Monday, February 13, 2012

NHL Games of the Week and Hockey Weekend Across America

Welp, another week in the books in the dog days of February.  In the East, literally not a team changed position in the top 8.  The Rangers are running away with this conference and the Atlantic Division.  My Pens have points in 8 of their past 10 including 7 wins with the help of the NHL's leading scorer Evgeni Malkin.  In the West, the Red Wings broke an NHL record last night with their 20th!!!!! consecutive home victory.  Impressive to say the least.  They are the NHL's highest scoring team.  Also in the West, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been officially eliminated from playoff contention with last night's loss.  It's not even Valentine's Day.  What a disaster this season has been for my hometown team.

This upcoming weekend, February 17-19, is Hockey Weekend Across America presented by Reebok.  Friday is "Wear your Favorite Hockey Jersey Day" presented by  Saturday is "Try Hockey Day" presented by the NHL.  Seriously, check out and see what local rink near you is offering you a free day to learn to skate and play hockey.  Sunday is "Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day."  On this day, you will see many nationally televised NHL games!!!  Check out Sunday's games of the week to see who's playing!

Updated standings:

Team to watch:  Phoenix Coyotes.  They were sitting 11-12th last week and goalie Mike Smith has carried them into playoff contention.  Dave Tippet an annual coach of the year candidate in the desert.

Team to forget about:  Chicago Blackhawks.  Seriously, they've lost 8 in a row.  How is that roster losing?  Oh yeah, they have no goalie.  You can score unlimited goals but if you can't stop em, it becomes tough.

Monday 2/13
San Jose @ Washington 7:30pm on NBC Sports Network
Capitals just can't seem to figure it out.  They better watch out because San Jose could stomp on them.

Phoenix @ Vancouver 10pm
The hottest team in the league wants to show everyone they are here to stay.  This will be a good test for the Yotes on the road.

Tuesday 2/14
NY Rangers @ Boston 7pm
Top dawgs in the East.  Must win for Boston if they want to sniff a #1 seed at all.  Marian Gaborik has been unreal for the Rangers so far this year.  Should be a goalie type game with Lundqvist and Thomas in net.

Chicago @ Nashville 8pm
#5 and #6 in the West.  The Preds seem to be locked into that 4/5 seed match up and have been playing well.  The Blackhawks are on their worst losing streak in years and their coach may be on the hot seat.  The Hawks desperately need to get it going.

Wednesday 2/15
Ottawa @ Florida 7:30pm
Prior to the season starting, I would have laughed if you told me this game was important.  Now the Senators are the 7 seed and Florida in the top 3 in the East.  Both teams need points to stay in it.

Thursday 2/16
Phoenix @ Los Angeles 10:30pm
These two are 7-8 in the West.  Pacific Division rivals and both teams need all the points they can get versus each other.  Should be a great game with 2 hot goalies in Mike Smith and Jon Quick for LA.

Friday 2/17
Washington @ Florida 7:30pm
Huge SE Division match up here.  Caps took care of business last week but still are out of playoff contention.  It seems one of these teams is destined to be the 3rd seed or out of the playoffs.

Nashville @ Detroit 7:30pm on NHL Network
Nasty rivalry here in the Central.  Red Wings are just cruising right meow.  Good thing the Predators have Pekka Rinne in net.  However, Detroit has only lost 2 games at home in regulation ALL season.

Saturday 2/18
Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia 1pm on NHL Network
These two are tied in East at the 4/5 spots.  One of the nastiest rivalries in all of hockey and in pro sports, it's a battle of Pennsylvania.  The Flyers have struggled as of late and the Pens are surging.  What to watch for?  Malkin vs. Giroux.  In my opinion the top 2 forwards in the NHL right meow.

Dallas @ Phoenix 8pm
Dallas needs every win they can get in their own division to stay alive in the West.  Jamie Benn is the best kept secret in the NHL for the Stars.

Calgary @ Los Angeles 10pm
Calgary needs every win they can get in the West to sneak into a top 8 spot.  Can Captain Jarome Iginla will this team into a playoff spot?  Trade him already Calgary!

Sunday 2/19 "Hockey Day in America"
Pittsburgh @ Buffalo 12:30pm on NBC
Sabres aren't in playoff contention but it's a classic rematch of the original Winter Classic teams and a great kick off to our Hockey Day.  Pens look to continue their dominance over Buffalo over the recent years.

San Jose @ Detroit 12:30pm on NBC
A classic juggernaut match up in the West.  I can see NBC showing this feed more often if it's a close one!  This will go a long way to see who gets the top seed in the West.

St. Louis @ Chicago 12:30pm on NBC
The Blues continue to get points and become a scary match up for anyone come mid April.  The Blackhawks could use a nice win over a division opponent to get back on track.

Boston @ Minnesota 3:30pm on NBC
Boston gets the marquee game time as defending Stanley Cup champions.  They take on a free falling Wild team.  However, just watch the Minnesota crowd, they are incredibly passionate about this sport.

New Jersey @ Montreal 6pm on NBC Sports Network
Montreal has been hot lately and hope to continue it against a playoff team in the Devils.  The Habs fan base is growing restless and the team needs to continue to show life before the city explodes.  The Devils cooled off a bit this past week but still are dangerous.

If you don't watch hockey that much, it's a great opportunity to see many games and get a feel for the game! I hope you do, should be a great time!