Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tonight's Games (Oct 19)

Calgary at Boston - 7 pm
Washington at Atlanta - 7 pm
Nashville at New Jersey - 7:30 pm
Pittsburgh at NY Islanders - 7:30 pm
Colorado at Ottawa - 7:30 pm
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay - 7:30 pm
Los Angeles at Phoenix - 10 pm
Detroit at San Jose - 10:30 pm

Game of the Night

Nashville at New Jersey

If we're lucky we'll see a battle between two of the top goalies in the league - Marty Brodeur and Tomas Vokoun. However both did play on Wednesday night so if we're unlucky we'll get to see Mason vs Clemmenson.

This is another interesting matchup that we don't get to see often due to the lack of interconference games. In many ways the Predators can be compared to the Devils of a few years back, minus the playoff success. They have an elite level goalie, a good young defence and four lines that all have great speed and all can put the puck in the net. The Predators struggled through their first couple games but have now won three in a row. They have the opportunity to sweet a three-game road trip through the Island, MSG and the swamps of NJ which has only been accomplished a few times before. Through six games the Preds have 11 players with 3 or more points which shows what a deep team they have. Arnott was a big addition for them, giving them a big physical center who can put up points as well.

New Jersey is led by the EGG line (Elias, Gomez and Gionta). Elias is off to a slow start offensively but that certainly won't last - he is one of the most underrated stars in the game. The Devils bounced back extremely well after a loss to New York, which was expected. This is a well coached, disciplined team where everyone knows their roles and clearly has bought into the system. They don't have great depth due to cap restraints so they will need their top players to stay healthy, but as long as Brodeur is in net they have a great chance of winning on any given night.

Both teams are coming off wins on Wednesday night and it's tough to pick a winner in this one without knowing who is going to start, but I am going with Nashville. They are on a roll right now and will want to finish off their road trip in a big way by making a statement in New Jersey tonight.

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