Week 12 of the NHL schedule is highlighted by 3 home and home series, Carolina-Florida, Pittsburgh-Philadelphia and Rangers-Islanders. Home and home series add more excitement to the week as the emotions and bad blood will carry over into the second game.
Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia: The battle of Pennsylvania is always a great match-up. The Flyers were predicted by many, including myself to make a deep playoff run but are currently out of the playoffs, the Flyers are hoping that coaching change will do the same thing for them that it did for Pittsburgh last year. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored a combine 16 points while Jeff Carter and Mike Richards scored 15 points in the 6 games against each other last season. They have only met once this season so far which was back on October 8 where the Flyers won 5-4, so expect 2 more games filled with goals and hits.
Islanders vs. Rangers: Currently both New York teams are sitting on the outside looking in for the playoffs and even though it is only December every game counts, especially against divisional opponents. Both teams rely heavily on their star player, as Marian Gaborik and John Tavares goes so does their team. Their only meeting this season was back on October 28 where the Islanders won 3-1 and Tavares scored his 4th goal of the season. John Tavares has been everything advertised, Kyle Okposo is starting to develop into a strong power forward and Matt Moulson has been a pleasant surprise. Over with the Rangers this team is very dependent on Marian Gaborik to score the majority of their offence and Ranger fans are praying he can stay healthy.
Carolina vs. Florida: Lets be honest here no one really cares too much about the battle between the two worst teams in the Southeast division. Neither team is playing well but have a few fantasy options that could help your team. Eric Staal has been on fire since he returned from injury scoring 8 points in 6 games. Staal fans are hoping he can break out of his goalless streak as he hasnít scored a goal since Oct 21 and only has 3 goals on the season. Staal still has the potential to 30-35 goals this season so try to pick him up if you can. Over in Florida two young players have really stepped up their game lately, Nathan Horton has 14 points and Stephen Weiss has 17 points in their last 14 games. Both Florida players are on pace for career years and if they are available in your pool snap them up now. So even though this series may not be as exciting as the other two there are several players to keep an eye on.
Finally we will highlight the Prospect of the Week:
Evander Kane: I donít think anyone expected Evander Kane to be playing in Atlanta this year but he went to training camp ready to show his stuff and was so impressive that he got on the opening day roster. Then many felt he would play out his 9 or 10 games and then be sent back to the WHL. In those first 10 games, Kane score 3 goals and 2 assists to secure his spot on the roster for the whole season. Kane is the real deal and provides the Thrashers with secondary scoring. Kane has the potential to be a strong power forward in the league who could score 40+ goals a season.