December 26, 2011

Like a fat kid in a candy store. I can't control myself. - So much NHL tonight

Oh my gosh, is there a lot of hockey on tap.

10 games tonight highlight the NHL schedule. Here is brief preview of the marquee games.

Washington vs. Buffalo
A match up for two under-preforming teams, the teams sit 10th and 11th in the East respectively.

The Caps have already had their shakeup this season with the firing of Bruce Boudreu. Alex Ovechkin has yet to re-capture his form that has made him one of the most exciting players in the world. On the flip side, Buffalo has also failed to live up to expectations, between questions about loyalty to their goalie to offensive underproduction. These two teams need to start off hot to get back in the playoff race because we all know what they are capable off.

Islanders vs. Rangers
I chose to highlight this game, because it figures to be feature predominately in HBO's 24/7 this week
The Rangers are sitting in 2nd place just 1 point out of the first in the East and the Islanders per usual are sitting tied in the basement of the Conference. Its always interesting when these two teams, that are
only separated by 25 miles meet up. One also has to think, the Islanders while being in the New York bubble, don’t usually get the same attention as the Rangers or the Devils, they know the cameras will be on. Look for a highly physical, entertaining game, which hopefully produce some great moments for this week's episode of 24/7.

Columbus vs. Chicago
Best team in the league vs the worst team in the league based on point total. Will there be aChristmas hangover for the Hawks and yes sometimes I mean that literally (KANER!). Or will the hot streak continue, despite CBJ's record, they actually have played better as of late and they have become very good at being a huge pain the in the Hawks side.

Edmonton vs. Vancouver.
Vancouver as of right now in fifth place in the West and playing much closer to form with the re-emergence of Ryan Kesler back from injury and Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo playing quite well in goal. Edmonton however started the season on fire, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle who are 18, 20 and 21years old are playing like superstar veterns. Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins are in the top 20 in points and Hall was in that mix before a shoulder injury. Hall returned before the break and look for the Oilers to either continue to grow up and flourish or get another lottery pick. This will be a huge marker tonight.


The World Juniors start tonight live from Calgary and here goes a shameless plug and THANK YOU to  the NHL Network for broadcasting the tournament in the US. This tournament year after year showcases the stars of tomorrow, so tune in to see the next Crosby, Ovechkin and Toews.

I hope everyone had a joyous holiday. I received the books, The Art of Scouting by Shane Malloy and Squaw Valley Gold: American Hockey's Olympic Odyssey.  So get ready for book reviews starting in early 2012.

Joe DeTolve
Chicago, Illinois

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