NHL Games of the Week: Saturday, December 2nd to Friday, December 8th

NHL

Shea Weber #6 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates after scoring a goal against the St Louis Blues in the NHL game at the Bell Centre on February 11, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mick Kern from NHL Network Radio here. We’re running down the must-hear NHL games of the week, including St. Louis at Montreal and Ottawa at Anaheim:

Saturday, December 2nd – Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames
10:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

The Battle of Alberta is always a rollicking time, especially this season, with both the Flames and Oilers in contention for first place in the NHL Pacific Division. Hold on!  Forget that. The Flames are holding up their end of the bargain, in the running for top spot along with the Kings and the surprising expansion Vegas Golden Knights. The Oilers are certainly not keeping pace, their disappointing start has them lingering near the basement in the Western Conference, in tough to make the playoffs come this April. Regardless, the Battle of Alberta is always a rollicking time.

 

Sunday, December 3rd – Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219

Two of the recent powerhouses in the NHL (Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015…Kings won the Cup in 2012 and 2014), but were they still Cup contenders in 2017? The early evidence says yes. Los Angeles reside in the high rent district of the Pacific Division, while Chicago are in the middle of the dogfight for a Western Conference wildcard spot. These two teams have played some epic games against each other in recent seasons, and all indications this one will be worth tuning in to.

 

Monday, December 4th – San Jose Sharks at Washington Capitals
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

The easy take on this matchup is that it features two teams that have been very good in the regular season over the past decade, but haven’t been able to make it work come the playoffs. The easy take is the proper take, though the Sharks did battle their way to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, losing in 6 close games to the Pittsburgh Penguins. As for today, both teams are in the playoff mix in their respective Conferences.

 

Tuesday, December 5th – St. Louis Blues at Montreal Canadiens
7:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 220

Long time hockey fans may remember when these two franchises met up in the Stanley Cup Final way back in 1968, and 1968. The Blues haven’t been back to the Big Dance since Bobby Orr flew through the air in May 1970. The Canadiens haven’t been to the Cup Final since winning it all in 1993. A long drought for both teams. These days, the Blues are one of the powerhouses in the Western Conference, while the Canadiens have stumbled somewhat so far this season, and are in a real struggle to make the playoffs in the East. The Habs do have staring goaltender Carey Price back from injury.

 

Wednesday, December 6th – Ottawa Senators at Anaheim Ducks
10:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

A rematch of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final (which the Ducks won in 5), there appears to be little chance of these two teams facing each other come June for the Cup, unless things turn around big time, particularly in Ottawa. The Senators are middle-of-the-pack regarding goals for and goals against, but that won’t be good enough to earn a playoff spot, and they’ve found it difficult to secure a W recently. The Ducks have battled of plethora of injuries, which currently has them in a battle for a Western wildcard spot. They were expected to challenge for first in the Pacific Division.  Anaheim recently pulled off a big trade with the New Jersey Devils, landing forward Adam Henrique.

 

Thursday, December 7th – New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

Two Stanley Cups the past two springs means the Penguins have had a couple of short summers, and many wonder if that’s caught up to them somewhat. Goaltender Matt Murray has also battled injuries, and all this has Pittsburgh uncharacteristically fighting for an Eastern Conference playoff spot…though by the time this game gets underway, they could very well be battling for top spot in the tough Metropolitan Division. The Islanders have been playing very good hockey in the past few weeks.

 

Friday, December 8th – Columbus Blue Jackets at New Jersey Devils
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219

Which team did you pick to finish first this season in the Metropolitan Division? Nobody except the most die-hard New Jersey fans envisioned the Devils being in the running for the Metro crown. Yet there they are, and if not for the surprising start by the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, the Devils would be the story of the first quarter of the NHL season. The Blue Jackets have kept pace with the Devils, so this is a battle of heavyweights on this Friday night.

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