Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 11/7/11

Welcome to another installment of "The Week Ahead", where we will give you our Three Stars of the Week, palyers and teams to keep an eye on and some of the better games you need to watch this week.
Three Stars of the Week
1. Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild
It is always a good problem when a team in the NHL has two good netminders. This appears to be the case with the Minnesota Wild as they have both Nicklas Backstrom and Josh Harding to man the pipes.

This past week, Harding showed that he might deserve a lot of playing time this season. He won all three of his starts, posting a 0.99 GAA. He has played five straight games and in doing so, has go 4-0-1 with a 1.18 GAA, a .965 save percentage (tops in the NHL) and one shutout.

2. Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs
On a team with point-scoring machine Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul is another guy on the Toronto Maple Leafs who is putting up points.

This past week, Lupul picked up 6 points (3 goals and 3 assists), including a hat trick on Wednesday night in New Jersey against Martin Brodeur and the Devils. Lupul now has 16 points, good for fourth in the NHL.

3. Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
With Alex Ovechkin struggling to provide consistent offense for the Washington Capitals, forward Nicklas Backstrom has stepped up in his place.

In three games last week, Backstrom picked up 6 points on 3 goals and 3 assists. He was especially good on Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, scoring both the tying and overtime winning goals in a dramatic 5-4 win.

Three Players to Keep An Eye On
- Rick DiPietro, New York Islanders
Surprisingly, Islanders' often-injured goaltender Rick DiPietro made three starts this past week. He went 1-1-1 and was able to provide the Islanders with some steady goaltening.

It will be interesting to see how Islanders' head coach Jack Capuano handles his goalies this week in games against the Bruins, Avalanche and Canucks.

- Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Another now fragile goaltender, Martin Brodeur, is looking to find his form. In two starts last week, he went 1-1 in allowing a combined 7 goals on 46 shots in a loss to Toronto and a win against Winnipeg.

This week, Brodeur and the Devils will take on the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals (twice).

Teams to Watch
- Columbus Blue Jackets
There is now an even more negative watch on the Columbus Blue Jackets after the team lost 9-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.

With that in mind, there could be an axe coming to both general manager Scott Howson and head coach Scott Arneil. Despite the injuries, both have had a hand in guiding the team to a 2-11-1 start. Something's gotta give, right?

This week, the Blue Jackets will try to survive in games against the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets.

- Boston Bruins
The Bruins have not played like themselves out of the gate in struggling to a 5-7 record, which puts them in last place in the Eastern Conference.

Two out of their five wins have come against the Toronto Maple Leafs in blowouts. The team needs to learn to find their stride against other clubs in order to get back to playing the way they know how to play.

This week, the Bruins will take on the Islanders, Oilers and Sabres.

Game of the Week
Wednesday, Nov. 9 -- Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
With the offense both of these talented clubs have, scoring might just be at a complete maximum in Tampa Bay Wednesday night when the Flyers pay a visit to the Lightning. The Flyers have already been in several high scoring affairs this season, so the Lightning must be ready to play a run and gun hockey game.

Other Games to Keep An Eye On
Monday, November 7
Los Angeles at San Jose
Tuesday, November 8
Colorado at Detroit
Chicago at St. Louis
Wednesday, November 9
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
Nashville at Anaheim
Thursday, November 10
Minnesota at San Jose
Friday, November 11
Dallas at Pittsburgh
Ottawa at Buffalo
Vancouver at Anaheim
Saturday, November 12
Buffalo at Boston
Dallas at Detroit
Sunday, November 13
Edmonton at Chicago

Photo credit: Getty Images
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