Archive for December 22nd, 2008

Busy NHL Tuesday Games & Picks:

December 22nd, 2008

Tonight’s Games:

BOST @ NJD : Take BOST, Huge game for both teams but with out there number one goalie the Devils will not beat the Bruins even at home.

ATL @ NYI : Take NYI, battle of two bad teams with the Islanders coming out on top of this one.

WSH @ NYR : Take NYR, the Rangers need to get there games back on track, this should be high scoring game against the talented Caps line-up. Take the over in this game if needed.

OTT @ PHI: Take PHI , at home against the weaker Sens, the Flyers should be able to handle the Sens.

LAK @ CLB: Take CLB, this will be a good game but take the Blue Jackets over the young speedy Kings team at home.

DAL @ TOR: Take Tor, coming off some great wins on the road could either be a huge let down pr feed off the previous wins in Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

TBL @ PIT: Take PITT, Pens need to rebound from a terrible game with the Leafs drubbing, look for them to take it out on the lowly Tampa club.

NSH @ FLA: Take FLA, the Panthers are on fire and look to continue that on home ice against the Pred’s in Florida.

STL @ DET : Take DET, home against a weak team should be no problem for the power house Wings.

CAR @ MIN: Take MIN, The Wild are at home and the Canes coming off some what of a lucky win in Montreal should result in Wild win.

PHX @ COL : Take COL, the Av’s at home against a tired Coyotes club should result in a win for the home team.

ANA @ CLG: Take CLG, Ducks are on a tough western trip out west and the Flames will take advantage, this game will have fire works two tough teams that like to rumble.

VAN @ SJS: Take Sharks, Canucks don’t have Sundin until after Xmas and until then they wont beat a team like the Sharks who are power houses at home.

FLAMES AND SENATORS TEAMS IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS! WHY?

December 22nd, 2008

You have to love the way the Calgary Flames play the game! With Mike Keenan as coach and  Jarome Iginla as captain you would expect them to play a nasty style of hockey that would put their passionate fans into a tizzy.

Flames have several guys that will drop their gloves in protection of their mates at any given moment. Brandon Prust, I watched play and fight in Junior with the London Knights and there wasn’t much doubt that with his style I thought he would play in the NHL at some point.

Prust is not a huge guy but he plays a hard brand of game that coaches fall in love with. Prust would have already got into Keenan’s head, which for a young guy that is tough to do. Keenan loves veteran players but also will if you stick out like Prust does with his robust style of play he will make room for young guys if forced. With Prust there is definitely the urge to have him on the ice when he plays that style. It’s a much tougher style of play to play then people think and Prust I’m sure with his frame must live in the gym in the summers to get ready for that style at the NHL level.

The Flames are 5th in the NHL with 29 fighting majors take a look at the other teams that are up in the top 7 with them. Only the St.Louis Blues have a lousy regular season record.

The others are 1st Anaheim followed by Flyers, Canucks, Blues, Flames, Blackhawks, New Jersey. What do all those teams have in common except the Blues? They are all having great seasons and are all willing teams that play that brand of hockey . Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on the after hours show on HNIC Saturday night and he said ” The Canucks play and will continue to play as long as I’m here that grinding tough aggressive style every night”. Why? It’s simple that style works and its the only way to get team building and team togetherness on the ice . The message is,  if you mess with one of us you will quickly mess with us all. That is a proven method and it works on the ice and teams that do this are successful at every level of hockey.

The Sens for whatever reason have been aside from Chris Neil playing the opposite way again like they did back when the veteran Toronto Maple Leafs teams use to run them out of the building in playoffs. The Sens under Murray and even to some extent John Muckler learned those lessons and tried to make the team tougher to play against and get grittier. It’s not enough clearly in Ottawa listen to these comments from Former Sens tough guy Andre Roy about the hit that Alfredson took the other night picture here against the Dallas Stars.

Roy could hardly believe his eyes.

“You look at Alfredsson, he gets smoked against Dallas, and nobody came in, did anything. He’s their captain, their elite player,” Roy said. “And I’ve been on teams like that.

“I think here, guys always stick up for each other and it brings the guys closer, for sure, because you can always rely on your teammates coming in if something happens.

I like Sens owner Melnyk, when I listened to him on the Toronto radio 590 The Fan with Darren Millard this week I was surprised by his comments. Until Melnyk figures this out and he’s a smart guy I”m sure he will, that this team needs to play tough and to do that you must get tougher.

Melnyk said “I truly believe we will wind up in the top four in the conference. Watch this team. You’re going to be very, very surprised. We have nine new players. We have a new coach. We have a new system.”

“It’s only 30 games into the season and we will be a Stanley Cup contender. Mark my words. You’ll see. Just give them some time and that time is right now.”

Guess what, not until the Sens are able to make changes on defence and bring in some tough more capable willing tougher style forwards that can tip the scale back. Look toughness does not always mean fight or fighters like the former Sen Roy or McGrattan. Clearly the NHL has changed you can have 1 of those guys on your roster. But what it means is after Chris Neil and at times maybe the rat Euro Jarkko Ruutu you have to have players that can skate, hit and play aggressive style and yes fight. They don’t have to be heavyweights, they have to like the Flames , Canucks be willing enough to jump in for teammates. I am with Roy what happened to captain Alfie should never happen without retribution on the ice.

For Hockey God I’m Dave Frost