Dec 17, 2010, 12:15 PM EST
Let’s take a look at Friday’s foursome of hockey games. As always, start times are based on Eastern Standard Time (ET).
Nashville @ New Jersey
The Predators are on a four-game winning streak, which really just puts them into the thick of things in the very clogged Western Conference. It’s almost as if they really are comfortable without their top goalie, as Anders Lindback is substitute goaltending for Pekka Rinne.
Meanwhile, the Devils are just bad, but they have been looking stronger lately.
Buffalo @ Florida
Both the Sabres and Panthers are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The two teams seem to be on different paths, though, as Buffalo is improving while Florida seems like they’re sinking into the lower depths of obscurity. Which happens to be pretty familiar territory for the Panthers.
Detroit @ Chicago
Things are looking pretty dire for the Blackhawks, with a three-game losing streak placing them at the bottom of the Central Division. In fact, Chicao is at the bottom of a five-way tie for eighth place in the East. Meanwhile, the Red Wings are the only Western Conference team above 40 standings points (43 in 30 games played).
Ottawa @ Colorado
The Avalanche are quietly one of the hotter teams in the NHL, as they’re tied with the Canucks atop the Northwest (although Vancouver owns the tie-breaker because they’ve played two less games). They’ve scored 112 goals, only one less than the Flyers’ league leading 113 in two less games, so Pascal Leclaire or Brian Elliott better be in top form tonight.
- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 38
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 36
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 15
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 36
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 81
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 13
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 33
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 11
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 18
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)