Here are previews for Monday’s six game set. As always, start times correspond to Eastern Standard time (ET).
Toronto @ Carolina
As the eighth place Thrashers flounder, the Hurricanes hope to usurp their division mates for a playoff spot. Perhaps the Maple Leafs feel that way too, but they need to make up quite a bit more ground than Carolina does.
NY Rangers @ Washington
The Capitals are looking to get revenge on the Rangers, who embarrassed them 7-0 as HBO’s cameras were rolling. It sounds like Alexander Semin is rounding back into shape to boot, although it is unclear when he’ll be back. Meanwhile the Rangers are a hearty bunch but are dealing with some serious injury issues so it a tough challenge will get that much more difficult tonight.
St. Louis @ Colorado
This is a good opportunity for the Avalanche to get back into the top eight of the West, as the weak-on-the-road Blues come to visit them in Colorado. They’ve already won five in a row against St. Louis, after all.
Nashville @ Calgary
Only one team holds more road wins than the Predators at this point in 2010-11: the league-leading Flyers. Nashville is absolutely on a roll, having won three in a row and 10 of their last 12 games. Calgary is also showing signs of life, having won two consecutive games.
Dallas @ Vancouver
Two division leaders square off in this one, as Western Conference/Northwest Division leading Vancouver hosts Pacific Division leader Dallas. They’re also among the hottest teams in the NHL, so this should be a high level game.
Boston @ Los Angeles
Perhaps both teams can break the ice by talking about how often Marco Sturm gets injured? They don’t see each other often, but both teams have a nice mix of veteran and young talent and coaches who fancy a defensive minded game.