Week Ahead: Jan 5 to 11

Let's keep the winning streak rolling

Only two games this week, and it's a swing through the Central division.

Senators at Avalanche

Game 45, Wednesday, January 8th, 9:30pm
Sportsnet East
Previous game
Flames, Monday, January 6th
Next game
Islanders, Friday, January 10th
Gabriel Landeskog - 7P (3G, 4A) in last 6 GP
Maxime Talbot - 0P in last 5 GP

First off, I just want to say I thought Patrick Roy would have been more entertaining so far, but nope.

The youth lead in Colorado. Matt Duchene leads the team in points and only turns 23 later this month. Ryan O'Reilly is second on the team, and turns 23 next month. Gabriel Landeskog rounds out the top 3, and only turned 21 a month and a half ago. Nathan MacKinnon at 18 is 5th, and Paul Stastny at 4th looks downright ancient at 28.

The Avalanche are getting very good goaltending this season, and are 4th for 5 on 5 SV% in the league, and 1st when the score is close. Semyon Varlamov has only one game in his last 10 below .920 - yesterday's .909 performance. Strangely for a team that's getting such good goaltending at even strength, they do not have a terribly successful penalty kill. At 80.8% it's 20th in the league. The special teams picture doesn't get much better with the power play, where the 18.2% is good for 15th.

The real disaster waiting to happen is the possession numbers. They're sub 50% and bottom 3rd of the league for Corsi and Fenwick at both 5 on 5 and 5 on 5 close. It's all been trending downward lately as well.

PA Parenteau and Alex Tanguay are both out to injury. Tanguay has the 3rd place points pace for the team, but has been out since the start of November.

Senators at Predators

Game 46, Saturday, January 11th, 7pm
Previous game
Ducks, Thursday, January 9th
Next game
Wild, Sunday, January 12th
Mike Fisher - 9P (4G, 5A) in last 4 GP
David Legwand - 1P (1A) in last 8 GP

Nashville is in a rough position. 3rd last in the West, they're 7 points out of a playoff spot right now. Part of that is likely because of the loss of Pekka Rinne to injury - he's been out since late October - though they're .500 with him and .500 without him. Marek Mazanec and Carter Hutton have been posting less than spectacular numbers in Rinne's absence, but have both managed to be above .900 on the season.

They are having problems scoring. At 2.4 goals per game, they're in the cluster of teams near the bottom that aren't Buffalo. Despite his recent cold stretch, David Legwand is tied with Shea Weber for the team lead in points. Like Colorado, they are also a sub-50% team in possession metrics - they just don't have the goaltending right now to bail them out.

The Predators do have their power play going for them. The 20.2% isn't quite among the league elite, but it is good enough for 7th overall.

I still miss Mike Fisher.

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