Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday's schedule

Only two games Sunday. Good thing too, 'cause it's football day.

Phoenix (1-1-1) at Anaheim (1-3-1), 8 p.m. EDT

So far, the Coyotes aren't looking much different than last season. Try and scrap out a goal or two and hope Ilya Bryzgalov holds the fort. Phoenix has scored just one goal in its last two games after erupting for five in the opener. Radim Vrbata is one of the streakiest players in the NHL. He scored twice in the first game but has only two shots on goal total in the last two.

The Ducks snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last time out, blowing a 4-2 lead with under 10 minutes to play in a shootout loss to Atlanta. Jonas Hiller continues to be hung out to dry by a defense that's allowed at least 33 shots in each game. I can't say if Hiller is playing well or not, I just know he's facing a lot of rubber.

Carolina (2-1-0) at Vancouver (1-2-1), 9 p.m.

Eric Staal got off the schneid by registering his first goal and points of the season but it wasn't enough as the Hurricanes lost to Ottawa. Now they travel to Vancouver, where Carolina is just 1-5-2 in its last eight games.

For the Canucks, the question continues to be, whither the second line, whither the goal scoring? Only three different players have scored for Vancouver, led by Daniel Sedin's four. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has two and Raffi Torres has the only other goal. The stats I mentioned the other day about Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and Mikael Samuelsson stayed the same - just two points total (both assists by Samuelsson) in four games. It's not a surprise Raymond is struggling - any time a player comes out of nowhere to put up a 25-50 season raises the question of "fluke or sign of things to come?" - but Kesler and Samuelsson have better track records.

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