The Week Ahead: Oct 20 to 26
Light on games, heavy on difficulty.
Only 2 games this week, but it's not an easy schedule.
Senators at Red WingsGame 9, Wednesday, October 23
Previous gameSharks, Monday, October 21st
Next gameRangers, Saturday, October 26th
HotPavel Datsyuk - 9P (4G, 5A) in last 5 GP
ColdStephen Weiss - 1P (1G) in last 6 GP
Does anybody else think they might not be able to bring themselves to watch this game?
The Red Wings have been very successful in the past few games, going 4-0-1. But there's reason to think that this success is a bit unstable. Shot attempts in those 5 games were 204 for and 225 against overall, and only a positive differential in one game out of the 5 (against Columbus). Secondary scoring is practically non-existent, with the top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson accounting for half of the goals. Unsustainable levels of goaltending, which lasted 4 games and 2 periods.
But this doesn't mean the Senators can take them lightly. That top line has been consistently putting up points. Both Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson have been playing well. And they did beat the typically strong Bruins and ended the winning streak of the Avalanche.
Niklas Kronwall may be back in the lineup for Wednesday, as he has apparently had no symptoms that could delay his return further after the ugly hit he took against Colorado.
Ducks at SenatorsGame 10, Friday, October 25th
Previous game@Canadiens, Thursday, October 24th
Next game@Blue Jackets, Sunday, October 27th
HotTeemu Selanne - 5P (2G, 3A) in last 4 GP
ColdFrancois Beauchemin - 0P in last 5 GP
It looks like orange is the new pacific teal, with the Ducks holding the biggest winning streak in the league going in to this week. The Senators are sure to want to get back at the Ducks for the embarrassing loss last Sunday, but they certainly haven't gotten any easier to face. Having said that, some of the circumstances are reversed - it's now Ottawa waiting at home for the opponent playing the back half of a back to back.
Teemu Selanne may be their hottest player right now, but Mathieu Perreault has been keeping his pace up relatively well and is still a point per game player on the season. Jonas Hiller is still on his game too, ranking in the top 5 for both SV% and GAA.
Anaheim's penalty kill has improved significantly, but it is still a sub-standard 79.2%. Their power play has gotten even worse somehow, dropping down to the absurdly low 3.7%. That's not only the worst in the league, but less than half the success rate of the second worst.