Five Things To Watch: Slumps and Cold Streaks Abound

Alan Bass
FTW 1-11

Each day, THN gives you five things to watch out for in the games ahead. There are ten games on tap tonight in the NHL, here’s what you need to know:

1) Let’s Go Streaking?

The Philadelphia Flyers have won ten straight games at home, and are aiming for their 11th when they take on Tampa Bay this afternoon. The Flyers have won 12 straight games at home only three times in their history – and all three of those times they made it to the Stanley Cup final. Considering their abysmal start to this season, it would be quite impressive if they accomplished that. But Tampa has been hot as of late, and could have something to say about that.

2) Two Fallen Champions

Two of the more recent Stanley Cup champions, the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings, have struggled as of late, but both still have enough talent on the roster to make a run come playoff time. The two face off in Detroit late Saturday night, and a win for either side could create a big boost going into the last few weeks before the Olympic break, when both teams will be plucked dry to make up the Sochi rosters.

3) Battle at the Top

Two of the top teams in the league, the Boston Bruins and the San Jose Sharks, will be facing off tonight in California. The Sharks have slowed after their incredible 19-3-5 start to the season, while the Bruins have climbed up the standings as of late, despite losing the first two games of their California road trip. Both teams are trying to turn their recent luck around, but don’t miss this one – it could very well be a preview of a potential Stanley Cup final matchup.

4) Big Buff Looking for More

After scoring five points in the last four games, Winnipeg Jet Dustin Byfuglien is being moved to the first line as a right-winger. Coach Claude Noel is trying to turn the Jets luck around after a tough first half of the season. Byfuglien has shown his offensive ability time and again, and his energy and talent should spark some offense against the Blue Jackets tonight.

5) Patrick Kane on the Decline

After his recent 14-game point streak ended, Kane has amassed just one point – a lone assist – in the last five games. He has struggled mightily, enough to warrant a line chance, as coach Joel Quenneville will replace center Michal Handzus with Marcus Kruger. The Blackhawks travel to Montreal to play the Canadiens, who have a point in seven of their last ten games. In what should be a great game, Kane could be the difference.