Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Playing the Blues

Friday, February 18, 2011


The NHL trade deadline is Monday February 28th which is also the one year anniversary of the Canada-United States gold medal game at the Olympics in which Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal in overtime to give Canada a 3-2 victory.

There will be plenty of deals on the 28th but this season there has been a lot of trade action early as the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs have each made three deals thus far this month.

The Canucks are really hurting on the blueline with five regulars out of action. We wonder if Cody Hodgson will be dealt to get the Canucks a top defenseman since Alexander Edler is unlikely to return from back surgery anytime soon.

There will be a lot of rumors etc. in the next week so it should be an exciting one.

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Here is The Week Ahead.

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 21-27

5 Games - St. Louis

4 Games - Colorado, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, New York Islanders, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Toronto

3 Games - Anaheim, Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington

Phoenix plays all four games on the road this week.

Boston, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, St. Louis and San Jose play three games on the road.

Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary and Vancouver play three home games this week.

INJURIES
Matt Duchene is out indefinitely with a hand injury.
Click here to check out all the injured players in the NHL.

ANAHEIM

Games this week
vs. Los Angeles, vs. Minnesota, vs. Colorado

Notes
The Ducks get a break in the schedule as they play tired opponents twice this week. Anaheim takes on the Wild on Friday after Minnesota plays the Kings the night before and are rested on Sunday when they play Colorado as the Avs are in Los Angeles the night before. This is the start of a seven game home stand for the Ducks. Jonas Hiller is back on the injured reserve list for the third time with fatigue and lightheadedness. This could be a problem the rest of the way, making the Ray Emery signing look better and better. Teemu Selanne picked up his 100th game winning goal of his career on Feb. 13.

ATLANTA

Games this week
@ Buffalo, vs. Florida, vs. Toronto

Notes
The Thrashers are rested on Sunday when they are home to Toronto as the Maple Leafs are home to Pittsburgh the previous night. The game against Florida starts a five game home stand. A flu bug is going through the Thrashers dressing room at this time so be a bit wary this week. Ondrej Pavelec is 3-8-4 since January 7 and has allowed 49 goals in 445 shots for a mediocre save percentage of .890. Alexander Burmistrov (broken foot) and Fredrik Modin (upper body) have been placed on injured reserve.


BOSTON

Games this week
@ Calgary, @ Vancouver, @ Edmonton

Notes
The Bruins play all three games in Western Canada this week. They are tired on Sunday when they play a rested Edmonton team after traveling from Vancouver on Saturday night. There are rumors that the Bruins are about to acquire Tomas Kaberle from the Maple Leafs. Tim Thomas has struggled of late as he has given up 15 goals in his last three-plus games for a GAA of 4.55 and a save percentage of .884. Tuukka Rask may start seeing more action in goal. Nathan Horton was pointless in his last three games after a five point effort four games ago but picked up an assist on Thursday.

BUFFALO

Games this week
vs. Atlanta, vs. Ottawa, vs. Detroit

Notes
Ryan Miller finally received a rest this past week after starting 31 games in a row. But backup Patrick Lalime did not get the start as the Sabres recalled Jhonas Enroth from the minors. The Sabres play three games in four nights so do not be surprised if Enroth gets recalled once again to play in place of Miller. The Sabres are tired on Saturday when they play a rested Detroit team as Buffalo will face Ottawa the previous night. Drew Stafford leads the NHL in hat tricks this season with four.

CALGARY

Games this week
vs. Boston, vs. San Jose, vs. St. Louis

Notes
The Flames play all three games at home this week. Curtis Glencross has six goals and nine points in his last six games while David Moss has a goal and seven points in his last four. Miikka Kiprusoff has continued his great play of late as he is 9-1-2 in his last 12 with a 2.13 GAA and a .920 save percentage. The Flames have been red hot of late with Kiprusoff leading the way and are now in a playoff spot in the tight Western Conference.

CAROLINA

Games this week
vs. New York Rangers, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Montreal

Notes
The Hurricanes will play a rested Montreal squad on Saturday after Carolina faces the Penguins the previous night. The good thing for the Hurricanes is that they are home for both games. Erik Cole has four goals and nine points in his last 10 games. Cam Ward has not had a night off since January 9, a span of 17 games. Does anyone remember that the backup in Carolina is Justin Peters?

CHICAGO

Games this week
@ St. Louis, @ Nashville, vs. Phoenix

Notes
The Blackhawks play a rested St. Louis team on Monday after playing the Penguins the previous day. Dave Bolland has five assists in his last two games. The flu bug is also going around the Chicago dressing room as Patrick Kane was one of six players who were affected. Coach Joel Quenneville is hoping to be back behind the bench this week after being hospitalized with internal bleeding due to an ulcer on Wednesday. Bolland, Marian Hossa and the recently acquired Michael Frolik have played well together.

COLORADO

Games this week
@ St. Louis, vs. Edmonton, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

Notes
The Avalanche are rested on Tuesday when they play St. Louis in a game that was postponed on Feb. 1 due to weather. Colorado will be tired on Sunday when they take on the rested Ducks as the Avs play in Los Angeles on Saturday. Peter Forsberg retired after a short two-game comeback attempt that cost him three years in the Hall-of-Fame as he must be retired for three seasons. Peter Budaj has taken over as the Avs number one netminder of late as he has started the last four games. He is 0-3-1, giving you an idea as to how far out of favor Craig Anderson is at this time. Matt Duchene is out of action indefinitely with a hand injury.

COLUMBUS

Games this week
vs. Nashville, vs. Phoenix, @ Nashville

Notes
The Blue Jackets are rested and at home when they play Nashville on Sunday for the second time this week as the Predators are in Dallas the night before. Look for Jared Boll and Derek Dorsett, if healthy, to add to their penalty minute totals. Derick Brassard is out at least two-three weeks with a hand injury. Derek MacKenzie took over on the top line in place of Brassard and promptly recorded his first two point game of his NHL career, playing with Rick Nash and Jakub Voracek. The Blue Jackets returned John Moore to the minors on Monday and recalled him on Friday.

DALLAS

Games this week
vs. New Jersey, @ Detroit, vs. Nashville

Notes
The Stars have been reeling of late and are only one point up in the playoff race after leading the Pacific division comfortably most of the season. They are expecting to get Brad Richards and Jamie Benn back on Tuesday. Loui Eriksson has only a goal and an assist in his last six games. The Stars signed Jason Williams to a two-way contract as they are really hurting for offense up front with their slew of injuries.

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Michael Finewax is entering his 10th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Michael Finewax



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