Handicapping this week’s skates, I saw the Hurricanes didn’t face the Predators last season as Carolina plays in the Eastern Conference while Nashville – just 396 miles down I-40 from Raleigh – plays in the Western.
Worse than a Tennessee team playing in the West is the current scheduling reality in the NHL which fosters a rude existence where the Predators – who may land near Toronto in Hamilton in the future say rumors – meet the Canes every two years while they play teams in their own division eight times a season. Uncool.
Time to start up the Zamboni, Bubba…
Tuesday, Nov. 18
Wild at Penguins (Versus): Satan (15 points) skates in The Igloo now and with Malkin (26, No. 2 NHL) and Sidney (21) and Staal, Pitt’s weapons omnipresent. PENGUINS.
Avs at Flames: Flames hot at home (6-2-1) and Avalache falling (get it?) lately. FLAMES.
Wednesday, Nov. 19
Sabres at Bruins: B’s beat Buf in Beantown back in the before (Nov. 8) and went 3-1 vs. LY. BRUINS.
Friday, Nov. 20
Coyotes at Hurricanes: They seldom play, so advantage home team over a team a long way from the desert. HURRICANES.
Panthers at Bruins: LY, road teams in this series went 2-0. Not this year. Also, Florida playing second of BTB roadies. BRUINS.
Saturday, Nov. 22
Bruins at Canadiens: Although Les Habs owned Boston LY (8-0) in reg, Bruins have made strides and dominated (6-1) Montreal last Thursday. Dog worth a bark here. BRUINS.
Blues at Wild: Minny 3-1 vs. Blues LY and tough to beat in Twin Cities. Low-scoring. WILD.
Capitals at Sharks: Going against SJ in the Shark Tank? Have I gone mad? Actually, I have and Semin and Ovechkin getting in a groove. And with Nabokov still out… CAPITALS.
Sunday, Nov. 23
Predators at Hurricanes: Although neighbors, two didn’t play LY (read intro). Preds road record (2-6-1) enough to fade them in this spot. HURRICANES.
Monday, Nov. 24
Coyotes at Rangers: MSG no place for road-weary desert dogs. RANGERS.
Islanders at Canadiens: The Islanders just aren’t in the same class as Montreal. CANADIENS.
Avalanche at Ducks: These teams played nothing but one-goal games LY. Ducks have higher expectations, better feathers. DUCKS.