Penguins – The Penguins are the more talented team in this match up and it isn’t all that close. Pittsburgh is a very lucky team in terms of talent.
They will have a healthy Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, something questioned last season with Crosby coming off a broken jaw. Pittsburgh has a legitimate top six on the back end this season. It currently looks like the only player that will miss significant time in the playoffs is Marcel Goc and his return can be as early as next week.
(Disclaimer, this is not including Pascal Dupuis who is out from ACL surgery in February, there is no possible way he can return this season)
The Islanders look to finish up their homestand Sunday afternoon on a high note as they take on their Metropolitan rival Columbus Blue Jackets 1pm at the Nassau Coliseum. It will be the third of four matchups as Columbus has taken the first two, including the Islanders’ home opener. In what was a sign for things to come, the Islanders blew a 2-0 third period lead before falling to Columbus in the shootout 3-2. The two met again in Columbus in November where the Blue Jackets scored three times in the third period to win 5-2. (Photo credit: paul.hadsall/flickr).
The last time that the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets played each other, the two were Central division rivals. But with realignment, Columbus moved to the Eastern Conference, and the two teams faced each other for the first time this season on Thursday night at the United Center.
There's no reason to think that the Blue Jackets can't make the playoffs. They have been bouncing in and out of wild card contention all season. Since New Year's, Columbus has gone 15-6-1, including an 8-game win streak (January 6-23).
But on Thursday night in Chicago, the Blackhawks beat them solidly, 6-1. The home team dominated in just about every stat that mattered: outshooting ...
It has been a long week for the New York Islanders. The early season road trip has been an absolute disaster for the Isles and dropping a 5-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday continued the misery. Columbus came into the game losers of five straight, but clearly was a team that just wanted it more last night as they did something that has been the bugaboo of the Isles all season; they played the full 60 minutes.
Detroit Red Wings have somewhat of a comeback from their last game against the Blues on Saturday night. Safe to call it a victory? We think so. The Wings started strong. The first period gave a surge of energy to Red Wings fans everywhere. "We have our Wings back" was a common theme across social networking sites tonight. However, the Wings seemed to have a battle ahead. The game ended in a tie, sending the Wings to overtime and a shootout.
Though the St.John's IceCaps were unhappy with their home-series pattern of taking two points every series throughout the first five of the year, they would easily have repeated that feat this weekend, given the choice.
The caps lost both games of the series over the weekend, Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, against the Eastern Conference-best Springfield Falcons (14-4-1-3)