Mick Kern from NHL Network Radio here. We’re running down the must-hear NHL games of the week, including Minnesota at Anaheim and the Leafs visiting the Rangers:
Saturday, January 7th – New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 222
Nobody’s been hotter in sports recently than the Columbus Blue Jackets, who reeled off an impressive win streak beginning in late November right through the Christmas break. That’s catapulted them into first place overall in the NHL. The Rangers aren’t that far behind, as both teams look to finish on top of the tough Metropolitan Division, and this battle of heavyweights would make more a great playoff series.
Sunday, January 8th – Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks
7:45 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219
Until they met the Blue Jackets (and lost), the Wild were the hottest team in the NHL. Their recent 12-game winning streak has landed them right in the middle of the race for first place in the Central Division. The Ducks are once again in the battle for first in the Pacific Division, so this game tonight is a battle of heavyweights.
Monday, January 9th – Calgary Flames at Winnipeg Jets
8:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 220
A tale of two Western Canadian cities trying to get back to the playoffs; tonight they meet up in the Manitoba capital for two points that’ll go a long way to determining that fate. On any given night, both teams can be world beaters. The problem has been consistency.
Tuesday, January 10th – Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 220
Many picked the Blues to win the Stanley Cup come this June. That remains to be seen, but St. Louis should be one of the playoff teams in the contentious Western Conference when the post-season begins in mid-April. Can the same thing be said about the Bruins in the Eastern Conference? They’re in the mix in the Atlantic Division, though many feel Boston can play better.
Wednesday, January 11th – Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals
7:45 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 220
When these two teams meet up on ice, it’s almost always a great game. The defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins are enjoying a great season, while the Caps are also in that mix in the Metropolitan Division. Pen’s captain Sidney Crosby is having another fantastic season.
Thursday, January 12th – Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning
7:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 220
This is a battle of two underachieving clubs this season. Both teams have had to deal with injuries to star players, and both teams know they can play better. But they’d better hurry up, before the season slips away.
Friday, January 13th – Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219
While the Rangers are one of the top teams so far this season, the Maple Leafs are also worth watching. Led by a bumper crop of talented young players, Toronto seems to be in every game, though they’ve had their troubles holding to hold on to third period leads.