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5 NHL Questions: Is Ryan Strome the hero the Islanders deserve?

Will the Isles' best prospect have a good debut? Will Toronto's crazy week end well? When will 24/7 finally start? Let's preview Saturday's NHL action with five questions to answer.

Mike Stobe

1. How does Toronto's week of doom end?

Ottawa. Boston. Los Angeles. St. Louis. The Maple Leafs have faced four of the NHL's toughest teams in the last seven days and fallen to all of them. Now they get to host the defending champions in their own barn. Chicago has beaten Toronto each of the last eight times they've met. Does it get any easier for the Leafs on Saturday?

2. Will the Canucks get some revenge for 2011?

Boston visits Vancouver for the first time since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. You know, the one that had all of Vancouver turning over police cars and setting things on fire. The Canucks are on a roll after a big 4-0 win over Edmonton, while the Bruins come in battered and bruised after a grueling past few weeks. This is a great opportunity for Vancouver to let go of some pent-up frustration they've held the last few years.

3. Can the Stars keep from falling out of the playoff race?

It sounds like an odd thing to say in December, but the Dallas Stars face a must-win game tonight in Winnipeg if they want to stay alive in the playoff race. The Stars and Jets are tied with 33 points, yet stand eight points out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference. The West keeps winning, and Dallas needs to keep pace with a win tonight.

4. Will Ryan Strome make a difference?

The Islanders' top prospect will make his debut on Saturday, and boy does his new team need his help. New York has only one win in its last 12 games and is in desperate need of a good shot in the arm. Strome might just give them one, as he's led the AHL in scoring all season.

5. How awesome will 24/7 be?

Who are we kidding? When HBO's documentary series returns again on Saturday we'll be glued to the TV just like the rest of you.

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