Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

Sabres do well at the Deadline

Friday, March 02, 2012


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Florida, @ Toronto, @ New Jersey

 

Notes

The Flyers were quiet on Monday after acquiring Pavel Kubina from the Lightning last week. James van Riemsdyk was pleased that he remained in Philadelphia as his name was being heard in rumors about possible deals. Claude Giroux continues to show why the Flyers thought he should be the number one center as he remains third in scoring with 75 points. His potential allowed the Flyers to deal Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and garner some youth in Brayden Schenn, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier. Scott Hartnell leads the team with 31 goals and has 59 points, his best season ever in the NHL with almost a quarter of the season still left.

 

 PHOENIX

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Columbus, vs. Minnesota, vs. San Jose

 

Notes

The Coyotes play four times this week including three games in four nights so Jason LaBarbera could get one start in place of the white-hot Mike Smith. The Coyotes will be tired on Tuesday when they play the rested Blue Jackets as they take on the Penguins Monday. Phoenix was quiet at the deadline and since they were the hottest team in the NHL, they decided to keep everyone that got them there. Mike Smith was the first star for the month of February as he was perfect in 11 starts with a 1.34 GAA and a .952 save percentage as the Coyotes went from pretenders to contenders in the Western Conference. Shane Doan hit the 20 goal mark for the 11th time in 12 seasons.

  

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix,  vs. Toronto, vs. Florida, vs. Boston

 

Notes

The Penguins play all four games at home this week, which is a rarity in the NHL. They also get a huge break as they are the rested team three times while facing a tired opponent. They face a tired Toronto team Wednesday after the Maple Leafs host Boston on Tuesday, a tired Florida squad Friday as the Panthers are in Philadelphia the night before and take on Boston Sunday as the Bruins host Washington Saturday. Kris Letang is out with a concussion suffered at the hands (or body) of Eric Nystrom. It was thought that the Penguins would be interested in a backup goalie at the trade deadline but they stayed quiet. Evgeni Malkin continues to lead the NHL in points with 79 points including 37 goals which is second in the NHL to Steve Stamkos.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Anaheim, vs. Columbus, @ Columbus

 

Notes

The Blues play three games in four nights so look for Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott to share the net. They play a home-and-home series against the Blue Jackets so look for Ryan Reaves, David Backes and Chris Stewart to add to their minute count. St. Louis was quiet at the deadline but they have one of the best squads in the National Hockey League as they are a top four team in points. Jason Arnott has been a solid acquisition as they picked up the veteran leader in the off-season. He has been their stud goal scorer on the power play with six goals to lead the team, and 14 points to trail Alex Pietrangelo by two. David Backes continues to be one of the top all-round fantasy studs as he has 18 goals, 45 points, a plus-18 rating and 91 penalty minutes. The Columbus game is the start of a seven game road trip.  

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Dallas, @ Phoenix

 

Notes

The Sharks are rested on Tuesday when they take on a tired Edmonton team who are in Anaheim Monday.  The Sharks made a good deal on Monday as they acquired T.J. Galiardi, Daniel Winnik, and a seventh round pick from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Jamie McGinn and prospects Mike Connelly and Michael Sgarbossa. The move was a great one for the Sharks, especially for the playoffs. Logan Couture is day-to-day with a lower body injury. After being out for over 18 months, James Sheppard, who was injured in an ATV accident, is on a conditioning stint with Worcester. Martin Havlat (torn hamstring) began skating last week and is hoping to return by mid-March.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ Washington, vs. Carolina

 

Notes

The Lightning made three moves at the deadline, getting defenseman Keith Aulie from Toronto in exchange for Carter Ashton and then dealing Matt Gilroy to Ottawa for Brian Lee. They started off the day picking up Mike Commodore from Detroit for a conditional seventh round pick. The Lightning need help on the back end and in net and did something to address the issue on the blueline. Teddy Purcell was the second star of the week while Steve Stamkos was the third star for the month of February. The Lightning are hoping that Vincent Lecavalier is back for the Carolina game from a non-displaced fracture of his hand. Victor Hedman has been out of action since Saturday with an upper body injury that has not been diagnosed, but are hoping that he returns before the end of the season which makes everyone think ‘concussion’.

     

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Philadelphia, @ Washington

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs will be tired on Wednesday when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins after entertaining the Bruins Tuesday. They picked up former first round pick Carter Ashton on Monday, giving up Keith Aulie to Tampa Bay, and then made a minor deal, swapping Dale Mitchell for Matt Fraser. The Maple Leafs are 1-9-1 in their last 11 and have lost six in a row, and there seems to be a consensus among Toronto fans that coach Ron Wilson must go. It was thought that the Maple Leafs would be looking for a goaltender at the deadline but either the price was too high or GM Brian Burke didn’t feel the necessity to make a deal. Either way, he gave both Jonas Gustavsson and James Reimer a vote of confidence, but they continue to give up weak goals, at least once a game.  

 

 VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Montreal

 

Notes

The Canucks are in the midst of an eight game homestand. They made a couple of minor deals with Columbus and Buffalo and a big one with the Sabres in which they picked up Zack Kassian in exchange for Cody Hodgson. Kassian is the power forward they have coveted and hope that he will be a force in the playoffs and give Vancouver the toughness that was lacking last season. They also picked up Marc-Andre Gragnani from Buffalo, giving up Alexander Sulzer while they also got a fourth line center who is very good on faceoffs in Samuel Pahlsson for a couple of fourth rounders. In a deal of minor leaguers, Vancouver acquired Andrew Gordon from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Sebastian Erixon. The Canucks seem ready for another Cup run.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Boston, vs. Toronto

 

Notes

Washington plays four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth to share the net. The Capitals placed Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) on long-term injured reserve Monday and it was thought that they were freeing up cap space to make a big deal but nothing materialized. They recalled Keith Aucoin from the minors. He usually is capable of picking up a few points so he could be a nice pick up in deep pools. Mike Knuble continues to be a healthy scratch.  

 

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ Vancouver, @ Calgary

 

Notes

Winnipeg will be a tired team on Friday when in Calgary to face the rested Flames as they are in Vancouver Thursday. The Jets picked up Grant Clitsome off waivers from the Blue Jackets and the move allowed them to trade pending UFA Johnny Oduya to Chicago for a second and third round pick in 2013. Zach Bogosian returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing seven games with a foot injury and his presence will certainly help. The Jets have seven possible UFA’s Jim Slater, Kyle Wellwood, Tim Stapleton, Tanner Glass, Randy Jones, Mark Flood and goaltender Chris Mason but GM Kevin Cheveldayof said that he would not begin negotiations with any of them until after the season.  



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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    RotoPat: Week 13 Rankings

    RotoPat: Week 13 Rankings
  •  
    Levitan: Thanksgiving options

    Levitan: Thanksgiving options
  •  
    Levitan: Week 13 start options

    Levitan: Week 13 start options
  •  
    Wednesday

    Wednesday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    NBA 6-Pack: Tuesday

    NBA 6-Pack: Tuesday
  •  
    Levitan: Week 13 Waiver Wire

    Levitan: Week 13 Waiver Wire
  •  
    Tuesday

    Tuesday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Bales: Inside the Numbers

    Bales: Inside the Numbers