BIG AL's SLAPSHOT CLUB: AFTERNOON NHL WINNER!: Al McMordie CASHED Friday's Hockey play as he had the 'under' 5.5 goals in the Colorado/Columbus game, and Big Al's now 16-5 his last 21 Totals. Al's also on a 37-18 Run on his NHL Sides/Totals combined, and today's Hockey Winner goes in the AFTERNOON. Get on it.
Game: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins Feb 25 2012 1:05PM
Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins
Grade: Winner (100)
Reason: At 1:05 pm, our selection is on the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Tampa Bay Lightning. There may be plenty of doubt about which teams from the Eastern Conference will make it to the post-season, but there is no doubt which division in the East is the toughest. The Atlantic Division is almost a carbon copy of the equally tough Central Division of the West with four teams sporting point totals more than 70 (the only divisions in the NHL that can claim that). The Penguins seem have a history in recent years of playing their best hockey in the second half - even when they are down a star or two - and that pattern seems to be holding again this season as Pittsburgh is beginning to look like a team that could make a lot of noise come April and May. The Lightning could be that type of team - as they were in last season's playoffs - as they have one of the most explosive offenses in the NHL, including leading goal-scorer Steven Stamkos. But their Achilles heel has been their inability (seemingly inexplicably) to win games on the road. At 18-9-2 at home and 9-18-4 away from home, Tampa has one of the largest home-road biases in the league, and generally those kind of teams cannot make it to the post-season, and even if they do, they are seeded so low that they don't last very long. Contrast this to last season when Tampa had winning records at both home and on the road and as a result made a run all the way to the Eastern Conference finals. They don't just go on the road this afternoon, they go into one of the toughest venues in the league. Pittsburgh has won the last three regular season meetings vs. Tampa Bay at the Igloo by a combined 17-4 count. This will be another blowout. Take the Pens. As always, good luck...Al McMordie.