If you choose only one day to follow hockey this week (boo), then tonight should be your night. Saturday, Oct. 22 ranks as one of the busiest days of the 2011-12 season. We’ll have meatier stuff for many of these games, but let’s take a lightning fast look at the 14 contests on the docket.
Minnesota at Vancouver – 4 pm ET
Dany Heatley & Co. won’t have a chance to perpetuate the awkwardness between Roberto Luongo and Canucks fans because Cory Schneider will get the start, instead. No fun.
Nashville at Calgary – 4 pm ET
The Flames have gone 12-3-1 in their last 16 games against the Predators; Pekka Rinne hopes to beat them for the first time tonight.
Columbus at Ottawa – 7 pm ET
Buffalo at Tampa Bay – 7 pm ET
If goals against average is a stat in your fantasy league, you might want to sit goalies from both teams.
St. Louis at Philadelphia – 7 pm ET
The Flyers should come out angry after that loss to Washington, which might be fatal for a Blues team facing back-to-back games.
New Jersey at Pittsburgh – 7 pm ET
The Devils are quietly shaping up to be a contender in the Atlantic again, but we’ll see how they’ll fare against the busy Penguins, who will play their 10th game of the season.
San Jose at Boston – 7 pm ET
Seriously, Jumbo Joe couldn’t have feigned and injury to make his 1,000th game against the Bruins instead? So selfish.
Toronto at Montreal – 7 pm ET
The Canadiens are one of two East teams without a win at home; the Rangers haven’t even played at MSG yet, though.
Detroit at Washington – 7 pm ET
No doubt about it, this is tonight’s marquee matchup.
Carolina at Winnipeg – 7 pm ET
My instinct is to say this a good chance for Winnipeg to turn their gloomy situation around, but the Hurricanes are 8-1-1 in their last 10 against the Thrashers/Jets.
NY Islanders at Florida – 7:30 pm ET
The Panthers have been shutout two games in a row, but maybe they can get it together against the team they shutout to begin the season.
Colorado at Chicago – 8:30 pm ET
All five of the Avalanche’s wins have come on the road so far this season, but they’ll have to best a team that flattened them recently to reach number six.
NY Rangers at Edmonton – 10 pm ET
Forgive Glen Sather if he daydreams for a second while watching an Oilers team full of young talent on the other side of the ice.
Dallas at Los Angeles – 10:30 pm ET
The Stars face a high-end Pacific Division test for the second night in a row; if they manage to win this one, it might be time to take them seriously.