Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Boudreau fired and hired!

Friday, December 02, 2011


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Colorado, @ Calgary

 

Notes

Edmonton plays three games in four nights so look for Nikolai Khabibulin and Devan Dubnyk to share the net.  The Oilers are rested on Wednesday and Friday when they face Carolina and Colorado as those two teams are tired from playing the night before, in Calgary on Tuesday for the Hurricanes as well as the Avalanche, but on Thursday. They are tired on Saturday when the Flames are home after getting Friday night off.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to amaze in his rookie season as the 18-year-old has 11 goals and 16 assists in the first two months of the season and is not slowing down as he has 13 points in his last seven games. Jordan Eberle is almost as good with 17 assists and 26 points. Andy Sutton returned to action on Wednesday after missing seven games with a groin injury. The Oilers and Wild had a shootout on November 30 and it was the 1,000th shootout in NHL history.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Boston, @ Buffalo, @ New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Panthers play four times this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Scott Clemmensen in goal once, in place of Jose Theodore. Florida will be a tired team on Friday when they face the Sabres in Buffalo after playing in Boston Thursday but will be rested Sunday in New York as the Rangers play in Buffalo on Saturday. Kris Versteeg and Sean Bergenheim missed practice on Wednesday, forcing the Floridians to recall Bracken Kearns from the minors. Marcel Goc is out with concussion-like symptoms. Tomas Fleischmann, Stephen Weiss and Versteeg have been outstanding plus/minus wise as they are plus-14, 13 and 12 respectively.

    

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, vs. Minnesota, vs. Dallas

 

Notes

The Kings stay in Southern California yet again this week as their only road game is 28 miles away in Anaheim. Scott Parse is likely out for the remainder of the season as he will undergo surgery on both hips. Mike Richards has found his new home with the Kings to his liking as he has 20 points in 25 games but was injured on Thursday so his status for next week is unclear at this time. Los Angeles is hoping to get Dustin Penner back from a hand injury this week. Justin Williams was moved to the third line alongside Andrei Loktionov and Kyle Clifford  earlier in the week.


MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Anaheim, @ Phoenix

 

Notes

Minnesota continues its West Coast trip with a visit to San Jose, Los Angeles and Phoenix after playing in Anaheim this past week. Cal Clutterbuck is out with a lower body injury. Colton Gillies has been a healthy scratch the last two games. In case you were wondering, there is nothing new to report on the progress of Marek Zidlicky's recovery from a concussion. Niklas Backstrom is back as the starter for the Wild as Josh Harding’s string of games in net ran its course.

 

MONTREAL

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix,  @ Columbus, vs.  Anaheim

 

Notes

Coach Jacques Martin looked to put a spark in the Habs on Wednesday by starting Peter Budaj in goal against the woeful Ducks as Carey Price was 1-2-1 in his last four but the Ducks beat them 4-1. Max Pacioretty was suspended for three games for his hit on Kris Letang so Michael Cammalleri replaced him between Erik Cole and David DesharnaisAndrei Kostitsyn returned to action on November 26 after missing three weeks with a lower body injury. Andrei Markov could return to action this week if he hasn’t done so already.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix,  @ Columbus, vs. Anaheim

 

Notes

The Predators will be rested when they take on the Phoenix on Tuesday as the Coyotes will play in Chicago on Monday and be tired as a result. Patric Hornqvist has not had a point in his last ten games. Blake Geoffrion will be out ‘for a while’ with an arm injury. Jordin Tootoo has become a scoring machine of late with five points in his last five games. The energy player is known more for his penalty minutes than his offensive prowess so any scoring is welcome by the Predators.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, vs. Ottawa, vs. Montreal

 

Notes

Devils play the three Eastern Canadian teams this week with two games at home. They are rested twice while playing a tired opponent as they are in Toronto on Tuesday to face the Maple Leafs who are in New York to play the Rangers Monday, while they face Ottawa Thursday who travel from Washington after playing the Capitals Wednesday night. It looks like Martin Brodeur’s best days in the NHL are behind him and he may not be a fantasy option anymore. The 39-year-old is 5-6 this season with a 3.09 GAA and a .887 save percentage, all rankings in the 30’s among goalies this season. Patrik Elias will remain at center when Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson return. 

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Chicago, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Islanders are rested on Tuesday when they face the Lightning. Tampa Bay play in Ottawa on Monday.  John Tavares has not potted a goal in the last 11 games and is pointless in his last six. We wouldn’t bench him just yet as his offensive ability is just too great. The New York Islanders have no plans to send Nino Niederreiter back to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, but sat him in the press box for four games as a healthy scratch before giving him some ice time on Tuesday. The Islanders are really struggling on the road with a 2-5-2 record and only 16 goals in nine games.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Buffalo, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Rangers play four times this week, including three games in four nights so look for Martin Biron to play once in place of Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers will be rested on Saturday when they travel to Buffalo to play the Sabres, who face Florida on Friday, but will then play the rested Panthers on Sunday. Marc Staal (concussion) is skating, but is still a long way away from returning to action. He has not played this season. Brandon Dubinsky has dropped down New York's depth chart to the fourth-line, centering Sean Avery and Brandon Prust.

 

OTTAWA

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Washington, @ New Jersey, vs. Vancouver

 

Notes

The Senators play three games in four nights so look for Craig Anderson to see most of the action in goal although Alexander Auld could see action in one game. They will be a tired team on Thursday when they play in New Jersey after playing in Washington the night before in the battle of the two nation’s capitals. Ottawa has assigned Matt Carkner to the minors on a conditioning stint following his recovery from knee surgery in September. The Senators recalled Nikita Filatov from the minors, and he promptly went out and suffered a broken nose so his prospects are not at an all-time high at this point in time. Upon recalling Filatov, the Senators reassigned forward Stephane Da Costa to Binghamton of the AHL.

 


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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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