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Sens Week Ahead: Jan 25 to 31

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The West comes east this week.

I really wish one of these two had been mic'd up for this...
I really wish one of these two had been mic'd up for this...
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Stars @ Senators

Game 47, Thursday, January 29th, 7:30pm
TSN5
Previous game
@Canadiens, Tuesday, January 27th
Next game
@Jets, Saturday, January 31st
Hot
Jason Spezza - 5P (1G, 4A) in last 4 GP
Cold
Kari Lehtonen - 0.878 SV% in last 7 GP

Dallas seems to be a team that would be really fun to watch, if you aren't cheering for either team involved.  They've got the fourth highest goals for per game combined with the fourth highest goals against per game.  With that, it's not surprising that their penalty kill has struggled - at 79% it comes in at 23rd.  What is surprising is how their power play has struggled as well.  Their 15% success rate is 26th overall, and that's despite plenty of opportunity to refine it with the fifth most power play opportunities.

The big problem for the Stars is the goaltending this season. Kari Lehtonen has been brutal for a starter, posting a .904 SV% so far.  Anders Lindback has worse numbers as the backup with .875, and Jussi Rynnas as the third string has an even worse .841.

The flip side is the scoring, with Tyler Seguin leads the league in goals and is second in points.

Rich Peverley, Patrik Nemeth, Valeri Nichushkin, Patrick Eaves and Brett Ritchie are all on IR to start the week, with Trevor Daley and Erik Cole listed as day-to-day.

Coyotes @ Senators

Game 48, Saturday, January 31st, 3:00pm
TSN5
Previous game
@Maple Leafs, Thursday, January 29th
Next game
@Canadiens, Sunday, February 1st
Hot
Keith Yandle - 4P (4A) in last 4 GP
Cold
B.J. Crombeen - 0P in last 20GP

The Coyotes are in the league's basement, but they're a better team than their record indicates - though not necessarily a lot better.

Their 37 points is underachieving for them, no doubt. They've got the second lowest 5 on 5 shooting percentage, well below where it should be. Their team save percentage at 5 on 5 isn't ranked a whole lot higher, it's 7th lowest.  The save percentage issues comes down largely on the shoulders of Mike Smith.  Devan Dubnyk, before being traded, had a mildly underwhelming .916 SV%.  Mike Smith however has a disastrous .887 SV%.  It's by far the worst numbers of his career.  With no other goalie having seen game time yet, that's an issue that is only likely to get worse as the rest of the season plays out.

The shooting percentage is a team issue however, not one that can be pinned down to a single player having a bad season.  Antoine Vermette is their leading scorer, with only 30 points in 46 games.

One problem that Arizona doesn't have right now is a long list of injuries.  It's only Mikkel Boedker on IR, and Zybnek Michalek listed day-to-day right now.