Morning Skate: Tuesday, 12/30

BallHype: hype it up!
Tonight’s Slate:
Capitals @ Sabres, 7:00 ET
Thrashers @ Maple Leafs, 7:30
Bruins @ Penguins, 7:30
Canadiens @ Lightning, 7:30
Blackhawks @ Red Wings, 7:30
Devils @ Blues, 8:00
Flyers @ Canucks, 10:00
Senators @ Oilers, 10:00

Games of the Night:
Game #1: Boston Bruins (27-5-4) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (19-13-4)

7:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Players to watch:
BOS- Milan Lucic
Look for Lucic to create havoc on both ends of the ice tonight… he just recently had an 8-game point streak.
PIT- Sidney Crosby
For his standards, Sid is in a mini-slump… he and Malkin need to energize this struggling attack tonight.

Projected Goaltenders:
BOS- Tim Thomas (08-09 stats: 15-3-3, 2.04 GAA)
PIT- Marc-Andre Fleury (08-09 stats: 11-6-2, 2.86 GAA)

Injury Report:
Patrice Bergeron (concussion, out), Marco Sturm (knee, out), Andrew Ference (leg, out), Petteri Nokelainen (upper body, doubtful)
PIT- Tyler Kennedy (knee, out), Kris Letang (undisclosed, doubtful), Sergei Gonchar (shoulder, out), Mike Zigomanis (undisclosed, doubtful), Eric Godard (undisclosed, questionable)

Last Ten Games:
Bruins (9-1-0) … Penguins (4-6-0)

Season Series:
1-0 Penguins

Game Thoughts:
The Penguins are desperate for a win tonight, as their offense has run dry the last week or so. The Bruins are obviously the best team in the east, with a 9-point cushion in the conference in their favor. I just think the Pens will be able to gut out a win, knowing they can’t waste any more time dilly-dallying.

Prediction: Penguins 3, Bruins 2 (SO)
Game #2: Chicago Blackhawks (20-6-7) @ Detroit Red Wings (23-7-5)
7:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Players to watch:
CHI- Brian Campbell
The ‘Soup’ is getting warm, and he needs to stay on the stove for the next two games against the Wings.
DET- Marian Hossa
‘Hoss’ has been a hoss at home this year, with 20 points in 17 games.

Projected Goaltenders:
CHI- Nikolai Khabibulin (08-09 stats: 11-1-4, 2.35 GAA)
DET- Ty Conklin (08-09 stats: 11-5-1, 2.57 GAA)

Injury Report:
Adam Burish (toe, out)
DET- Chris Osgood (groin, doubtful), Darren McCarty (groin, out)

Last Ten Games:
Blackhawks (9-0-1) … Red Wings (6-3-1)

Season Series:
2-0 Red Wings

Game Thoughts:
This is guaranteed to be another exciting game in this re-energized rivalry. It’s a semi-preview of the Winter Classic, except this one is indoors. Chicago is destined to win on Thursday, so Detroit will equalize it tonight by finding the win column for the first time in a week.

Prediction: Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 3
The rest of tonight’s predictions:

Capitals over Sabres
Maple Leafs over Thrashers
Canadiens over Lightning
Devils over Blues
Canucks over Flyers
Oilers over Senators

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!