NHL Games of the Week: Saturday, February 11th – Friday, February 17th

Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs Leo Komarov (47) celebrates his goal with teammates Nikita Soshnikov (41), Nazem Kadri (43) and Matt Hunwick (2) during the first period of their NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Mick Kern from NHL Network Radio here. We’re running down the must-hear NHL games of the week, including the Sabres at the Leafs and the Stars visiting the Jets:

Saturday, February 11th – Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

Both of these teams are in the midst of a rebuild, yet a quick glance at the standings will show that the Maple Leafs are well ahead in that department, even challenging for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. Two of the best young American born-and-trained players (Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel) are one of the many intriguing story lines in this game.

Sunday, February 12th – Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins
7:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 220

Things are not all rosy in Title Town, as last week the Bruins fired head coach Claude Julien, who guided Boston to the 2011 Stanley Cup championship, and who also once coached Montreal. The two old rivals meet up tonight in Boston, with the playoffs lurking around the corner. The Canadiens are in the running for first place in the Atlantic Division, though they’ve played rather poorly recently. The Bruins are in a fight for a post-season spot.

Monday, February 13th – New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

These two teams have been connected through trades over the past few years, and now are jockeying for a favourable playoff position in the tough Metropolitan Division. While it appears the Washington Capitals are pulling away from the rest of the pack, there’s still a lot of games left to play in the season. The one thing that seems safe to say is both the Rangers and Blue Jackets can print 2017 playoff tickets.

Tuesday, February 14th – Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets
8:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 223

No love lost between these two teams on Valentine’s Day, as these Central Division mates have both been underachievers so far this season. Both teams are within reach of a Western Conference wildcard spot, but they’re going to have to pick up their game to get there. The two points for the winning team this evening is key to beginning that march.

Wednesday, February 15th – St. Louis Blues at Detroit Red Wings
7:40 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219

The Blues recently fired their head coach and are in a fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Mike Yeo took over behind the bench, and St. Louis has responded with a number of wins. The Red Wings’ faithful are slowly accepting that their impressively long playoff run may be over this spring, though they’re not that far back of an Eastern Conference wildcard spot. Again, the two points available to the winning team this evening are huge.

Thursday, February 16th – New York Rangers at New York Islanders
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

Always a spirited time when these two old rivals meet up…anywhere. And often there are plenty of Rangers’ fans in attendance when the two teams are in the Islanders’ arena. As for the standings, the Rangers are in the race for first place in the Atlantic Division, while the Islanders have picked up their game under new head coach Doug Weight, and are back in the playoff hunt after a disappointing first half of the season.

Friday, February 17th – Florida Panthers at Anaheim Ducks
10:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91

They may be doing it quietly, but the Florida Panthers are not that far removed from grabbing a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and they appear to be getting healthy at the right time. Once again, the Anaheim Ducks are in the running for first place in the Pacific Division, jockeying for position with the Sharks and Oilers.

 

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