Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's preview

Buffalo (3-5-1) at Philadelphia (3-4-1), 7 p.m. EDT, Versus

I wonder what the Sabres did since their 6-1 rout over New Jersey. All they had to do was travel from Newark to Philadelphia yet they had two full days off since beating the Devils. Did they head back home to Buffalo or did they willingly spend more time in Philadelphia than they needed to? In any case, they've won two of their last three games so maybe they're starting to find themselves.

The Flyers, on the other hand, have lost four of their last five. Brian Boucher started consecutive games for the first time this season but it didn't matter since Philadelphia scored only once.

By the way, what's with all the bad power plays? Toronto had the league's worst last season at 14 percent. This year, 14 teams are below that pace, including six teams in single figures (Philadelphia being one at 8.6 percent.) I don't expect those numbers to stay the same but it's still curious, isn't it?

Philadelphia 3, Buffalo 2, shootout

Florida (3-3-0) at Toronto (4-2-1), 7 p.m.

Speaking of bad power plays, the Panthers have the worst, an eye-sore 4.4 percent on 1-for-23. The good news is David Booth is playing well, with six points. Word is Tomas Vokoun will finally get a rest, so we'll see how rusty Scott Clemmensen is.

Will the real Maple Leafs please stand up? Toronto went from scoring 16 goals in its first four games to a total of four over the last three, all losses. Of those 20 goals, 12 have come from Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur (six each.) Tim Brent of all people is next with two.

Florida 3, Toronto 1

Phoenix (2-2-3) at Ottawa (2-5-1), 7:30 p.m.

In hockey hell, this is the game they're showing. That is all. (Also, I stole that joke from Tuesday Morning Quarterback on ESPN.com. Gotta give props where they're due.)

Phoenix 2, Ottawa 1

Edmonton (2-4-0) at Calgary (5-3-0), 9 p.m.

Yes, even this game is better, because the Flames are starting to resemble an NHL team now. Calgary has won four of its last five thanks in large part to the efforts of Miikka Kiprusoff (two shutouts in the last four) and Rene Bourque (six goals in that time.) Jarome Iginla is starting to pick up points, but even Darryl Sutter has to be asking himself, "What the hell was I thinking bringing Olli Jokinen back?"

I'd like to say something nice about the Oilers but I can't. They've conceded 19 goals over the last four games and none of their young kids are making a splash. They're all still learning the ropes in the NHL, painfully so. If you haven't heard Taylor Hall's name much it's because he has only one assist in six games.

Calgary 4, Edmonton 1

Anaheim (3-5-1) at Dallas (5-2-0), 9 p.m.

The Stars will start to suck beginning tonight because I just picked up Kari Lehtonen in a fantasy league. But the Ducks suck too.

Dallas 5, Anaheim 4

Colorado (4-4-0) at Vancouver (3-3-2), 10 p.m.

The Avalanche are looking to reverse their negative trend of two straight losses and in three of the last four. Only one of Colorado's wins is by more than one goal. Each of their losses was by at least two. Colorado has one of the few power plays that's good in the league (sixth at 23.3%) and Chris Stewart, Paul Stastny and John-Michael Liles are all playing very well. Craig Anderson has been a little more mortal lately (14 goals allowed in four games) so maybe he'll get a rest soon.

Henrik Sedin doesn't have a goal yet for the Canucks but does have 10 assists. Daniel Sedin is scoring at a pretty good pace, with seven goals and four helpers. Vancouver is very good at home.

Vancouver 4, Colorado 3

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