Flyers @ Blues (NBCSN|TSN2|CSN-PHI)
These teams played two weeks ago and it was a great battle, there was a good dose of hitting and a few goals along the way. The pace of the game was fast and exciting and it really reminded me of a playoff game which is rare for a game played before April. And now that we’re in April, it will be even more critical for the Flyers to pick up two points. I think the Blues will win 4-3 in a shootout. It should be an amazing game!
Maple Leafs @ Flyers 7 PM ET (SNET-O|CSN-PHI|RDS)
This game should be an excellent battle between two teams trying to make the playoffs. Plus I think both teams are very much on a level playing field in terms of individual talent on the roster. The Flyers are currently in a playoff position and the Maple Leafs are on the outside looking in technically even though they are in a 4-way tie for the last two wild card positions.
Penguins @ Blue Jackets 7:30 PM (ROOT-PIT|FS-O)
Ducks @ Oilers 9:30 PM (Prime Ticket|SNET-W)
Flyers @ Rangers 8 PM ET (NBCSN|TSN2|RDS)
I flip flopped between this and the Canucks @ Wild game for game of the night because both games should be entertaining and wild all in one. In terms of this game this could be a possible playoff preview between these clubs, in fact it would be a preview if the playoffs were to start today. So historically these teams do not like one another and even if the hatred has been simmered a little between the clubs in recent years, there could be added hatred tonight and in a playoff series should that be the case. I think this will be a low scoring game but hard hitting with the teams trying to intimidate one another, which would be interesting.
Canucks @ Wild 7:30 PM (SNET-P|FS-N)
Another great battle on the schedule tonight, Vancouver is looking to find its way while the Wild will try to put distance between themselves and the Canucks. These two teams traditionally have a bit of hatred for one another on top of that so if the Canucks fall behind big, don’t be surprised to see some cheap play from the Canucks.
Canadiens @ Bruins 7:30 PM ET (NBCSN|TSN|RDS)
The Bruins and Canadiens meet again, this is the fifth and final match up of the season. The Bruins host the Canadiens on a 12 game winning streak and they face their arch rival of 90 years, many memorable games played against each other, which is expected from two teams with such storied histories. The last couple of seasons have been sort of tame in terms of fireworks, and wildness, so don’t expect anything too crazy in terms of fights but I do expect an intense game because the Canadiens undoubtedly would love to snap the streak, whereas the Bruins would love to extend their streak to 13 in a row, which would be the longest winning streak since 1971 for the Bruins.
Kings @ Flyers 7 PM ET (FS-W|CSN-PHI)
The Flyers West (or as the old saying was back a couple years ago) come to Philadelphia and play the Flyers and it should be a good hard hitting game since both teams love to play a physical style.
Sharks @ Flames 9 PM ET (CSN-CA|SNET-W)
The Sharks can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Flames, but it won’t be easy as the Flames have been a more respectable team over the last couple of months, it is too bad their season started so rough.
Blue Jackets-Stars game postponed over Medical Issue
The Columbus Blue Jackets @ Dallas Stars game was ended early last night because of a medical issue with Rich Peverley who collapsed on the bench during the game. The medical staff for the Stars were quick to give Peverley medical treatment in the hallway by the team bench before sending him off to the hospital. Peverley is said to be in stable condition, and it is unlikely that he will miss tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues.
Devils @ Flyers 7 PM ET|4 PM ET (MSG+|CSN-PHI|RDS)
Both of these teams are playing well as of late, and both teams have a mild rivalry going as of late. The Devils are fighting furiously for their playoff lives and wins are at a premium.
Capitals @ Penguins 7:30 PM ET|4:30 PM PT (NBCSN|TSN2|ROOT)
- This deal came on Friday night just before the Buffalo Sabres were set to take on the San Jose Sharks at First Niagra Center. The Sabres traded goalie Ryan Miller and center Steve Ott to St. Louis for goalie Jaroslav Halak, winger Chris Stewart, prospect winger William Carrier, a 2015 1st Round Pick, and a conditional draft pick.
- Rumors out of Buffalo say that the Sabres might be looking to flip Chris Stewart in a trade before the deadline which is Wednesday.
- Rumors out of Pittsburgh links them to Canucks center Ryan Kesler, one reported trade could be Brandon Sutter, a choice of either defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin, and two draft picks which would likely be a first and a third according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- TSN is reporting that Colorado center Paul Stastny is a potential player if the Avalanche and Stastny fail to reach an agreement by Wednesday, Stastny is a unrestricted free agent after this season, so it would make sense to move him for something before he leaves the team for nothing.
- Last night the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field in Chicago. It was played in moderate to heavy snow for a good part of the event, with temps in the upper teens and the wind chills in the single digits. The game was one that was dominated by Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews who scored two goals and added an assist, and Patrick Sharp who scored his team leading 29th goal of the season and also added a helper. Corey Crawford was solid in the win, he had to make 31 saves.
- Today features the last outdoor event of the season being played in Vancouver as part of Tim Horton’s Heritage Classic. The Ottawa Senators will take on the Vancouver Canucks at BC Place. The game will take place at 4 PM ET|1 PM PT, and the whether calls for light snow.
Games to Watch
Bruins @ Rangers 7 PM ET|4 PM PT (NBCSN|TSN2|RDS2)
This should be a good game, both teams are coming off of losses, the Bruins lost to Washington on Saturday and the Rangers endured a rare loss to Philadelphia on Saturday. The Bruins are 0-1-1 out of the gate from the Olympic break losing to the lowly Sabres in OT on Wednesday whereas the Rangers are 1-1 with their win coming against a tough Chicago Blackhawks team on Thursday.
Other Games of Interest
Flyers @ Capitals 12:30 PM ET|9:30 AM PT (NBC)
Senators @ Canucks 4 PM ET|1 PM PT (CBC|RDS|NBCSN)
Lightning @ Avalanche 8 PM ET|5 PM PT (SUN|ALT)
Tough Road Ahead
The team with the toughest schedule this week has to be Montreal, they hit the West Coast with match ups against Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix and San Jose this week, and then coming home next week and facing the Boston Bruins their first game back in town.
Red Wings @ Lightning 7 PM ET (FS-D+|SUN|NHL Network US)
The NHL has this beauty of a game to wrap up its schedule before the Olympic break, and it should be a great game because two talents finesse style teams. The Red Wings are 6-2-2 in their last ten while Tampa Bay is 4-5-1 in their last ten for perhaps this break will both teams some good. The game should be fairly light on checking but should feature some solid goaltending a possibly a good amount of goals. I’ll predict a 4-3 Lightning win in this game.
Flames @ Flyers 1 PM ET (SNET-W|CSN-PHI)
Senators @ Bruins 3 PM ET (CBC|NESN|RDS)
Canucks @ Maple Leafs 6 PM ET (CBC)
Ducks @ Predators 8 PM ET (FS-PrimeTicket|FS-TN)
Bruins @ Blues 8 PM ET (NESN|FS-MW)
This game features two very physical teams and my top two teams to watch this season, so it should be a dandy. I have to admit I think you are getting the top two teams in each conference coming into this game which made it a no brainer to feature this match up. The Bruins though will be shorthanded with Zdeno Chara leaving the team two games before the Olympic break to carry the flag for the Czech Republic during the opening ceremony on Friday. The game itself should still be a dandy. I’ll pick St. Louis to win over my favorite team but I think it will be very close, I’ll say 4-2 Blues with an empty netter at the end.
Avalanche @ Flyers 7 PM ET (ALT|CSN-PHI)
Canucks @ Canadiens 7:30 PM ET (SNET-P|TSN-HABS|RDS)
Maple Leafs @ Lightning 7:30 PM ET (Leafs TV|SUN)
Flyers @ Sharks 10:30 PM ET
This game features two teams who are not that great on defense so it could be one of those shootout type games. And if you ask me that is okay because who doesn’t like a good offensive game once in awhile? I know one thing, I love a rare scoring fest.
Senators @ Penguins 7 PM ET (TSN|ROOT-PIT)
Canucks @ Red Wings 7:30 PM ET (SNET-P|FS-DET+)
Blackhawks @ Kings 10:30 PM ET (WGN|FS-W)
Saturday February 1st
Flyers @ Kings 4 PM ET
TV: CSN-PHI|FS-W|NHL Network
This game sticks out to me, I am not sure why, but there is just something about it that I like. I think it has something to do with the fact that they both play a physical style but LA is the better team on defense. The Flyer however have a solid offense despite their early season struggles on offense. This game should be a hard hitting game with some solid defense, however don’t be surprised if the Flyers can get something going on offense but they have more speed than LA I believe so it might work out to their advantage if they can get odd man rushes. I’ll predict a 4-3 Flyers win.
Other Saturday Games of note
Oilers @ Bruins 1 PM ET (SNET-W|NESN)
Senators @ Maple Leafs 7 PM ET (CBC|NHL Network US)
Stars @ Ducks 10 PM ET (TXA 21|FS-W)
Blackhawks @ Sharks 10:30 PM ET (CSN-CHI|CSN-CA)
Sunday January 2nd
Red Wings @ Capitals 12:30 PM ET
This game could be very entertaining, though admittedly it doesn’t truly excite me because I am not a huge fan of either team so the incentive for me to watch is lacking. However any time the national fans can watch Pavel Datsyuk and Alex Ovechkin it is always certainly a treat for the fans. The NHL has a huge chance to cash in on a couple stars in this battle. And don’t sleep on Jimmy Howard, he is a stud goalie.
Canadiens @ Bruins 7 PM ET
TV: NESN|TSN-HABS|NHL Network-US|RDS
What a game to put on my birthday, the Bruins and Canadiens will be playing in Boston and it should be a fantastic game. And while I won’t be there in person as a fan because the ticket prices are too high for me to afford, it won’t ruin the enjoyment for me since the game is probably going to be a dandy, and it should be a game worth watching for any hockey fan. These two teams never seem to disappoint the masses who choose to watch.
Let’s put it like this, the Bruins and Canadiens are like a circus, you might not want to see the stunts but deep inside you just have to because you know it is very entertaining. Not to mention the teams have been in the league for a combined almost 200 seasons, so there is a lot of tradition in this game along with the yearly annual rivalry on display. I am not going to predict a game like the 8-6 game a three years ago, but I do think it will be a wildly entertaining game.
Lightning @ Senators 7:30 PM ET (SUN|SNET-E)
Flyers @ Ducks 10:00 PM ET (CSN-PHI|PrimeTicket)
Penguins @ Kings 10:30 PM ET (ROOT-PIT|FS-W)
Red Wings @ Flyers 7 PM ET
Two Metropolitan division teams doing battle for last place in the Eastern Conference playoff race between about 11 teams all of which can slot into one division or the other. These points are at a premium this season with about 30 games to go now for all 11 teams fighting for final positioning in the standings and I am assuming the Bruins, Penguins, and Lightning are locks at this point.
Kings @ Coyotes 9 PM ET (FS-W|FS-AZ)
Wild @ Ducks 10 PM ET (FS-N|PrimeTicket)