Week Ahead: Dec 22 to 28

USA Today Sports

Statement time.

It's a rough, rough week after last week's poor outing. But hey, Ottawa's success last week was top-down in the standings so who knows what could happen?

Penguins at Senators

Game 39, Monday, December 23rd, 7:30pm
Sportsnet East
Previous game
Flames, Saturday, December 21st
Next game
@Hurricanes, Friday, December 27th
Hot
Sidney Crosby - 18P (7G, 11A) in last 10 GP
Cold
Their opponents

Sidney Crosby has been in on 18 goals in his last 10 games. Do you know who else has been in on 18 goals in their last 10 games? The Buffalo Sabres.

Oh, and that's less than half the goals the Penguins have scored in that stretch.

Even Marc-Andre Fleurry has been good. In his 8 starts out of the Pens last 10 games, he's posted a 0.936 SV%.

All of this despite having a lot of injuries. Evgeni Malkin is day to day. They've got 9 players on IR, including Tomas Vokoun, 4 of their regular blue liners (Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi) and 4 depth forwards.

They've only lost one of their last 10 games, and speaking of the team that beat them...

Senators at Bruins

Game 40, Friday, December 27th, 7pm
Sportsnet East
Previous game
@Predators, Monday, December 23rd
Next game
@Senators, Saturday, December 28th
Hot
David Krejci - 10P (3G, 7A) in last 8 GP
Cold
Torey Krug - 0P in last 5 GP

The Bruins were expected to run away with the division, and that hasn't quite happened so far though they are in the lead.

As a team, they're pushing the top of the league in defensive stats again this year - second in goals against per game, and third on the penalty kill. Tuukka Rask is posting higher numbers than previous years at 0.936, but not drastically higher. Chad Johnson is posting a respectable .911 for a backup goaltender.

Krug (say it with me, it's fun - Krug - Krug), despite being on a bit of a cold streak at the moment, leads all rookie D in scoring.

Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton, Loui Eriksson and Adam McQuaid are all out in IR. Shawn Thornton, barring a very surprising result from his appeal, will still be out on suspension for both games of the home and home.

Boston's last loss at home was November 23rd.

Bruins at Senators

Game 41, Saturday, December 28th, 7pm
CBC
Previous game
Senators, Friday, December 27th
Next game
Islanders, Tuesday, December 31st
Hot
David Krejci - 10P (3G, 7A) in last 8 GP
Cold
Torey Krug - 0P in last 5 GP

The good news: Boston is pretty much universally worse on the road so far this season than they have been at home

The bad news: They're still pretty good on the road.

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