NHL Weekly Preview: Week of Nov. 15
Host Jordan Hession and Analysts Jacob Cheris and Nick Shimkin discuss three of the biggest NHL games this weekend and giving their predictions for which teams will win and which players will light the lamp:
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Ottawa Senators
The Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators meet for their first of three matchups this season on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at Canadian Tire Centre. Two huge points are up for grabs, as the Flyers are positioned at third place in the Metropolitan Division with 22 points (10-5-3), only one point above their archrivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, while, the Senators are in last place in the Atlantic division with 15 points (7-10-1), trailing the Detroit Red Wings by one.
The Flyers are coming off a shootout loss to the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Wednesday night. However, the Flyers are riding a seven-game point streak into their matchup versus the Senators, going 5-0-2 over that span with six of the seven being decided after regulation. Goaltender Carter Hart will face off against the Senators for the first time in his young career. In fact, Hart will be the eighth different starter for the Flyers in the last eight games versus the Senators. The power play and penalty kill will be vital for the Flyers, as they’ve only scored four power-play goals on 30 attempts away from Wells Fargo Center this season. That’s paired alongside the fifth-best penalty kill in the league, as the Flyers have killed 83.3% of power plays in away games. One player to keep an eye on will be left wing Oskar Lindblom. Lindblom enters the matchup with points in four straight road games (three goals, two assists).
The Senators are coming off a win over the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Wednesday night. Despite their poor record, the Senators are riding a three-game winning streak on home ice, along with three wins in their last four games. However, the Senators own the worst power play in the league, only recording four goals on 62 opportunities, including just one power-play goal on home ice in 32 chances. Center Jean-Gabriel Pageau will be one player to look out for, as he recorded a hat trick versus the Devils and leads all players in the NHL with a plus-minus rating of plus-19. —Jordan Hession
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Vegas Golden Knights and the Los Angeles Kings face off in a Pacific Division matchup. These two teams have become rivals with one another after Vegas swept the Kings in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. Vegas comes in to this game as the fifth-place team in the Pacific Division at 9-8-3 with 21 points. The Kings continue to struggle, sitting at 7-11-1 and dead last in the division with 15 points.
The reason why the Kings are struggling is their goaltending. Jonathan Quick has not been performing at an elite level like he used to do. He has a 3.80 goals-against average and an .876 save percentage in 12 games. Backup Jack Campbell has also struggled with a 3.11 goals-against average and an .886 save percentage. Star forward Anze Kopitar is still on a roll with eight points in his last five games. Defenseman Drew Doughty is also playing at an elite level despite his team’s lack of success. He has 11 points off four goals and seven assists through 19 games. The big storyline for the Kings is that veteran forward Ilya Kovalchuk has been a healthy scratch for the last three games. He signed a three-year contract with Los Angeles after announcing that he would be returning to the NHL.
Vegas is still trying to find an identity coming off a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Golden Knights have lost their last three games and are 3-4-3 in the last 10. However, forward Max Pacioretty has three points in his last five games, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is still performing at an elite level. Vegas still has the same core guys since first lacing up the skates back in 2017 in forwards William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith and Mark Stone. Vegas just needs to find some consistency in its game, and against a struggling Kings team, this is a great time to find chemistry.
The matchup begins in Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. —Jacob Cheris
Winnipeg Jets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
In a matchup between two extremely talented teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Winnipeg Jets at Amalie Arena. Both teams are coming off wins, as the Jets won 4-3 against the Florida Panthers, and the Lightning demolished the New York Rangers in spectacular fashion 9-3.
The Lighting have struggled to create a sense of consistency, as they have been unable to string together any lengthy winning streak. They will attempt to change this by beating the fourth-best team in the Central Division, which would extend Tampa Bay’s winning streak to four: the longest of the season for the Lightning. Left wing Steven Stamkos has been on a hot streak, leading the team in both goals and points. He will be looking to score his 400th career NHL goal on Saturday. Another player to watch is Nikita Kucherov, who, despite not having his best year, is someone who can most certainly put goals on the board.
Last year’s Western Conference finalists are going to attempt to climb the standings in a stacked Central Division. Thankfully for the Jets, they have an exciting team full of playmakers that are capable of doing just that. The pairing of forwards Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele has made an impact, as the two lead Winnipeg in scoring this season. It should also be noted that Dustin Byfuglien is still not playing. His absence is certainly a big loss for the Winnipeg defense.
Look for the Lightning to rely on their goal scorers and their success on the power play. The Jets will look to expose a struggling Tampa Bay defense and create scoring chances for their young superstars on the fast break. —Nick Shimkin
Jacob Cheris is a freshman 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 public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Jacob Cheris is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports writer. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. Jacob also covers Penn State Men’s hockey as the lead editorial writer for Roar Lions Roar, giving in depth analysis on the team, and feature stories on specific players. Jacob is also the host of CommRadio’s hockey talk show “The Sin Bin”. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.