Mick Kern from NHL Network Radio here. We’re running down the must-hear NHL games of the week, including the Islanders at the Flames and the Sharks visiting the Jets:
Saturday, March 4th – Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 221
The Push to the Playoffs is in full gear, and while the Blue Jackets are going to be there once the dust settles, so should the Senators, though they can’t let up now. Columbus have been one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference this season, while Ottawa are in the running for first place in the Atlantic Division. Both teams made moves at the recent NHL trade deadline.
Sunday, March 5th – New York Islanders at Calgary Flames
4:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91
The 1972 expansion cousins meet up in Calgary, with both teams needing the two points. The Islanders, left for dead for most of the season, have rebounded in a big way still Doug Weight was installed as head coach. They now find themselves in a multi-team dogfight for the final Eastern Conference wildcard spot. Over in the West, the Flames have been involved in a similar tussle all season long. While a wildcard spot will suffice, Calgary could still climb up in the Pacific Division standings.
Monday, March 6th – San Jose Sharks at Winnipeg Jets
8:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 221
Last season, the Sharks made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. They would like to take that final step this time around, but that path is always a rocky one, though San Jose have been consistent this year, and have held on to first place in the Pacific Division for long stretches of time. On the other hand, the Jets missed the playoff cut last spring, and unless they can get things into gear very soon, that same fate awaits them this April.
Tuesday, March 7th – Philadelphia Flyers at Buffalo Sabres
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91
The 2017 post-season will likely not involve either of these two teams. That’s not carved in stone, as a late season run could catapult one of these squads into a wildcard position, but most likely better days lay ahead for both franchises.
Wednesday, March 8th – Montreal Canadiens at Vancouver Canucks
10:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91
While Montreal is fighting to hold onto first place in the Atlantic Division, the Canucks have seen their playoff chances gradually fade in the Western Conference. Both teams have made changes to their respective lineups prior to the NHL Trade Deadline. Montreal added grit to their lineup with the addition of Steve Ott from Detroit, and Dwight King from Los Angeles.
Thursday, March 9th – New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91
The Rangers are one of the stronger teams in the Eastern Conference, and most likely will finish anywhere from 2nd in the tough Metropolitan Division, 3rd or in the first wildcard position. As for the Hurricanes, they are near the bottom of the standings in the East.
Friday, March 10th – Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings
7:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91
Once again, the Blackhawks are one of the Stanley Cup contenders in the Western Conference, and one of the better teams in the entire NHL. That’s not a surprise. What is a surprise is Detroit, who’ll most likely not make the post-season cut for the first time in a quarter century. Regardless of their relative place in the standings, any game between Chicago and Detroit is usually a good one.