Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Is this the week for Crosby?

Friday, October 14, 2011


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, @ Calgary, vs. Minnesota, vs. New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Oilers travel to Calgary on Tuesday after facing the Predators at home on Monday. Edmonton play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin to split the net. Ales Hemsky left the game on Thursday with a suspected shoulder injury. Sam Gagner will likely miss at least the beginning of the week with an ankle injury. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in his NHL debut but was a weak two-for-15 at the faceoff dot.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Washington, vs. Buffalo, vs. New York Islanders

 

Notes

Florida should be a tired team on Tuesday when they travel to Washington after playing in Tampa Bay the night before. The Panthers play four games this week including three in four nights so expect to see Jacob Markstrom play at least once in place of Jose Theodore. Evgeny Dadonov was sent to the minors. Jonathan Huberdeau, the Panthers first pick and third overall in this year’s draft, signed an entry level deal but was sent to junior hockey before signing.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Phoenix, vs. Dallas

 

Notes

The Kings are rested on Saturday when they face a tired Dallas squad. Simon Gagne has played well on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams while Dustin Penner and Dustin Brown make up a nice second unit with Mike Richards in the middle. The Kings picked up Stefan Legein from the Flyers on Wednesday an will keep him in the minors for now.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

The Wild are rested Tuesday when they play Pittsburgh as the Penguins travel from Winnipeg.  Pierre-Marc Bouchard returned to the Minnesota lineup on Thursday after a two game suspension. Niklas Backstrom is off to a great start and that is causing good problems for coach Mike Yeo who is trying to get backup Josh Harding into a game.

 

MONTREAL

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Toronto

 

Notes

Ryan White is out indefinitely after undergoing sports hernia surgery. Michael Cammalleri is out for a couple of weeks after suffering a cut from a skate above his knee. Erik Cole has taken his place on the top line. Andrei Markov was in Florida to see Dr. James Andrews with regards to his injured knee. Hopefully he will return sooner than later.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Vancouver, @ Calgary

 

Notes

The Predators are in Western Canada this week to play all three games on the road. Martin Erat was placed on injured reserve Thursday with an upper body injury while Patric Hornqvist also missed Thursday’s game but with a lower body injury. Mike Fisher is still not well enough to from off-season shoulder surgery to return to the lineup. The Predators claimed enforcer Brian McGrattan off waivers from Anaheim.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Devils play only twice this week but it is back-to-back so they will be tired traveling to play the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Saturday after being home to the Sharks on Friday. Martin Brodeur was injured on Thursday but he only tweaked his shoulder. Petr Sykora has two assists in his first three games after playing in Russia last season. Cam Janssen, a top enforcer when he is in the lineup, played in his first game on Thursday.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Notes

Al Montoya has been the surprise starter for the Islanders this season as it was thought that Rick DiPietro or Evgeni Nabokov would start in net. He has played in all three games. DiPietro is now out with a concussion and that does not bode well for the oft-injured netminder. The Islanders only play twice this week so we recommend benching all your New Yorkers with the exception of John Tavares and Mark Streit, if you can. It was not a surprise that the Islanders returned Ryan Strome back to junior hockey but he is worth keeping an eye on in the future.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Notes

The Rangers play all three games in Western Canada this week. Derek Stepan has been practicing with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik on the top line, moving Brandon Dubinsky down to the second unit. Sean Avery reported to Connecticut of the AHL alleviating the Rangers of $1.9-million of salary cap space. This move hurt the Dallas Stars as they had $1.9 million as well on their cap and when he was sent down, they fell below the floor forcing them to trade for Eric Nystrom. Marc Staal is still suffering from a concussion and there is no timetable for his return.

 

OTTAWA

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Columbus

 

Notes

The Senators get a break this week as they are rested in two of their three games while facing tired opponents. The first time is against Winnipeg on Thursday after the Jets are in Toronto the previous night. They then play the Blue Jackets Saturday after Columbus are in Detroit Friday. Zenon Konopka has played in only two of the Senators four games but is second in the NHL with 24 penalty minutes. Nikita Filatov was sent to the minors as Ottawa wants to give him plenty of minutes. He is still only 21 and needs to play.


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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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