Mick Kern from NHL Network Radio here. We’re running down the must-hear NHL games of the week, including San Jose at Edmonton and Carolina at Toronto:
Saturday, December 16th – Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91
Almost 100 years to the day after the Canadiens and the original Senators franchise met up in Ottawa to play a game on the first day in NHL history, the two teams meet up to do it again. In Ottawa. Outside at Frank Clair Stadium, home of the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League. But it’s all hockey tonight, as the two teams and their fans brave the elements. Both of these squads have struggled this season, and are in real danger of missing the playoff cut in the Eastern Conference.
Sunday, December 17th – St. Louis Blues at Winnipeg Jets
6:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 219
The Blues hit the road for their first date in a four-game Western Canadian swing, and tonight they face the Jets. This battle of Central Division heavyweights would make for a great playoff matchup come the spring. St. Louis are impressive on the road, while the Jets are almost unbeatable on home ice. Flip a coin.
Monday, December 18th – San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers
9:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 167
Last spring, the Oilers took out the Sharks in six games in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. This time around, the Oilers are struggling to stay in the Western Conference playoff race, and are playing better hockey away from home. San Jose are faring better so far this season.
Tuesday, December 19th – Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs
2:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91
100 years to the day the National Hockey League first held games, the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs meet up for a weekday matinee to celebrate that anniversary. Back in 1917, the Maple Leafs were known as the Arenas. These days, the team is one of top squads in the league, and today face the Hurricanes. A third of the way into the season, Carolina has not played at the level most people expected.
Wednesday, December 20th – St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames
9:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 220
The Blues continue their Western Canadian road trip, tonight taking on the Flames in Cowtown. Calgary are in the running for a playoff spot in the Pacific Division, and are playing better hockey away from home.
Thursday, December 21st – Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
8:30 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 211
30 games into the regular season, both of these teams were sporting 33 points, which had them bubbling under the two Western Conference wildcard spots. There’s still a lot of time remaining in the season, but at this stage both the Blackhawks and Stars have been underwhelming. With the quality of opponents in the Central Division this year, the wildcard spots may be the best these two teams can do.
Friday, December 22nd – Philadelphia Flyers at Buffalo Sabres
7:00 PM Eastern – Sirius XM 91
While nobody realistically expected the Sabres to make a run for an Eastern Conference playoff berth this season, most observers penciled in the team to at least improve on their 78 points from last year. With the way thing are currently going for Buffalo, that mark may be tough to match. As for the Flyers, they had 88 points last season, which placed them 7 points back of a playoff spot. So far this time around, Philadelphia are playing close to .500 hockey, which won’t be good enough to get them over the hump.