After a busy stretch of games to begin the 2010-11 season, it seems like the NHL’s catching its breath a bit. There are only two games on the schedule and for fastidious hockey fans, it’s a nice situation because watching both is a distinct possibility. Let’s take a look at today’s two contests.
(Start times are Eastern or ET)
7:30 PM ET
Many folks are still hung up on the savage and scintillating 90s rivalry between these two teams, when Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg clashed with Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom and the Red Wings’ rotation of other stars. The Red Wings have been savvy when it comes to maintaining that star status in the salary cap era while the Avalanche clearly turned the page. Adam Foote and Milan Hejduk are just about the only remnants from those days, as the Avs have turned to goalie Craig Anderson and a stable of speedy young players to begin a new era. Rather than rekindling a rivalry, this is more like a matchup between old versus new, although the Red Wings might buck that trend by starting younger goalie Jimmy Howard instead of old mainstay Chris Osgood.
10:30 PM ET
It’s often fun to run into one of those “something has to give” games. The Thrashers come into this game having lost their last four road games (0-3-1) dating back to last season while the Kings lost their last three home openers. Both teams are also 1-1, so the something-has-to-give levels are really through the roof in this one. In other random contextual stats, Atlanta won the last three meetings between the two teams.