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Around the Rink - Tuesday, December 7th


James O’Brien

Let’s take a look at tonight’s five game slate of NHL action. As always, the start times are according to Eastern Standard Time (ET).

7:30 pm

Ottawa @ Montreal

If the Canadiens want to take a look at their old pal Alex Kovalev, they won’t need to wait very long to do so. The Habs should prove that they are truly among the upper class in the East by bolstering their already impressive home mark (10-4-2) against the up-and-down Senators.

Colorado @ Florida

Both teams find themselves out of the playoff picture in their respective conferences, although the Avalanche are a stone’s throw away while the Panthers find themselves in a considerable hole. Then again, Florida played 15 of their first 25 games on the road, so maybe a little home cooking in Sunrise will do them a little good.

Buffalo @ Boston

To me, the Bruins seem like the Sabres plus depth. Both teams are better on the road than at home this season, sport the last two Vezina Trophy winners and employ cagey coaches in their ranks. The Bruins just seem more resilient and talented, so we’ll see if they can go above .500 in Boston with this one.

9:30 pm

Anaheim @ Edmonton

In this context, the two teams are remarkably similar; the Ducks are 4-7-2 on the road while the Oilers are 4-6-1 at home this season. The most comforting thought for Edmonton is that they’re starting to put a run together, having won four games in a row. Anaheim is the definition of hot and cold, just look at their last four streaks from the most to the least recent: two losses, three wins, six losses and six wins.

Tampa Bay @ Calgary

Both teams still employ two of the big figures from their seven-game Stanley Cup finals series (Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff for the Flames; Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis for the Lightning), only it seems like Calgary is falling apart around them while Tampa Bay is finally moving on to bigger and better things. Tampa Bay is in solid playoff position in the East while the Flames are now at the very bottom of the West right now.