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Week Ahead: Oct 15 to 21

A light week

NHL: Dallas Stars at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Stars @ Senators

Monday, October 15th 7:30 PM
RDS2, TSN5

Prev game : Ducks, Saturday, October 13th
Next game : @Devils, Tuesday, October 16th

Hot : Tyler Seguin - 10P (3G, 7A) in last 3 GP
Cold : Mattias Janmark - 0P
Injured : Stephen Johns (IR), Martin Hanzal (IR)

It’s the high scoring Dallas Stars coming to town. They sit at fifth in the league for goals per game at 4.25 (one spot and 0.25 G/GP ahead of Ottawa, by the way). A big part of that is their power play, sitting at an absolutely absurd league-leading 54.5%. That’s obviously not going to last, but they’re coming by it as honestly as 6 goals in 11 power plays can be. They’re shooting at a rate of 158 attempts per 60 minutes on the PP, 115 of those actually on net. The team with the second highest rate of attempts is at 120 per 60 minutes, and that rate of shots on net laps what over half the teams in the league have managed so far. When their 20% shooting regresses, it sounds like a power play that could still be deadly.

In short, stay out of the box.

This early in the season, you can get some strange statistics that come from a single game skewing things. For example, seven of the Stars 11 goals against came from their game against Toronto. Ben Bishop has a shutout, a one goal, .970 SV% game and then six goals and a .793.

I’d generally expect more of the former, less of the latter from Bishop. It as a back to back though, so it might be Anton Khudobin getting the start tonight and Bishop getting the undefeated Devils.

Canadiens @ Senators

Saturday, October 20th 7:00 PM
City, TVA Sports

Prev game : Blues, Wednesday, October 17th
Next game : Flames, Tuesday, October 23rd

Hot : The blue line - 26.3 shots against per game
Cold : Also the blue line - 5 of 6 D without a point
Injured : Shea Weber (IR), Nicholas Deslauriers (IR), David Schlemko (IR), Jacob De La Rose (IR), Carey Price (DTD)

With no individual having a standout performance for multiple games in a row, it’s the blue line and defensive play in general that gets the “hot” tag. The 26.3 SA/GP above is for all situations, and is the fourth lowest in the league. Broken down, it’s among the lowest for both 5 on 5 and on the PK. It holds when you check in on unblocked shots and overall attempts too, where they rank 3rd and 6th respectively per 60 minutes of play. They were bottom half of the league for all of those areas last season.

The flip side is the point production from the blue line. Jeff Petry is the only D to put up any points, and as a unit they rank 27th in points per man-games played. The lack of production from the line can’t help, and goes some distance to explaining their 10th lowest goals per game so far.

While Carey Price is on the injury list as day to day, it was with the flu so no reason to expect him to still be out of the lineup by Saturday.