Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Giroux or Hartnell?

Friday, December 09, 2011


This is the last week for trades to be made in the NHL as a moratorium will take place from December 19 through the Christmas break.

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund will sell 75 percent of MLSEL to Canadian telecommunication giants BCE and Rogers with current owner Larry Tanenbaum acquiring the last five percent of that to bring his total to 25 percent. The deal will be completed in the summer and include the Toronto Raptors and all their real estate holdings as well as Toronto FC of the MSL. The deal will pay the pension fund $1.32 billion.

 

Had a discussion with my brother Larry over who was the better fantasy player, Claude Giroux or Scott Hartnell.  Your thoughts are welcome.

 

James O’Brien has been writing a great column, The Daily Dose, usually done from Monday to Friday during the regular season. 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 DECEMBER 12-18

 

4 Games – Calgary, Columbus, New Jersey

 

3 Games - Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Edmonton

 

Calgary plays all four games away from home.

 

Dallas, Los Angeles, New Jersey and Vancouver play three times away from home.

 

Columbus, Florida, Montreal, Nashville and Winnipeg play three games at home this week.

 

Follow me on twitter!

 

INJURIES

 

Uh oh. Sidney Crosby collided with teammate Chris Kunitz, or maybe it was the collision with David Krejci later in the game on Tuesday, and will sit out at least two games to make sure he doesn’t have any concussion issues.

 

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

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ Chicago, @ Winnipeg

 

Notes

The Ducks play three games in four nights so look for Dan Ellis to get one start in place of Jonas Hiller. The Ducks will be tired on Saturday as they face a rested Jets team in Winnipeg after playing in Chicago the previous night. Teemu Selanne gave Bobby Ryan a pep talk before Tuesday’s game and it worked wonders as Ryan scored twice in a 3-2 win.  Enforcer George Parros is back after missing a month with an eye injury. Matt Beleskey is back on the first line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry after Bobby Ryan briefly returned to the top unit.

                                                                                                      

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Ottawa, @ Philadelphia

 

Notes

Tyler Seguin is off to a tremendous start but there was a definite blip this past week when he was made a healthy scratch by coach Claude Julian for missing a team meeting and breakfast, and apparently it was not the first time that he has been out late the previous night.  The Bruins went into Winnipeg riding a 15-game unbeaten streak (14-0-1) but were finally defeated in regulation for the first time since the end of October. The Bruins have five players in the top ten in plus/minus, led by Seguin and Zdeno Chara who are plus-19 heading into action on Thursday. The other three are Chris Kelly, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron with Johnny Boychuk just behind in 11th.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Toronto, @ Pittsburgh

 

Notes

Drew Stafford was mired in a terrible goal scoring slump before potting his first in 14 games on Wednesday.   Ryan Miller was not at all happy after getting run over by Jordin Tootoo on Saturday, a hit that got Tootoo suspended for two. Tyler Ennis is back after missing a month of action with an ankle injury. Jason Pominville has 11 points on the power play including three goals. Patrik Kaleta leads the Sabres in penalty minutes with 34 despite missing seven of 23 games thus far.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ Chicago

 

Notes

Calgary plays all four on the road, including three games in four nights, Henrik Karlsson is out six-eight weeks with a tear in his MCL so Leland Irving could get a start in relief of Miikka Kiprusoff this week. The Flames will be tired on Friday in Miami when they face a rested Florida squad as Calgary will play Tampa Bay Thursday. Brendan Morrison played extremely well as a winger on the top line Tuesday with a couple of goals and four points and will now center the second line. David Moss is getting closer to returning to action from a foot injury. Curtis Glencross sat out Tuesday’s game with the flu but is safe to start this week as he had a goal and an assist in his return on Thursday.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Winnipeg

 

Notes

Mike Murphy became the first NHL goalie to make his debut with a loss and not allow a goal. He came into the Calgary game with nine minutes left, stopped a couple of shots and was pulled when the Hurricanes were down by a goal. The Flames scored into the empty net, but Carolina scored after that, giving Murphy the loss. Quite strange. Joni Pitkanen is out with an upper body injury. Eric Staal is second in the NHL in shots on goal with 107 heading into Thursday’s action and has been coming on scoring-wise of late with three goals and eight points in his last six games after picking up only 10 in his first 24 games of the season. Carolina traded Tomas Kaberle on Friday to Montreal in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek. Hopefully the deal will help both teams.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. Anaheim, vs. Calgary

 

Notes

Chicago will be rested on Wednesday when they are in Minnesota waiting for the Wild who take on the Jets in Winnipeg the previous night.  Jonathan Toews is white-hot with 13 points in his last seven games. Corey Crawford is having his troubles in his second NHL season. While his 12 wins are tied for sixth overall in the NHL, his 3.00 GAA and .896 save percentage are hurting you fantasy-wise. Marcus Kruger continues to play on the second line alongside Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp, despite a goose egg in points in three games. The Blackhawks penalty killing is killing them as they rank fourth last in the NHL at 76.9 percent.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ San Jose, vs. Washington

 

Notes

The Avalanche play the Sharks in back-to-back games so tempers may flare in both games. Look for Cody McLeod and Shane O'Brien (no relation to Rotoworld’s James) to be involved in fisticuffs if there is any trouble in either game. Paul Stastny is likely out of action with a torso injury. Kevin Porter could be suspended for his hit on the Canuck’s David Booth who will be out of action for four-six weeks with a sprained MCL. Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been outstanding in limited action as he has the second-best GAA in the NHL at 1.81 and a .925 save percentage heading into action on Thursday.  Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda are minus-12 and minus-16 respectively.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Tampa Bay, @ St. Louis

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play four games this week, including three in four nights so expect to see Curtis Sanford and Steve Mason split the net. Kristian Huselius played only two games for the Blue Jackets before suffering a groin injury this past week that will keep him out of the lineup for the next four-six weeks. Derick Brassard, who had been a healthy scratch in eight of his last 12 games, was placed on the second line with Antoine Vermette and Ryan Johansen Thursday. It sure was easy to get R.J. Umberger out of his slump. The Blue Jackets threatened to drop him to the fourth line on Tuesday after he had only two points in his last 14 games and he responded with a goal and an assist in the shootout win.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ New York Islanders, @ New Jersey

 

Notes

Dallas finishes off a five game road trip as they fly from California to play three games in four nights in the New York metropolitan area. Kari Lehtonen is still out with a pulled groin so Richard Bachman could get a start in goal in place of Andrew Raycroft. They could be tired on Friday when they play the Devils after facing the Islanders Thursday. The Stars received good news when Trevor Daley, Brenden Morrow and Alex Goligoski all returned from various ailments to the lineup on Thursday. Eric Nystrom is having a career year with 10 goals in his last 16 games after only four all of last season.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Nashville, vs. Los Angeles

 

Notes

Valtteri Filppula missed only one game with a cut above his ankle but he was very lucky that it wasn’t more serious. He is having a great season with nine goals and 23 points in 26 games. Pavel Datsyuk has six goals and 16 points in his last 11 games. Jimmy Howard is first in the NHL with 16 wins and is having a stellar season with a GAA of 1.89 and a .930 save percentage. Todd Bertuzzi has found a home on the top line with Datsyuk and Johan Franzen and coach Mike Babcock couldn’t be happier. Nicklas Lidstrom continues to amaze all at age 41 as he is fourth in points on Detroit with 19.


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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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