It’s that time of the season again. Yes, the annual trading frenzy as fading teams try to get something worthwhile for their unrestricted free agents. The NHL trade deadline is March 4. Take a look at this list of the top 50 UFA’s from the 8 worst teams in the league. I like the Maple Leafs’ big power winger Nik Antropov. And, with a cap hit of just over $2 million, I hope the Rangers like him too.
Let’s take a look at the games tonight. We have some good matchups (i.e. Rangers-Ducks, Wings-Coyotes) and some complete mismatches. Speaking of mismatches… in my opinion, the standard play for the *Gimmie* is to bet on the biggest mismatch, which would presumably be the safest bet. Tonight, we have the Canadiens taking on the Thrashers (#5 vs #29) and the Capitals playing the Senators (#4 vs #28). While we all agree on the picks (Habs and Caps), none of us picked either team as our gimmie. Does that mean we smell upsets? Or do we all just hate the Habs and we’re just too afraid to pick the inconsistent Caps on the road? In other news, Eric picked the Hurricanes as his gimmie against the Penguins. He must know something I don’t.
On to the picks!
#12 Anaheim Ducks @ #9 New York Rangers
Eric – Ducks – This is what happens when you take Korpikoski AND Prucha out of the lineup, Tom.
Marc – Rangers – The Rangers handled the Ducks nicely when they played in Anaheim. Plus, Dawes owns Pronger.
Rory – Rangers – We live in hope.
#5 Montreal Canadiens @ #29 Atlanta Thrashers
Eric – Canadiens – The Habs’ road record (12-7-2) is better than the Thrashers’ home record (8-13-2).
Marc – Canadiens – Even with Halak in goal, the Habs are a better team than Atlanta in pretty much every facet of the game.
Rory – Canadiens – Come on now.
#4 Washington Capitals @ #28 Ottawa Senators
Eric – Capitals – A day after spoiling the Islanders’ bid for their first win of 2009, the Caps head north to take on an equally crappy team.
Marc – Capitals – It’s inauguration day, and in the battle of North American capital cities, we will win! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Rory – Capitals – Ovie has a Twitter! Which Eric and I now follow.
#19 Carolina Hurricanes @ #15 Pittsburgh Penguins
Eric – Canes – “The Flower” is gonna get blown away tonight. *gimmie*
Marc – Penguins – The Canes are tempting, especially with the way Cam Ward has been playing. But, I’m going with the Pens here.
Rory – Canes – Meh.
#24 L.A. Kings @ #17 Minnesota Wild
Eric – Wild – Because I can.
Marc – Wild – I love the Wild and I love Backstrom. What? Backstrom might not start??? &*#@.
Rory – Wild – Kings = Suck.
#20 Columbus Blue Jackets @ #18 Edmonton Oilers
Eric – BJ’s – Mason is quite the goalie.
Marc – Oilers – Steve Mason came back down to earth against the Canucks. I like the Oilers in Rexall Place.
Rory – BJ’s – Hehe… BJs.
#3 Detroit Red Wings @ #13 Phoenix Coyotes
Eric – Red Wings – The Coyotes have quietly moved into 6th place in the west.
Marc – Red Wings – Detroit has beaten Phoenix in Phoenix 7 times in a row.
Rory – Red Wings – Go Flying Tires! *gimmie*
#16 Vancouver Canucks @ #1 San Jose Sharks
Eric – Sharks – Gonna be a close one. Edge to Sharks.
Marc – Sharks – Somehow, I was able to pick the Sharks first regulation home loss in 11 months. Thanks Kipper! Tonight, the Sharks take care of business against the Canucks. *gimmie*
Rory – Sharks – Eff you, Mats Sundin!