It's a busy start to the week, with nine games on the NHL schedule Monday, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and Butch Goring at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network will preview all the action.
We'll go out live on our Arena Cam to Scottrade Center to set up the St. Louis Blues' battle with the Minnesota Wild with Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Michael Russo. Also, our Ice Pass will preview the Boston Bruins hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins in a battle of division leaders and rematch of last spring's Eastern Conference Final, as well as games between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs plus the Winnipeg Jets and New Jersey Devils.
NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose joins us to break down coaching performances from around the League.
Remember to submit your #AskButch questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.
E.J. Hradek Game Picks Friday November 22nd:
E.J.'s Season Record: 114-67-25
Five games on the Friday schedule prepare us for a busy weekend of NHL action, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you set.
We'll check in on our arena cams from Consol Energy Center, where Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the New York Islanders, and Verizon Center for the game between the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens.
NHL.com writer Corey Masisak joins us to discuss this week's Super 16 power rankings, and NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will call in as well to discuss the current plight of Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella and hand out his Mullet of the Week.
North Dakota captain Dillon Simpson also checks in as part of this week's College Hockey Report. Simpson and his teammates take on Boston University on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN.
Tavares describes the typical Islanders-Rangers atmosphere as one of the most intense and passionate rivalries in sports, and believes it will be no different in the Bronx.
"It's pretty spectacular," Tavares said. "The energy and intensity of the games is pretty phenomenal. It will be on a great stage, and hopefully it will be another great battle between us and another part of the chapter of the rivalry."
Former NHL goalie Martin Biron joined NHL Live to discuss his decision to retire, reflect on his experience playing in the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic as a member of the New York Rangers, and the rivalry that exists in the New York metropolitan area.
"You look at the rivalry in sport, all together here in New York with Yankees and Mets, I think Rangers and Islanders has that bit of a feel too," Biron said. "I remember when I played for the Islanders and the Rangers were coming to town, you'd see yellow jackets in force everywhere at the Nassau Coliseum. It will be the same thing at Yankee Stadium because the fans are passionate."
The Boston Bruins host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday in a big Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference matchup on NHL Network at 7 p.m. ET, and NHL Live will get you ready for that puck drop and the other games scheduled, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. We'll also fire up our Arena Cam in Winnipeg and talk to Eddie Olczyk about the Chicago Blackhawks' seven-city, 13-day circus trip, which continues against the Winnipeg Jets.
Tickets are on sale now for the Coors Light Stadium Series games at Yankees Stadium involving the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, and we'll talk to Islanders captain John Tavares about this great event. We'll also get NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, who played for all three teams, about what to expect for a goalie playing outdoors.
E.J. Hradek Game Picks Wednesday November 20th:
E.J.'s Season Record: 109-62-21