Let’s take a look at Sunday’s five games. All puck drops are according to Eastern Standard Time (ET).
Ottawa @ Washington
Before they made a spirited run to the Stanley Cup finals (in which they were destroyed by the Ducks), the Senators were in many ways what the Capitals are now. Critics panned them as a talented team in the regular season who couldn’t get it done in the playoffs.
Now they’d kill to be in that position again, as they are truly helpless. We’ll see if Washington can take advantage of this wounded team.
Vancouver @ Minnesota
The Canucks are clearly the top team in the league right now, while the Wild are circulating the drain with both of their best goalies banged up. This has the makings of a blowout, but you never really know in the crazy West.
My guess is that it will probably be pretty ugly, though.
Philadelphia @ NY Rangers
This is going to be a tough one for the Rangers, but they’re an awfully scrappy this season. They’re coming off a hard-fought 3-2 loss to the Canadiens last night and must face their division rivals and the best team in the East in this one.
Philadelphia tops New York in bringing their show on the road, as the Flyers are 15-5-3 on the road while the Rangers are 15-8-1 away from Madison Square Garden.
Nashville @ Chicago
This is the second half of a home-and-home rivalry between the two division foes, with the Predators coming off a come from behind win against the Blackhawks last night. Nashville is on what heck of tear lately, winning seven of their last eight games. They’re currently in fifth place in the West, right behind the equally hot Coyotes. Chicago’s in seventh themselves, so these two teams are fighting over some important points.
Edmonton @ Anaheim
If the Ducks hope to be a playoff team, they need to win these types of games. Both teams in this contest are coming off of humbling losses from Saturday, as the Oilers were downed by the Kings while the Coyotes pasted the Ducks. Anaheim might be in eighth place right now, but with 47 games played, their lead is misleadingly large.
This is a big one for Anaheim.