Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers head east this week in NHL action

Connor McDavid
EDMONTON, CANADA - OCTOBER 18: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres on October 18, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Saturday, March 4th – 1 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
New York Rangers at Boston Bruins

A heavyweight tilt from Boston this afternoon, as the league-leading Bruins face the fortified New York Rangers. Both clubs are now armed to the teeth with talent after each team recently added significant parts to their already impressive lineups. The Rangers made the biggest individual splash by trading with Chicago for sure-fire future Hockey Hall-of-Fame forward Patrick Kane.

Sunday, March 5th – 3 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes

Another Eastern Conference heavyweight matchup, though both teams involved are chasing different in-season goals. While the Canes are looking to fend off the Devils, and Rangers, for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, the Lightning appear to be tidally locked to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs. The only question remaining may be, which of the Leafs or Bolts will have home ice in the best-of-seven showdown?

Monday, March 6th – 7:30 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Edmonton Oilers at Buffalo Sabres

Superstar centre Connor McDavid is leading the league in goals and points and brings to Buffalo a team that added respected veteran defenceman Mattias Ekholm, obtained last week from the Nashville Predators. Tonight the Oilers clash with a Sabres team that appeared destined for their first post-season appearance in over a decade, but then they go and drop games to the likes of the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. The sometimes snail race for the two Eastern wildcard spots is so tight Buffalo cannot afford to leave such points on the table. Consider this a play-in game for the Sabres. The Oilers still have designs on first place in the Pacific Division, so they’ll come into this one with all guns-a-blazin’. They are in Boston on Thursday and face the Leafs in Toronto on Saturday night.

Tuesday, March 7th – 7 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils

Even though they sported the fourth-best overall record last week, the playoff-challenged Maple Leafs still saw fit to change a third of their roster. Will it work? They did drop their first game with the reconstituted team 5-2 to the Oilers, but one can’t form rash conclusions just yet. Toronto knows they’re facing the Lightning in the first round, and after dropping a tight seven-game opening round to the Bolts last season, the Leafs are preparing their roster for the inevitable rematch. Tonight, they face a young Devils team that has surprised pretty much everybody by arriving early, and here we are in early March, and New Jersey stands a solid chance of finishing first in the tough Metropolitan Division.

Wednesday, March 8th – 7:30 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets

This past month, the Wild have tightened up their game, and that’s led to maybe not the most exciting hockey, but it’s winning hockey, and that’s plenty of reason to be excited if you’re a Minnesota fan. First place in the Central Division in up-for-grabs and the Wild, the Stars, the resurgent (and mostly healthy) Avalanche, and the Jets are all in that race.  A huge two points are at stake this evening in Southern Manitoba.

Thursday, March 9th – 7 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins

It’s the wild and wacky Easter wildcard race, and front and centre tonight are two old rivals, the Islanders and Penguins.  Both have made moves recently to shore up not entirely impressive lineups, as it’s a tight seven-team struggle with only two playoff invites available. Both teams tend to be older than most current NHL rosters, but hey, we call that experience. Another huge two points at stake in this one.

Friday, March 10th – 9 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 91
Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames

While the young Ducks aren’t going anywhere this time around, they can help the baffling, confusing, inconsistent Flames end up with the same fate. Calgary can’t score. Or, that is, they can’t when it counts, and they can’t outscore their mistakes. There’s a reason (actually, a few reasons) why the Flames have lost so many one-goal games this season. They are in real danger of missing the playoff cut in what is, for the most part, an underwhelming Western Conference.