Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Chara and Pacioretty

Friday, March 11, 2011



PHILADELPHIA

Games this week
@ Florida, @ Atlanta, @ Dallas

Notes
The Flyers play all three on the road this week. Claude Giroux is having a break out season with 63 points in 67 games this year. Scott Hartnell is having a great fantasy season with 19 goals, 40 points, a plus-10 rating and 130 penalty minutes. Mike Richards and Claude Giroux each have 17 power play and five shorthanded points. Sergei Bobrovsky is 25-11-4 this season with a 2.52 GAA and a .917 save percentage, the same percentage as backup Brian Boucher.

PHOENIX

Games this week
@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver, vs. Chicago

Notes
The Coyotes are in Western Canada this week and then return home for a match against Chicago which starts a six game home stand. The Coyotes play three games in four nights so Jason LaBarbera could get one start in place of Ilya Bryzgalov. They are a tired team on Friday when they play a rested Vancouver squad. Rostislav Klesla (head), Ray Whitney (lower body) and Martin Hanzal (lower body) are all out of action. Ilya Bryzgalov has been shaky of late with a 2-3-2 record but finally picked up his sixth shutout of the season on Thursday.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week
@ Ottawa, vs. New York Rangers

Notes
The Penguins only play twice this week so we recommend benching all your Pittsburgh players with the possible exception of Kris Letang. Marc-Andre Fleury is 3-0-1 in his last four but has given up 11 goals in the four games. Dustin Jeffrey has three goals in his last five games. Chris Kunitz returned after a 13 game absence on Tuesday, but the Penguins are still missing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Malkin is gone for the season and it is starting to look like the same for Crosby.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week
@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

Notes
The Blues play three times in four nights this week so expect to see Jaroslav Halak and Ty Conklin to play as St. Louis play all three in California. They are a tired team on Thursday when they take on Los Angeles after playing the Ducks the previous night. Alexander Steen and Barret Jackman are gone for four-six weeks with a high ankle sprain and a broken index finger respectively. Andy McDonald has seven points in his last four games. Chris Stewart has nine goals and 12 points in 12 games for the Blues, including five goals on the power play.

SAN JOSE

Games this week
@ Chicago, @ Dallas, vs. Minnesota, vs. St. Louis

Notes
The Sharks play three games in four nights so look for Antero Niittymaki (if healthy) to play once in place of Antti Niemi. The Sharks are tired on Tuesday when they are in Dallas after playing in Chicago the night before but are the rested team on Monday when they face the Blackhawks. Dan Boyle has missed the last six games with an upper body injury but has started practicing again. Ryan Clowe has 52 points this season and has three goals and four points in his last two games. Patrick Marleau has five goals and eight points in his last eight games.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week
@ Toronto, @ Montreal @ Ottawa

Notes
The Lightning play all three games in Eastern Canada this week. Pavel Kubina was suspended for three games for his elbow to the head of Dave Bolland. Steve Stamkos has only two goals and seven points in his last 11 games and has lately been playing the wing with Dominic Moore and Martin St. Louis as linemates. Steve Downie has missed the last three games with a knee injury. Simon Gagne has scored only once in his last 16 games.

TORONTO

Games this week
vs. Tampa Bay, @ Carolina, @ Florida, vs. Boston

Notes
The Maple Leafs play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Jean-Sebastien Giguere to get one start in place of James Reimer. They are rested when they take on a tired Carolina team on Wednesday but are tired on Thursday when they are in Florida. Since he won his fight against tough guy Scott Hartnell, Keith Aulie has the nickname 'Muhammad'. The Maple Leafs are currently six points out of a playoff spot and this week's action could make or break the team this season.

VANCOUVER

Games this week
vs. Minnesota, vs. Colorado, vs. Phoenix

Notes
The Canucks are at home for all three games this week and are rested on Friday when they host the tired Phoenix Coyotes. Cory Schneider was outstanding on Thursday despite giving up four goals as the Canucks were outshot 48-26 and won 5-4 in a shootout. Christopher Higgins finally made his Vancouver debut in the same game. Alex Burrows has two goals in his last four games but has only four points in his last 12.

WASHINGTON

Games this week
@ Montreal, @ Detroit, @ New Jersey

Notes
The Capitals start a six game road trip this week and are a tired team on Wednesday when they face Detroit after playing in Montreal on Tuesday. They are the rested team on Friday when they play against New Jersey. Mike Green was placed on the long-term injured reserve list and is unable to return until March 22 at the earliest, although he has resumed skating. Alex Ovechkin is starting to return to form and has 16 points in his last 11 games. Nicklas Backstrom missed the first game of his NHL career on Wednesday.

PLAYERS TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK
Matt Calvert - Blue Jackets
Guillaume Latendresse - Wild
Jeff Halpern - Canadiens
Brian Rolston - Devils
Mikkel Boedker - Coyotes
Tyler Bozak - Maple Leafs

LAST WEEK'S PLAYERS
This is how the players performed through Thursday
G A PPP +/- PIMS
Brad Boyes - Sabres 1 1 1 -2 0
Scottie Upshall - Blue Jackets 0 0 0 -4 0
Steve Ott - Stars 0 1 1 -1 15
Dustin Penner - Kings 0 2 0 +2 0
Eric Brewer - Lightning 0 0 0 -3 0
Jason Arnott - Capitals 0 1 1 0 2




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



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