Grab Your Stick and Find that Puck, It's Another Saturday Full of Hockey! [NHL Live Thread]
We're headed to Winnipeg to start our day where this game is already in progress. The Jets are hosting the red-hot Flyers, but the Jets have come out guns a-blazing and are already leading 3-1 nearing the end of the first period. These teams are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but this first period is already showing us the old cliché of "any given day."
Philadelphia Flyers @ Winnipeg Jets: 3:00 PM ET - CBC, CSN Philadelphia
Next we have to hightail it out to Hollywood where they're just about to drop the puck on an afternoon matinée between the Kings and the visiting Wings. Just 2-5 on the road, Detroit is trying to avoid something they haven't done as long as they've had their playoff streak, and that's lose 6 in a row on the road. The last time they did that, Christmas 1987! The Kings are playing much better in contrast, riding a 3-game win streak into this game and winners of 4 of their last 5. The Wings need to find a way to win on the road, or it's gonna be a loooooong season!
Detroit Red Wings @ Los Angeles Kings: 4:00 PM ET - NHL Network, FSN Detroit
On our way back east, we have some time to sit in the dining car for dinner before starting a mad dash between 10 more cities tonight. Our first stop takes us to Buffalo where the Sabres, behind goalie Jonas Enroth (NOT Ryan Miller), look to continue their hot play against the visiting Coyotes who continue their east coast trip after losing to their former goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on Thursday night. Still, Mike Smith is giving this team a chance to win every night, and that's all you can ask for from a goalie who wasn't projected to do much of anything.
Phoenix Coyotes @ Buffalo Sabres: 7:00 PM ET - MSG
We'll stay in the state of New York for our next stop, where the big bad Bruins are continuing to win games, while the Isles continue to win maybe one game every couple of weeks. The Bruins are looking for their 8th straight win, and Tim Thomas will most likely be in net. I'm sure that Boston cabbie girl will be watching. Talk about domination, he's 7-1-1 with a GAA under 2 in his last 9 starts against the Isles! They almost fell victim to a trap in overlooking the Jackets on Thursday, but managed to win. You can bet they won't make the same mistake this time on Long Island.
Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders: 7:00 PM ET - NESN, MSG+
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there for our next game, as we're stopping through Newark to pick up the Devils and head down to Tampa Bay where they will visit the Lightning. The Bolts are coming off a dominating performance against the Pens 2 nights ago. The Devils now have the #1 PK in the league, but the Pens came into St. Pete with that mark and gave up 2 power play goals to the Bolts. Will the Devils suffer the same fate? This promises to be a great game.
New Jersey Devils @ Tampa Bay Lightning: 7:00 PM ET - MSG+2, CW Channel 44
We're headed all the way back up and then some for our next game, as we make our 2nd trip into Canada for today. This time the Leafs play host to the Caps. Both teams have been struggling as of late. Phil Kessel continues to find the back of the net, but the goalie situation is suspect at best without James Reimer. The 0-fer streak on the PP is up to 20 for the Caps, and they look to snap a 3-game losing streak. Which team gets its groove back first in this one? Both teams could use a win to boost their confidence a little.
Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs: 7:00 PM ET - CBC, CSN Washington
Staying in Canada, we find an Original Six matchup between the Rangers and Habs in Montreal. The Habs have been playing better lately, but nobody is hotter in the league than the Rangers. They, like the Bruins, are also trying to win their 8th in a row. They haven't had an 8-game win streak in 36 years! They're scoring goals, Lundqvist is on top of his game, and everything is working for them. The Habs will have to play up to the task if they're going to end that win streak of the Rangers.
New York Rangers @ Montreal Canadiens: 7:00 PM ET - CBC, RDS
Our next stop is back down to Florida. This time we're headed to the other coast where the Panthers host the Pens. Pittsburgh was manhandled 2 nights ago in Tampa, and for the first time all year played a completely terrible game all across the board. They'll look to rebound against a Panthers team that continues to defy the odds. A game against Florida could help get them back on track, as they look to win their 6th straight against the Panthers. The Pens have lost 4 of their last 5 road games, but still sit in a tie with the Flyers for the top spot in the eastern conference.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Florida Panthers: 7:30 PM ET - ROOT Pittsburgh, FSN Florida
Our next stop is in the Twin Cities where I give this my nod for game of the night. Which of these teams are for real? The Wild are riding a hot streak in which they're going for their 5th straight win on home ice. The Blues meanwhile come to town riding a 3-game win streak of their own, and have been playing very well under new head coach Ken Hitchcock. In 5 games as head coach, he hasn't lost a game in regulation. Good goaltending will be the highlight of this game, and tonight we'll find out what these two teams are made of.
St. Louis Blues @ Minnesota Wild: 8:00 PM ET - FSN Midwest, FSN North
Can we just bypass our next stop? I'm warning you, this one may get ugly, and fast. The Blue Jackets can't score goals. Pekka Rinne just doesn't give up goals. A shutout by the Preds isn't out of the question here, as Columbus continues to sink further and further towards the #1 draft pick.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nashville Predators: 8:00 PM ET - FSN Ohio
Oh Dallas, Dallas, Dallas...they came into Pittsburgh last Friday night with the best record in the west. They were dominated by the Pens in a 3-1 loss. The next night, they went to Detroit, and again got manhandled and lost 5-2. In the last 2 games they've surrendered 9 goals and haven't found the back of the net. A 4-game losing streak is bad enough, but you can't get much worse than this. Breaking out of this slump tonight may prove difficult as they're playing host to the Sharks, who are starting to look like their usual selves. That said, they do have the league's worst PK. Let's just come right out and say it, Dallas needs a win in the worst way, period!
San Jose Sharks @ Dallas Stars: 8:00 PM ET - CSN California, KTXA
In our night capper, we're headed into western Canada where the Blackhawks travel into Edmonton to face the upstart Oilers. They've lost 4 in a row, but they, like the Avs, are a young team and you expect that. The Hawks meanwhile got torched last night (all puns intended) in Calgary, losing to the Flames 5-2. They do tend to dominate the Oilers though. The Hawks should get back on track in this game, but don't overlook the Oilers. This team is on the upswing, and they'll only continue to improve.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Edmonton Oilers: 10:00 PM ET - CBC, WGN
You know the drill, this is your place to talk (or bitch) about the game(s) you're watching tonight. Who are you cheering for? Like what you see? Join the party with our 12-game trip!