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TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend

Oct 25, 2013, 3:18 PM EDT

Sharks score Getty Images

Saturday: San Jose at Montreal (7 p.m. ET)

The Sharks lost in regulation Thursday, the first time they’ve done that this season. They’ve also scored just once in their last two games, inviting at least a hint of adversity into what’s been a mostly worry-free start to their schedule. Against Montreal, they’ll try to bump their mini slump against a goalie, Carey Price, who boasts an impressive .936 save percentage. The Habs have won five of their last seven.

Saturday: NY Rangers at Detroit (7 p.m. ET)

Both teams are coming off tough losses. The Rangers fell 2-1 to Philly on Thursday; the Wings, 6-1, to Ottawa on Wednesday. Of course, New York (2-6-0) is in far more dire straits than Detroit (6-4-1). Consider: the Rangers’ goal differential (-19) after just eight games is even worse than Buffalo’s (-18) after 11. Anytime you’re statistically worse than the Sabres at something, you know it’s not good.

Saturday: Pittsburgh at Toronto (7 p.m. ET)

Sidney Crosby in Toronto! Sidney Crosby in Toronto! Yeah, there might be a few reporters at his stall for this one. The Penguins won both their visits to the ACC last season, 5-4 in a shootout on Mar. 9 and 3-1 five days later on Mar. 14. This season, Crosby is quietly off to a very loud start (if that makes sense); the 26-year-old leads the NHL with 17 points in nine games, just shy of a two-points-per-game average. Ho-hum.

Saturday: Minnesota at Chicago (8 p.m. ET)

A good test for the resurgent Wild, winners of two straight after going winless (and unlucky) in three. Unfortunately for Minnesota, goalie Josh Harding (lower body) won’t be available for this one. The 29-year-old has been brilliant so far, registering a .953 save percentage and 1.00 goals-against average in nine appearances. Niklas Backstrom, on the other hand, hasn’t been nearly as solid (.867, 2.98), and apparently isn’t fully healthy either.

Sunday: Edmonton at Los Angeles (9 p.m. ET)

We couldn’t pick all Saturday games (meaning we’re totally snubbing St. Louis at Nashville, if you care to complain about PHT’s blatant big-market bias below…seriously, the Rangers?), so we’re going with this one. Why? Well, that’s a good question. Hmmm. OK, here’s something to consider: in Jonathan Quick‘s last 47 regular-season appearances (37 last season, 10 this one), his save percentage is a rather mediocre .903. Yes, he was excellent in the playoffs, but still, kind of interesting. Or not. Whatever. There aren’t any great NHL match-ups Sunday. Feel free to watch the World Series or football.

  1. steelers88 - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Penguins play 2 good games this weekend one against the Islanders and one against the Leafs.

    • gooterbaby - Oct 26, 2013 at 1:49 AM

      Sorry but this is a non bandwagon fan post.

  2. thailer35 - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    “meaning we’re totally snubbing St. Louis at Nashville, if you care to complain about PHT’s blatant big-market bias below”

    Thanks for thinking of me Jason.

    Also, thanks for eliminating the 60-40 split of the conferences.

  3. jhuck92 - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    I can’t believe PHT just suggested I watch baseball instead of hockey.

    • barkar942 - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      I can’t believe they suggested to watch the Rangers!

      • mactruck27 - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        As a Rangers fan, I cannot endorse anyone watching the Rangers right now.

      • barkar942 - Oct 25, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        Me, too. Except for maybe Dolan who needs to see how bad his product is that will be trying to sell tickets to the Billion Dollar Arena. Perhaps if he did watch, he might fire Sather, AV and Friends!

  4. matt14gg - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    I was going to adopt the Oliers as my girlfriend team, but I’m changing my mind. This Sharks team is damn good and fun to watch. As things stand right now Montreal has no chance tomorrow night.

    • skr213 - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      I’m giving a thumbs up for the first two sentences, but as a Sharks fan, I have too much respect for the Habs to agree with the third sentence.

  5. ethanmacleod1685 - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    The only reason why the Sharks have recent scoring woes is because their severely injured, there are rookies on every line nearly. If you think their dominating now, wait till Torres, Burns, Burish, Havlat and Boyle come back.

    • pxland - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:36 PM


      • ethanmacleod1685 - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        Yea man, he’s actually a beast. He helped us find our identity last season

    • hennessey1200hp - Oct 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Havlat ….Healthy….maybe for 20 games this season

    • sharksman - Oct 25, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      I say Burns and Boyle are the 2 really missed pieces
      Brown is supposed to take torres place (torres is a better player)
      but i dont think the sharks can count on keeping torres in the line up because when he gets back in the first questionable hit will see him out 10 games

  6. bleedingteal4life - Oct 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Wow the sharks finally made this ‘must watch’ list, bout time.

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