NHL Weekly Preview: Week of Oct. 24
Host Jordan Hession and analyst Jacob Cheris break down the Stanley Cup rematch between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues, as well as the Anaheim Ducks vs. the Dallas Stars matchup. Both Jordan and Jacob gives their game picks and predict who is going light the lamp:
St. Louis Blues vs. Boston Bruins
A rematch of last year’s memorable Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues will take place on Saturday night at TD Garden. The Bruins are looking to avenge their heartbreaking loss on home ice in Game 7, after which the Blues hoisted their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The Bruins are trying to avoid three consecutive losses after dropping their last two in overtime. However, forward David Pastrnak is on fire with 17 points in his last seven games. He is also leading the NHL with 10 goals. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is holding the fort down with a 1.77 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.
The Blues are coming off of a big win over the Avalanche, ending Colorado’s eight-game winning streak. St. Louis’ weapons are relatively similar to last year. Forward Brayden Schenn is off to a great start with six goals, and forward Vladimir Tarasenko is leading the team with 10 points. The story last year for the Blues was goaltender Jordan Binnington’s spectacular athleticism and demeanor. However, he is not performing at the elite level that the Blues expected him to play at. In the seven games that he has started, Binnington has a .912 save percentage and a 2.66 goals against average. This is Binnington’s first full NHL season, so it’s going to take time for him to get fully comfortable in the crease.
This matchup is all about goaltending. Rask needs to continue his stellar play, while Binnington needs to be better on his rebound control. —Jacob Cheris
Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers
The Rangers and the Sabres face off Thursday, Oct. 24 at Madison Square Garden in a matchup between two Eastern Conference teams with something to prove. The Rangers have struggled as of late, losing six in a row, including a grueling overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. The Sabres, meanwhile, have been on a hot streak, winning five out of their last six games, including back-to-back wins over the San Jose Sharks.
New York will be relying on star forward Artemi Panarin, who has tallied six points in seven appearances. Rookie forward Kaapo Kakko has struggled with ice time and is looking to prove that the team was correct in selecting him second overall in the 2019 NHL draft. If the Rangers want to win this game, they will need to be tight defensively and stay out of the penalty box.
For the Sabres, forward Jack Eichel has been having his best performances to date, putting up 14 points in 10 games for the Atlantic Division leaders. Eichel was involved in every goal in the overtime win over the Sharks on Tuesday night, tallying two assists and two goals of his own in a career showing. Another performance like that from Eichel will be the key to victory for Buffalo. —Nick Shimkin
Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars
The Ducks and Stars face off in a Western Conference matchup on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the American Airlines Center. Anaheim comes into Dallas on a two-game losing streak, falling to the Nashville Predators, 6-1, on Tuesday night, and 2-1 to the Calgary Flames on Sunday. The Stars are riding a two-game winning streak, defeating the Ottawa Senators, 2-1, on Monday night, and besting the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1, on Saturday.
This matchup is highlighted by Dallas forward Corey Perry, who will be facing the Ducks for the first time since his former team bought out the two remaining years on his contract. This offseason, Perry signed a one-year contract worth $1.5 million with the Stars after spending 14 seasons with the Ducks. During his time with the Ducks, Perry won the Stanley Cup in 2007 and was the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player in 2011, recording 50 goals and 48 assists for 98 points.
Anaheim is relying on goaltender John Gibson to rebound after his poor performance against the Predators, in which he was pulled for veteran Ryan Miller after allowing four goals on 19 shots in two periods. Overall, Gibson has produced good numbers so far this season, with a goal against average of 2.24 and a save percentage of .927. Dallas is looking to continue its recent success offensively, as rookie forward Roope Hintz has recorded six goals and one assist through 11 games. Both teams look to improve their power-play units as, they both rank near dead last in the league at a 4% and 9.4% success rate. —Jordan Hession
Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights
The Colorado Avalanche will travel to T-Mobile Arena to face off against the Vegas Golden Knights in a Western Conference matchup on Friday night.
The Avalanche (7-1-1) have started the season strong, currently sit atop the Central Division, four points ahead of the Nashville Predators. Coming off of a tough 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, Colorado is looking to get back in the win column.
Forwards Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon both lead the team with five goals, seven assists and 12 points. Goalie Philipp Grubauer (5-1-1) has also had a strong start, despite having a 2.82 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. This is his first full season as a No. 1 goalie. The question mark for the Avs will be finding a replacement for Rantanen. Their top scoring forward is listed as week-to-week after he exited in the second period of Monday night’s loss after twisting his left ankle.
The Golden Knights (7-4-0) have also had a good start to their season, as they sit at second in the Pacific Division, just one point behind the Edmonton Oilers. Vegas is looking to climb into first place with a win tomorrow night. The Golden Knights are also looking to forget Monday night’s performance, in which they were handed an ugly 6-2 loss from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Vegas forward Mark Stone has been off to a hot start and is the team’s leading scorer with six goals, eight assists and 14 points. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (7-2-0) has started off strong for the Golden Knights with a .937 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average. —Grant Commerer
Jacob Cheris is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Grant Commerer is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jordan Hession is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Nick Shimkin is a freshman majoring in advertising and public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.