Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Sabres do well at the Deadline

Friday, March 02, 2012


  

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ San Jose, vs. Montreal, @ Colorado

 

Notes

The Oilers play four times this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Devan Dubnyk and a healthy Nikolai Khabibulin split the goaltending duties.  They will be tired Tuesday when they face the rested Sharks in San Jose after playing in Anaheim Monday. The Oilers dealt defenseman Tom Gilbert to Minnesota and received rearguard Nick Schultz in return. Schultz will provide veteran leadership for the young Oilers. Ales Hemsky was taken off the trade market when he and the Oilers agreed to a two-year/$10 million contract. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finally returned to action Saturday after missing 20 of the previous 22 games with shoulder woes.  Taylor Hall has been receiving laser treatments for the blood spot in his eye and there should be no long-term scarring.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Carolina

 

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 are in Pittsburgh Friday to take on the Penguins after playing in Philadelphia Thursday. The Panthers were quiet at the deadline, picking up Jerred Smithson the previous Friday. Kris Versteeg is out of action with a lower body injury and Tomas Kopecky is questionable with an undisclosed injury. Wojtek Wolski who was a healthy scratch for most of his time with the Rangers, is now playing on the first line in Florida with the injury to Versteeg.  

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ Columbus, @ Detroit, @ Chicago

 

Notes

The Kings play four times this week including three in four so Jonathan Bernier should be between the pipes at least once in place of Jonathan Quick. They will be tired on Friday in Detroit as they are in Columbus Thursday. The Kings did not do anything on Monday but they made a big splash the week before, getting Jeff Carter in exchange for Jack Johnson. The trade allowed the Kings to bring up Slava Voynov from the minors, and he has the ability to be just as good as Johnson. The move also forced the Kings to send Andrei Loktionov to the minors to make room for Carter. Dustin Brown’s name was all over the rumor mill but he remained a King. Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter put Carter and Mike Richards together on a line as the two had been together in Philadelphia since the lockout.   

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Phoenix, vs. Calgary

 

Notes

The Wild made a couple of deals, trading Marek Zidlicky to New Jersey and getting Kurtis Foster, Stephane Veilleux and Nick Palmieri as well as a couple of draft picks. They then traded Nick Schultz to Edmonton for Tom Gilbert as they could use a more offensive defenseman. Josh Harding was rumored to be going places but apparently the asking price was too high for the UFA to be. Mikko Koivu is going to be out at least two more weeks with a shoulder injury as doctors will not allow him to participate in contact drills for that length of time. The Wild signed Charlie Coyle whom they received from San Jose in the Brent Burns deal. Coyle was taken in the first round in the 2010 Entry Draft.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

The Canadiens are in Western Canada all week. They made only one move on Monday as they claimed Brad Staubitz off waivers. He paid immediate dividends for his fantasy owners as he had 17 penalty minutes in his first game for the Habs. Blake Geoffrion became the fourth generation of his family to wear the Montreal Canadiens uniform following in the footsteps of his father Danny, Grandfather “Boom Boom” and Great Grandfather Howie Morenz.  David Desharnais has 14 goals and 49 points thus far this season. Although he was hopeful of a return to action, it appears that Brian Gionta is gone for the season after undergoing surgery to repair torn biceps.

 

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Colorado, vs. Detroit

 

Notes

The Predators will be rested on Saturday when they face a tired Detroit team as the Red Wings host Los Angeles Friday.  The Predators made a big splash by picking up Paul Gaustad from the Sabres, giving up their first round pick in the upcoming draft. They also acquired Andrei Kostitsyn as he joins his brother Sergei in “Music City”. Anders Lindback did not seem all that happy with his teammates as he has lost his last six games in net. Ryan Suter was not dealt, so the Predators remain intact for a good playoff run. Suter is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and Nashville is rolling the dice in that they must think they can re-sign him.

   

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, vs. New York Islanders, @ New York islanders, vs. Philadelphia

 

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 take on the Islanders in a home-and-home series and for the third time in six days so tempers are likely to flare. Look for David Clarkson to add to his penalty minute totals. The Devils made their big move at the trade deadline on Friday, picking up offensive defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Wild. Travis Zajac (Achilles) has started skating again and hopes to return by mid-March. Ilya Kovalchuk leads the Devils with 25 goals (tied with David Clarkson) and 61 points.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. New Jersey, @ New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Islanders play three games in four nights so look for Al Montoya to play at least once in place of Evgeni Nabokov. The Islanders are tired on Sunday when they play the Rangers after playing New Jersey Saturday.  They play New Jersey back-to-back this week and for the third time in six days so tempers could flare. Expect the penalty minute totals of Travis Hamonic and Matt Martin to increase.  Nino Neiderreiter has been a disappointment this season with only one goal in 39 games and a minus-17 rating. The Islanders likely would have been better served if Neiderreiter was sent back to junior hockey and played for Team Canada at the World Juniors. New York Islanders have acquired Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau at the trade deadline, getting rid of Rolston’s salary and picking up a couple of prospects.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@  New Jersey, @ Ottawa, @ Chicago, vs. New York Islanders

 

Notes

The Rangers play four games this week including three in four, so look for Martin Biron to play once for Henrik Lundqvist. They will be rested and playing a tired New York Islanders team on Sunday as the Long Islanders play New Jersey Saturday but will be tired on Friday when they are in Chicago as the Rangers are in Ottawa Thursday. The Rangers were trying to pry Rick Nash loose from Columbus but were likely happy that the Blue Jackets refused their last offer. Ryan Callahan is out with a foot injury and is day-to-day.  They acquired John Scott from the Blackhawks for a fifth round pick and gave up Wojtek Wolski, who had been a healthy scratch on most nights for a third round pick and Mike Vernace. Marian Gaborik hit the 30 goal mark on Thursday.  The game against the Islanders start a seven game home stand.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Buffalo

 

Notes

The Senators picked up goaltender Ben Bishop from St. Louis in exchange for a second round pick as they are unsure as to whether or not Craig Anderson will return from a hand injury. Matt Gilroy has been acquired by Ottawa in exchange for blueliner Brian Lee. They have been starting their goalie of the future Robin Lehner with Anderson out and he has played very well. Erik Karlsson, who is currently the favorite to win the Norris Trophy, was the first star of the week and the second star of the month for February. Karlsson has 18 points in his last eight games and those are superstar numbers.  


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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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