A Dozen Games to Fill Your Plate [NHL Live Thread]
We begin in New Jersey where the Devils host the Habs. For the second Saturday in a row, Les Habitants are playing an afternoon matinée, but this time it's in their own time zone. Montreal continues to be terrificly mediocre with a .500 record in wins and losses, and a league leading 7 overtime losses, while the Devils have had just 1 loss past regulation. Both teams find themselves outside the playoff picture if the season ended today. Both teams could use a nice little win streak with a jump start on that here today.
Montreal Canadiens @ New Jersey Devils: 1:00 PM ET - CBC, RDS
We have plenty of time to stop and grab some dinner before our next game. After the Habs-Devils game, nothing happens until the evening east coast games at 7:00, and we begin in Philly. The Pronger-less Flyers edged out the Pens 3-2 a couple nights ago, and now they'll have to keep it going against the still inconsistent Lightning, who are absolutely horrible on the road so far this year. The Bolts haven't scored more than 2 goals in any of their last 6 games. They might need to find the back of the net more often than that tonight if they have any hopes of winning.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Philadelphia Flyers: 7:00 PM ET - NHL Network, SUN
Next we head west just a bit to Ohio where the Bruins have now lost 2 in a row after that incredible run. They were stymied in Winnipeg to end that streak, and then 2 nights ago were shut out by the Panthers on home ice. Boston needs to get things rolling again against a team that they clearly overlooked a few weeks ago. It took a shootout to get past Columbus in Boston, and that isn't a good thing. The Jackets are playing better, but let's be honest, the only way they could go from the start of the season is up!
Boston Bruins @ Columbus Blue Jackets: NESN, FSN Ohio
Next it's off to Motown where the Wings play host to the Jets, who they'll be facing a lot more next year. Winnipeg has taken off as of late, vaulting themselves into the playoff picture. Meanwhile, ho hum, the Wings are up to 17 wins and counting, and they're doing their usual thing. That "usual thing" means the Jets are going to have to play a mistake-free, hard-fought game to have a chance at beating the Wings at the Joe.
Winnipeg Jets @ Detroit Red Wings: 7:00 PM ET - CBC, FSN Detroit
Next we're headed back east for a couple games in the state of New York. Our first stop is Buffalo where the Sabres won 2-1 last night in OOOOOVERTIME! They host the Rangers who have now lost 2 in a row after that red-hot streak. The Sabres won't be an easy foe for them, but the Rangers didn't play last night. That could help them as they'll try to take advantage of a tired Sabres squad. The next win for the Rangers will be franchise victory #2,500, the 5th of the Original Six to reach that milestone. Does it happen tonight? If not, they host the Panthers tomorrow evening at MSG.
New York Rangers @ Buffalo Sabres: 7:00 PM ET - MSG2, MSG
For our next game we're off to Long Island where the Isles play host to the Crosby-less Pens. The Isles are playing better as of late, but the Pens so far are 3-0 against them this season, and 2 of those wins were without Crosby. Marc-Andre Fleury has yielded a grand total of 2 goals in the 3 games, and that was in one meeting. The other 2 games, the Isles couldn't get one puck past him. The Pens look for their 5th straight against the Isles, and 19th in their last 23 meetings against each other.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Islanders: 7:00 PM ET - ROOT Pittsburgh, MSG+
We're headed north of the border for this next stop, as the Canucks head east to pay a visit to the Sens. With 17 wins, the Canucks look to have righted the ship from the start of the season, while the Sens can't get off the roller coaster. They're hitting another slide, going 1-2-2 in their last 5. The Canucks on the other hand are looking for their 4th consecutive road win. Ottawa has done some good things this year, but they've also stunk up the joint just as much. This one could get ugly in a hurry.
Vancouver Canucks @ Ottawa Senators: 7:00 PM ET - CBC
We're headed back down into the US to Music City now where the Preds host the Ducks. Bruce Boudreau hasn't immediately turned the ship around, but the Preds are lousy at home right now. They've lost 4 in a row on home ice, but the Ducks are in the midst of a team record 8 losses in a row on the road. Something's gotta give in this one.
Anaheim Ducks @ Nashville Predators: 8:00 PM ET - KDOC, FSN Tennessee
The Wild accompany us out to the desert for our next game as we pay a visit to Phoenix. The Coyotes have had a shoddy week of goaltending in which Mike Smith has been pulled twice. The Wild are atop the NHL with a league best 19 wins and 41 points. The Coyotes still lead the Pacific Division, but they'll need better play between the pipes tonight.
Minnesota Wild @ Phoenix Coyotes: 8:00 PM ET - FSN North, FSN Arizona
Back to the Gateway Arch for this next game, and I'm giving this the nod for game of the night. The Blues are still playing exceptionally well with their new coach, and a double-barrel goalie punch. the Sharks come to town trying to turn around a mini hiccup. The Blues haven't fared well against the Sharks in recent memory, but they're a much better team this time around, and the Sharks could be in for a dog fight.
San Jose Sharks @ St. Louis Blues: 8:00 PM ET - CSN California, FSN Midwest
Only 2 more games tonight and they're both on the west coast. First we head into western Canada where it's the battle of Alberta. Calgary looks for its 8th straight win over Edmonton, and 10th straight on home ice. The Oilers, despite being vastly improved, still can't seem to beat the Flames. Neither Edmonton goalie has been any good against the Flames, so this one could get out of hand again unless the Oilers can get to Kiprusoff.
Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames: 10:00 PM ET - CBC
Our night capper is in the City of Angels, where the Kings host the Stars. Dallas has still been struggling, but so have the Kings. L.A. may have just the right opponent though, as they look to beat Dallas for the 3rd time in 4 games this season. That incredible start by the Stars is now a very distant memory. What will it take to get past the Kings in Hollywood tonight? Well perhaps not letting the home team score 2 goals in the first 2 minutes like they did at the Shark Tank the other night will help to start.
Dallas Stars @ Los Angeles Kings: 10:30 PM ET - KXTA, FSN West
This is your place to talk (or bitch) about the game(s) you're watching tonight!