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TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend

Nov 1, 2013, 5:51 PM EDT

Pavel Bure poses with his Hall of Fame ring at the Hockey Hall of Fame ring ceremony on November 12, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Bure and three other former NHL players will be inducted into the Hall during a ceremony later today.
(November 11, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

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

Also known locally as the one Saturday game each year that starts at 4 p.m. so all the precious Leafs fans back in the Center of the Universe aren’t sleepy the next day. This year, it’s also the night (check that: late afternoon) that Pavel Bure will have his number retired by the Canucks. As for the actual game, have we mentioned Toronto gets outshot a lot? Feel like that’s something we’ve brought up before. Yep, we’ve definitely touched on that once or twice.

Saturday: St. Louis at Tampa Bay (7 p.m. ET)

The Blues have only lost once in regulation, and they can blame that one on Maxim Lapierre. They also boast the NHL’s first star for the month of October, Alexander Steen. And perhaps the best news? Jaroslav Halak is still healthy. Speaking of, here’s a question to ponder: if you’re St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong, do you give the Sabres a ring about Ryan Miller? No disrespect to Halak; just an admission he’s had trouble avoiding injuries, not to mention his pending unrestricted free agency. Given the market for starting goalies, getting Miller out of Buffalo may not cost a whole bunch. May even be worth it as a pure rental.

Saturday: Boston at NY Islanders (7 p.m. ET)

Let’s talk about the Isles, because this team has not been very good. Just four wins in their first 12 games, eight of which have been at home. Goaltending — surprise, surprise — has been an issue, as everyone thought it might be with Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin forming the tandem. Will Garth Snow be forced to make a move soon? You’d think a former goalie would appreciate the importance of the position. The Isles’ team save percentage is just .899, ranking them 24th in the NHL in that category.

Saturday: Montreal at Colorado (10 p.m. ET)

Putting the Semyon Varlamov situation aside for a moment, what we have here are the two best defensive teams in the NHL. The Avs rank first in goals against (1.46); the Habs are second (1.77). This, of course, has a lot to do with the guy we put aside for a moment, as well as the guy who’s been doing most of the netminding for Montreal, Carey Price. Having said that, we won’t see either of them start Saturday, as Varlamov is getting the nod tonight in Dallas and Price tonight in Minnesota. So it’ll be J.S. Giguere for the Avs and Peter Budaj for the Habs.

Saturday: Phoenix at San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET)

Yep, we’re going with an all-Saturday TGIF. (Sunday’s three games have a little too much Calgary, Dallas, and New Jersey in them to recommend.) We already wrote today about the Coyotes’ red-hot start, and everyone knows how the Sharks have been playing. These teams have already met once this season, on Oct. 5, a game San Jose dominated and won, 4-1. “Their forwards were too quick and we stopped playing hockey,” said Coyotes captain Shane Doan. Remember kids, it’s always important to keep playing hockey during a hockey game.

  1. jernster21 - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Adam Foote’s #52 will be retired by the Avs on Saturday night by the way.

  2. bcsteele - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Halak’s injury was mostly due to lack of conditioning which he corrected this summer. Knock on wood but I’d think we’re good. Mix that with his new attitude, he’s younger, and had previous playoff success? I would think we’d keep what we have.

    However, Miller is exceptional and could make this team elite if we keep up the scoring. And with Allen in the wings…for the right price…maybe a rental..it is an interesting thought. Though personally I wouldn’t want to give up Halak for just a rental. But again…interesting thought…

  3. mikeali1 - Nov 1, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    The Flyers are playing the Devils tomorrow not the Islanders. They have the Caps tonight.

    -Mike Ali, runningofthebroadstreetbulls.com

  4. phatmat456 - Nov 1, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    flyers play the devils on sat

  5. imleftcoast - Nov 1, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Leafs and Canucks – NHL Network and CBC. I don’t know why the Islanders would be included, but otherwise good games and not necessarily ones you’d have picked before the season started.

  6. dueman - Nov 1, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Careful Mr Brough, you are showing your dislike of the Blue & White again!

  7. 19to77 - Nov 1, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    I can see Miller being a good idea if Halak gets hurt again, but there’s no point to dealing for a goalie as long as he’s healthy. I’d sooner trade for a scoring winger. Gotta expect Steen’s hot streak fading eventually, and the Backes line are playing 20+ minutes a night and scoring most of STL’s goals. They need a bit more of that to be coming from their middle six forwards, so adding some scoring punch would help. As long as we’re already talking about the Sabres, I’d sooner go for Matt Moulson.

  8. bleedingteal4life - Nov 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Wow they actually mentioned a San Jose game on this site, shocker.

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