It was only yesterday that it appeared like the Toronto Maple Leafs wouldn’t be getting rid of head coach Mike Babcock.  However, President Brendan Shanahan decided it was time to part ways Thursday after a less-than-stellar season (again) and moved Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe into the vacancy.  It will be interesting to see how that plays out, but, in the meantime, there are more pressing matters to attend to, like tonight’s NHL games, as we look at our picks for Nov 21.

Sports Intel Daily Picks Nov 21

The Anaheim Ducks will take on the Florida Panthers in a road game tonight and are looking to bounce back from a poor road performance this season.  They’re 4-6 playing away and were just handed their latest loss against the Washington Capitals this past Monday.  Prior to that they had lost five games before notching a win against the St. Louis Blues.  They’re having a difficult time and the frustration is beginning to show, demonstrated by the tussle between Erik Gudbranson and the Caps’ Garnet Hathaway.

The Panthers are on a two-game winning streak and are 5-2-2 playing at home.  Aleksander Barkov, Jr. and Keith Yandle are proving themselves this season and helping the team stay in great position with its 11-5-5 record.  Expect more of the same tonight with another big victory by the team.

The Carolina Hurricanes will host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight and are determined to keep Philly on its heels.  The Flyers have lost their last four games, which followed a four-game winning streak, and are still strong in the Eastern Conference, supported by a 10-7-4 record.  The Canes aren’t slouches, either, but the Flyers have always been better against them.

The two teams already met once this year and the Flyers took command, winning 4-1.  This was due, in part, to the Hurricanes being inconsistent on the ice this year and not knowing how to defend against Travis Konecny.  He leads the Flyers in scoring on the road and has picked up a point in 15 of the team’s last 21 goals.  The Hurricanes have Andrei Svechnikov on their side, though, as well as Petr Mrazek and these two are going to prove unstoppable.  For our second pick for Nov 21, the Canes will spin things up and take another win to add to their 13-7-1 record.

The Boston Bruins may have a long of injuries to deal with, but the talent runs deep and filling the gaps hasn’t been too difficult.  They’re 13-3-5 going into tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, 10-8-3, and this should be a pretty good matchup, especially if Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron comes back to the ice.

The real question is how much damage David Pastrnak is ready to inflict on the Sabres.  He already has 19 goals and 15 assists this season and the winger is now at the top of the league because of his performance.  Put Bergeron in with Pastrnak and the Bruins’ chances of winning against the Sabres are spectacular.  With just Pastrnak in, there’s not much of a change – the Sabres will try to put up resistance, but are going to fall to the Bruins.

The Calgary Flames are just barely flickering.  They’re 0-1-4 in their last five games and have been underperforming in all of their contests.  The offense hasn’t been able to find the net and the defense, while trying to keep things together, has been falling short.  The Flames are away tonight against the Blues and the defending champs are hoping to impress.  They’re 13-4-5 on the season, but their wins haven’t always been pretty.

These two faced off earlier this month and it took extra minutes for a winner to be decided.  The Blues finally took the victory, 3-2, but the Flames were slightly ahead with shots on goal (29 to 28).  Perhaps they learned a thing or two and come out a little more organized tonight.  The Blues will have to pay without Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen, but the Flames are down Sam Bennet, TJ Brodie, Austin Czarnik, Travis Hamonic and Juuso Valimaki.  That puts Calgary in a bind and the team is the definite underdog at +135.  It’s possible, but not likely, that the Flames are going to surprise everyone tonight, but the Blues are still going to walk away with the win.

There we have it for our NHL picks for Nov 21, good luck everyone.