Photo: Andy Devlin/NHL via Getty Images
The Washington Capitals are set to head northwest, as they embark for Vancouver on Saturday. The Capitals will play Vancouver on Monday, and they will also make stops in Edmonton on Thursday evening and Calgary on Saturday evening. Last October, the Capitals went 1-2 in Western Canada, as they only defeated Edmonton on that road trip. Drink plenty of coffee, as puck drop is set for 10 PM ET in Vancouver on Tuesday night.
The biggest storyline around Vancouver is the emergence of young star Elias Pettersson. The Sedin twins are now retired, but Pettersson has burst onto the scene and is winning the hearts of Canucks fans. Pettersson, 19, was the 5th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Unfortunately for Pettersson, he sustained a concussion on October 13 in Florida, so he is not likely to play against the Capitals. However, the Canucks have another young gun with Brock Boeser that is a sharp shooter and is very reminscient of Canucks legend Pavel Bure. As a rookie a season ago, Boeser recorded 29 goals and 55 points in 62 games.
One Canucks player that the Capitals are very familiar with is Jay Beagle. Beagle signed a 4-year deal with the Canucks during the summer. Beagle will likely not suit up against the Capitals, as he recently fractured his forearm and is expected to miss several weeks.
The Oilers are now the Connor McDavid show. Entering the weekend, McDavid has recorded 4 goals and 11 points in 5 games. The Oilers missed the postseason last year, so they are looking to get back into the playoffs again in the McDavid era.
Alongside McDavid is Leon Draisaitl, who is a dynamic and versatile player. Draisaitl, 22, was taken 3rd overall by the Oilers in the 2014 NHL Draft. In addition to Draisaitl and McDavid, the Oilers have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who is another young talented forward. Heading into Saturday, the Oilers have won 3 in a row. They will face Nashville and Pittsburgh at home before they take on the Capitals.
Puck drop in Edmonton will be at 9 PM ET on Thursday evening.
The Flames are right in the middle of things in the Pacific Division race. Right behind Anaheim, the Flames are about to hit a tough stretch of their schedule. Beginning on Sunday, they will play 6 games in 10 nights. They will be out east for 2 quick games, before they return home briefly to face Pittsburgh and Washington.
Former Carolina bench boss Bill Peters is the new bench boss in Calgary this season. Peters has a couple of good young forwards up front with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.
The Flames have a veteran netminder with Mike Smith that Capitals fans are likely familiar with from his days in Tampa Bay. He is expected to carry the workload in Calgary this season.
Puck drop in Calgary will be at 4 PM ET on Saturday.
By: George Foussekis