Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! The NHL is making this week American week as only three of the 51 scheduled games will be played in Canada as Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg play all their games in the United States, while Ottawa and Montreal split their two and four game schedule evenly in Canada and the US.

 

There are no games on Thursday but the NHL goes into action big time on Friday with 13 games, including their first game of the season on NBC with the Red Wings taking on the Bruins in Boston in an afternoon game. Don’t forget to tune in.

 

James O’Brien has been writing a great column, The Daily Dose for a few weeks now. If you want it sent directly to you via e-mail, click on the NHL box in your Rotoworld profile.

 

Here is The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 21-27

 

4 Games - Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh,  St. Louis, Washington

 

3 Games - Anaheim, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Colorado, Ottawa, San Jose

 

Calgary and Edmonton play all four games on the road.

 

Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg play three times away from home.

 

Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Washington play three games at home this week.

 

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INJURIES

 

Ryan Miller is out indefinitely with a concussion.

 

(Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Phoenix, vs. Chicago, vs. Toronto

 

Notes

The Ducks claimed Niklas Hagman off re-entry waivers from the Flames this past week as they try to get their offense going. To accommodate Hagman on the roster, the Ducks sent former first round pick Peter Holland to the minors.  Lubomir Visnovsky suffered a broken finger and is expected to miss a month of action. Cam Fowler will now be in charge of the power play, rather than being the other point man while Saku Koivu has moved up to the top unit. Kurtis Foster will man the point on the second unit with the absence of Visnovsky.

                                                                                                      

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ Buffalo, vs. Detroit, vs. Winnipeg

 

Notes

The Bruins play four times this week including three games in four nights. Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas should split the netminding this week. It should be interesting in Buffalo this week as Milan Lucic will face the Sabres for the first time since his open ice hit on goaltender Ryan Miller concussed the Buffalo goalkeeper. Look for Lucic to be involved in at least one fight. Tyler Seguin is second in the NHL in plus/minus at plus-15. He is forming a great number one line with Brad Marchand and the Bruins could be set for years with their top unit. Daniel Paille could be back this week, if not earlier, after undergoing facial surgery after taking a shot on the nose on November 7. He will likely wear a full facial shield, at least in the short-term. The Bruins are on a seven game winning streak.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Columbus, vs. Washington

 

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights so look for Jhonas Enroth to get two starts and Drew MacIntyre to possibly get the first start of his NHL career. Ryan Miller is out indefinitely with a concussion, suffered when he was run into by the Bruins Milan Lucic. Lucic and the Bruins are in Buffalo Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving, so it should be interesting to see if there are any fisticuffs. Mike Weber could be out a while after suffering an upper body injury on Wednesday. Sitting in the press box on Monday obviously had an effect on Tyler Myers who scored his first two goals on Wednesday and gave a head shot to the Devils’ Dainius Zubrus. He may be suspended but being a healthy scratch on Monday certainly affected him. Tyler Ennis is finally skating after suffering a sprained ankle on October 22.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Detroit, @ St. Louis, @ Minnesota

 

Notes

Calgary is on the road for all four games this week so expect to see Henrik Karlsson in net once in place of Miikka Kiprusoff, even though they don’t play three games in four nights. Jarome Iginla is off to another terrible start and is minus-ten thus far with only nine points in 17 games. Roman Horak has been told to find a permanent home in Calgary rather than stay in a hotel so he should be around for a while. Cory Sarich has been a healthy scratch in the last five games after getting a lonely assist and 23 penalty minutes in the Flames first 12 games.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, vs. Montreal, vs. Winnipeg, @ Ottawa

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play four times this week but do not play three games in four nights according to the weekly schedule, but do so if you include November 20th so expect to see Brian Boucher at least once instead of Cam Ward. Carolina will be a tired team on Monday when they travel to Philadelphia to face a rested Flyers team as they play the Maple Leafs the night before. Eric Staal is having a horrible year with four goals and eight points in 19 games, to go with an NHL worst minus-18 rating.  Teammate Jussi Jokinen is having a much better season with three goals and 12 points with a plus-three rating. Joni Pitkanen is due to return this week from a lower body injury as he suffered the injury on November 11 and was projected to be out a week.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play three times in four nights so look for Ray Emery to play at least once in place of Corey Crawford. Last week the Blackhawks played all three in Western Canada and this week every game is in California. They are tired on Saturday when they play a rested Los Angeles team after playing Anaheim the night before.  Patrick Kane has been hot of late with four goals and six points in his last three games.  In a bit of a surprise, the Blackhawks have waived Rostislav Olesz. His salary of $3.25 million is likely too high to allow him to be selected off waivers so he should be headed for the minors to get in some playing time. Steve Montador has been red hot since the Blackhawks gave him second power play time and has four goals and six points in his last four games.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Edmonton

 

Notes

The Avalanche only play twice this week so we will recommend benching all your Avalanche players with the exception of Erik Johnson and Matt Duchene. They will be rested on Saturday when they play Edmonton who are in Minnesota on Friday. Brandon Yip returned to action on Thursday for the first time this season after suffering a broken forearm in the pre-season. Milan Hejduk was named the third captain of the Colorado Avalanche this past week, joining Adam Foote and Joe SakicPeter Mueller has now missed 16 straight games with a concussion and his return is still unknown although he is close. He has played only three times (all in October) since April, 2010.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ New Jersey, vs. Buffalo, vs. St. Louis

 

Notes

Columbus has won only three games this season and rookie Ryan Johansen has the winner in all three. Derick Brassard returned to the lineup on Thursday after being a healthy scratch the previous two nights. Steve Mason continues to struggle mightily and the Blue Jackets may be looking for a new goalie in a trade.  Mark Letestu has taken advantage of his trade from Pittsburgh and has two goals and lots more ice time in the four games he’s played for the Blue Jackets.  Rick Nash is minus-13 in the early going and the Jackets need him to get started if they are to salvage anything from this season.  

   

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Toronto, @ Phoenix

 

Notes

The Stars play four times this week, including three games in four nights so do not be surprised if Andrew Raycroft gets into one game in place of Kari Lehtonen. Despite playing four times, the Stars will be the rested team on Wednesday when they face a tired Los Angeles team who play in St. Louis on Tuesday. After missing six games, Steve Ott is expected to return to the lineup on November 18 where he will likely line up on the second line with Michael Ryder and Jamie Benn. The top line consists of Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson and Brenden Morrow. Adam Burish will be out for a month with a broken left hand and don’t expect him to fight a lot upon his return as it will not be 100 percent.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Boston, vs. Nashville

 

Notes

The Red Wings play three times in four nights so look for Ty Conklin to play once in place of Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings will be tired on Saturday when they face a rested Nashville squad after they play in Boston on Friday for the first NBC Game of the Week (and likely stuffing themselves with turkey on Thursday). Todd Bertuzzi has missed the last six games with a sinus infection. Pavel Datsyuk is off to a bad start, at least for him, with 11 points in 17 games with a minus-four rating. Ian White is out with a broken cheekbone. He may be back at the end of the week. 


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Michael Finewax has been covering hockey since 2005 and is the Hockey Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter.
Email :Mike Finewax



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