Senators @ Predators
Prev game : Blues, Saturday, November 7th
Hot : Roman Josi - 5P (1G, 4A) in last 5 GP
Cold : Craig Smith - 0P in last 8 GP
Pekka Rinne has been up and down this season. Most nights he's been great, but he's allowed four goals and had a sub .900 in four of 11 games so far. It seems that if you can get to him, you can really get to him.
Overall Nashville is a solid possession team, but I'm not sure the full season average quite tells the whole story. First, that average is buoyed by four games where the Preds dominated the puck possession game. Those were all games that they lost, so you might think score effects, but they were also all games that Nashville was in better control of the puck pretty much from the start. They've also won every game that they've come out on the wrong end of possession - again though, it's not something that can be fully explained by score effects. Do they really stomp on the gas when they're behind? Do they really let off the gas when they're ahead? Maybe a bit of both?
The Predators have the misfortune of playing in the Central division. They're holding on to a wild card position so far, but they've also only played two divisional games. They need to rack up the points from as many out-of-division games as they can, which puts Ottawa square in their cross hairs.
Canucks @ Senators
Prev game : @Blue Jackets, Tuesday, November 10th
Cold : Brandon Sutter - 0P in last 5 GP
The Canucks are in an interesting position. They're playing like a bubble team, but thanks to the relative weakness of the Pacific this season that bubble could include home ice advantage.
Big surprise (not really), it's the Sedins leading the team in point production. Daniel Sedin leads with 11 points, while Henrik is second with nine. They're not exactly at the height of their career anymore, but they're still at a high level of play.
Having said that, their scoring has been coming from almost everywhere. They have 17 different players with a goal, only 14 games in to the season. Jared McCann, who leads the team in goals, doesn't quite make the top 30 goal scorers in the league. Shutting the Sedins down helps, but this is not a team you can beat by stymieing a single line.
Rangers @ Senators
Prev game : Blues, Thursday, November 12th
Cold : Viktor Stalberg - 0P in last 5 GP
For all the talk of Price carrying the Habs, it's King Henrik that is leading the league in save percentage. He has only one game this season with a sub-par performance, and on top of that only one other game with a borderline performance. His other 9 starts have been largely dominant, game in and game out.
It's a back to back, so the Sens have a slight chance of facing Antti Raanta instead - and his numbers are even better, albeit against limited competition.
It's not just the goaltending to worry about - the Rangers have been scoring very well. They're fifth in the league for goals per game right now, though they're also riding a team shooting percentage over 10%. The Rangers have been riding both ends of PDO hard, but they're also a very good team. A regression is coming, likely at both ends, but it won't necessarily be a big drop from where they are now.