Puck Previews: Ducks’ road trip continues; Sens, Panthers in battle of most surprising teams

Puck Daddy

This is the Minnesota Wild's usual defensive structure.

Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET

The Ducks are 2-0-1 on their pivotal 8-game road trip, with the lone loss coming in the shootout at Joe Louis Arena, the place road teams go to die. Having survived Detroit, they likely won't be intimidating by the Penguins home record, but they'll still be in tough: Pittsburgh has won 6 straight at home. They've been helped out by Evgeni Malkin, who has a league-high (and snicker-worthy) 69 points and has scored in his last 8 home games.

Preview: Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Bruins-Canadiens rivalry has cooled off of late, namely because of the separation between the two teams, but Boston has also cooled off of late (they're 4-5-1 in their last 10), so we might be in for a fun one tonight. The Bruins are an entertaining group when they're frustrated, and with the Canadiens desperate to gain some traction in the East, they're likely going to attempt to frustrate.

Preview: Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. ET

Granted, they've been helped out by the Capitals playing some crummy hockey, but the Panthers' four-point lead in the Southeast Conference isn't simply by default. They've also been playing some excellent hockey of late. Wednesday, they look for their first four-game win streak in nearly four years, and how fitting it should come against the Eastern Conference's other most surprising team.

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m. ET

In a fortnight's worth of games, the Canucks are 12-0-2 versus the Colorado Avalanche. They're also 7-0-3 in their last 10. Meanwhile, the Avalanche are struggling to gain any traction in the West and have fallen to 10th. Take the Canucks, is what I'm saying.

Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers, 10 p.m. ET

The Leafs are 5-4-1 in their last 10, which isn't terrible, but it's worse when you consider that the 4 losses came over their last 4 games. With Toronto doing their best to hold on to 8th place, now is not the time for a prolonged losing streak. But there's good news for the Leafs: the Oilers aren't very good.

Evening Reading

• Bruce Boudreau explains why he sat Teemu Selanne in the 3rd period in Minnesota. [OC Register]

• The Florida Panthers sign defenseman Tyson Strachan to a one-year contract extension. [Panthers]

• Barry Trotz is nearing 500 wins, and if you don't think he's incredible, consider that he's one of only four coaches in history to have a record above .500 with an expansion team. [WSJ]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Moustache of Kes, on Brad Marchand's heart of a "champian":

You guys misspelled "chanpiar"

Ah, jokes.

Bold prediction: All the games to to overtime! Everyone gets points tonight! Yay!

What to Read Next