Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

Five Games for the Bruins!

Friday, January 13, 2012


PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. New York Islanders, @ New Jersey, vs. Boston

 

Notes

The Flyers play three games in four nights so expect to see both Sergei Bobrovsky and Ilya Bryzgalov to share the crease this week. There is a goaltending controversy going on in Philadelphia as they signed Bryzgalov to a long-term contract in the off-season thinking that he was the goalie to carry them deep into the playoffs but he has not played well this season with a 3.07 GAA and a .891 save percentage. His record is fine at 16-9-3 but that says more about the team in front of him than his play. Bobrovsky on the other hand is 10-3-1 with a 2.42 GAA and a .921 save percentage. It doesn’t take a PhD to figure out who has played better. Claude Giroux has been in a bit of a slump with one assist and a minus-five rating in his last four games.

 

 PHOENIX

 

Games this week

Vs. Colorado, @ Anaheim, vs. Detroit, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Notes

The Coyotes play four games this week including three games in four days so expect to see Jason LaBarbera to play once in place of Mike Smith. The Coyotes will be tired on Thursday when they face the Red Wings after Phoenix play in Anaheim Wednesday. They will be the rested team on Saturday when Tampa Bay comes to town after the Lightning are in Dallas Friday. Phoenix claimed Gilbert Brule off waivers this past week and they hope that they are the team who can make the former sixth overall pick in the 2005 Entry Draft go, after he failed in Columbus and Edmonton. Martin Hanzal is still out of action but should be close to returning.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ New York Rangers, vs. Montreal, vs. Washington

 

Notes

The Penguins play three games in four nights as part of their four game sked so expect to see Brent Johnson play once instead of Marc-Andre Fleury. They are a tired team Friday against the Canadiens as they are in New York Thursday to play the Rangers. All the injuries the Penguins have absorbed this season have finally taken their toll as Pittsburgh is now ninth in the East after losing six straight. Sidney Crosby is expected to start skating this weekend as he is still out with a concussion. Kris Letang (concussion) is also progressing as he skated on Monday, but there is no timetable for his return. The Penguins thought they lost James Neal for weeks with a broken foot but it turned out to be a deep bruise and the tough winger didn’t miss a game.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Edmonton, vs. Buffalo

 

Notes

The Blues upper management has made the best coaching move in season with Ken Hitchcock taking over from Davis Payne. The Blues were 6-7-0 when the move was made and have gone 19-5-6 since. The only blemish on their record is that they are 0-5 in shootouts this season. Their goaltending tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott have been sensational this season and seem to push each other in a good way. The return of David Perron to the lineup has helped as the forward missed 13 months with a concussion before returning in December. He has 13 points in 18 games thus far although he has gone pointless in his last four.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Ottawa, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

Logan Couture is the only San Jose Shark to make the All-Star game and it will be a nice homecoming as he played his junior hockey with the Ottawa 67s. Ryane Clowe will have to wear a cage for at least part of the upcoming week after injuring his nose Tuesday. Antti Niemi has been great this season with a 19-7-5 record, a 2.26 GAA and a .920 save percentage. James Sheppard is skating again after taking six weeks off. He is trying to return from ATV accident that occurred in September 2010. He has not played since.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Dallas, @ Phoenix

 

Notes

The Lightning will be a rested team on Tuesday when they face a tired Boston squad who are in Florida to play the Panthers on Monday. The Lightning will be on the other side of the coin Saturday when they are tired and face a rested Phoenix team after Tampa Bay play in Dallas Friday. Adam Hall will be out for up to two months with a torn muscle in his forearm and that will hurt your fantasy team if you use him in the faceoff category. The Lightning’s goaltending situation continues to be in shambles with Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon struggling and costing Tampa Bay valuable points. Brett Connolly returned from the World Junior tournament and is plus-two with no points in the three games.

    

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Minnesota, vs. Montreal

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs get a big break in two of their three games this week as they will be the rested team facing a tired opponent. It starts on Tuesday against the Senators as Ottawa faces Winnipeg on Monday, while they face a tired Montreal team Saturday as the Habs play in Pittsburgh on Friday. Jonas Gustavsson owns the net right now as James Reimer patiently awaits his next chance to play. Gustavsson is not making it easy for Ron Wilson to make a change as he has two shutouts in his last three games. Joffrey Lupul was the NHL’s second star of the week with two goals and seven points in three games. He is one of three Maple Leafs going to the All-Star game, as linemate Phil Kessel and defenseman Dion Phaneuf will join him.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. San Jose

 

Notes

The Canucks are the only team in the NHL to play only twice this week, so I suggest benching all your Canucks with the exception of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows up front and Alexander Edler and Kevin Bieksa on the blueline. David Booth is close to returning as he has medical clearance from the Canucks medical staff but still doesn’t feel comfortable to come back from a knee injury. Sami Salo could be out for a while with a concussion courtesy of Brad Marchand who was suspended five games for his misdeed. Alexander Edler has seven goals and 32 points this season including 17 points on the power play.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, @ Montreal, @ Carolina, @ Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Capitals play four games this week including three in four. Michal Neuvirth should play at least once for starter Tomas Vokoun. The Capitals are rested on Tuesday when they play a tired Islanders team who face off against Nashville Monday, while the tables are turned Wednesday when Washington plays a rested Montreal team. The Capitals placed the injury-prone Mike Green on the long-term injured reserve list, making Green ineligible to return from his nagging groin injury until February 1. Nicklas Backstrom is out with a head injury. Brooks Laich replaced him at center on the top line.

 

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ New Jersey, vs. Buffalo, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Jets play three games in four nights so Chris Mason should get at least one start in place of Ondrej Pavelec. They are tired on Tuesday when they play New Jersey after facing Ottawa on Monday, but they are rested Thursday when they are home to Buffalo who are in Chicago Wednesday and are rested once again Saturday in against the Panthers, who are also playing the Blackhawks the previous night. Dustin Byfuglien is still out with a lower body injury and now Zach Bogosian is out with a lower body injury. Blake Wheeler leads the Jets with 32 points, one ahead of Evander Kane. Wheeler also has a plus-10 rating, giving him plenty of fantasy value.



Michael Finewax is entering his 10th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Mike Finewax



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis

    Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis
  •  
    WR: S. Watkins or T. Williams?

    WR: S. Watkins or T. Williams?
  •  
    Levitan: Ryan or Foles at QB?

    Levitan: Ryan or Foles at QB?
  •  
    Braxton Miller NFL projection

    Braxton Miller NFL projection
  •  
    Levitan: Cameron vs. Witten

    Levitan: Cameron vs. Witten
  •  
    Levitan: Gerhart vs. Morris?

    Levitan: Gerhart vs. Morris?
  •  
    Levitan: Romo vs. Brady?

    Levitan: Romo vs. Brady?
  •  
    Levitan: Murray or Foster?

    Levitan: Murray or Foster?