NHL Games of the Week: Saturday, October 21st to Friday, October 27th

NHL

Leo Komarov #47 of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Erik Burgdoerfer #46 of the Ottawa Senators chase the puck during the second period at the Air Canada Centre in their preseason hockey game on September 19, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Mick Kern from NHL Network Radio here. We’re running down the must-hear NHL games of the week, including Toronto at Ottawa and Dallas at Edmonton:

Saturday, October 21st – Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

The Battle of Ontario is always a feisty affair, especially so this time around, as both of these teams are off to good starts to the season.  Most expected the Maple Leafs to be better this year, but the Senators have surprised a lot of observers outside of Canada’s capital city.  And they’ve accomplished this without All-World defenceman Erik Karlsson, though he is now back in the lineup.

Sunday, Sunday, October 22nd – Vancouver Canucks at Detroit Red Wings
6:40 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

The only game in town tonight, as the surprising Red Wings play host to the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.  Detroit missed the playoffs last season, the first time in a quarter century.  So far this time around, they’re right in the middle of the post-season dogfight.

Monday, October 23rd – San Jose Sharks at New York Rangers
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219

Two teams that have recently been to the Stanley Cup Final, what is expected of the Sharks and Rangers this season?  Early results have not been kind to New York, who were uncharacteristically residing in the bottom part of the Eastern Conference standings.  Same early non-results for San Jose, meaning even though it’s still early in the season, the two points up for grabs tonight are already important for these two teams.

Tuesday, Tuesday, October 24th – Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 221

Almost every hockey magazine/show predicted the Tampa Bay Lightning would be a serious contender to represent the East in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.  So far, so good.  The Bolts won six of their first eight games, which bolted them out to first place in the Atlantic Division.  What about the Hurricanes? The early sample size was too small to exactly know who the Canes are this season.  Many expect them to improve on their 87 points from last year.

Wednesday, October 25th – Calgary Flames at St. Louis Blues
8:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

Both of these squads went 4-and-2 in their first six games, and both teams have designs on going deep in this spring’s playoffs.  Both teams can fill the net when they’re flying, so mark this game down as a must listen.

Thursday, October 26th – Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers
9:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 206

Did you have the Stars and Oilers facing each other in the 2018 Western Conference Final?  That matchup could still happen, but both teams will have to play better than they have out of the gate.  A lot of the focus is on Edmonton netminder Cam Talbot, who has certainly played better during his time in Alberta’s capital city.

Friday, October 27th – Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks
8:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219

A rematch of the opening round playoff series last April, which saw the Predators sweep Chicago.  Nashville marched all the way to the NHL Stanley Cup Final, while the Blackhawks licked their wounds, and tried to figure out what went wrong.  Early on this season, both teams are in the playoff picture, which was to be expected.  What wasn’t expected in many quarters is how good Chicago has looked early on.

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