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March 18th: Minnesota Wild vs Vancouver Canucks

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Tonight the Minnesota Wild battle the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena at 10 PM EST. The teams jockey for topplaces in the Northwest division, each team with 32 points. This division is usually the forgotten division (mainly by American fans) due to the super saturation of Canadian teams. However, offseason moves by the Minnesota Wild drew much attention by the rest of the country with trades for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

The acquisitions by the Wild made them lack a bit of chemistry in the beginning of the season but they have come on strong since. They beat the Oilers and Canucks within the past couple weeks and are on a 2 game win streak. The Canucks have been faced with many late game thrillers and have had monotone performances by the Sedins. Besides that issue, Vancouver’s goalie balancing act has proven difficult for the team. Luongo is aging and he tends to forget that. Schneider is a great goalie that deserves an opportunity to play more

If we consider recent trends, I pick the Wild  to win: 4-3

Men of the Hour: Zach Parise, David Booth, Keith Ballard, Maxim Lapierre, Justin Falk

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February 28th: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Carolina Hurricanes

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The Pittsburgh Penguins play the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena in Charlotte, NC this evening. The Hurricanes (9-8-1) lead the Southeast division while the Penguins (13-7-0) lead the Atlantic division. Both teams have lost their most recent game and have not faced off against one another yet this season. They have the same goals against totals (54) however the Penguins have about 10 more goals than the Hurricanes.

The real story behind this game is the fact that this is Jordan Staal’s first time playing against his old team. Staal was instrumental in both of Pittsburgh trips to the playoffs in 2008 and 2009. He now joins his brother, Eric Staal, on the team. This game is also Brandon Sutter’s first time playing against his former team. With Evgeni Malkin out due to a concussion, Sutter will be given much more responsibility on the ice. His lackluster performance as of lately will hopefully be put to an end in this matchup, fueled by his fire against the Hurricanes.

While the two teams are have similar stats in leading/trailing categories and others, the Penguins ability to score on the power play could be a distinguishing and determining factor for their success this evening

Pick: Penguins 4, Hurricanes 3

Men of the Hour: Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, James Neal, The Staal Bros., Tim Brent, Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk

 

 

Crime against any real fan

http://http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1543246-nhl-realignment-2013-complete-breakdown-of-the-latest-4-conference-format

CBS Pittsburgh

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Beer lovers across the U.S. have filed $5 million class-action lawsuits accusing Anheuser-Busch of watering down its Budweiser, Michelob and other brands.

The suits, filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states, claim consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content stated on labels. Budweiser and Michelob each boast of being 5 percent alcohol, while some “light” versions are said to be just over 4 percent.

The lawsuits are based on information from former employees at the company’s 13 U.S. breweries, some in high-level plant positions, according to lead lawyer Josh Boxer of San Rafael, Calif.

“Our information comes from former employees at Anheuser-Busch, who have informed us that as a matter of corporate practice, all of their products mentioned (in the lawsuit) are watered down,” Boxer said. “It’s a simple cost-saving measure, and it’s very significant.”

The excess water is added just before bottling and cuts…

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Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders

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The Boston Bruins (11-2-2) and the New York Islanders (8-10-1) face off this evening at Nassau Veterans Memorial Colliseum at 7:30 PM Eastern Time. The Islanders started off the season strong and fought the off the Bruins rough play into the 3rd period during their first meeting in Boston on January 25th. The teams were tied going after the 2nd period but the Bruins took hold of the 3rd almost immediately with a goal by the captain, Zdeno Chara followed by a goal to cap off the win later in the period by Patrice Bergeron. 

The Islanders have been brought back to reality as the other teams have put them in their place. (They are back the bottom 4 of the conference and tied with Winnipeg). It should be an easy win for the Bruins tonight. While they have one of if not the best power play kill in the league, their success on the power play had been dismal since recently. Their depth in scoring and assisting will make them difficult to beat.

However…the Islanders are starting their newly acquired goalie in his first game of the season, the krazy keeper Tim Thomas. With Thomas in net, this could actually be an entertaining game to watch. 

Handsome Hockey Hotties: John Tavares, Dougie Brinkley, Tyler Seguin, Matt Moulson

Still, my money is on the Bruins winning 5-3

Beer of choice: Blue Point Pale Ale

This beer is consistently ranked as one of the favorites coming from the Long Island microbrews. Blue Point refers to it as their “All-American brew” and because the Islanders are most likely going to mauled by bears tonight (and a chunk of the proceeds go to Superstorm Sandy relief), crack yourself open a nice brew.