Another 3 game week, but not so evenly spaced this time with a back-to-back and a pair of 2 day breaks.
Game 13 - Sabres at Senators
Ottawa kept Thomas Vanek off the board last week, but it was only a bump in the road for his production. He put up 2 points against both Montreal and New York. Shutting him down again is going to be key.
Expect to see Ryan Miller this week, rather than Jhonas Enroth. Miller has yet to be consistent this year, but he was absolutely spectacular on Long Island and in Boston and can definitely be a potential game changer if he's on form on Tuesday.
Game 14 - Senators at Penguins
The schedule is not friendly with this one. It's the back half of a back-to-back for Ottawa, while Pittsburgh has 2 days of rest after today's home game and will be hungry after the back-to-back losses to New Jersey.
I thought Ottawa played one of their better games of the season in the last game against the Penguins, despite losing in the shoot-out. With the offensive talent Pittsburgh has, they will have to be that good again.
The relative weak point is in goal. Marc-Andre Fleury has arguably been their key player - when he's good they win, but when he puts in a poor performance they haven't been able to overcome it. It may seem straight forward, but it's kind of odd that Fleury has no messy wins or tight losses this season. I honestly haven't watched enough of the Penguins this season to know if it's cause or effect. Tomas Vokoun has been solid but average in his back-up role.
Game 15 - Senators at Maple Leafs
James Reimer is posting solid numbers this season. Phil Kessel is finally scoring. Even Nazem Kadri is starting to look like the player they've wanted him to be for a few years. Everything is clicking for them... on the road. The only team they've beat at home is last place Washington. Reimer has only one good performance in the ACC, the 1-0 loss to Boston. They've been outscored 16-9 despite outshooting their opponents 181-149.
They may find themselves without Mikhail Grabovski. His hearing with the league over the alleged bite is tomorrow.