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Friday, February 1, 2013

Puckmania Weekly Watch: Rivalry Week

Wild on Sports

Puckmania Weekly Watch: Rivalry Week Edition
By WildOnSports NHL Insider Erin Gilman

So as I predicted last week was a great week for hockey, some great and intense games. Touching a bit on last week, the Bruins and Buffalo game was back and forth from puck drop. We are beginning to see some great things from the Bruins players, and some surprising things as well. Nathan Horton has come back from his injury with a vengeance. A lot of players who experience a concussion come back with a lot of fear and some reservations, not number 18. He is already leading the Bruins with 3 goals and 3 assists. Dougie Hamilton is already making his way up the points chart too, with 4 assists already this season.

                Calgary got their first win of this season as they welcomed the Edmonton Oilers, an intense game with one of hockey’s biggest rivalries and some of hockey’s most passionate fans.  Chicago Blackhawks remain undefeated with their win against the Detroit Red Wings, though Detroit made them work for it, and work very hard. A few notable injuries this week as well, Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton will be out 7-10 days with a concussion incurred during a fight with Buffalo forward John Scott late in the first period of Thursday’s game. Patricfk Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres will be out until further notice due to a head injury sustained in Thursday’s game against the Bruins.  Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien will also be game time decision due to aggravating an existing injury during morning skate.

                Next week is once again looking to be an exciting week for us hockey fans, with some great match ups scheduled.  My picks are:

Key Match ups
Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs:
No matter how much we here about the Kessel trade it is still just as exciting every time we see him and the Bruins meet up again, which is why Phill Kessel will be my player to watch this game. He has not made it a secret of his distaste for what went down in Boston and he always seems to play his best when he sees the Bruins. We will also probably see a great game from Dougie Hamilton as this Kessel trade after all is what brought him to the Bruins.

Pittsburg Penguins and Washington Capitals.
This game is going to be exciting for the simple reason it has now become known as the battle of what could be the two greatest NHL players of all time. Sidney Crosbey and Alex Ovechkin. These players always play there bests when they meet each other. Maybe it’s because they want to make their mark as the best of the best, or maybe they feel they have something to prove to the other. Either way makes for a great game and also marks these two as my players to watch during this game on Sunday February 3rd, and again on Thursday February 7th.

Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadians
As far as rivalries go, this is by far in my top 5. This game is my personal favorite for this week as there is never a dull moment when these two teams play. It’s even great when they put the fists down long enough to actually play the game. My players to watch for this game are the goaltenders. Tukka Rask has something to prove to this team and I for see one of his greatest games, It’s one thing to let down your team, but if you’re a Boston Bruin and you’re playing the Canadiens it’s disappointing the fans that will really matter. The fans make or break your time in Boston of that there is no question. Carey Price has not had the greatest start this season, however always plays well when he plays the Bruins. I expect this game to be high scoring, but very back and forth.

Los Angelas Kings and the Anaheim Ducks
One of hockey’s best rivalries, The L.A. Kings have been home to some of Hockey’s greatest players from Marcel Dionne to Wayne Gretzky, and as such this team has always been the pride of California. Until of course the Anaheim Ducks came to town and have since given the Kings a run for their money. My players to watch this game are the team captains. Ryan Getzlaf and Dustin Brown.

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