1. Who will rebound with a win tonight, the Detroit Red Wings or the New Jersey Devils?
In its first game without both Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit was blown out by the Flyers in the third period, allowing four goals in just under 14 minutes of play, and five straight to end the game. New Jersey, on the other hand, is coming off of two straight losses to the Montreal Canadiens in spite of holding a wide edge in play. In the second of the two losses, the Devils blew two separate one-goal leads in the last half of the third period only to lose in the shootout. One of these teams is going to get a much-needed win.
2. Who will win the battle of Western powers in Chicago?
The Anaheim Ducks have been a bit of a wilting flower lately, but they shouldn't have trouble getting motivated for a big game in Chicago against the Blackhawks. Anaheim swept the powerhouse Hawks last season, winning all three regular season games, but has lost three of its last four. Chicago has also lost two in a row, both by a score of 4-3. Something has to give.
3. How does Colorado react to being blown out by a bad team?
After a shellacking at the hands of the lowly Edmonton Oilers where Semyon Varlamov allowed eight goals, the Avalanche head south to take on the other Alberta team, the equally lowly Calgary Flames. A lot has been said about Patrick Roy leaving Varlamov in for eight goals so close to the 18-year anniversary of Mario Tremblay leaving Roy in for nine, but it's the reaction that counts. We'll find out tonight if the Avs can bounce back.
4. Can Roberto Luongo help the Vancouver Canucks gain ground in the Pacific Division?
The Canucks have played very well this year from a possession perspective, but they haven't had an easy go of things in the toughest division in hockey. They face a divisional opponent tonight in the Phoenix Coyotes, a team that's been struggling of late. Now would be a good time for goaltender Roberto Luongo to get on a roll.
5. Will Ryan Suter play under 26 minutes against the Columbus Blue Jackets?
Suter has been playing an unbelievable amount of hockey this year, but his 26:06 against the Blackhawks Thursday night was the least he's played in a game since Nov. 3 against New Jersey. On the second half of a back-to-back set against a weak team, and with a win in the bank, this is logically a great opportunity to give Suter a nice rest to keep him fresh. Will it happen though?