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2010 Season Series Preview Week IV: October 19-25 October 18, 2009

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
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It’s a fairly light work week around the NHL, with only two dozen games league-wide during the work week. Saturday, however, is a whole other kettle of fish: it’s another Super Saturday, with every team in the NHL in action somewhere. My monitor’s not set up to handle that many real-time scoreboards–I only have so much resolution, and you can’t re-size the real-time boards. What’s a hockey fan to do?! Anyway, on to the previews.

(Apologies for getting this up later than I would have liked, but I had to get out of the house a bit today for some me time.)

Anaheim Ducks: NEW VS DAL WED, NEW VS CBJ SAT. The Ducks kick things off against another Pacific Division foe, and host last year’s playoff heart-warmer on Super Saturday. Hey, I don’t even live in Ohio, and I was glad to see the Jackets make the playoffs. But that’s another story. DAL Game 1 of 6. CBJ Game 1 of 4.
Atlanta Thrashers: NEW AT MTL TUE, NEW VS WSH THU, ICS VS SJS SAT. The Thrashers are surprisingly hot this October. They have several games in hand, which gives them a pretty good standing in the playoff math as I write this. Yes, it’s October, but the Thrashers are no joke early. Montreal isn’t off to that great a start, Washington will want to do better than it did in its last game against Nashville, and the Sharks have not done very well against the East so far. MTL Game 1 of 4. WSH Game 1 of 6. SJS Game 1 of 1.
Boston Bruins: ICS VS NSH WED, NEW AT PHI THU, NEW AT OTT SAT. Good luck against Nashville, guys–the Preds gave us all we could handle Saturday night. Wachovia Center is not a fun building, and the Senators are a bit of a surprise early on. NSH Game 1 of 1. PHI Game 1 of 4. OTT Game 1 of 6.
Buffalo Sabres: NEW AT FLA WED, NEW AT TBL SAT. I can think of worse road swings than two games in Florida, especially with the weather in Buffalo the last couple of days. FLA Game 1 of 4. TBL Game 1 of 4.
Calgary Flames: ONG VS CBJ TUE, ONG VS EDM SAT. A couple of pivotal series games here. Calgary needs to win both of these–preferably in regulation–to keep these series winnable. A regulation loss to Edmonton would mean the series would be over on Calgary’s next regulation loss; a regulation loss to the Jackets, and the Flames would then lose the series on Columbus’s next point. The Flames can’t catch Edmonton, but they could even the series with the Jackets, as it’s not an odd game out. CBJ Game 2 of 4. EDM Game 3 of 6.
Carolina Hurricanes: NEW AT NYI WED, ICS AT COL FRI, NEW AT MIN SAT. The Hurricanes have been off to a rockier start than they should be, judging from last year’s postseason. The Islanders and Wild should help a bit–neither team is doing so well–but Colorado is surprisingly hot early on. NYI Game 1 of 4. COL Game 1 of 1. MIN Game 1 of 2.
Chicago Blackhawks: NEW VS VAN WED, ONG VS NSH SAT. A light week in the Windy City, as the Hawks host two of the three bottom teams in the West. A regulation win against the Preds would put the Hawks up 4 on Nashville, with 4 games to go; a regulation loss would square the series, with no odd games out. VAN Game 1 of 4. NSH Game 2 of 6.
Colorado Avalanche: NEW AT MIN WED, ICS VS CAR FRI, ONG VS DET SAT. The ‘Lanche kick off their series with the Wild in Minnesota. Given the standings, I’d normally say No sweat, but it’s a divisional game, so I’m not going there. Carolina comes a-calling on Friday night, in what could be billed as “The Battle Of The Natural Disasters!!!” A win against Detroit would increase Colorado’s lead in that series. MIN Game 1 of 6. CAR Game 1 of 1. DET Game 2 of 4.
Columbus Blue Jackets: ONG AT CGY TUE, NEW AT EDM THU, NEW AT ANA SAT, ONG AT LAK SUN. A busy week on the road for Columbus sees them visiting two teams they’ve already played and defeated at home. Regulation wins against Calgary and/or Los Angeles would guarantee at least a tie in those particular series. The Jackets need a win against the Oilers to stay ahead of them in the standings, and the Ducks may deserve perhaps more credit than their .500 points percentage would indicate. CGY Game 2 of 4. EDM Game 1 of 4. ANA Game 1 of 4. LAK Game 2 of 4.
Dallas Stars: NEW VS LAK MON, NEW AT ANA WED, ONG AT LAK THU, NEW AT STL SAT. Quite a week ahead for the Stars, as they get their first two games against the Kings. Both teams are smack dab in the middle of the West, so these should be entertaining contests. A visit to The Pond in the middle of that gives the Stars three games in four nights against southern California…before a trip to St. Louis to face the Blues on Super Saturday. LAK Games 1 AND 2 of 6. ANA Game 1 of 6. STL Game 1 of 4.
Detroit Red Wings: NEW AT PHX THU, ONG AT COL SAT. Phoenix is evidently out to prove their off-ice melodrama doesn’t mean a thing when the puck hits the ice. The Wings overlook this team at their peril (just ask Pittsburgh.) A regulation win against the ‘Lanche would give the Wings the series lead, but an overtime/shootout win would square the series with two games to go. PHX Game 1 of 4. COL Game 2 of 4.
Edmonton Oilers: NEW VS VAN MON, NEW VS CBJ THU, ONG AT CGY SAT, ONG AT VAN SUN. Two games against the Canucks bookend a home date with surprising Columbus, and pesky Calgary. Vancouver is struggling a bit, but these are two of those all-Canada games that really could go either way. A win against Columbus could have early standings implications–not that those ought to matter much in October, but you never know. A regulation loss to the Flames could put the series one regulation win away from being over. VAN Games 1 AND 2 of 6. CBJ Game 1 of 4. CGY Game 3 of 6.
Florida Panthers: NEW VS BUF WED, NEW AT PIT FRI, ONG AT PHI SAT. Two new series opening up for the Panthers, and both of them are against red-hot squads. The Panthers lead the Flyers by 2 with 3 games to go, so a regulation win Saturday would guarantee at least a season series tie. BUF Game 1 of 4. PIT Game 1 of 4. PHI Game 2 of 4.
Los Angeles Kings: NEW AT DAL MON, ONG VS DAL THU, ONG AT PHX SAT, ONG VS CBJ SUN. Kings of the Frequent Flier club, perhaps? Los Angeles opens the week with a home and home against the division rival Stars, then tries to even series against the ‘Yotes and Jackets where they lost their first games. The Kings have more teams in the “Trail” column than the “Lead” one, and they don’t need any more where that came from. DAL Games 1 AND 2 of 6. PHX Game 2 of 6. CBJ Game 2 of 4.
Minnesota Wild: NEW VS COL WED, NEW AT STL FRI, NEW VS CAR SAT. As of this writing, Minnesota is the only team in the Western Conference which does not have a lead in any season series. Are those third jerseys so ugly that the hockey gods have now cursed their season? One wonders. COL Game 1 of 6. STL Game 1 of 4. CAR Game 1 of 2.
Montreal Canadiens: NEW VS ATL TUE, NEW VS NYI THU, NEW VS NYR SAT. A week at home for the Habs, as they host surprisingly Hotlanta, then get a double dip of the Big Apple. Thrashers could be intriguing, Rangers are off to a ridiculous start, and the Islanders…well…they’re the Islanders. ATL Game 1 of 4. NYI Game 1 of 4. NYR Game 1 of 4.
Nashville Predators: ICS AT BOS WED, ICS AT OTT THU, ONG AT CHI SAT. The Preds aren’t to the point of having to say, “Let us prey”–sorry, I know that was bad–but this week doesn’t look very promising. Chicago has already beaten them, and the Preds have yet to win a game against the East. Not having a home game until next Thursday night isn’t going to be much help, I should think. BOS Game 1 of 1. OTT Game 1 of 1. CHI Game 2 of 6.
New Jersey Devils: ONG AT NYR THU, NEW AT PIT SAT. Not many games this week for New Jersey, just monsters–the two hottest teams in the NHL, a Battle of the Hudson, a visit to the champs, and did I mention that the Devils are only 1 win above .500? Still, the Rangers and Penguins can’t keep winning all year, right? ….. Right? NYR Game 2 of 6. PIT Game 1 of 6.
New York Islanders: NEW VS CAR WED, NEW AT MTL THU, NEW VS WSH SAT. The Islanders aren’t leading a single series right now–being oh-fer the season so far will do that–which is a distinction they share with…wait for it…the (also winless) Toronto Maple Leafs. This Caps fan hopes they can get this winning thing out of the way before the Capitals hit the Island on Saturday. CAR Game 1 of 4. MTL Game 1 of 4. WSH Game 1 of 4.
New York Rangers: ICS VS SJS MON, ONG VS NJD THU, NEW AT MTL SAT. Quite a week for the Blueshirts–the defending President’s Trophy winners, followed by a Battle of the Hudson and an Original Six showdown at Centre Bell on a Saturday night. I doubt their win streak will be alive by week’s end, but stranger things have happened. SJS Game 1 of 1. NJD Game 2 of 6. MTL Game 1 of 4.
Ottawa Senators: ICS VS NSH THU, NEW VS BOS SAT. The Predators have been struggling badly as of late–could be an easy win at home. The Bruins are off to a surprisingly lackluster start, but I’m sure they’d love to whoop the Senators to snap out of it. NSH Game 1 of 1. BOS Game 1 of 6.
Philadelphia Flyers: NEW VS BOS THU, ONG VS FLA SAT, NEW VS SJS SUN. Two teams from the top of their conferences last year bookend a team that missed the playoffs last year on a head-to-head tie break. However, Florida’s only series lead right now is against the Flyers–think that’s going over well in the Flyers’ locker room? Meanwhile, Boston and San Jose seem to be doing game-conditions system adjustments or something–both of them are not where they were at the end of last season. BOS Game 1 of 4. FLA Game 2 of 4. SJS Game 1 of 2.
Phoenix Coyotes: NEW VS DET THU, ONG VS LAK SAT. If you had asked me before the season started which of these teams I thought would be leading their division, and who’d be 11th in the West, when Phoenix and Detroit met in Week IV, I would have gotten it wrong. If Phoenix can beat Detroit, the Western Conference may be on notice that the Desert Dogs are no joke this year. Meanwhile, the Coyotes could stretch their series lead to 4 points with a regulation win over Los Angeles. DET Game 1 of 4. LAK Game 2 of 6.
Pittsburgh Penguins: ICS VS STL TUE, NEW VS FLA FRI, NEW VS NJD SAT. St. Louis just lost a squeaker to the Pacific-leading Coyotes, and made the Ducks quack up (sorry) 5-0 Saturday night. Florida is off to a rocky start, but New Jersey has (as of Sunday) yet to lose a game on the road. This week won’t be a milk run for the Penguins. STL Game 1 of 1. FLA Game 1 of 4. NJD Game 1 of 6.
San Jose Sharks: ICS AT NYR MON, ICS AT TBL THU, ICS AT ATL SAT, NEW AT PHI SUN. The Sharks are getting a lot of their East Coast travel done early. They have one more game at Carolina on November 1, and then have no more Eastern Conference away games until they finish their Eastern road slate in the week before the Olympic break. NYR Game 1 of 1. TBL Game 1 of 1. ATL Game 1 of 1. PHI Game 1 of 2.
St. Louis Blues: ICS AT PIT TUE, NEW VS MIN FRI, NEW VS DAL SAT. The Blues will try to cool off the Penguins–lots of luck there–before coming home for two games in two nights that are battles of The Blue and the Green. (And man, do I hope somebody gets the reference on THAT one…) PIT Game 1 of 1. MIN Game 1 of 4. DAL Game 1 of 4.
Tampa Bay Lightning: ICS VS SJS THU, NEW VS BUF SAT. Both of the Bolts’ opponents this week are one point away from their respective division leads–and both just might want to take over those leads. SJS Game 1 of 1. BUF Game 1 of 4.
Toronto Maple Leafs: NEW AT VAN SAT. The Leafs could use a few days off to try to figure out how to keep their season from spiraling out of control. VAN Game 1 of 2.
Vancouver Canucks: NEW AT EDM MON, NEW AT CHI WED, NEW VS TOR SAT, ONG VS EDM SUN. A stop in the Windy City breaks up an all-Canada week for the ‘Nucks. No easy games here: Chicago is no joke in the Central, and any all-Canada game is by nature unpredictable. EDM Games 1 AND 2 of 2. CHI Game 1 of 4. TOR Game 1 of 2.
Washington Capitals: NEW AT ATL THU, NEW AT NYI SAT. The Caps finally open play against the Southeast Division, and Atlanta doesn’t look like the cupcake it was last year. Meanwhile, the Caps will try to take their first series lead in the Atlantic with a visit to the Islanders on Saturday. ATL Game 1 of 6. NYI Game 1 of 4.

INTER-CONFERENCE SINGLES
Nashville at Boston
Nashville at Ottawa
San Jose at Atlanta
San Jose at New York Rangers
San Jose at Tampa Bay
St. Louis at Pittsburgh

POTENTIAL “ODD GAMES OUT”
None.

POTENTIAL SERIES WINS/LOSSES
None.

MAGIC NUMBERS OF NOTE
None.

POTENTIAL CLINCHES/ELIMINATIONS
None.

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