By: Jonathan Kovacs
There has only been one trade since the last update by Eric Bancker, but this one is worth mentioning. The Pittsburgh Penguins traded away Alex Goligoski, their talented young defenseman who has been a solid player so far in his young career to the Dallas Stars. The Stars sent promising winger James Neal and former 1st round pick in the ’05 draft, Matt Niskanen. I’d say the Penguins got the better deal here, Neal is having a good year tallying 39 points in 59 games up to this point. Niskanen isn’t bad either, he is young and still has some upside. I’m not counting out Goligoski either, but Neal has the potential to be a superstar, consider this one a win for the Ray Shero and the Pens.
By: John Kovacs
Today, the Detroit Red Wings announced that they have agreed to a 4-yr contract extension with current coach, Mike Babcock. This is his 6th year with the Wings’, so he is set to be there for a decade now. Babcock has done a tremendous job with rookies and leading the Red Wings to numerous 50 win seasons.
It is going to be interesting to see how Babcock handles the transition that the team will undergo when Lidstrom and Rafalski retire, as well as veteran forwards Kris Draper and Mike Madano. Heck, you can even throw in Osgood.
Every Saturday I will be having a prediction post of every game. So, let’s get right down to business.
There are 24 teams playing today.
Coyotes at Bruins – 12PM – Prague, CZ
I like the Bruins in this game, both teams had good playoff runs last year. The Bruins are looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss in the post-season. Don’t count the Coyotes out though, they have a solid core of young players that can put the puck in the net.
Phx – Ray Whitney (D), and Derek Morris (D) are both expected to play.
Bos – Marc Savard (F) is out indefinitely with post-concussion syndrome.
Blue Jackets at Sharks – 3PM – Stockholm, SE
I’m going with the Blue Jackets this game, Sharks netminder, Antti Niemi has not looked good so far.
Cbj – Jared Boll (F) – Questionable; left yesterday’s game with an undisclosed injury.
Sjs – Jamie Mcginn (F) – Probable; ran into the boards hard yesterday.
Rangers at Sabres – 7PM
Rangers have the advantage in this one, Buffalo is coming back after a solid win in Ottawa yesterday, but I expect the Rangers to have too much energy for the Sabres to handle.
Nyr – Chris Drury (D) – Broken finger, placed on IR. Vinny Prospal (F) – Knee, IR also. Marc Staal (D) – Probable; groin issues. Michael Rozsival (D) – Questionable; groin issues.
Buf – N/A
Senators at Maple Leafs – 7PM
Maple Leafs; Why? Jason Spezza is expected to miss this game, he is battling a groin injury. I have the Leafs making the playoffs this year, don’t be surprised for a big season.
Ott – Jason Spezza (F) – Doubtful; groin. Filip Kuba (D) – Out for another 3 week with a broken leg.
Tor – Brett Lebda (D) – Shoulder. Jeff Finger (D) – Undisclosed.
Stars at Islanders – 7PM
I’ll take the Stars in this game, I don’t think the Islanders will make the playoffs or come close. They are also faced with the injury plague, yes, already.
Dal – N/A
Nyi – Mark Streit (D) – IR. Kyle Okopso (F) – IR. Rob Schremp (F) – Back surgery; 3-4 weeks.
Canadiens at Penguins – 7PM
The home opener for the Pens didn’t turn out so well, but I think they will get back on the winning track tonight.
Mtl – Roman Hamrlik (D) – Knee. Anrej Markov (D) – ACL tear.
Pit – Jordan Staal (F) – Foot surgery/infection.
Devils at Capitals – 7PM
Kovalchuck or Ovie? I’m going with the Caps on this one. Brodeur’s not getting any younger…
Njd – Bryce Salvador (D) – Concussion. Anssi Salmela (D) – Knee.
Wsh – Seymon Varlamov (G) – Undisclosed.
Thrashers at Lightning – 7PM
Ahem… Let the Yzerman era begin.
Atl – Patrick Cormier (F) – Foot. Andrew Kozek (F) – Sports hernia. Jim Slater (F) – Wrist.
Tbl – Mitch Fadden (F) – Shoulder.
Flyers at Blues – 8PM
Flyers should spoil another home opener.
Phi – Michael Leighton (G) – Back surgery, 2 months. Chris Pronger (D) – Questionable; right knee. Claude Giroux (F) – Probable; sore ankle.
Stl – Andy Mcdonald (F) – Questionable; hip-flexor. Carlo Colaiacovo (D) – Questionable; hip-flexor.
Ducks at Predators – 8PM
I’ll take the Predators, the Ducks looked awful last night.
Ana – Andy Sutton (D) – Questionable; left after altercation yesterday.
Nsh – Jamie Lundmark (F) – Club needed to go under 23-man roster limit.
Red Wings at Blackhawks – 8:30PM
Blackhawks lost too many key role players to repeat, Wings take this one.
Det – Kris Draper (F) – Doubtful; torn groin. Justin Abdelkader (F) – Doubtful; shoulder. Jonathan Ericsson (D) – Doubtful; back spasms.
Chi – Brian Campbell (D) – IR 1-month; knee.
Kings at Canucks – 10PM
I’m not buying into the Canucks yet, Kings.
La – Andy Greene (D) – Shoulder. Scott Parse (F) – Doubtful; groin.
Van – Alex Burrows (F) – Torn labrum, 1 1/2 months. Rick Rypien (F) – Questionable; ribs.
Questions? Comments? Post below.