NHL Games of the Week: Saturday, March 26 – Friday, April 1

MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 21: Kale Clague (43) of the Montreal Canadiens skates with the puck during the second period of the NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens on February 21, 2022, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC.
Saturday, March 26th – 7 pm ET

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens

One of the most storied rivalries in the NHL has been a pretty much one-sided affair recently until the Canadiens rallied from a 3-1 deficit in games and smote the mighty Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2021 playoffs. Toronto has not forgotten this and have bolstered their roster (including adding Seattle Kraken captain Mark Giordano) in a bid to not repeat history this spring. As for Montreal, they have been a completely different team since Martin St. Louis took over behind the bench.

Sunday, March 27th – 2 pm ET

Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders

The two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions are a lock to make the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, that’s been pretty much assured since Day One of the 2021-22 NHL regular season. Where the Bolts finish is the question, and they’ve seemingly been in the Florida Panthers’ slipstream since Day One. Tonight, Tampa visits an Islanders’ team who would pretty much like to forget the entire 2021-22 NHL regular season.

Monday, March 28th – 7 pm ET

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals

This old Southeast Division matchup would make for a delicious Eastern Conference Final sometime this upcoming June. The Canes have been the Big Red Machine, seemingly unstoppable in their march to the top of the Metro standings. The Caps have played much better hockey as of late, and aren’t that far off the pace. Both teams added players at the recent NHL Trade Deadline.

Tuesday, March 29th – 9 pm ET

Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames

Back on March 13th, the Avalanche and the Flames met up in Denver, with the home team emerging with an entertaining 3-0 win. Tonight, they renew hostilities in Calgary, with the home team looking to solidify their grasp on the top spot in the Pacific Division. The Avalanche are also sitting in first in their division, though they appear to have a stranglehold on the Central Division crown. That didn’t stop them from adding depth players to their already formidable lineup.

Wednesday, March 30th – 10 pm ET

St. Louis Blues at Vancouver Canucks

Ever since the head coaching change, the Canucks have been a factor in the Pacific Division, and that has ramped them up the standings, and landed them smack dab in the middle of the convoluted Western Conference wildcard race. Tonight, they take on a Blues squad that have been in a season-long three-way dogfight with the Minnesota Wild, and Nashville Predators for the second spot in the Central.

Thursday, March 31st – 10 pm ET

Dallas Stars at Anaheim Ducks

Depending on how things go, the Dallas Stars could finish as high as second in the Central Division…or miss the playoffs completely. Thus, every game now is huge, and this evening they are in Anaheim, to tangle with a young Ducks team that recently jettisoned many of their impending unrestricted free agents, in a move engineered to set up the Ducks as a competitive team for the foreseeable future.

Friday, April 1st – 7 pm ET

New York Islanders at New York Rangers

These two storied rivals last met up on MSG ice on St. Patrick’s Day, with the visitors taking the game 2-1.  While the Islanders won’t be making the playoff cut this time around, they can still be a factor in the tightly contested Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have designs on at least the second spot in the Metro, seemingly in a daily back-and-forth battle with the Pittsburgh Penguins. To that end, they added a number of players at the recent NHL Trade Deadline. The Islanders and Rangers meet up again, on the Island, on Thursday, April 21st