Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 10/30/14

Welcome to yet another installment of The Week Ahead. As per usual, we will give our "Three Stars of the Week", "Three Players to Keep an Eye on", "Two Teams to Watch", our "Game of the Week" and "Other Game to Keep an Eye On".

Three Stars of the Week1) Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh PenguinsDoesn't it seem like Pittsburgh Penguins' forward Evgeni Malkin is a star every week? It should not come as a surprise given that Malkin has been red-hot offensively. This past week, he picked up 8 points on 3 goals and five assists. The majority of those points came in a 5-point performance this past Saturday afternoon in an 8-5 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
2) Mike Smith, Phoenix CoyotesOne of the main reasons why the Phoenix Coyotes currently find themselves in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference is because of the play of their goaltender Mike Smith. Smith won four games this week, allowed just three goals, and picked up a shutout. Smith is now 23-14-7 on the season with a 2.33 goals against average, a .925 save percentage and 3 shutouts.
3) David Perron, St. Louis BluesThe Blues won all four of their games this week, and Perron had a big hand in that. Perron scored six goals and added an assist. He had three points on Saturday against Colorado and scored twice in Ottawa, including the game-winner. He has returned to being an offensive threat ever since returning from his concussion.
Three Players to Keep an Eye On- Ryan Callahan, New York RangersWith the New York Rangers still sitting in first place in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, it will be interesting to watch their team captain Ryan Callahan continue to work hard every night and produce.
This past week, "Captain Cally" picked-up four points on 4 goals. In Saturday's big tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers, Callahan came through with a hat trick in helping lead the Blueshirts to a 5-2 victory, their fifth straight win over their Atlantic Division rivals.
This week, Callahan and the Rangers will take on the Bruins, Blackhawks and Blue Jackets.
- Corey Crawford, Chicago BlackhawksWith the Chicago Blackhawks on a eight game losing streak, the team's starting goaltender, Corey Crawford, must find a way to play better.
In 39 games, Crawford is 18-14-5 with a 2.99 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. For a starting netminder, these numbers are below average and numbers that are hurting his hockey club.
Crawford and the Blackhawks will look to get back on track this week in games against the Predators, Rangers, Blue Jackets and Blues.
- Tim Thomas, Boston BruinsThere is no doubting that Boston Bruins' goaltender Tim Thomas is having a great season on the ice for his hockey club.
However, it is off the ice where he is getting negative attention. While Thomas has the right to say whatever he wants, he is not a politician and should only be concentrating on stopping the puck.
This week, Thomas and the Bruins will take on the Rangers, Canadiens, Jets and Wild.
Two Teams to Watch- Chicago BlackhawksAfter being one of the top teams in both the Western Conference and Central Division, the Chicago Blackhawks are struggling in a big way right now.
The team has lost eight straight games. In the process, they have allowed 35 goals, scored just 15 and have looked lost out on the ice.
This week, the Blackhawks will take on the Predators, Rangers, Blue Jackets and Blues.
- Washington CapitalsBelieve it or not, there is a chance that the Washington Capitals might not make the playoffs this season.
The team is currently in a dog fight with the Florida Panthers to win the Southeast Division and thus far, the Panthers are winning that race. For a team that got off to a great start, has a lot more offensive firepower and even better goaltending, not making the playoffs would be extremely disappointing to the team and its fans.
This week, the Capitals will take on the Sharks, Panthers and Lightning.
Game of the WeekFriday, February 17 -- Washington @ FloridaWhen it comes to the NHL stretch run towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs, games within the division take on a new meaning. This Friday night, fans will get to see what that will be like as the Washington Capitals take on the Florida Panthers. These two teams are neck and neck for first place in the Southeast Division and will probably be that way up until the last wee of the regular season. Should be some great hockey.
Other Games to Keep an Eye OnMonday, February 13San Jose @ Washington
Phoenix @ VancouverTuesday, February 14NY Rangers @ Boston
Chicago @ NashvilleWednesday, February 15Boston @ MontrealOttawa @ FloridaThursday, February 16Chicago @ NY RangersPhoenix @ Los AngelesFriday, February 17Washington @ FloridaNashville @ DetroitSaturday, February 18Pittsburgh @ PhiladelphiaToronto @ VancouverSunday, February 19San Jose @ DetroitSt. Louis @ ChicagoNew Jersey @ Montreal

Photo credit: Getty Images

Phil Jackson: Knicks ‘not ready for showtime’

Titans WR: Mettenberger better than Big Ben at same stage

Michael Vick: Starting at QB again is a dream come true

Red Sox to reportedly target Pablo Sandoval in offseason

Alex Rodriguez's season-long MLB ban comes to an end

Madison Bumgarner pitches Giants to World Series title


Giants fans get rowdy celebrating World Series win

Roy Williams' response to criticism over academic scandal

Jerry Jones challenging Tony Romo to play Sunday?

Wizards make rapper Wale new 'creative liaison' for team

Report: Joe Maddon to become Cubs manager

Rockets Harden and Ariza visit Julius Randle in the hospital

GALLERY: Best of sports-themed pumpkins

WATCH: The LeBron James Nike commercial we've been waiting for

Kobe Bryant’s Wikipedia page listed him with 0-1 MMA record

WATCH: Amar'e sings with Swift for in-arena video bit

WATCH: Randle offers money for massage in jailhouse video

Top storyline for each Week 9 NFL game

WATCH: Chevy guy bombs World Series presentation

WATCH: James Ennis throws down dunk of the season

Kris Humphries shares nasty photo of gruesome finger injury

WATCH: Joe Panik makes play of the game in Game 7

Russell Westbrook wears aluminum foil-like outfit

WATCH: Capitals' Chimera suffers nasty broken nose

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

GALLERY: Best of sports pumpkins

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

Tom Brady talks Peyton Manning

Best Game 7s in World Series history

NFL, MLB spend on mid-term elections

Gurley suspended four games

Gordie Howe suffered stroke

WATCH: Kobe and Dwight get into it

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.