Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM
In the Crease - Week 17
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Avs...and the Habs Nots
The Colorado Avalanche saw their nine-game winning streak go up in smoke on Tuesday evening at Bell Centre in Montreal, as the Canadiens doubled them up by a 4-2 count. Still, it was an impressive run for a team which ranked near the bottom of the standings last season with a brutal goal differential. This season, they have proven to be a lot stronger of a team, excelling despite the fact they lost Semyon Varlamov to a lower-body injury a few weeks ago. Jonathan Bernier has stood tall in the crease to not only hold down the fort, but take this team to another level.
The New York Rangers have struggled on their west coast road swing, dropping games at Colorado, Los Angeles and Anaheim by a combined score of 13-6. Over the past eight outings they have posted just two victories while getting outscored by a 31-20 margin. The most consistent thing about the Blueshirts recently has been their lack of defense, with the 'over' cashing in six of their past seven outings. It doesn't figure to get any better before the All-Star break, as they wrap up the first half against the San Jose Sharks. After havng some issues scoring earlier in the season, the Sharks are averaging 4.0 goals per game over the past seven outings, which is exactly what the Rangers do not need to see at this juncture.
Wednesday, January 24
A pair of Original Six clubs in desperate need of a battery recharging meet on the west side of Chicago on Hump Day. The Maple Leafs stroll into town with losses in five of their past six games overall while going 0-4 in their past four against the Central Division. They're also a dismal 3-7 in their past 10 games on the road. Luckily for the Leafs, the 'Hawks haven't been much better. Chicago has dropped four of their past five overall, and they're 1-4 in their past five at home. The Blackhawks have won just eight of the past 29 games against teams with a winning overall mark. Chicago could come alive against Toronto, however, a team they have pushed around over the years. The Leafs are 3-13 in the past 16 meetings with the Blackhawks, while losing seven straight meetings in the Windy City. The home team has won eight of the past 10 in this series, with the 'under' hitting in 10 of the past 14 battles in Chicago.
The Kings were upended by the Canucks on Tuesday night, so now they look to rebound and extinguish the Flames. Los Angeles is playing their third game in four days, and they're 5-0 in the past five in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation. L.A. is just 3-7 in their past 10 on the road, however, while going 1-7 in their past eight overall and 0-6 in their past six inside the conference. The Flames have won four of their past five against winning teams, and seven of their past nine games overall. The Kings have won just once in the past six tries against the Flames. The 'over' is 3-0-2 in the past five in this series, while going 3-1-1 in the past five at the Saddledome.
Thursday, January 25
The Bruins and Senators close out the unofficial first half before the All-Star break with their third meeting of the season, each coming since Dec. 27. Ottawa hopes that this meeting goes a little differently than the first two battles, as Boston won 5-1 at home on the 27th of December, and 5-0 in Canada's capital city on Dec. 30. The Sens are not showing signs of turning it around, as they're 0-4 in their past four outings while getting outscored 14-5. On the flip side, the Bruins have won four in a row, outscoring the oppositon 16-6. Defense and goaltending has reigned supreme, with the 'under' 4-1 in their past five outings.
The Flames and Oilers renew acquaintances in the Battle of Alberta. Edmonton is licking its wounds after a 5-0 hammering from the Buffalo Sabres of all teams in their last game Tuesday night. The Oilers have been a huge disappointment this season, but they have been able to push their rivals aside. This is the third meeting over the season, with Edmonton winning on Opening Night at home by a 3-0 score over the Flames, and they won a 7-5 shootout in Calgary back on Dec. 2. Defense has ruled the day lately for the Oilers, or a lack of offense on their part. The 'under' is 7-3 over their past 10.
The Jets and Ducks heads into the All-Star break with a battle at Honda Center. This will be the second meeting of the season between these sides, and the Jets hope it goes a little something like the first battle in Anaheim back on Nov. 24. The Jets won 4-1 in that game, as Connor Hellebuyck bested John Gibson. However, the Ducks are a little healthier than they were in that battle two months ago. Anaheim has won three of of their past four, all at home, and they're 5-1 over their past six overall on home ice. The 'over' is also 4-1 in their past five games in Anaheim. The Jets are coming off an emotional 5-4 overtime win at San Jose on Tuesday, their third straight victory. The 'under' has hit in four of the past five for the Jets, and 7-3 over the past 10 outings.