Red Wings @ Senators
Prev game : @Bruins, Saturday, November 14th
Hot : Niklas Kronwall - 2P (2A) in last 2 GP
Cold : Henrik Zetterberg - 0P in last 4 GP
Does anybody remember the last time the Red Wings were outside of a playoff spot at any point after the first ten games? I certainly can't, but that's where they find themselves right now. t's easy to point at the coaching change, but that's not the only thing.
One issue has been injuries. You can see the list of players on IR, and it includes some key players like Franzen and Richards. It also, until recently, included Pavel Datsyuk.
Another is the aging key players. The aforementioned is 37. Franzen turns 36 next month. Zetterberg is 35, as is Richards. Niklas Kronwall is 34. That's a whole lot of aging veterans, four of which have been part of the team's backbone for the past decade. They're still scoring, when they're not injured, but even a small decline in several players from your core can hurt at team
It's not all relying on aging veterans though. Dylan Larkin is the opposite end of the spectrum and another departure from the way things have gone for the Wings. The 19 year old is second on the team in points, and the first Wings draft pick in quite awhile to play in the NHL without spending time in the team's farm system.
Blue Jackets @ Senators
Prev game : Blues, Tuesday, November 17th
Cold : Fedor Tyutin - 0P in last 14 GP
One thing that has changed for the Blue Jackets since the Senators last faced them is, of course, the coach. Todd Richards didn't make it very far in to the season before being replaced by John Tortorella. Another thing that has changed is that they've actually won a game. After dropping their first eight games, they've won six of their last ten - that's not great, but it's not basement level.
Sergei Bobrovsky has rebounded from his early slump. Through his first six games, he had a brutal 0.839 SV%, with a single game high of 0.879 and allowing four or more goals in five of them. Since then he's had a 0.923 SV%, which is at least back to starter level. He's also only allowed more than three goals once since those first eight games. It's not Vezina-level by far, but it's a world of difference from where the goaltending was to start the season.
Many of the stats that were very low for the Blue Jackets at the start of the season have started rebounding, but they're still not playing like a great team and well below pre-season expectations.
Flyers @ Senators
Prev game : Sharks, Thursday, November 19th
Cold : Sean Couturier - 0P in last 6 GP
It's not looking a good season to be a Flyers fan.
They had a decent enough start to the season, but with only two wins in their past 10 games they've sunk to fourth last in the East and well behind the Metro playoff pack.
Special teams have been hurting Philadelphia this season. The power play ranks in at 26th in the league, though that's not as much of an impact as it could be - the Flyers are also near the bottom of the league in power play attempts.
The penalty kill is similarly poor, coming in at 24th overall (which, to be fair, is better than Ottawa). This definitely is a problem for the Flyers, as they are one of the most penalized teams in the league.
The Mark Streit injury could really hurt the Flyers. He's second in scoring for a team that has the second worst goals per game in the league, and is expected to be out for six weeks.