Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Stamkos is Outstanding

Friday, March 16, 2012


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ Columbus

 

Notes

The Oilers play four times this week, all on the road, including three games in four nights. so expect to see Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin split the goaltending duties.  They will be tired Friday when they are in Florida after playing in Tampa Bay the previous night. Ryan Smyth has been a fantasy dud of late with only 20 points in his last 48 games although overall he is not too shabby as he started off with 24 points in his first 22 games. Taylor Hall is up to 27 goals and should easily surpass the 30 goal mark for the first time in his career.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Carolina, vs. Edmonton, vs. New York Islanders

 

Notes

The Panthers play three games in four nights so look for Jose Theodore to play three games with Scott Clemmensen getting the crease once. The Panthers will rely on Theodore down the stretch. They are tired on Wednesday in Carolina after playing the Flyers on Tuesday. They are rested twice this week, Friday versus the Oilers who play in Tampa Bay the night before, and on Sunday at home to the Islanders, who face Tampa Bay Saturday. Dmitry Kulikov (knee) has started skating and is hoping to return on March 17 after missing 23 games with the injury. Kris Versteeg is also hoping to return this week. Jason Garrison is having a great season as the defenseman has 15 goals.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. St. Louis, vs. Boston

 

Notes

The Kings will be the rested team twice this week, first on Tuesday against San Jose who are in Anaheim Monday, and Thursday versus the Blues who are also in Anaheim but on Wednesday. Mike Richards has gone 25 games without finding the back of the net. Dustin Brown is on a nine-game scoring streak that coincides with his name popping up in trade rumors. He has 14 points in the nine games. Drew Doughty continues to disappoint this season with only nine goals and 30 points. He did have a goal and an assist with a plus-three effort on March 13 so perhaps he is starting to turn it around. Simon Gagne (concussion) isn't sure when he'll start participating in full-team practices, but it probably won't be this week. He could still be out for the remainder of the season.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Calgary, @ Buffalo, @ Washington

 

Notes

The Wild play four times this week, including three games in four nights so expect to see Matthew Hackett and Josh Harding (lower body) split the net. The Wild players will be tired on Sunday in Washington when they face the rested Capitals as they are in Buffalo Saturday. They are rested Saturday playing the Sabres as Buffalo is in New York to play the Rangers Friday. Mikko Koivu has been skating hard in practice and he could return as early as March 17 from a shoulder injury that has kept him out of action since February 16, a span of 13 games. Cal Clutterbuck returned to action on Tuesday after missing three games with an illness.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Buffalo, vs. Ottawa, @ Philadelphia

 

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once in place of Carey Price. They are tired Saturday in Philadelphia after playing Ottawa on Friday night. Josh Gorges leads all NHLers in blocked shots with 202. Erik Cole has four goals in his last three games to give him 27 this season. Scott Gomez suffered a concussion when hit by the Sabres Tyler Myers, a hit that got the Buffalo blueliner suspended for three games. The Canadiens finally got Andrei Markov back in the lineup and he picked up an assist in the game. It was his first game in 483 days as he had been out with a knee injury. Unfortunately, he is hurt again with an upper body injury. Alexei Emelin is out with an upper body injury.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Winnipeg, @ Chicago

 

Notes

The Predators play four times this week including three games in four nights. Expect to see Anders Lindback play once in place of Pekka Rinne. They are rested on Saturday when they take on Winnipeg who play in Washington Friday but the Predators are tired on Sunday when they are in Chicago as they play the aforementioned Jets Saturday. There is huge news in Nashville as Alexander Radulov could return to the fold after playing in Russia the last four seasons. He last played in 2007-08 with the Predators, scoring 26 goals as a 21-year-old. His return will provide a great boost for Nashville heading into the playoffs. Defenseman Roman Josi is day-to-day with an upper body injury. David Legwand has been a fantasy gem since teaming up with the Kostitsyn brothers.

   

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ Ottawa, vs. Toronto, @ Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Devils are rested on Sunday when they are in Pittsburgh as the Penguins take on the Senators in Ottawa Saturday. New Jersey will be tired when they face the Senators Tuesday as they are in New York Monday to face the Rangers. Martin Brodeur has been red-hot of late and is 11-6-1 with a 1.87 GAA and a .925 save percentage in his last 18 games. While Travis Zajac has been given the green light to skate harder, there is still no timetable for his return from his Achilles injury. Adam Henrique has not scored in his last 14 games but has picked up eight helpers. Ilya Kovalchuk had five goals and nine points in four games last week and was named the NHL’s second star.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Notes

The Islanders are rested on Tuesday when they are in Toronto as the Maple Leafs face off against the Bruins in Boston Monday. They are tired Sunday when they face Florida as the Islanders are in Tampa Bay the previous night. John Tavares is having his best season in the NHL as he has 70 points in 71 games including 31 goals. P.A. Parenteau is day-to-day with an upper body injury. Mark Streit has five goals and 39 points but his minus-23 rating really hurts his fantasy value. Matt Moulson has 30 or more goals in each of the last three seasons.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

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

 

Notes

The Rangers play four times this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Martin Biron to play once in place of Henrik Lundqvist. Ryan Callahan has been in and out of the lineup with a foot injury. Carl Hagelin has the plum assignment as the third member of the Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik line. Get him in your lineup as he has two goals and five points in his last two games. Gaborik hit the 35 goal mark on Thursday.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Montreal, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Senators will be rested on Tuesday when they take on New Jersey who take on the Rangers Monday. They are tired on Sunday when they are home to the rested Penguins as the Senators are in Montreal Saturday. Look for Craig Anderson (finger) to return by this week at the latest, with Ben Bishop backing him up. Erik Karlsson is having an amazing season as the defenseman has 19 goals and 70 points in 70 games this season. He looks like the Norris Trophy winner this season. Ottawa prospect Jakob Silfverberg has been named 2011-12's most valuable player in the Swedish Elite League. He could be in North America as early as next season.


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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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