My 3 stars of the night: 1. Ilya Bryzgalov, PHX (26 Saves, Shutout)… Phoenix was handled by Anaheim in their first two meetings, but ‘Bryz’ shut the door last night. 2. Alexander Steen, STL (2 Goals, 1 Assist) 3. Chris Kelly, OTT (3 Goals)
If the playoffs started today… Eastern Conference:
1) WSH vs. 8) ATL
2) PHI vs. 7) BOS
3) MTL vs. 6) NYR
4) PIT vs. 5) TB Western Conference:
1) DET vs. 8) CBJ
2) DAL vs. 7) STL
3) VAN vs. 6) LA
4) PHX vs. 5) CHI
Devils @ Penguins, 7:00 ET
Maple Leafs @ Capitals, 7:00
Predators @ Thrashers, 7:00
Stars @ Blue Jackets, 7:00
Sharks @ Red Wings, 7:30
Game of the Night: San Jose Sharks @ Detroit Red Wings
7:30 ET… TV: VERSUS Records: Overall: Sharks (12-9-4) … Red Wings (17-4-3) Last Ten: Sharks (4-4-2) … Red Wings (7-1-2) Away/Home: Sharks (5-5-2) … Red Wings (10-1-2) Season Series: 1-0 Red Wings
Players to watch: SJ- Ryane Clowe
Clowe only has four points in the last seven games, but needs to step up tonight. DET- Henrik Zetterberg
Zetterberg usually fares well vs. San Jose, and had four points in their last meeting.
Projected Goaltenders: SJ- Antero Niittymaki (2010/11 stats: 8-3-3, 2.34 GAA) DET- Jimmy Howard (2010/11 stats: 15-2-2, 2.38 GAA)
Injury Report: SJ- Devin Setoguchi and Jason Demers (upper body, out), Niclas Wallin (leg, questionable), Kent Huskins (upper body, doubtful) DET- Mike Modano (wrist, out)
As it appears right now, the Red Wings have returned to their dominant ways by separating themselves from the pack in a crazy Western Conference. However, this game is more important to the Sharks, who need to find consistency on the road. I think that gives them a chance in this one (if they play desperate), but I still like the Wings tonight. Prediction: Red Wings 3, Sharks 2 (OT)
Lock of the Night: Capitals over Maple Leafs… Washington is coming off two straight losses and may take it out on the Leafs tonight.
The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Penguins over Devils
Predators over Thrashers
Stars over Blue Jackets
--- Morning Links: - ESPN… The latest rumblings around the league from Pierre LeBrun. - New York Post… Larry Brooks believes the NHL needs to take over the struggling Islanders. - Puck Daddy… Some fantasy hockey pointers for December from the guys at Dobber Hockey. - From the Point… A look at Sidney Crosby’s early-season success. - Sens Town… A photo diary from Heatley’s return to Ottawa.
--- Video of the Day:
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.