Sharks @ Senators
Prev game : @Canadiens, Saturday, March 21st
Next game : @Red Wings, Thursday, March 26th
Hot : Joe Thornton - 5P (1G, 4A) in last 4 GP
Cold : Patrick Marleau - 0P in last 7 GP
In the nine games since their last meeting with Ottawa, the Sharks have been somewhat adrift. They haven't really been bad, but a 5-4-0 record hasn't been enough to keep pace with the Western bubble. They were two points back then, they are six points back now.
Off the ice the Sharks have been a complete mess, peaking in the last two weeks with the very public spat between Captain Joe Thornton and GM Doug Wilson.
On the ice, the Sharks really have been close to what they have been all season. Their 10-game possession numbers are up somewhat, but they also include two games against Montreal and one against Toronto.
The play of Antti Niemi has been a bit more elevated lately. While it has only dragged his season save percentage up by .002, he's posted a .928 in his games since mid-February. He was pretty disastrous in two of the Sharks recent losses, however.
Mike Brown and Raffi Torres are out on IR.
Rangers @ Senators
Prev game : Kings, Tuesday, March 24th
Hot : Cam Talbot - .956 SV% in last 11 GP
Cold : Derek Stepan - 0P in last 12 GP
When Henrik Lundqvist went down, most people expected the Rangers to fall down the standings somewhat. They haven't just avoided falling, they've actually climbed the standings.
Cam Talbot has been having a very good run in relief of King Henrik - so good he's actually got the better numbers of the two of them with a .928 SV% and a 2.14 GAA.
While the goaltending has kept the Rangers going, the top scoring has been lagging somewhat. The top 5 in scoring for the team have combined for 18 points in the month of March, and only 5 goals.
Apart from Lundqvist on IR, Kevin Klein and Martin St. Louis are both out day-to-day.
Senators @ Maple Leafs
Prev game : Panthers, Thursday, March 26th
Hot : Leo Komarov - 2P (1G, 1A) in last 2 GP
Cold : James Reimer - .886 SV% in last 9 GP
I wrote about just how bad the Leafs have been recently last week, and that hasn't really changed.
I the month of March, they've allowed fewer than four goals against in only two of eleven games so far - it's worth re-emphasizing just how bad the 1A-1B tandem of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer have been of late.
Their 5 on 5 possession game has declined as well, and is just barely above 45% in March. They only topped 50% in one game (against Calgary), and were even out-possessed in their game against Buffalo.
One boost for Toronto should be the return of Nazem Kadri from suspension- assuming they don't find some other way to keep him out of the lineup by Saturday.
Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak are both still somehow not on IR but on day-to-day, and they have been joined by Peter Holland.
*Rogers has not yet released the channel lineup for this Saturday