Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:56 PM
In the Crease - Week 7
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Opposing teams do not mind facing the three teams from the Golden State right now, as the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are the sixth, seventh and eighth place teams in the Pacific Division. In fact, the Kings have the lowest amount of points (10) in the Western Conference, posting a 5-10-0-0 record through 15 games. While they're been so-so at home, they're a dismal 2-6-0-0 in eight games on the road. Los Angeles have a minus-23 goal differential, which ranks 30th in the NHL behind only the Detroit Red Wings (minus-30). While the Sharks have shown some signs of turning things around with three victories in a row, they still have just 15 points and a minus-16. The Ducks are above the .500 mark at 9-8-1-0, but they're on a three-game skid.
Tuesday, Nov. 12
Florida at Boston: The Panthers have quietly started to jell nicely together, going 8-4-2-3 overall, including 5-3-0-3 on the road. The Bruins have started to show some chinks in the armor lately, losing a couple of games in regulation after rolling to a red-hot start. They're still 11-3-1-2 overall, and 7-0-0-2 at home. Their only setbacks on home ice, both in shootouts, last time out against Philadelphia on Sunday, and 4-3 on Oct. 17 against Tampa Bay. The Bruins are leaky a little bit of oil recently, going 0-2-1 across the past three, and they have allowed 4.0 goals per game across the past four. Tuukka Rask is expected to draw the nod in between the pipes against Florida. He is 7-2-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .933 save percentage with two shutouts. For Florida, Sergei Bobrovsky will tend the twine, and he is 6-3-2 with a 3.39 GA and .884 save percentage. The over has cashed in Bob's past four road starts, and the over is 5-1 in Florida's past six away from home.
Pittsburgh at N.Y. Rangers: The Pens and Blueshirts hook up for the first time this season. New York is coming off a 6-5 shootout loss against the Panthers last time out on home ice. However, New York's offense has been rolling, posting 14 total goals across the past three outings, and an average of 4.0 goals per game across the past eight. The Pens enjoyed their most recent trip to the New York metropolitan area, topping the Islanders 4-3 in overtime, ending the Isles' 10-game winning streak. In seven games on the road this season the Pens are a respectable 4-3-0.
Edmonton at San Jose: The Oilers and Sharks will hook up at 'The Tank' for the first meeting of the season between the teams. Edmonton hasn't appeared in the postseason since the 2016-17 season, but that could change if they keep playing the way that they are. The Oilers are 4-1-1 across the past six games overall, and they have won three straight games on the road. The Sharks are on a long homestand, and they started off a bit shaky with losses to Winnipeg on Nov. 1, and Vancouver on Nov. 2, losing by a combined 8-4 score. However, they have rattled off three straight wins against Chicago, Minnesota and Nashville to climb out of the cellar and back toward respectability. Hey, the Blues were in terrible shape early in the season before catching lightning in a bottle and going all the way to the to. It's super early. Last season the Sharks lost 4-3 in overtime in the first meeting before rattling off four straight victories in the series.
Wednesday, Nov. 13
Toronto at N.Y. Islanders: The Maple Leafs signed John Tavares as a free-agent last offseason, and he was treated rather rudely upon his return to Long Island on Feb. 28, as the Leafs fell 6-1. The Islanders outscored the Leafs 10-1 in the first two meetings before the Leafs exacted a little revenge for Johnny T on April 1 (no foolin'!) with a 2-1 win behind Frederik Andersen. Andersen was injured and unable to play in the first meeting, and Garret Spark (now in Vegas) started that 6-1 betdown. Robin Lehner started all three games for the Islanders, and he now plies his trade in Chicago. The point is, look to the trends lately, which are stacked heavily in favor of the Islanders. They're on a 12-game point streak, going 11-0-1-0 across the past 12 games.
Chicago at Vegas: The nightcap in Wednesday's compact, five-game slate features the Blackhawks and Golden Knights. The last time these teams played on the West Side of Chicago was a great battle. I remember it well, as the Golden Knights were at the end of a road trip, and losing 1-0 late. The aforementioned Lehner was standing on his hand, but the Knights notched a late goal to tie it and force overtime, and they ended up winning in a shootout. The Golden Knights have never lost to the Blackhawks in seven all-time regular-season meetings. What was odd about that meeting earlier on Oct. 22 was that it went 'under'. The first six battles in this series ended up hitting the 'over'. Four of the games have been decided by one goal, but VGK is averaging 4.7 goals per game in the meetings while allowing 2.6 goals per game allowed.
Thursday, Nov. 14
N.Y. Rangers at Tampa Bay: The Lightning skated out of Madison Square Garden back on Oct. 29 with a 4-1 loss against the Rangers in the first meeting, cashing at +180. It was an ugly trip to the New York City area, as the Lightning dropped two of three in the city. They saw Andrei Vasilevskiy lose two starts in a row, too, something he didn't do at any point last season. He rebounded over in Sweden, topping the Buffalo Sabres on Friday afternoon at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm as Vasilevskiy got his mojo back. Now, he'll look for a little revenge against the Blueshirts. The Rangers have been involved in a little fire-wagon hockey at home lately, scoring 26 goals across the past six at MSG while allowing 23.
San Jose at Anaheim: The sixth and seventh place teams in the Pacific Division will look horns at 'The Pond' for the second time this season. The Ducks won the first meeting by a 3-1 count back on Oct. 5 as the 'under' connected. Five of the past nine battles in this series have been one-goal games, with each of those meetings decided by overtime twice and a shootout three times. The 'over' is 3-1-1 over the past five meetings in this series, and the Sharks have outscored the Ducks just 27-25 across the past nine meetings, which is rather indicative of how close these games usually end up.