Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Are the Thrashers headed North

Friday, March 04, 2011


What is the best way for a Canadian city to get a franchise in the NHL?

Answer: Let the NHL award a team to Atlanta, wait 8-10 years and voila!! The franchise will make its way to Canada. It happened in 1980 when the Flames moved from Atlanta to Calgary and the rumor mill is now a buzz with the possibility of the Thrashers headed to Quebec City or even Winnipeg.

The races for both the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs are really heating up and the remainder of the regular season should be outstanding.

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Here is The Week Ahead.

WEEK OF MARCH 7-13

4 Games - Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Ottawa, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Washington

3 Games - Anaheim, Atlanta, Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver

2 Games - New York Rangers

Edmonton and Ottawa play all four games on the road this week.

Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles and Vancouver play three games on the road.

Dallas, Florida, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Washington play three home games this week.

INJURIES
Martin Biron is out for the rest of the season with a broken collarbone.
Click here to check out all the injured players in the NHL.

ANAHEIM

Games this week
vs. New York Rangers, @ Colorado, vs. Phoenix

Notes
Brad Winchester made his Ducks debut on Wednesday and saw some action on the first line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks are using Dan Ellis and Ray Emery in goal as Jonas Hiller is still suffering from the effects of vertigo and doctors are unsure as to its source. Todd Marchant scored on Monday for the first time in 70 games.

ATLANTA

Games this week
@ Carolina, vs. New Jersey, @ Philadelphia

Notes
The Thrashers play three games in four nights so expect Ondrej Pavelec (if healthy) and Chris Mason to each see action this week. Atlanta are a tired team on Saturday when they are playing a rested Flyer squad as the Thrashers play the Devils on Friday. Nik Antropov is not having a good season with only 11 goals and 30 points in 58 games and only four goals since the start of the new year. The Thrashers added Radek Dvorak and Rob Schremp at the deadline.


BOSTON

Games this week
@ Montreal, vs. Buffalo, @ New York Islanders

Notes
The Bruins play three games in four nights this week so look for Tuukka Rask to play at least once in place of Tim Thomas. Rask has been outstanding of late winning his last four games while giving up only seven goals in 121 shots. The Bruins will be tired on Friday when they are on Long Island as they play the Sabres at home on Thursday. GM Peter Chiarelli would love to sign unrestricted free agent to be Tomas Kaberle at the end of the season. Nathan Horton has four goals and an assist in his last five games. Tyler Seguin is still a project for the Bruins and has been a healthy scratch three times in the last 11 games.

BUFFALO

Games this week
@ Pittsburgh, @ Boston, @ Toronto, vs. Ottawa

Notes
The Sabres play their first three on the road this week to finish up a seven game road trip and play three games in four nights this week as well. Do not be surprised if Jhonas Enroth gets recalled once again to play in place of Ryan Miller as Buffalo does not seem to trust Patrick Lalime in the net. The Sabres are tired on Sunday when they play at home for the first time in two weeks against the Senators after playing in Toronto Saturday night. Buffalo picked up Brad Boyes and he scored a goal in his first game in a Sabres uniform.

CALGARY

Games this week
@ Dallas, @ Phoenix, vs. Vancouver

Notes
The Flames play three games in four nights so expect to see Henrik Karlsson once in goal in place of Miikka Kiprusoff. The Flames will be tired on Thursday when they are in Phoenix after playing in Dallas on Wednesday. Kiprusoff had two shutouts in a row and three in five games before he was chased from the net on Wednesday after giving up four goals on 19 shots in the first two periods. The Flames picked up Fredrik Modin in a trade with Atlanta and claimed Brett Carson off waivers.

CAROLINA

Games this week
vs. Atlanta, @ Washington, vs. Columbus

Notes
The Hurricanes play three times in four nights so we could see Justin Peters replace Cam Ward in a game. Ward has played in 23 straight games. Eric Staal is back after missing one game with an upper body injury. The Hurricanes picked up Bryan Allen on trade deadline day. Carolina has moved up to seventh in the East entering action on Friday.

CHICAGO

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

Notes
The Blackhawks play all three games on the road this week. They will be a tired team on Wednesday when they take on the Lightning in Tampa Bay after playing the Panthers across the state the previous night. Michael Frolik picked up his first points for the Blackhawks in his 10th game with the team on Wednesday and it was also his first goal in 32 games. The Blackhawks picked up Chris Campoli at the trade deadline, a good depth move considering they lost Jordan Hendry for six months the night before.

COLORADO

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

Notes
The Avalanche are tired on Saturday and playing a rested Nashville team after the Avs are home to Anaheim on Friday night. Colorado did not do a lot on trade deadline day but did acquire Shawn Belle from the Oilers. Matt Duchene has only three goals and six points in his last 19 games. David Jones has four goals in his last six games.

COLUMBUS

Games this week
@ St. Louis, vs. St. Louis, vs. Los Angeles, @ Carolina

Notes
The Blue Jackets play all three games in four nights, so look for Mathieu Garon to play once in place of Steve Mason. The Blue Jackets play a home-and-home series against the Blues so look for Jared Boll and Derek Dorsett to add to their penalty minute totals. Columbus was busy on trade deadline day acquiring Scottie Upshall, Sami Lepisto, Michael Chaput, Greg Moore and Petr Kalus, who was actually acquired after the trade deadline and as a result will be ineligible to play in the NHL the rest of the season. Matt Calvert scored five goals and six points in three games and was the third star of the week.

DALLAS

Games this week
@ Los Angeles, vs. Calgary, vs. Minnesota, vs. Los Angeles

Notes
The Stars play four times this week but not three in four nights. Nevertheless, expect to see Andrew Raycroft at least once in place of Kari Lehtonen. The Stars are rested on Friday when they host the Wild as Minnesota are in Nashville the previous night. Look for Steve Ott and Krys Barch to add to their penalty minute totals when they play the Kings twice this week. The Stars were quiet on trade deadline day despite all the rumors that Brad Richards was headed out of town. Jamie Benn has been stellar since returning from a shoulder injury and has played over 21 minutes in his last four games.

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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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