Hurricanes @ Senators
Prev game : @Blues, Tuesday, October 25th
Cold : Cam Ward - .869 SV%
Injured : Ryan Murphy (IR)
The Hurricanes are off to another rough start - they’re the dreaded four-points-out to start November, albeit with a game in hand. On one hand, you may look at their PDO of .979 and CF% of 52.75% and think “it won’t last”.
On the other hand, Cam Ward. Well, maybe not just Cam Ward, but his best season SV% in the past 5 years is a .910 - you don’t do so well with your starting goalie putting up those kind of averages. Truth is that Carolina have put up similar numbers in the past few seasons - a positive possession team with one of the lowest PDOs in the league thanks in large part to basement-grade goaltending performances.
They’ve also had consistently low scoring in the past few seasons as well, but that may be looking up. So far, they’re averaging 3 goals per game, up over half a goal per game from the past few years. This is largely led by Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask. Skinner leads the team with 11 points in seven games, while Rask sits at 10 with a season-long point streak going. No matter who is in the net, expect those two to be dangerous.
Canucks @ Senators
Prev game : @Canadiens, Wednesday, November 2nd
Cold : Daniel Sedin - 0P in last 4 GP
Injured : Anton Rodin (IR), Tom Nilsson (IR), Alexandre Burrows (IR), Derek Dorsett (IR), Chris Tanev (IR), Jayson Megna (IR)
Last week I talked about how the Vancouver Canucks may be trending in the wrong direction after a hot start, and things haven’t exactly improved for them since then. They’ve dropped another three in a row in regulation. We know what happened in their first game of the week, and they were shut out again in their second game as well.
They did manage to score for the first time in three games against Washington, but were blitzed for five goals in what was an overall dismal effort. The two goal week has pushed the Canucks goals per game down by over half a goal per game, and putting them in dead last by a margin wide enough that a 4 or 5 goal game probably won’t move them up a spot even with how early we are in the season.
Sabres @ Senators
Prev game : Maple Leafs, Thursday, November 3rd
Cold : Zach Bogosian - 0P in 8 GP
Injured : Jack Eichel (IR), Evander Kane (DTD), Nick Deslauriers (DTD), Hudson Fasching (DTD)
When you’re a rebuilding team hoping to be on the upswing, a few key injuries can wipe out your chances of improvement. That’s some of what we’re seeing with the Sabres right now.
They’ve been missing Jack Eichel for the entire season so far, and Evander Kane since game 1. That’s a whole lot of scoring out of the lineup - only Ryan O'Reilly put up more points last season, while Eichel lead the team in goals and Kane lead in goals per game. With four points lost across three one-goal games, that extra scoring could really make a difference to their record.
At the other end of the ice, Robin Lehner isn’t off to the best start. He’s got a .913 SV% in 5 games so far, though he did miss some games to illness.
Special teams have been a strength this season. They’ve got the 7th best success rate on both the power play and penalty kill so far this season. They’re not quite at the elite level, but still good enough to be dangerous with the advantage and to take a lot of danger out of being in the box.