Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Close To Trade Deadline Time

Friday, February 17, 2012


The trade deadline is on February 27 and tune in to Rotoworld for all the latest trades and moves.

 

I’ll be doing a live chat that afternoon and I will be joined by some special guests so feel free to ask anything fantasy-hockey wise.

 

It should be a wild day with many moves not being announced until after the 3:00PM ET deadline as the moves will have to go through the league office.

 

Ales Hemsky is one name who has been rumored to be headed elsewhere and don’t be surprised if Columbus pulls something off as Rick Nash and Jeff Carter are said to be in play.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 20-26

 

4 Games – Chicago, Dallas, New York Islanders, Ottawa, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton,  Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto, Winnipeg

 

 

San Jose and Vancouver play all four games on the road.

 

Calgary, Carolina, Nashville, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Winnipeg play three games at home this week.

 

Boston, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Washington play three games away from home this week.

 

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INJURIES

 

Tuomo Ruutu is out three-four weeks with an upper body injury.

 

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

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Carolina, vs. Chicago

 

Notes

The Ducks are rested Sunday when they play a tired Blackhawks team in Anaheim after Chicago plays the Kings Saturday night. The Ducks are a far superior team with Jason Blake in the lineup as they are 15-3-3 with him active and 9-21-6 when he has been on the shelf. They recalled Jeff Deslauriers to backup Jonas Hiller and sent Iiro Tarkki to the minors. Dan Ellis should return shortly from a groin injury and will take Deslauriers spot on the bench. Coach Bruce Boudreau has the Ducks within six points of a playoff spot after being 20 points out less than two months ago. After a slow start, Corey Perry has 28 goals. Teemu Selanne tied Brendan Shanahan for 12th place overall on the all-time goal scoring list with his 656th goal Wednesday.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Buffalo, @ Ottawa

 

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights so expect to see Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask share the net. The Bruins are tired Saturday against the Senators in Ottawa after playing the Sabres in Buffalo Friday.  David Krejci was demoted but was reinstated on the top line Tuesday in between Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley replacing Chris Kelly. Nathan Horton is still not close to returning to the lineup after suffering a concussion. Peverley took a knee-on-knee hit Wednesday and his status is still up in the air. Benoit Pouliot scored his ninth goal of the season Wednesday, his first goal in 16 games.  

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

 vs. New York Islanders, vs. Boston, @ New York Rangers

 

Notes

Buffalo are rested on Tuesday when they face the Islanders who play the Senators Monday night.  Marc-Andre Gragnini is not getting a lot of ice time. He was a healthy scratch for six games before playing only 5:12 minutes on Tuesday with 2:01 coming on the power play. Jason Pominville has already passed his point total of last season as he has 52 with a third of the season still remaining. Ville Leino has been a huge disappointment with only four goals and 15 points in 45 games this season. Ryan Miller played in 10 straight games in goal before Jhonas Enroth got the start Thursday. Miller has been great of late giving up only 19 goals in the 10 games despite 5-4-1 record.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Phoenix, vs. Philadelphia

 

Notes

 The top line of Alex Tanguay, Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla have been red hot of late with 12 goals and 24 points in their last six games. Miikka Kiprusoff has also been sensational with a 4-0-1 record in his last five going into action on Thursday. Michael Cammalleri was moved to center on the second unit with injuries to Blair Jones and Mikael Backlund, a position he really hasn’t played since the lockout when he was in the AHL. Curtis Glencross (MCL) is hoping to return by early March while David Moss (cracked ankle) could begin skating this week.  Roman Horak was recalled with the injury to Jones and promptly scored his first goal in 35 games.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Anaheim, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Hurricanes could have trouble dealing UFA-to-be Tuomo Ruutu after he suffered an upper body injury that will keep him out of the lineup for three weeks, including through the trade deadline. Carolina recalled Drayson Bowman and sent Jerome Samson to the minors on Tuesday and recalled Samson again on Thursday. Carolina has never won a game in Denver and the streak continued last week in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Avs. Eric Staal has 44 points, the only Hurricane over 30 points. Staal and Chad LaRose are a team worse minus-18 this season.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Dallas, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play four games this week, including three games in four nights so expect to see Ray Emery play at least once in place of Corey Crawford.  The Blackhawks will be tired on Sunday in Anaheim as they play the Kings on Saturday. Chicago finally broke a nine game losing streak on Thursday defeating the Rangers 4-2,  and while Joel Quenneville’s job is not in jeopardy at this time, another few losses in a row could change all that. GM Stan Bowman says that the Blackhawks are not in the trade market for a new goaltender so one of (if not both) Crawford or Emery needs to get hot and quickly as Chicago is teetering close to being out of a playoff spot. There are rumors out there that state the Blackhawks and Sabres are interested in a Patrick Kane for Ryan Miller deal but we find that hard to believe. Jonathan Toews had a goal and assist Thursday after going pointless in his previous five. 

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Columbus, @ Detroit

 

Notes

The Avalanche are rested Wednesday when they host the Kings who play in Phoenix Tuesday, but they are tired Saturday in Detroit to face the rested Red Wings as they are in Columbus Friday. Peter Mueller and T.J. Galiardi both suffered torso injuries on Wednesday with Galiardi’s occurring during the game. Jean-Sebastien Giguere suffered a groin injury Wednesday but doesn’t think it is serious. Matt Duchene is starting to practice with the Avs as he has been out since December 29th with a knee injury. There is no current timetable for his return. Milan Hejduk passed Adam Foote this past week for second place in games played with Colorado but still trails the leader Joe Sakic by over 400 games. Hejduk has only scored four times in the last three months and has not missed a game.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Colorado, @ Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets will be rested on Sunday when they are in Pittsburgh to play the Penguins who take on the Lightning at home Saturday. Steve Mason has won two of his last three as he has replaced the injured Curtis Sanford (back) as the starter. He could be getting his last chance to prove himself in Columbus as he is currently 45th in the NHL in wins, save percentage and GAA. James Wisniewski has played well for fantasy owners since his return three games ago as the defenseman has two goals and four points to go with a plus-three rating. The big news in Columbus is that Rick Nash has apparently agreed to waive the no-movement clause in his contract to a select few teams. While he could get moved before the trade deadline, it is also a possibility that he could be moved in the off-season.  Jeff Carter is also on the block and Calgary has been mentioned as a possible destination.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

 @ Montreal, @ Chicago, vs. Minnesota, vs. Vancouver  

 

Notes

The Stars play three games in four nights so Richard Bachman should play once in place of Kari Lehtonen. Sheldon Souray has missed the last four games with a bruised foot and has not started skating. Nicklas Grossman was dealt to the Flyers on Thursday as the Stars could not or would not sign him and he was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Jamie Benn played his 200th game for the Stars this past week and has 145 points thus far, the most by a Star in his first 200 games since they moved to Dallas in 1993. Loui Eriksson and Brenden Morrow lead the Stars in power play goals with four.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. Vancouver, vs. Colorado

 

Notes

Detroit will be rested on Saturday when they face Colorado who are in Columbus Friday.

Patrick Eaves is still suffering from concussion-like symptoms and has been been out since November 25 with a broken jaw and the concussion. Henrik Zetterberg will miss Feb. 17 game with a lower body injury, and Tomas Tatar was recalled to take his place. Jimmy Howard could return to action as early as Feb. 19 as he attempts to return from a broken finger. Daniel Cleary has been getting his knee drained of late and is still on the shelf. Joey MacDonald has been terrific in place of Jimmy Howard and it would not be a surprise if Ty Conklin was sent to the minors with MacDonald remaining with the big club.

  


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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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