Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Milan Michalek an All-Star?

Friday, January 06, 2012


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, vs. Anaheim, vs. Los Angeles

 

Notes

The Oilers play three times this week and Edmonton will be playing a tired team in all three while they are rested. All three scenarios are the same as the visiting team play in Calgary the night before and then travel to Edmonton. They take on New Jersey Wednesday, Anaheim on Friday and the Kings on Sunday. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins suffered a shoulder injury and will be lost to the Oilers for three-four weeks. Corey Potter is heating up again with a goal and six points in his last six games. He got off to a great start but an injury halted his production until now. Tom Gilbert suffered a lower body injury when hit from behind by Daniel Carcillo, a hit that got Carcillo a seven game suspension. Gilbert is day-to-day and the Oilers recalled Colten Teubert to take his place.  

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Panthers only play twice this week, for the second time in a row. They signed veteran John Madden this past week and he should be a great bottom-six forward for the Panthers for the rest of the season. I suggest benching all your Panthers with the exception of Kris Versteeg, Stephen Weiss, Tomas Fleischmann and Brian CampbellJose Theodore is out two weeks with a strained right MCL so the Panthers recalled their goalie of the future Jacob Markstrom to share the net with Scott Clemmensen. Krys Barch was suspended one game for a racial slur directed at the Canadiens P.K. Subban although Barch re-iterated time-and-time again that he had no racial intention. The NHL agreed and said the suspension would have been five-ten games if it was.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Dallas, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights and four times this week so look for Jonathan Bernier to play once in place of Jonathan Quick. Quick was the third star of the week with three wins as he allowed only four goals. The Kings will be tired on Sunday when they face the rested Oilers after playing the Flames in Calgary Saturday. Slava Voynov is out with an upper body injury and while he has been skating, he will not return until he has a full practice. The Kings are 11-0 when scoring at least three goals. Simon Gagne does have a concussion.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ Chicago, @ St. Louis

 

Notes

Devin Setoguchi returned to action this past week after missing 12 games with a knee injury and found himself on the top line with Dany Heatley and Mikko Koivu. He has only 13 points in 29 games so he could be available in some pools. The Wild are in a terrible slump with a 1-6-3 record in their last 10 games, scoring only 16 times. Jarod Palmer scored his first NHL goal and then was injured in the same game prompting the Wild to place him on injured reserve with an upper body injury. Marco Scandella was minus-six in his previous four games so coach Mike Yeo made him a healthy scratch.

 

MONTREAL

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Boston, vs. Ottawa, vs. New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Habs play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once in place of Carey Price.  Look for Brian Gionta to return to the Montreal lineup on January 7 from a groin injury. Lars Eller had the best game of his young career on Wednesday as he scored four goals and added an assist to double his goal count on the season to eight. P.K. Subban and Tomas Plekanec traded punches during a Montreal practice on Monday and that set the twitter world on fire. GM Pierre Gauthier apologized to the province of Quebec (well to anyone who may have been offended) for hiring a coach who was not bilingual. Hmmm.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Colorado, vs. Philadelphia

 

Notes

The Predators play a home-and-home series against the Avalanche this week so expect to see Jordin Tootoo and Brian McGrattan. Great news for the Predators as Shea Weber returned to action on Thursday after missing four games with a concussion. It was even stranger since coach Barry Trotz said earlier in the week that Weber would be out indefinitely. Colin Wilson was scheduled to return Thursday but did not and is out with an upper body injury.  Kevin Klein returned from missing six games with the flu and scored once while adding an assist as he had the best offensive game in his NHL career.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Winnipeg

 

Notes

The Devils are on the Canadian Prairies for all three games this week. They will be tired on Wednesday in Edmonton after playing in Calgary Tuesday night. Travis Zajac missed one game this past week and could miss more as his Achilles tendon has been sore of late. He had surgery in the off-season and could miss a few games here and there. Martin Brodeur has yet to play both ends of back-to-back games this season and likely won’t this season. Andy Greene is expected to get out of his walking boot in the next day or so and is likely two weeks away from returning.  Adam Henrique had five goals and 13 points in 14 December games and was named the NHL’s rookie of the month.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Buffalo

 

Notes

The Islanders are home for all three games this week. They are the rested team Saturday when they play the Sabres who face Toronto Friday night. Matt Moulson had an amazing month of December with 18 points. Kyle Okposo is playing extremely well on the top line with Moulson and John Tavares and has forced the Islanders to move P.A. Parenteau to the second line, much to the chagrin of Parenteau’s fantasy owners. Evgeni Nabokov has taken advantage of injuries to Al Montoya and Rick DiPietro and is establishing himself as the Islanders top netminder, or at least until they deal him.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, vs. Ottawa, @ Toronto, @ Montreal

 

Notes

The Rangers play four times this week, including three games in four nights so expect to see Martin Biron play once in place of Henrik Lundqvist.  They will be the rested team on Saturday when they face a tired Maple Leafs team who are in Buffalo the previous night. The Rangers received great news for the Winter Classic when Marc Staal returned to action for the first time this season as he has been out with a concussion. Wojtek Wolski has been practicing and is close to returning after undergoing hernia surgery.  

 

OTTAWA

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ New York Rangers, @ Montreal

 

Notes

Four Senators were named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as the fans in Ottawa voted early and often. Erik Karlsson is having an outstanding season and leads all defensemen in points with 37. Chris Phillips suffered a mild concussion and is out of action. Robin Lehner was suspended for three AHL games for abusing an official when he tried to go at it with opposing goalie Jeff Deslauriers. He was intercepted by the officials and then tried to return to the ice after going off prompting the suspension.


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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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