Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tonight's Games (Nov 1)

Carolina at Atlanta 7:00 PM
Colorado at Columbus 7:00 PM
Calgary at Detroit 7:30 PM
Toronto at Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
St. Louis at Dallas 8:30 PM
NY Rangers at Anaheim 10:00 PM
Nashville at Edmonton 10:00 PM
Pittsburgh at Los Angeles 10:30 PM

Game of the Night:

Calgary at Detroit

Two teams that are having a ton of trouble scoring goals faceoff in Detroit tonight. Calgary is averaging 2.5 goals per game and Detroit (shockingly) is not doing much better (2.6 GPG).

Detroit has won three games in a row and may be starting to heat up, but in order to compete with the top teams in the West they are going to have to improve their powerplay immensely. So far they have only 6 goals with the man advantage and have scored on just 10.5% of their opportunities. The Wings' two leading scorers are both defencemen which says something about their lack of punch up front so far. By far the biggest surprise is that Zetterberg only has 3 points in 11 games - you have to think he's due to break out of this slump.

For Calgary, they have relied on outstanding goaltending to get by over the past couple years and so far they are just not getting it. They do not have the scoring punch up front to win many high scoring affairs so it is critical to their hopes that Kiprusoff regains his form - ASAP. The biggest disappointment for the Flames has been Alex Tanguay - the Flames traded Leopold to get him and then signed him to a new contract worth over $5 mil/season. With just 2 goals and 3 assists, Tanguay has not yet earned that huge contract. Former snipers Jeff Friesen and Tony Amonte have to be huge disappointments as well - the two have combined for a measely 1 goal and 2 assists.

If you look at the standings it will take you a minute to find Calgary - they're actually down at the bottom of the Western Conference, just above Phoenix. At the same time they have games in hand on most teams and have only played 10 games so it may be too early to fairly judge the makeup of this team. However I think they are expected to play MUCH better and if they don't start putting the puck in the net soon I'm sure Sutter will be looking to shake things up. But Calgary has only won one of their last six games and have the misfortune of having to go into Joe Louis Arena. I expect the Flames will turn things around but I don't think it will happen on this night - I'm going wih Detroit

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