Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bad Blood Games a Plenty Tonight in the NHL

If you have a buddy who is a casual sports fan and you want to get him hooked on hockey, today is the day.

A number of NHL matchups today/tonight have the potential to feature some serious battles.

Here the skinny (team fights in parenthesis; potential fighters listed by team):

Vancouver (21) @ Pittsburgh (10) - 1:00 est
Vancouver: Hordichuk, M Brown, O Brien, Davison
Pittsburgh: Godard

Hordichuk/Godard could be a pretty nasty tilt.

Potential - Highsticking minor

NY Rangers (15) @ Ottawa (7) - 3:00 est
NY Rangers: Orr, Voros, Dubinsky
Ottawa: Ruutu, Bass, J Smith

Get your rear ends in your seats. Jarkko Ruutu is in for a long night against a team of Rangers that want blood. This past Monday night, Ruutu missed on a penalty shot. Instead of going back the bench, he retrieved the puck in the corner and fired it at Rangers' goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist. Bad move. Rangers tough guy Colton Orr wanted to get at Ruutu after the game; but the referees kept everyone separated. It's been less than a week... the memories are fresh.

Potential - Two fights at one time... ejection. Keep an eye on Voros who matches up nicely with Ruutu.

Boston (10) @ Montreal (12) - 7:00 est
Boston: Sh Thornton, Lucic, Chara, Hnidy
Montreal: Laraque, Kostopoulos, O Byrne, Begin

Superheavyweight Georges Laraque was brought into Montreal for a number of reasons, one of which was to keep the Bruins' Milan Lucic from running Habs' players. Laraque has been less than successful. Lucic ran Alexi Kovalev last game and beat the snot out of Mike Komisarek in a one-sided fight. Komisarek is now out for at least a month with a shoulder injury. Laraque asked Lucic to fight him; but Lucic politely declined and went about his way. Laraque force the issue today and jump Lucic. He should have did it last game when the Bs were blowing out the Habs. Maybe he was saving up for a performance on home ice today in Montreal?

Potential - Line brawl. Very nasty game.

Chicago (20) @ Toronto (9) - 7:00 est
Chicago: Eager, Burish, M Walker, C Adams?, Byfuglien
Toronto: Hollweg, Mayers

Hit the snooze button and choose another game. Hollweg and Mayers actually do matchup well with Eager (Mayers) and Burish (Hollweg). But there are too many other good games going on to waste your time here. Brian Burke can't get to Toronto fast enough to inject some toughness into that lineup.

NY Islanders (10) @ Buffalo (11) - 7:00 est
NY Islanders: Fritz, T Jackman
Buffalo: Peters, Mair, Rivet, Gaustad, Kaleta

Mitch Fritz meet Andrew Peters. Fritz bring his 6'8" frame back to the NHL. This the first meeting since these two teams had a line brawl in the preseason. Patrick Kaleta fought Brendan Witt, Craig Rivet jumped into the primary fight and got a third man in, Nate Thompson and Adam Mair scrapped. Look for Fritz to find Peters early to set the tone. Kaleta will be running around and it will take one cheap hit to send this game through the roof.

Potential - Elbowing major. Multiple fights.

Phoenix (15) @ Philadelphia (17) - 7:00 est
Phoenix: McGrattan, Fedoruk, Carcillo, G Murray, Hale
Philadelphia: J Gratton, Asham, M Richards, Hartnell

Tons of nice matchups in Philly today. Josh Gratton has been active since getting the call up to replace Riley Cote; but he hasn't been very productive. Gratton and Carcillo matchup quite nicely in size and could provide a spirited toe-to-toe battle. Gratton could also go with the Fridge or McGrattan (should he get a jersey tonight). A couple of middleweight matchups make this a game with some possibilities.

Potential - Two fight game.

Columbus (16) @ Atlanta (8) - 7:00 est
Columbus: Dorsett, Boll, Tollefsen, Commodore, Chimera
Atlanta: Boulton, Valabik, Thorburn, Exelby

Derek Dorsett, a very scrappy middleweight, is back with Jackets... he matches up nicely with just about any of the Thrashers. This has the potential for a random scrap or two as the Jackets also feature Jared Boll and KOT.

Potential - two fights.

St Louis (16) @ Minnesota (7) - 8:00 est
St Louis: Janssen, Crombeen, Winchester, B Jackman, Backes
Minnesota: Boogaard, Weller, Reitz

The Wild are horrific to watch. The have the scariest fighter in the league, Derek Boogard and then...... nada. So you basically have a guy no one wants to fight and then a bunch of guys that don't fight. You have just the opposite in St. Louis, with Cam Jannsen, B.J. Crombeen, and a number of willing combatants.

Potential - One fight involving two middleweights.

Anaheim (24) @ Dallas (15) - 8:00 est
Anaheim: Parros, May, Montador, Moen, McIver?, Perry
Dallas: Barch, Ott, Avery

Anaheim/Dallas have too many potential matchups to list. Kris Barch and Brad May have fought a number of times in the past two years. Avery and Ott are the league's superpests, but will drop the gloves too. Ott and Corey Perry scrapped the last time these two teams met. Travis Moen and Avery are a nice matchup as well.

Potential - Three fights, a slew foot, and a check from behind.

Detroit (5) @ Calgary (20) - 10:00 est
Detroit: McCarty, Lilja
Calgary: A Roy, Prust, Nystrom, Phaneuf, Iginla, Regher

A tough team against the softest team in the league. Hit the snoozer.

Colorado (16) @ Los Angeles (11) - 10:30 est
Colorado: Laperriere, McCormick, McLeod, Tucker
Los Angeles: Ivanans, Greene, O Donnell, Simmonds

Lappy, McCormick, and McLeod match up nicely with Green and O'Donnell. Raitis Ivanans, the Kings' heavy, should have a quiet night as there is no one to match him on the Avs.

Potential - One fight.

Washington (7) @ San Jose (14) - 10:30 est
Washington: Brashear, Erskine, Bradley
San Jose: Shelley, Clowe, D Murray

Donald Brashear -vs- Jody Shelley... lock it up.

Potential - One fight. See above.

Strap on the seat belts, hit the DVR/TiVo, grab some chips and a cold one. Bad blood hockey starts here in a few!

No comments: