Who: Boston Bruins (12-7-0) vs. Buffalo Sabres (12-8-0)
Where: Buffalo (NESN, MSG-B)
When: 7 PM EST
Why: Just 10 days ago these two teams played to a 6-2 Bruins victory, a lopsided thumping in the midst of the Bruins current tear. This is a must-watch for a number of reasons:
* The Bruins are the best team in the NHL right now, having rattled off nine(!) consecutive victories. They’re sitting in fifth, a mere three points behind the first place Pittsburgh Penguins (not to mention they have two games in hand on them).
* Tim Thomas is coming off back-to-back shutouts, bringing his total up to 133 straight scoreless minutes. The question is, will they dress him tonight? With the potential backlash from the Sabres, it might be something to think about. (I say yes they will – Timmy can handle himself just fine in there, and he’s hot).
* Oh yeah, Milan Lucic ran Ryan Miller last time they met, and the Sabres basically apologized to Milan that their silly tender had the audacity to venture into his skating lane. They’ve since admitted they regretted not dropping the mitts immediately, so it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of reaction they’re gonna bring tonight.
Who: St. Louis Blues (10-8-2) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (12-6-3)
Where: Pittsburgh (FS – Midwest, ROOT)
When: 7 PM EST (Hurray for DVR!)
Why: Two days ago, superstar Sidney Crosby made his return after 10 months off due to a concussion, and dazzled.
After rolling off a 4-0-2 record under new head coach Ken Hitcock to start, the Blues finally dropped a contest Saturday to the Phoenix Coyotes. I’m interested to see how they bounce back, but most of all to see if they’ve truly changed in any significant way since bringing in Hitchcock, or if he just benefitted from coming into a team rounding into mid-season form during a five game home stand.
Who: Chicago Blackhawks (12-6-3) vs. San Jose Sharks (12-5-1)
Where: San Jose
When: 10:30 PM EST (CSN-CH, CSN-CA)
Why: The San Jose Sharks are only behind Boston when it comes to hot NHL teams, picking up points in eight of their last 10 games, including three straight wins.
Last game Chicago played they got royally THUMPED by the young Edmonton Oilers 9-2, giving up the most goals they have all season. It’ll be interesting to see if that indicates the start of the slide, or if they just slept through a game and will get right back on the horse.
This is the first time these teams have met – rest assured they’ll both be threatening to be home ice advantage teams in the playoffs, and could meet farther down the road.
As a little primer to get you fired up for tonight’s action, theScore video put together their weekly rundown – here are the top 5 goals from the past week.