Week Ahead: Nov 17 to 23

The reason Lehner is okay with Andy being the #1 right now? He's hunting this guy instead. - Joel Auerbach

Another 4 game week, with 2 at home and 2 on the road.

The Sens continue their home stand, with only 2 games on the schedule this week.

Blue Jackets at Senators

Game 20, Sunday, November 17th, 1pm
Previous game
Canadiens, Friday, November 15th
Next game
@Oilers, Tuesday, November 19th
Hot
James Wisniewski - 5P (1G, 4A) in last 5 GP
Cold
Marian Gaborik - 1P (1A) in last 8 GP

The Blue Jackets have continued to have a rough ride since they hosted Ottawa, but have managed to go .500 thanks to 3 overtime games (but blowing a lead in all 3 of those). Sergei Bobrovsky hasn't been having the best November - he's posting a .891 SV% this month, in 5 games so far.

The penalty kill is still an issue in Columbus, but it has improved a little from where it was before facing Ottawa last time.

James Wisniewski continues to do well, tied for the team lead in points with Brandon Dubinsky. Dubinsky hasn't produced in the past 2 games, though he did have a 4 game point streak going before that.

Senators at Flyers

Game 21, Tuesday, November 19th, 7pm
Previous game
@Jets, Friday, November 15th
Next game
Sabres, Thursday, November 21st
Hot
Steve Mason - 0.937 SV% in last 6 GP
Cold
Luke Schenn - 0P in last 13 GP

Have the Flyers turned things around this season? Including the game in Ottawa, they're riding a 4 game point streak - including a win in Pittsburgh the night after they were in Ottawa. Despite that, they're still 6 points out of a playoff spot thanks to the hole they put themselves in at the start of the season.

Scoring still is an issue, the 5 goal game in Ottawa still standing out as an exception. They have managed to claw their way past Buffalo into 29th in the league for goals per game and the power play has improved by almost half. They've even got more goals now than the combination of Steen and Ovechkin!

Wild at Senators

Game 22, Wednesday, November 22nd, 7:30pm
Previous game
@Canadiens, Tuesday, November 21st
Next game
@Jets, Saturday, November 23rd
Hot
Josh Harding - 0.945 SV%
Cold
Dany Heatley - 0P in last 5 GP

Haha, Dany Heatley.

Now that I've got that out of my system, holy crap Josh Harding. He is absolutely rocking it, leading the league in THREE of the four "Goaltending Leaders" stats, though it's a very slim lead for SV%. Given last year's revelation of him being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, how can you NOT be cheering for this guy (on any other night)? He has been helped out by the stingy nature of the Wild - a league best 24.1 shots against per game.

The team itself has a solid 6 game point streak going, with only one shootout loss in that mix. Zach Parise's 8 points in 7 games would have been enough to get him listed as their hot player, if it hadn't been for Harding's spectacular numbers. Jason Pominville has also been having a solid season, and leads the team with 12 goals.

Penalty trouble could cost Ottawa in this one. The Wild have the 5th place power play, running at a smooth 22.7% entering the week. Almost the exact opposite is their penalty kill, it's 78.7% putting it 25th in the league. So perhaps it's more accurate to say penalty trouble could cost either team.

Senators at Red Wings

Game 23, Saturday, November 23rd, 7pm
Previous game
Hurricanes, Thursday, November 21st
Next game
@Sabres, Sunday, November 24th
Hot

Henrik Zetterberg - 11P (4G, 7A) in last 8 GP

Cold

Stephen Weiss - 1P (1A) in last 11 GP

The Red Wings enter the week riding a 6 game losing streak, though a 5 game point streak has kept them well in the running.

Scoring hasn't been their problem. They've scored at a 2.67 goal per game pace in those 6 games, which is better than their 2.57 season average. Goals against have been a bit more of a problem, with goaltending sitting at 0.902 SV% instead of the .920 SV% in the previous 15 games. It's been mostly on Jimmy Howard too as he was goaltender for 5 of those games, Jonas Gustavsson was in for the 6th.

Both of their major off-season acquisitions, Stephen Weiss and (of course) Daniel Alfredsson are both out to injury right now, both with groin injuries. The game may be the end of the week, but given the nature of groin injuries it's a tossup if either will be back by Saturday.

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