Lightning @ Senators
Prev game : Penguins, Friday, February 5th
Cold : Andrej Sustr - 0P in last 5 GP
Injured : Mattias Ohlund (IR), Joel Vermin (IR)
It definitely looks like the Lightning have found their groove.
Well, that could be a bit of an understatement. They might be the hottest team in the league right now.
In the last 10 games they've got the best record in the league, are fourth in goals for and third in goals against. They've got a pretty high PDO, but not too crazy for a team that has won nine of the last 10.
The special teams are both humming. The power play is running at over 20% in that stretch, and they're not even doing it with a crazy shooting percentage. As if that isn't enough, the penalty kill is also running at over 90%. Some of that is definitely Ben Bishop standing on his head, but they've also been doing a good job at keeping the number of shots against down.
Senators @ Red Wings
Prev game : Panthers, Monday, February 8th
Cold : Riley Sheahan - 0P in last 9 GP
It's hard to pin down just what to expect from the Red Wings right now. They've been playing mostly like a middle of the pack team, and it's oddly reflected in their last 10 record of 4-5-1.
Petr Mrazek seems to be taking over the net from Jimmy Howard nicely this season. The former 67 is sitting at second overall in save percentage in the league, only .001 behind the lead. Howard, on the other hand, is posting the worst numbers he has since he became a NHL regular.
An area that hasn't been going so hot recently is the penalty kill. The team save percentage is near the bottom of the league, and it shows in the goals against totals. Get them in the box, and it can go a long way to beating them.
One side piece of trivia - the Wings are the only team to not be shut out this season.
Avalanche @ Senators
Prev game : Canucks, Tuesday, February 9th
Cold : Cody McLeod - 0P in last 12 GP
There is no team that has allowed more pucks to be directed towards their net than the Colorado Avalanche. Not at 5 on 5, and not overall.
They are absolutely getting killed in possession metrics. Dead last in the league, they're over two full percentage points behind second last and trending downward. It's not quite as bad as Buffalo last year, but it could be trending towards sub-40%.
The Avs scoring, which is running a little hotter than it probably should, is fairly distributed. They don't have any players that are even sniffing a point per game but two on pace to finish above 60 points, and another three that could be within striking distance.
At the other end of the ice, Seymon Varlamov isn't having his best year. He's not downright terrible, but he is posting just barely above the league average save percentage, and ranks in at 23rd overall. No surprise that Colorado sits in the bottom 10 for goals against per game.
Senators @ Blue Jackets
Prev game : Ducks, Thursday, February 11th
Cold : Jack Johnson - 0P in last 8 GP
Do the Columbus Blue Jackets still stink? Oh yeah.
There isn't really much positive going with the Jackets season. Their possession numbers are firmly below 50%, and trending downward. Individually, they're bottom 10 for both shot attempts for and shot attempts against. They're tied with Ottawa for the most goals allowed per game in the league. Goals per game might be their best team stat, and sits only at 19th overall. Special teams are also both in the bottom half of the league.
As if that isn't enough, they're in the weeds with both Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney out on IR. That leaves them with the tandem of Joonas Korpisalo (who is getting the bulk of the action) and Anton Forsberg. Between the two, they've got a whopping 24 games of NHL experience combined. Korpisalo hasn't actually been too bad - he's got a roughly league average save percentage, which is actually the best out of the four Lumbus goalies this season. As can be typical with rookie tenders though, he comes to that average by way of games that are one extreme or the other.