NHL Games of the Week: Saturday, October 5th to Friday, October 11th, 2019

2019-10-04-NHL-SXM

TORONTO, ON - October 3 In second period action, Montreal Canadiens left wing Artturi Lehkonen (62) gets tangled up with Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) on a drive to the net but didn't score. The Toronto Maple Leafs played their opening game of the season against long time rivals, the Montreal Canadians at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. October 3, 2018

Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Here are some key games for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio fans this week across the league, including Montreal at Toronto, Winnipeg at the Islanders, and Boston at Vegas.

Saturday, October 5th – Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00 PM Eastern – SiriusXM 91

It wouldn’t be hockey without a meeting of two of the oldest rivals in the NHL.  The Habs and Leafs always bring out the best in both teams, regardless of where they are in the standings.  This season, Toronto are expected to challenge for the Stanley Cup, though they are still waiting to win their first playoff series since 2004.  Things are different in Montreal, where they missed the Eastern Conference playoff cut by a mere two points this past spring.

Sunday, October 6th – Winnipeg Jets at New York Islanders
7:00 PM Eastern – SiriusXM 91

Last season, head coach Barry Trotz and his staff turned the Islanders into the top defensive team in the entire league.  This time around, they’d like to improve the scoring. Last season, the Jets featured one of the best blue lines in the NHL.  This year, it’s almost unrecognizable, due to trades, and other issues.  The Jets dropped their season opener 6-4 to the Rangers in New York.

Monday, October 7th – Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets
7:00 PM Eastern – SiriusXM 219

The rebuilding Sabres dropped the Penguins 3-1 this past Thursday, an indication that maybe things will be a bit different in Western New York this season.  Tonight they face a Blue Jackets’ team that finally won a playoff round this past spring, but paid a heavy price when star forward Artemi Panarin and star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky fled for greener pastures.

Tuesday, October 8th – Boston Bruins at Vegas Golden Knights
10:00 PM Eastern – SiriusXM 91

This matchup would make for a great Stanley Cup Final, but a lot of games to play before we get to that point.  This past June, the Bruins came up one game short to the St. Louis Blues in the Cup Final, but still have the horses to get back there.  Many observers are picking the Golden Knights to once again get to the Final, this time in only their third season in the NHL.

Wednesday, October 9th – New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers
7:30 PM Eastern – SiriusXM 219

Both these Metropolitan Division teams missed the playoffs last season, and both expect to be in the post-season mix this time around.  The Devils were one of the teams that made the most changes during the summer, and boast an impressive lineup that includes P.K Subban, super rookie Jack Hughes, and former league MVP Taylor Hall.  The Flyers opened their season in Prague.

Thursday, October 10th – St. Louis Blues at Ottawa Senators
7:30 PM Eastern – SiriusXM 219

A busy Thursday evening, with 11 games to choose from, including the defending Stanley Cup champions in Canada’s capital city.  While it’s tough to repeat as Cup champion, the Blues have the lineup to do so, particularly after trading for Caroline Hurricanes’ defenceman Justin Faulk.  Yes, the Senators most likely will not be in the post-season mix this time around, but there are a lot of nice pieces in the Sens’ future plans, and another top draft pick will go a long way to getting Ottawa back into the playoffs sooner than later.

Friday, October 11th – Anaheim Ducks at Columbus Blue Jackets
7:00 pm Eastern – SiriusXM 220

A 2-1 opening night win over the Coyotes was a positive start for the Ducks, who suffered through a horrid second half last season.  They feature one of the best goaltenders in the league in John Gibson, and that alone keeps them in most games. Tonight they visit a Blue Jackets team that wants to prove to the hockey world that they are a solid squad without the high profile free agents that left during the summer.

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