Hockey night in Canada Feb. 10th

Powerhouses will look to cement their playoff spot.

By: Julien Quincou

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Ottawa Senators

         The Senators are on somewhat of a roll. They will be looking for their 3rd win in a row on Saturday when they’ll renew their intense rivalry against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last time these two teams met, the Leafs scored 3 unanswered goal in the 3 period to comeback and win 4-3 on Hockey Day in Canada. Since, Matt Duchene and Mike Hoffman have connected and chemistry between these two is evident now. With the trade deadline approaching rapidly, Hoffman will look to increase his stock and make himself attractive for a contender.  The Sens must work hard to beat Fred Andersen who is now the league leader for wins with 40 saves or more with 5. Ottawa has trouble finding the back of the net and the Leafs don’t usually offer prime scoring chances to their opponent when they’re on their game. Toronto is young and they could take the Senators lightly. This game will surely be entertaining again. The Sens’s confidence looks like it’s high, this game as the potential to be an upset. Either the Leafs blow the Sens out of the building or Ottawa prevails in Overtime.        

Toronto Maple Leafs

            The Maple Leafs will have to be careful on Saturday, they almost got burned last time they played the Sens. Thanks to a 3 goal 3rd period effort, the Buds salvage the win. Toronto will look to capitalize on special team, as Ottawa is ranked below the 25th position in the league on the Power Play and the Penalty Kill. Freddy Andersen has been terrific lately and could give headaches to Ottawa’s forward who had troubles finding twine all-season long. On the other-hand, The Leafs’ forward have been scoring at a high rate, but could be frustrated by Ottawa’s style of play. If Toronto can get the ball rolling early, they will win this one in big fashion. They just need to distance the Sens and not let them gain any momentum at crucial times of the game, like starts and ends of period.

Edmonton Oilers @ San Jose Sharks

Edmonton Oilers

         Well, it may seem all over for the Oilers, but since G Cam Talbot sort of guaranteed his team would make the playoffs, the team is playing good hockey. Captain Connor McDavid is certainly leading the way and looks like he is having fun playing the game again.  With a couple of games in hands, the Oilers probably won’t make it, but could still matter in the playoff race and the last Wild Card spot available. It must be hard to be an Oilers fan, every time like the team looks like they figure it out, they lose to a team like the Buffalo Sabres 5-0. Edmonton’s penalty kill, dead last in the NHL must be on its best behaviour against the powerful Sharks’ power play, ranked 4th in the Bettman circuit. Oilers will come out strong and give good adversity to San Jose, but won’t last 60 minutes and will drop this one by a close score.

San Jose Sharks

         The Sharks have dropped their last 2 games and will look to stop their slide in the standings against a very beatable Oilers squad. San Jose is deadly with the man advantage and will surely prey on Edmonton’s awful strategy on the penalty kill. Speedy forwards like Labanc, Hertl, Pavelski and Couture will surely create all sort of trouble for the less than average Oilers’ d-squad. If Thornton and friends play this game with intensity and purpose, Edmonton will have a great deal of difficulty to gain any momentum. Unless, McJesus works his magic again and wins this one by himself, like he did against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sharks win this one…