NHL Off the Post: November 21st

by Sean Murphy

As we approach the end of November, it's time for another instalment of our semi-regular look around the NHL at news and notes to assist your daily handicapping. Here are four teams to keep an eye on in the coming week.

Swamp monsters


The New Jersey Devils continue to turn heads, reeling off 12 straight victories entering Monday's home date with the Oilers. Perhaps the most impressive thing about their current winning streak is the fact that seven of those 12 victories came on the road. In fact, the Devils lone road setback to date this season came way back in their season-opener in Philadelphia. New Jersey should take comfort in the fact that it won't have to travel outside of the eastern time zone again until January 13th, when it opens a western road swing in Anaheim.

Cleared for take-off


Few expected the Winnipeg Jets to make much noise in the Central Division this season as they were seemingly left in no man's land roster-wise and being led by a new head coach in Rick Bowness. Here we are approaching December and the Jets have matched the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche step-for-step, sitting tied for second-place in the Central with 21 points through 16 games. After Monday's non-conference clash with Carolina, four of Winnipeg's next five games will come against division opponents, including a showdown with the first-place Stars in Dallas.

Cure for the Blues

Fans of the St. Louis Blues were left scratching their heads after their team dropped eight straight games from October 24th to November 8th. Since then, we've seen a sharp turn-around, however, with the Blues delivering six consecutive wins while scoring 27 goals in the process. The play of goaltender Jordan Binnington has been key to their reversal as he checks in sporting a .943 save percentage over his last four games. St. Louis' schedule won't toughen up again until late this week (its next two games come against the Ducks and Sabres) when it heads to Florida for a two-game set with the Lightning and Panthers.

Feeling the heat

You have to wonder whether Calgary Flames head coach was on the hot seat after the team lost seven consecutive games from October 29th to November 10th. However, three wins in four games have the Flames back on track, including a big 5-4 win in Jonathan Huberdeau's return to Florida this past Saturday. A tough week lies ahead with four games in six nights, beginning with a stop in Philadelphia to face the Flyers on Monday. It's interesting to note that Calgary won't face another team from its own conference until December 5th, when it hosts Arizona. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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