Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

Teams Don't Like Each Other

Friday, November 04, 2011


 

OTTAWA

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, @ Buffalo, @ Toronto

 

Notes

The Senators will be tired on Saturday when the face the Maple Leafs as they are in Buffalo Friday night. Robin Lehner was outstanding in his first start of the season Sunday.  He is definitely the Senators goalie of the future.  Daniel Alfredsson suffered a concussion and it may be a while until he returns.  Nikita Filatov will be the beneficiary of Alfredsson's injury as he will get a chance to show his offensive prowess and stick with the team. Peter Regin suffered a shoulder injury and hopes to be back by mid-December as he decided to rehab it rather than have surgery.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Notes

Philadelphia plays only twice this week, both in the state of Florida although they have a three day rest in between so it should be a nice vacation. Scott Hartnell has been red hot on the first line with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr as he had five goals and 10 points in his last six games. James van Riemsdyk suffered an apparent knee injury on Wednesday and missed Thursday's game, although he skated in the warm up. Daniel Briere (upper body) returned to the Philadelphia lineup on Thursday, sending Ben Holmstrom back to the minors. Ilya Bryzgalov has turned his season around this past week after saying he was 'lost' last week in net. Chris Pronger was placed on the injured reserve list with his eye injury and is week to week at this time.

 

 PHOENIX

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, @ San Jose

 

Notes

The Coyotes play only twice this week so bench all your Phoenix players with the possible exception of Ray Whitney who at age 37 is still a fantasy threat. He has five goals and 12 points in 12 games. New linemate Radim Vrbata has four goals in his last three games. Martin Hanzal, the third member of the line, also is off to a great start with 10 points but missed Thursday's game with a lower body injury. As Rotoworld's James O'Brien pointed out brilliantly in Thursday's Daily Dose, Mike Smith should be picked up in all pools that require goaltending. Kyle Chipchura was recalled from the minors. The Calgary Flames are now said to be interested in acquiring restricted free agent Kyle Turris. Ottawa is also said to be interested.

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ Carolina

 

Notes

The Penguins play only two games this week, for the second week in a row. There is talk that Sidney Crosby could return for Friday's home game against Dallas but we will have to wait and see. Jordan Staal (lower body) could return to the lineup this week as he practiced on Wednesday. Steve Sullivan is off to a very slow start with only three assists in his first 13 games. Kris Letang and James Neal lead the Penguins in points with 11.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Toronto, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Notes

The Blues play three times this week and all are at home. St. Louis Cardinal Chris Carpenter, a good hockey player as a teenager, skated with the Blues this past week. Taylor Chorney was claimed off waivers by the Blues from Edmonton on October 11 but has been a healthy scratch since. Chris Stewart has only two goals and an assist but has 25 penalty minutes thus far. Alex Steen leads the Blues in goals with six and points with nine, while Kevin Shattenkirk is tied with Jason Arnott with five assists to lead St. Louis.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles,  vs. Minnesota, vs. Phoenix

 

Notes

The Sharks are in the midst of a six game home stand.  Joe Pavelski has 11 points in his last six games and is fitting in nicely with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau on the first line. Pavelski leads the Sharks with eight goals and 13 points this season. Andrew Desjardins has two goals and 21 penalty minutes in nine games. Antti Niemi is 4-2 with a 2.68 GAA and a .902 save percentage in his first six games back from surgery to remove a cyst. The Sharks need him to be better than that.  

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ St. Louis

 

Notes

The Lightning only play twice this week so I recommend benching all your Lightning players with the exception of Steve Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Marc-Andre Bergeron, if you are able to do so. Teddy Purcell has 10 points in 11 games and is off to the best start of his career.  Steve Downie has only a goal and two points with a minus-eight rating but he does have 42 penalty minutes. Bergeron leads the team with 13 points.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ St. Louis, vs. Ottawa

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs were the top team in the NHL on Thursday when they defeated Columbus, quite a climb from the last seven years when they have failed to make the playoffs. Joffrey Lupul became the first Maple Leaf to score a hat trick on the road since Darrly Sittler did it in 1980. Phil Kessel was named the first start for the month of October and leads the NHL with 10 goals and 22 points. James Reimer has had a couple of setbacks when it looked like he was ready to return to the crease but Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens have more than held their own in net. Jake Gardiner suffered a bruised ankle last Sunday but did not miss any action.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim, vs. New York Islanders

 

Notes

The Canucks play three games in four nights so look for the struggling Roberto Luongo to share the net with Cory Schneider. The Canucks are tired on Friday when they play the Ducks as they take on the Kings Thursday. Alexander Edler has taken over from the departed Christian Ehrhoff and has 12 points thus far. Manny Malhotra is ranked sixth in the NHL with a 60.1 percent faceoff success rate.

 

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ New Jersey, vs. New Jersey

 

Notes

The Capitals play a home-and-home series with New Jersey so expect some tempers to flare on either night. This would make Matt Hendricks the likeliest candidate to get into a fight for the Capitals. Jay Beagle is scheduled to start skating this weekend for the first time since suffering concussion on October 13. Mike Green (twisted ankle) suffered a setback during practice on Wednesday but thinks he is only a few days away from returning to action. Coach Bruce Boudreau benched Alex Ovechkin for the last minute of a one goal game Tuesday, even when they pulled the goalie for an extra attacker and that caused an interesting reaction across the NHL. Must be nice to give up four goals in 15 shots and still come out with a win. That happened to Tomas Vokoun on Tuesday.

                                  

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Buffalo, vs. Florida, @ Columbus

 

Notes

The Jets finish off their seven game road trip in Buffalo but are home for only one game before heading out to play in Columbus Saturday. Chris Mason was placed on injured reserve so Peter Mannino will back up Ondrej Pavelec in the interim. Tobias Enstrom is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone. Blake Wheeler has yet to score a goal in 12 games this season.  Ron Hainsey is likely to return to action this week as he has been out since October 17 with an upper body injury. Kyle Wellwood has five goals in the Jets first 12 games.

 

By the way, as mentioned earlier, the Capitals and Devils play a home-and-home series and it should be a wild couple of games because the two teams don't like each other.



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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Levitan: Week 17 plug-n-plays

    Levitan: Week 17 plug-n-plays
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NBA 6-Pack: Monday
  •  
    Bales: Luck

    Bales: Luck's Week 16 struggle
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6 Pack - WR & TE
  •  
    Friday

    Friday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    RotoPat: Week 16 Rankings

    RotoPat: Week 16 Rankings
  •  
    Week 16 Difference Makers

    Week 16 Difference Makers
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6 Pack - QB & RB