Game Previews - Saturday March 5, 2011

Chicago vs Toronto 7:00 Est CBC

Saturday Night’s Star Selector match up pits two of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League with the upstart Toronto Maple Leafs (6-1-3 in their last 10) hosting the defending Stanley Cup Champions from Chicago. The Blackhawks are currently riding a 6 game winning streak and Leaf Nation is hoping that it continues Friday with a regulation home victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Jonathan Toews, February’s NHL’s player of the month, is red hot with 8 goals and 17 assists in his last 15 games and a must have in your Star Selector line up. The Leafs are coming off a home and away Pennsylvania sweep with consecutive come from behind wins against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. James Reimer is providing elite level goaltending, Phil Kessel is coming off player of the week honors, there is talk of a contract extension for Coach Wilson and the Buds are three points out of a playoff position. Who would have predicted that one month ago?

The pride of NFLD and card carrying Leaf Nation member Be-Leaf sends us his Star Selector starting 5. Thanks Be-Leaf!

Captain - Phil Kessel
Jonathan Toews
Mikhail Grabovski
Nikolai Kulemin
Clarke MacArthur

Montreal vs Tampa Bay 7:00 Est CBC

If the regular season ended tonight this would be a game 1 Stanley Cup playoff series preview article. Montreal earned their third consecutive win and Carey Price his 7th shut out of the season in Thursday’s 4-0 over Florida. Tampa Bay, in the midst of a two game mini losing streak, is hoping that injured star center Vincent Lecavalier will make his return to the line up Saturday night. Lecavalier is currently listed as day to day after suffering an upper body injury in Wednesday nights loss to New Jersey. A homecoming to the friendly confines of the St. Pete’s Time Forum could not have come at a better time for Steven Stamkos. Stamkos, held pointless during the Lightning’s recent three game road trip, still holds a commanding 8 goal lead in the race for the Rocket Richard trophy. Look for the NHL’s leading goal scorer to rebound Saturday night as he hasn’t gone more than three games without registering a point all season.

Star Selector Starting 5:
Captain - Steven Stamkos
Carey Price
Martin St. Louis
Simon Gagne
Andrei Kostitsyn

Edmonton vs Colorado 10:00 EST CBC

There are a lot of similarities between these two team playing in the late game. Both are out of the playoff picture, give up a lot of goals and boast line-ups with young emerging superstars. While the only impact this contest might have for the 2010 NHL Season is draft position it does however have the potential for a huge star selector point night. Edmonton and Colorado rank 29th and 30th respectively for goals against so it as a match up to keep both goalies on the bench. Edmonton will be with out the services of rookie sensation Taylor Hall who injured his ankle during his first professional fight Thursday night against Blue Jacket Derek Dorsett and Ales Hemsky who is suffering from an injured shoulder. The Avalanche are an ice cold 1-7-2 in their last 10, have lost 4 straight but should be well rested as they haven’t seen any action since Tuesday nights overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Star Selector Starting 5:
Captain - Matt Duchene
Paul Stastny
Shawn Horcoff
Jordan Eberle
Magnus Paajarvi

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