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Week Ahead: II - October 8 to 14

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A roadtrip to western Canada brings contests against the Canucks, Flames, and Oilers

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Senators @ Canucks

Tuesday, October 10th 10:00 PM
SNV, TSN5, RDS

Prev game : Oilers, Saturday, October 7th (3-2 W)
Next game : Jets, Thursday, October 12

Hot : Bo Horvat - 2P (2G) in 1 game
Cold : -
Injured : Brendan Gaunce (IR - shoulder)

The Canucks finished 29th in the league last year, but inconceivably started their season without a single rookie in their lineup. Outside of Bo Horvat and the healthy scratched Brock Boeser, the young talent on the ‘Nucks roster aren’t exactly young (and Jake Virtanen is Vancouver’s version of Curtis Lazar).

That being said, the Sedins want to retire in Vancouver; defencemen Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, and Troy Stecher are all T4 calibre; and they brought in some new signees in Sam Gagner, Thomas Vanek, and Michael Del Zotto. The Canucks are a team in transition, and with such a strange mishmash of players, there’s a chance that Guy Boucher’s ‘structured Sens’ will be able to find a couple of holes.

Senators @ Flames

Friday, October 13th 9:00 PM
SNF, TSN5, RDS2

Prev game : @Kings, Wednesday, October 11
Next game : @Canucks, Saturday, October 14

Hot : TJ Brodie - 4P (2G, 2A) in 2 games
Cold : -
Injured : Marek Hrivik (head)

I’m of the opinion that the Calgary Flames, new arena or not, have the pieces to be one of the top teams in the West. TJ Brodie — who’s started the season en fuego — and Mark Giordano are legitimate top-pair defenders, and Gaudreau, Backlund, Tkachuk and co. have the skill and the two-way ability to stymie good teams.

Based on the ice-time distribution from their first two contests, the Flames seem to be comfortable with their depth throughout the lineup. All forwards not named Glass, Brouwer, Stajan, and either ex-Sen Curtis Lazar or rookie Garnet Hathaway played 15+ minutes. Expect a balanced attack from the Flames, and hope that you can solve Mike Smith — despite his .931 sv% through two games.

Senators @ Oilers

Saturday, October 14th 10:00 PM
CBC, TVAS

Prev game : Jets, Monday, October 9th
Next game : Canes, Tuesday, October 17th

Hot : Connor McDavid - 3P (3G) in 2 games
Cold : -
Injured : Andrej Sekera (IR - knee)

Through two games, all of the Oilers offence has run through the McDavid or Draisaitl lines, and Wwth Ottawa’s D in shambles, they’re going to be a tough matchup. The Oilers didn’t do much in the offseason, other than trading Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome. That being said, many expect them to compete with the Flames for the whole year.

The Oilers have their own Brown/Formenton situation going with 2017 draftee Kailer Yamamoto. He’s played ~6 minutes in one game so far, but with a favourable schedule leading to lots of practice time this week, I’d bet that he’s around for Saturday night’s showdown.