Ho ho hope Santa Claus was good to for Christmas and you got that ShamWow you asked for.
If not, have I got a gift for you on Thursday morning – the 2008 Winter Classic from Wrigley Field in Chicago between the Stanley Cup champion Red Wings and the surging Blackhawks (NBC, 10 a.m. PT).
Hopefully, the annual outdoor NHL game will be as entertaining and as memorable as last year’s classic in snowy Buffalo between the Sabres and the Penguins.
Tuesday, Dec. 30
Hawks at Wings: This series has turned into a score-fest (20 goals in two games, both one-goal Detroit wins, 6-5, 5-4). OVER 5½.
Wednesday, Dec. 31
Panthers at Islanders: Florida was great on recent West-coast road trip and in net, Anderson (2.15 GAA) and Vokoun (2.58) are both getting the job done as Florida continues to fly under the radar. PANTHERS.
Sharks at Wild: San Jose should win a 3-2 game here against an offensively challenged – aren’t they always? – Minnesota team. SHARKS.
Jackets at Ducks: Columbus melts on the road (4-10-3) not in your hands. DUCKS.
Thursday, Jan. 1
Wings at Hawks: It’ll be the Frozen Confines for the Winter Classic and must-see TV to start 2009. Hopefully, there will be wicked weather and the total set a 5 because of the perceived cold outside. Perceived? OVER, RED WINGS.
Lightning at Capitals: It doesn’t feel like 2009, does it? A 13-1-1 home mark means almost no one beats Washington here. CAPITALS.
Friday, Jan. 2
Islanders at Coyotes: Phoenix has picked it up of late is playing some good hockey at the mall-like Jobing.com Arena (11-4-2) in Glendale for Coach Gretzky. COYOTES.
Saturday, Jan. 3
Sabres at Bruins: Respect Miller’s play in goal this season but Boston Phil Kessel has played like a man possessed lately. So the B’s beat Buffalo in Beantown baby. BRUINS.
Rangers at Capitals: Goaltender extraordinaire Lundqvist will certainly be tested by the Caps and Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom. CAPITALS.
Islanders at Sharks: May be the highest line we have seen this year. Possibly about -400. Lay -1½ if you must trim that money line down to around -200! SHARKS.
Sunday, January 4
Senators at Devils: Ottawa’s road record (3-9-2) and New Jersey’s home record (11-6-1) handicap this skate for fanatics. DEVILS.
Flames at Hawks: Kane (39), Toews (26) and Sharp (29) making hockey fun again this season in Chitown. HAWKS.
Coyotes at Ducks: Home ice nice but road rink stink for the Desert Dogs. Pate for all this evening. DUCKS.
Stars at Canucks: Vancouver has played admirably without Roberto Luongo (rib injury) and is solid on home ice (10-4-1) CANUCKS.
Monday, January 5
Islanders at Oilers: Edmonton not all that and a bag of chips but the Islanders have just five road wins and at are 0-9-1 L10 and are a long, long way from home. OILERS.