Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Playing the Blues

Friday, February 18, 2011



DETROIT

Games this week
vs. San Jose, vs. Dallas, @ Buffalo

Notes
The Red Wings play all three on the road with all taking place in four nights. Look for Joey McDonald to play once in place of the struggling Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings will be tired on Friday when they play the Panthers after playing in Tampa Bay the night before. The Red Wings are getting healthy with Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Cleary and Tomas Holmstrom all returning since the All-Star game. The Red Wings welcomed back defenseman Brad Stuart on Feb. 17 after a six week absence due to a broken jaw courtesy of the Flames' Tom Kostopoulos. Chris Osgood has started skating.

EDMONTON

Games this week
@ Minnesota, @ Colorado, vs. St. Louis, vs. Boston

Notes
The Oilers play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin to share the net. The Oilers play twice while they are rested, and facing a team that play the night before. They face the Blues on Friday after play in Vancouver the night before and then they go against Boston on Sunday after they play in Vancouver on Saturday. Ales Hemsky said that he cost himself three weeks of the season in December when he returned after three games from a groin injury and promptly hurt himself in the game again.

FLORIDA

Games this week
@ New York Islanders, @ Ottawa, @ Atlanta, vs. New Jersey

Notes
Stephen Weiss is reportedly on the trade block but would like to remain with the Panthers. Dmitri Kulikov is out for a couple of weeks with an injured ankle. Jacob Markstrom suffered a knee injury in the minors but it will not require surgery. He could find himself back in the NHL if the Panthers deal Tomas Vokoun at the trade deadline as that looks to be very possible since Vokoun can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week
@ Anaheim, vs. Minnesota, vs. Colorado

Notes
The Kings are play three times in four nights so look for Jonathan Bernier to play once instead of Jon Quick. The Kings are tired when they play the Wild on Thursday as they face Anaheim the night before. Dustin Brown has only two goals in his last 17 games. Drew Doughty now has eight goals and 30 points with a plus-12 rating this season despite a concussion that kept him out of action for six games in October. The Kings are 8-0-3 in their last 11 games.

MINNESOTA

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

Notes
The Wild play games in four nights so look for Jose Theodore and Niklas Backstrom to share the net. The Wild are tired on Friday when they face Anaheim but are rested the night before when they play the Kings as Los Angeles play the Ducks on Wednesday. Guillaume Latendresse is looking to get clearance to practice after seeing a hip specialist on Monday. Josh Harding finally donned the pads this past week after undergoing knee surgery in November. He has been working out and training with James Sheppard who is also recovering from knee surgery. Andrew Brunette leads the Wild with seven power play goals.

MONTREAL

Games this week
@ Vancouver, vs. Toronto, vs. Carolina

Notes
The Canadiens are rested on Saturday when they face Carolina as the Hurricanes play Pittsburgh the previous night. They acquired Paul Mara from Anaheim on Wednesday. Max Pacioretty is on a five game scoring streak with four goals and two assists. Michael Cammalleri should be back this week but really hopes that he will play in the Heritage Classic on Feb. 20. Roman Hamrlik wants to return to the Habs next season and says that money will not be the deciding factor.

NASHVILLE

Games this week
@ Columbus, vs. Chicago, @ Dallas, vs. Columbus

Notes
The Predators play four times this week, including three games in four nights so expect to see Anders Lindback in goal once in place of Pekka Rinne. The Predators will be a tired team on Sunday when they face Columbus as they are in Dallas the night before. The Predators play the Blue Jackets twice this week so look for Shane O'Brien to add to his penalty minute totals. Martin Erat has two goals and five points in his last six games.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week
@ Dallas, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

Notes
The Devils are on the road for all three games this week. Martin Brodeur is likely to return by this week from a knee injury. The Devils are still red-hot and the playoffs are a possibility. It was just a month ago that it appeared that New Jersey was a shoo-in for the first overall pick. Ilya Kovalchuk has seven goals and 13 points in his last 10 games.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week
vs. Florida, @ Toronto, @ Philadelphia, vs. Washington

Notes
The Islanders play four times this week including three games in four nights so expect Nathan Lawson and Al Montoya to each see action. The Islanders are a tired team on Tuesday when they travel to Toronto after facing the Panthers on Monday, while they are the rested team on Saturday as their opponents the Washington Capitals play the Rangers the night before. John Tavares is starting to show why he was the number one pick last season as he has 11 points in his last seven games.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week
@ Carolina, @ Washington, vs. Tampa Bay

Notes
Henrik Lundqvist won his 200th NHL game on Thursday in only his sixth season. Derek Boogaard says that he's no longer experiencing concussion-related symptoms. He has been out of the lineup since December 9. Marian Gaborik has added penalty killing duties to his resume. Ryan Callahan has three goals and five points in his last two games.

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Michael Finewax has been covering hockey since 2005 and is the Hockey Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter.
Email :Mike Finewax


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