.

Flames Looking to Go 3-1

The Calgary Flames will be looking to take a 3-1 series lead on Thursday night when they play on the road against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Kristian Huselius leads the FlamesCalgary's Kristian Huselius leads the Flames with two goals and three assists in his first-ever playoff action in the NHL. The Flames' power play was dynamite last game, getting three goals out of seven chances.

Oddsmakers like the Mighty Ducks in this one, opening the line at 140 in favor of Anaheim. The total opened at 5 goals.

The Flames come off a 5-2 win against the Mighty Ducks, a game where they were underdogs. The game went over the closing total of 5.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sabres Pominville on Fire

<br />Jason Pominville is on FireThe Buffalo Sabres will have the chance to put a stranglehold on their series with the Flyers, when the two meet tonight in Philly for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

The Flyers are favored, opening as 145 chalk, with an opening total of 6. They are 45-27-12 this season and 42-38-4 OU. The Sabres are 54-24-6 and are 33-47-4 OU.

Buffalo won at home against the Flyers last game as favorites, tallying a score of 8-2. The total sailed over.

Jason Pominville and J-P Dumont both recorded hat tricks for the Sabres, who drove starter Robert Esche from the net with the offensive explosion. Rookie Antero Niittymaki didn't fare much better, however.

Stars Need to Steal One

After letting Game 2 slip away, the Dallas Stars will need to bounce back with a victory tonight in Colorado, if they want any chance of coming back in this series.

The Avalanche are favored, opening as 135 chalk, with an opening total of 6. They are 45-30-9 this season and 50-30-4 OU. The Stars are 53-24-7 and are 39-42-3 OU.

After losing last time out, Dave Tippett's team looks to rebound with a solid showing on the road in Colorado. They were moneyline favorites in that game, which went over the total of 6.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Martin St. Louis is Lightning

Martin St. Louis is the lightning Tampa needed. For most of the regular season Martin St. Louis has been trying to get back into the form that made him the MVP in the 2003-04 season. On Sunday night he seemed to capture that spark that Tampa need so desperately not to go down two games to none.

The 5-foot-9 forward's second goal of the game put the Lightning ahead to stay in a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night, evening the Eastern Conference series at 1-1.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Stanley Cup Run Begins

While my Vancouver Canucks have gone home without making the playoffs. This years playoffs are shaping out to be very exciting. Some of the matchups that standout more than others.

(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (8) Edmonton Oilers
The Detroit Red Wings will play host to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

Even as the eighth seed, the Oilers will not be intimidated as they took five of a possible eight points in the season series between the two rivals. Edmonton will be hoping the recent stellar play of goaltender Dwayne Roloson will give them an edge.

Oddsmakers believe the Wings will show up in high gear to start the playoffs, installing them as -280 home favorites in the series opener on Friday. The opening OVER/UNDER total stands at 6.

(1) Ottawa Senators vs. (8) Tampa Bay Lightning
The Ottawa Senators will play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

The Senators rolled to an Eastern Conference best 51-29-9 record, while the defending Stanley Cup champions from Tampa Bay finished with a record of 43-33-6, and enter the playoffs as the eighth seed in the East.

Oddsmakers set Ottawa as -255 home favorites on the opening line, with an opening total of 6.5 goals.

(4) Nashville Predators vs. (5) San Jose Sharks
The Nashville Predators will play host to the San Jose Sharks on Friday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series in the Western Conference.

Despite entering the playoffs as the fifth seed the Sharks are listed as -115 road favorites on the opening line, with an opening total of 6.5 goals.

(3) Calgary Flames vs. (6) Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
The Calgary Flames will play host to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Friday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series in the Western Conference.

Calgary was set as a -170 home favorite on the opening line, with an opening total of 5 goals.

(3) New Jersey Devils vs. (6) New York Rangers

The New Jersey Devils will play host to the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

The Devils finished the regular season with a record of 46-27-9, while the Rangers were 44-26-12 on the year.

Oddsmakers set New Jersey as -215 home favorites on the opening line, with an opening total of 5.5 goals.

(2) Dallas Stars vs. (7) Colorado Avalanche
The Dallas Stars will play host to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

Dallas is coming in as -170 home favorites to open the series, while the game's OVER/UNDER is set at 6.

(2) Carolina Hurricanes vs.(7) Montreal Canadiens
The Carolina Hurricanes will play host to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

Carolina finished with a season record of 52-22-8, while the Canadiens sneaked into the playoffs with a record of 42-31-9.

Oddsmakers set the Canes as -190 home favorites in this game, with an opening total of 6 goals.

(4) Buffalo Sabres vs. (5) Philadelphia Flyers
The Buffalo Sabres will play host to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

Buffalo had their best season in franchise history, posting a record of 52-24-6, while the Flyers finished with a record of 45-26-11.

The Sabres opened as -165 home favorites in this game, with an opening total of 6 goals.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Penguins claim Hilbert

The Pittsburgh Penguins picked up center Andy Hilbert, who the Chicago Blackhawks put on waivers.

Hilbert played in 28 games this season with Chicago, recording nine points and 22 penalty minutes. He played in five games with Chicago's AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, recording seven points and 2 penalty minutes.
Click here to find out more!

Hilbert ranked seventh in scoring in the American Hockey League in 2004-05, recording 79 points in 79 games with the Providence Bruins. He was named team MVP and led the team in playoff scoring with 21 points in 17 games during the Calder Cup playoffs.

He has played in 66 NHL games with Boston and Chicago, recording 15 points and 40 penalty minutes. The Blackhawks acquired him from Boston on Nov. 6, 2005, in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2006 draft.

Senators claim Morrison

The Ottawa Senators could not get the goalie insurance they wanted through the trade market, but the club was able to find some solace Thursday through the waiver wire.

Mike Morrison
Ottawa claimed Edmonton goalie Mike Morrison, who was made available when Edmonton made one of two high-profile deals to get a goaltender in the days leading up to Thursday's trade deadline.

Edmonton acquired Minnesota's Dwayne Roloson for Minnesota for a first-round pick and a conditional third-round pick that comes into play if the 36-year-old Roloson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, re-signs with the Oilers.

Montreal and Colorado were involved in the other goaltender trade Tuesday as the team's swapped No. 1 goalies. Montreal landed David Aebischer while the Avs took on injured goalie Jose Theodore, who is expected to be back from a heel injury in time for the final week of regular-season play.

Hurricanes acquire Mark Recchi

The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired veteran forward Mark Recchi from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A source confirmed the deal to The Canadian Press. The 38-year-old Recchi is earning $2.28 million US this season and is under contract to earn the same next year. Recchi has 1,258 points in 1,236 NHL games and won a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991.

The Hurricanes have an NHL-best 91 points and have been looking for veteran depth heading to the playoffs.

Carolina also added veteran forward Doug Weight in a trade with St. Louis on Jan. 30.

Avs and Habs Swap Goalies

Colorado and Montreal swapped goalies Wednesday with Jose Theodore heading to the Avalanche in exchange for David Aebischer.

The trade marks the second time a high-profile goaltender left Montreal for Denver, following Patrick Roy's historic move to the mile-high city during the 1995-96 season.

Theodore, 29, has a 3.46 goals-against average and an .881 save percentage this season. Aebischer, 28, has a 2.98 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.

Theodore was 17-15-5 for Montreal this season after winning a career-best 33 games in 2003-04.

Aebischer, who had a miserable month of December before turning his - and Colorado's - season around in January, is 25-14-2 this season.

Canucks add goaltending

The Vancouver Canucks strengthened their goaltending Thursday by acquiring Mika Noronen from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for their second-round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft. The deal is conditional on Noronen passing a physical.

Noronen, 26, a native of Tampere, Finland, is 22-31-6 with a 2.64 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 67 NHL games over five seasons with Buffalo. He was the Sabres' first pick, 21st overall, in the 1997 Entry Draft. His busiest season was 2003-04 when he went 11-17-2 in 35 Sabres games.

Panthers re-sign Jokinen

The Florida Panthers have made one of the biggest deadline day deals by re-signing captain Olli Jokinen to a $21-million US, four-year contract.

Jokinen would have become a free agent at season's end and was linked to several trades in recent weeks. The 27-year-old has 29 goals and 37 assists in 62 games this season.

In 539 NHL games with Florida and Los Angeles, he has 126 goals and 150 assists.

Flyers add Gauthier to defense

The Philadelphia Flyers acquired veteran defenseman Denis Gauthier Jr. Thursday from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for minor-league forward Josh Gratton and two second-round picks in the 2006 Entry Draft.

Gauthier, 29, is a Montreal native who has 15 goals and 55 assists for 70 points in 429 NHL games over eight NHL seasons with Calgary and Phoenix. He also has 576 penalty minutes and is plus-11 in his career. Gauthier had two goals and 10 assists in 45 games with Phoenix this season and was minus-4 with 61 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound defenseman was second on the Coyotes with 117 hits. He missed 14 games after Oct. 18 with a broken finger and three games to a shoulder injury in early February.

Gauthier was Calgary's first pick, 20th overall, in the 1996 Entry Draft after an All-Star junior career with Drummondville in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He suffered a serious hip injury during the 1999-00 season.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Devils revamp defense

The New Jersey Devils continued to upgrade their defense Thursday by trading for New York Islanders defenseman Brad Lukowich. The Devils earlier acquired defenseman Ken Klee from Toronto Wednesday for Albany River Rats forward Aleksander Suglobov.

The Devils sent their third-round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft to the Islanders in the Lukowich deal.

One reason for the Devils' run on defensemen is the uncertainty of defenseman Richard Matvichuk, who recently suffered a back injury.