Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Is this the week for Crosby?

Friday, October 14, 2011


It’s been a great week for hockey as Sidney Crosby took another big step towards returning to the NHL from his concussion as doctors have allowed him to take part in contact drills during practice. Now, we are not sure who on the Penguins would want to be the first to hit him  but hopefully Crosby will be able to play in a game for the first time in over nine months in the next week or two.

 

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Here is The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF OCTOBER 17-23

 

4 Games – Edmonton, Florida, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Winnipeg

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New York Rangers, Ottawa,  Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington

 

2 Games –Detroit, New Jersey, New York Islanders

 

Buffalo, Columbus, Nashville, New York Rangers and St. Louis play three times away from home.

 

Boston, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Vancouver play three games in their home arena.

 

INJURIES

 

Sidney Crosby (out since January 5 with a concussion) has been cleared for contact.

 

Click here to check out all the injured players in the NHL.

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, vs. Dallas, vs. Phoenix

 

Notes

Anaheim is a tired team on Monday as they face the Blues the previous night. The Ducks are starting to get healthier as Matt Beleskey (shoulder), Kurtis Foster (thigh) and Toni Lydman (shoulder) are close to returning. They sent Kyle Cumiskey down to the minors after acquiring him from Colorado as a depth defenseman. Coach Randy Carlyle was not upset when Corey Perry got into a fight with the Rangers Brandon Dubinsky as Dubinsky is a good player for the New Yorkers, but does not want Perry  to fight enforcers on other team’s as the team loses too much for five minutes.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Toronto, vs. San Jose

 

Notes

The Bruins play as a rested team twice this week as they face Toronto on Thursday after the Maple Leafs play Winnipeg the previous night. They then play the Sharks on Saturday after the Sharks are in New Jersey Friday. Milan Lucic stated that the high ankle sprain he suffered almost two years ago is still not 100 percent, but close. Adam McQuaid seems to be okay after falling head first into the end boards on Wednesday. Tyler Seguin has taken over as the Bruins top center with David Krejci (core) injured. Jordan Caron saw his first action of the season with the injury to Krejci. Rich Peverley is richer after signing a three-year/$9.75 million extension with the Bruins.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Notes

The Sabres are on the road for all three games this week. Derek Roy has played both games this season and feels he is getting closer to game shape after missing the last 47 games in 2010-11 with a leg injury. Thomas Vanek is red-hot with five points in his first two games. Luke Adam has been great thus far and scored twice on Saturday in the Sabres win in Berlin. He was between Vanek and Jason Pominville and definitely has the offensive ability to be a number one center in the NHL.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Nashville

 

Notes

Calgary is rested on Tuesday when they play their provincial rivals from Edmonton as the Oilers are home to Nashville on Monday. The Flames are home for all three this week. Brendan Morrison (knee) is starting to practice and could be back this week. No idea why coach Brent Sutter started Henrik Karlsson on Monday against the Blues while sitting Miikka Kiprusoff as Kiprusoff was 10-0-1 against St. Louis since joining the Flames. Raitis Ivanans (concussion) has been cleared for contact after missing over a year of action. He is worth taking off the waiver wire in pools that use penalty minutes as a category.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. St. Louis, @ Winnipeg

 

Notes

Carolina should be tired when they face the Jets in Winnipeg on Saturday as the Hurricanes are home to St. Louis on Friday night. Rookie Ryan Murphy made the team out of camp but did not play before being returned to junior hockey. His offensive ability as a blueliner is special and should have a spot on someone’s roster in all keeper leagues. Jussi Jokinen is centering Alexei Ponikarovsky and Tuomo Ruutu. Chad LaRose is playing on the top line, replacing Ruutu. Jamie McBain finally got into the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the first three games. Justin Faulk is minus-six and was a healthy scratch on Wednesday after playing in the first three games.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Phoenix, @ Colorado, vs. Colorado

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play back-to-back games against the Avalanche this week so look for Daniel Carcillo and Jamal Mayers to add to their penalty minute totals. Carcillo has been skating on a line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane in practice and if that happens during games, his fantasy value will increase. Ben Smith (concussion) is close to returning. Brandon Saad was returned to junior hockey. Corey Crawford has been nursing a lower body injury and as a result, Ray Emery got the start on Thursday.  Look for Crawford to be back between the pipes this week.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, vs. Chicago, @ Chicago

 

Notes

The Avalanche play a home-and-home series against the Blackhawks this week so look for Cody McLeod and Shane O’Brien to take care of any fisticuffs there may be. Semyon Varlamov has been outstanding to start the season, something the Avs need if they have any hope of contending for a playoff spot. Gabriel Landeskog potted his first NHL goal on Wednesday.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ Detroit, @ Ottawa

 

Notes

Columbus is tired Saturday when they travel to Ottawa after facing their divisional opponents in Detroit on Friday. The Blue Jackets are on the road for all three games this week. Cam Atkinson, who was thought to be a top-six forward just a week ago, was sent to the minors on Thursday while 30-year-old Alexandre Giroux was recalled. Ryan Johansen returned to the lineup on Wednesday after being a healthy scratch the previous two games. Columbus had terrible special team production the first three games as they were zero-for-16 with the man-advantage and gave up four power play goals in 10 opportunities. Jared Boll is out another month with a broken thumb.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

 

Notes

Dallas could be tired in Los Angeles on Saturday after playing in Anaheim the previous night, but they should be staying in the same hotel so the travel is not too bad. The Stars acquired Eric Nystrom from the Wild to get to the salary floor. They had to send Tomas Vincour to the minors. Nicklas Grossman returned to the Dallas lineup on Thursday from a groin injury, putting Philip Larsen. Kari Lehtonen is off to a fabulous start with three wins to go with a 1.30 GAA and a .966 save percentage.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Washington

 

Notes

The Red Wings only play twice this week, but it is back-to-back so they could be tired when facing Washington on Saturday after hosting Carolina on Friday. Brendan Smith was recalled by the Red Wings to serve two more games of his five game suspension. Henrik Zetterberg is now playing on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Cleary. Jiri Hudler will get some playing time on the power play and that should help his fantasy value. Tomas Holmstrom was a healthy scratch once this week. Ty Conklin, the Red Wings backup netminder, suffered a black eye when he was accidentally poked under his left eye by defenseman Jonathan Eriksson.


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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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