Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Final Quarter

Friday, February 24, 2012


  

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. St. Louis, vs. Dallas

 

Notes

Ales Hemsky is looking for a four-five year deal, similar to the one Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu signed and if the Oilers are unable to sign him then he should be gone by 3:00 pm ET on Monday which is the trade deadline. Corey Potter returned to action Tuesday after missing three games with a groin injury. Head coach Tom Renney still is unable to be behind the bench for games since being hit with a puck on February 6, an incident that caused a concussion. Nikolai Khabibulin is out seven-ten days with a groin injury that should go past the trade deadline. Yann Danis has been called up in the interim to back up Devan Dubnyk.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Toronto. @ Winnipeg, vs. Nashville, vs. Ottawa

 

Notes

The Panthers play three games over four days so expect to see Scott Clemmensen play once in place of Jose Theodore. The Panthers will be tired when they host the Senators on Sunday as they entertain Nashville Saturday. Ed Jovanovski returned to action on Thursday from a broken hand as he missed over five weeks with the injury. Jason Garrison has missed the last five games with an ankle injury but is close to returning. Matt Bradley is out with a concussion. John Madden is out two weeks with a lower body injury. Stephen Weiss is now the all-time Florida Panther leader in career games with 613.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@. Nashville, @ Minnesota, vs. Anaheim

 

Notes

The Kings will be tired on Tuesday when they are in Minnesota to face the rested Wilde after playing in Nashville the previous night. They will be rested on Saturday when they are home to the Ducks as Anaheim takes on Calgary at home Friday. They pulled the trigger on a deal for a goal scorer on Thursday evening by picking up Jeff Carter from the Blue Jackets. They gave up former third overall pick, Jack Johnson and their first round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft but they badly need a goal scorer as they are the lowest scoring team in the NHL. Dustin Brown could be traded if the Kings get a top four defenseman and a good prospect.  Jonathan Quick has slumped of late as he is 1-4-2 in his last seven although to be fair, two of the losses were 1-0. Dustin Penner just celebrated his favorite holiday of the year as it was ‘Pancake Tuesday’ this past week. 

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Montreal, @ Detroit, vs. Colorado

 

Notes

The Wild play three games in four nights so look for Josh Harding to play once in place of Niklas Backstrom. They will be rested twice this week, first on Tuesday when they are home to the Kings who are in Nashville Monday, and then on Sunday when they take on the Colorado Avalanche who are home to the Penguins on Saturday. They are tired Friday when they are in Detroit to face the rested Red Wings as Minnesota play in Montreal Thursday. Josh Harding is out with an undisclosed injury so the Wild recalled Matthew Hackett to back up Niklas BackstromWarren Peters was suspended one game for his hit on David Backes.

           

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, vs. Minnesota, vs. Toronto

 

Notes

Andrei Markov (knee) has been out all season but is expected to accompany the team on the road trip that begins on Friday. Lars Eller is seeing fourth line duty with Louis Leblanc and Aaron Palushaj. Petteri Nokelainen could return to the Habs lineup as he is now skating. He has been out of the lineup for the last five weeks with an undisclosed ailment. Scott Gomez doubled his goal output to two this season on Feb. 17.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Carolina, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Predators will be tired on Tuesday when they face a rested Carolina team as Nashville plays the Kings on Monday.  Patric Hornqvist has been out for almost two weeks with an upper body injury but could return on Saturday Feb. 25. Ryan Ellis has been a healthy scratch the last two games and could be headed back to the minors as he needs to play a lot. Hal Gill was acquired from Montreal as the Predators parted with local boy Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a second round pick. Ryan Suter has been hot in February with two goals and eight points in nine games. Sergei Kostityn has been seeing time on the point for the second power play unit and that should help his fantasy value.

   

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ Boston, @ Washington, @ New York islanders

 

Notes

The Devils play four matches this week including three in four so look for Johan Hedberg to get one start in place of the veteran Martin Brodeur. They are the tired team twice this week, once on Monday when they are at Madison Square Garden to take on the Rangers after playing Tampa Bay Sunday, and on Friday in Washington after playing the Bruins Thursday. They are rested Sunday when they play the Islanders who take on Boston Saturday. Kurtis Foster is expected back in the Devils lineup after missing a couple of games with a sore back. Rookie Adam Larsson (back) has been skating and could return on Friday as well as Foster. David Clarkson is having a terrific fantasy season for his owners as he has 23 goals and 33 points to go with 97 penalty minutes thus far.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Philadelphia, @ Boston, vs. New Jersey

 

Notes

The Islanders play four times this week including three games in four so look for Al Montoya to play at least once in place of Evgeni Nabokov who has been fighting off the flu this past week. The Islanders are tired on Sunday when they play New Jersey after playing in Boston Saturday.  P. A. Parenteau is having a great fantasy season with 54 points and 75 penalty minutes this season. Evgeni Nabokov has won eight of his last 11 starts and has given up only 17 goals in that span. Travis Hamonic is expected to return on Friday after missing almost three weeks with a broken nose.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Boston

 

Notes

The Rangers are rested twice this week and the tired team once. They will be rested and playing a tired New Jersey team on Monday as the Devils play the Lightning Sunday. They are tired on Friday when playing the Lightning in Tampa Bay as they are in Carolina Thursday and get to be the rested team once again on Sunday when they face the Bruins who are home to the Islanders Saturday. Artem Anisimov was in a terrible slump earlier this season but has four goals and seven points in his last nine games playing with Marian Gaborik and Derek Stepan. Wojtek Wolski has been a healthy scratch since January 15.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. Chicago, @ Florida

 

Notes

The Senators are rested on Sunday when they face a tired Florida squad as the Panthers are home to Nashville Saturday.  Craig Anderson cut his hand while cooking and there is no word yet on when he will return. Erik Karlsson has been outstanding this season and is definitely a Norris Trophy candidate as he has 13 goals and 47 assists with a quarter of the season yet to go.  The Senators are unlikely to deal Filip Kuba at the deadline despite his impending UFA status. Jason Spezza was the third star last week with seven points in two games. Zenon Konopka has been a healthy scratch the last six games.


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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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