All we needed was a Canadiens overtime win to have a pretty decent night last night, but no, of course, Zach Werenski is left WIDE open in the high slot, may have just gave him an empty net. Anyways, we went even for the night, and tonight features three small games, all games are out of conference play, these nine teams rarely meet each other throughout the regular season.
New York Rangers(9-7-2) vs Chicago Blackhawks(8-8-2)
The Rangers are looking to make it seven games in a row, as the Blackhawks are looking to not dip their record below .500. Playing at the United Center will not be easy for the Rangers but they have been scoring at will and the Blackhawks fragile blueline will be something the Rangers will need to take advantage of. The Blackhawks are still trying to find some consistency in their offensive lines as Coach Quenneville has been mixing and matching players up, but it seems Anisimov, Kane are together and Saad and Toews are back together the RW and LW on both lines are pretty flexible, Debrincat or Sharp can step and play on either line. The Hawks forward depth make them a scary team but tonight will come to the power play as the Rangers rank third in the league and the Hawks rank 28th, whoever can cash in on the man advantage will have a good chance in tonight’s NBCSN match up. Going Rangers, 4-3.
Calgary Flames(10-7-0) vs Detroit Red Wings(8-8-2)
The Flames erupted for seven goals against one of the best teams in the NHL, but now they travel to Detroit, where they are 4-2 on the road this season. The Flames are coming off a six-game homestand and now hit the road for a six-game road trip. The Flames have seen production from Johnny Gaudreau that has been remarkable, and it seems when Johnny hockey is on, the Flames offense comes to play. The Red Wings shockingly have seen solid production from their rookies/prospects as well as some veterans, but their defense lacks the capability, which leaves me wary picking Detroit. If Mike Smith is out, this matchup can change, but Smith in the net or not, going Calgary, 3-2.
Boston Bruins(6-6-4) vs Anaheim Ducks(7-7-3)
Two very injury-riddled teams that are battling through major injuries to their top guys, but it seems David Krejci and Brad Marchand are slotted in the line up for tonight as the Ducks are still without Cam Fowler(should start skating soon), but two teams that have battled through injuries all year. The good thing about this matchup Tuukka Rask and John Gibson are both getting the starts, and for two teams that struggle to score goals and rank in the bottom of the league for goals for. We can expect this to be a low scoring game. The Bruins have a healthier blue line, which is where teams see success in games from the blueline out. The Ducks are slotting Derek Grant on their first line and Chirs Wagner on their second line, they are hurting. I’m still going Ducks, 3-2.