Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

Joe Thornton Leads the Pack

Saturday, January 26, 2013


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ Washington, vs. Carolina

 

Notes

The Flyers are rested Friday when they face the Capitals who are in Toronto Thursday. Scott Hartnell will miss at least four weeks and as many as eight as he suffered a broken foot when he was hit by a shot from teammate Kimmo Timonen. Daniel Briere should make his seasonal debut this week as he has been out with a wrist injury that occurred when he played in Germany. Ilya Bryzgalov finally got his first win of the season as the Flyers knocked off the struggling Rangers 2-1 Thursday.

 

 PHOENIX

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Edmonton, @ Dallas, vs. Dallas  

 

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights but Mike Smith is out of action at this time with a lower body injury so Jason Labarbera will get the majority of the playing time with Chad Johnson the current backup. Steve Sullivan is off to a great start for the Coyotes as he has four goals and an assist, but his minus-three rating will hurt you this early in the season. As I told you last season, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is a stud defenseman and he has a chance to be a future Norris Trophy winner. He is that good and is only 21. Phoenix recalled David Rundblad only a couple of days after sending him to the minors.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

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

 

Notes

The Penguins play three games in four nights so look for off-season free agent acquisition Tomas Vokoun to play at least once in place of Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins could use Vokoun far more this season than originally thought so do not be surprised if Fleury only plays 30-32 games. The Penguins are tired Sunday when they are in Washington after they host the Devils Saturday. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each scored their first of the season against the Maple Leafs in a 5-2 loss. Malkin has 12 penalty minutes in only three games as he picked up a misconduct at the end of the Toronto game.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Detroit

 

Notes

The Blues only play twice this week after playing six times in the first nine days, so we recommend benching most of your Blues in weekly transaction pools and take advantage of the schedule. They play back-to-back games so Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott will likely split the action The Blues will be tired Friday in Detroit after playing in Columbus Thursday. Jaroslav Halak already has a couple of shutouts in the early going. Wade Redden made his St. Louis debut on Thursday as the Blues put Jeff Woywitka on waivers. Vladimir Tarasenko has been outstanding in the first week of the season as he has scored four goals which is tied for third in the NHL, and six points and has established himself as the early favorite for the Calder Trophy.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Edmonton, vs. Nashville

 

Notes

The Sharks will be rested Thursday when they take on the Oilers as Edmonton will play in Phoenix Wednesday. The Sharks are perfect through three games and have the leading point getter in the league as Joe Thornton has nine points including eight helpers, while Patrick Marleau tops the NHL in goals with six. Marleau has had three straight two goal games to start the season. The last player to do so was Peter Stastny in 1982. The Sharks signed Scott Gomez to a one-year deal but he was a healthy scratch on Thursday.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Winnipeg, vs. New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Lightning are the rested team Friday when the host the Jets who are across the state Thursday when they face Florida. Tampa Bay will be the tired team on Saturday as the rested New York Rangers are in town. Cory Conacher has been a big surprise as the undrafted 23-year-old has five points in his first three NHL games. He was the AHL rookie of the year in 2011-12, so perhaps his play should not be a big shock. First round pick Slater Koekkoek is out for the season after a shoulder injury required surgery for the second time in two seasons. He will be out four-six months. Congratulations are in order for Vincent Lecavalier who played in his 1,000th game on Monday.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, vs. Washington, vs. Boston

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs lost Joffrey Lupul for a minimum of six weeks when a Dion Phaneuf shot broke his forearm.   They recalled Matt Frattin to take his place and Frattin returned with a flourish as he had a goal and two assists in his first game back Thursday. Nazem Kadri is off to a good start with three goals in four games. Toronto got a boost when coach Randy Carlyle changed his line combinations and put James van Riemsdyk on a line with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin and van Riemsdyk exploded with a couple of goals and an assist Wednesday. The Leafs sent Korbinian Holzer to the minors when they activated Jake Gardiner (concussion) off the injured list.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, vs. Colorado, vs. Chicago

 

Notes

The Canucks will be the tired team on Monday when they face the Kings in Los Angeles after playing in Anaheim Sunday. Cory Schneider was outstanding on Wednesday for the Canucks as they won their first game of the season. There is still a goaltending controversy in Vancouver and that will not stop until the Canucks are able to deal Roberto Luongo or there is an injury. GM Mike Gillis said there was a deal in place for Luongo but plenty of insiders think that Gillis is trying to get the market interested again.  Zack Kassian has been a great addition to the top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ Toronto. vs. Philadelphia, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Capitals play four times including three games in four nights so expect to see Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth to split the net. The Capitals are tired on Friday when they face the Flyers at home after playing in Toronto Thursday. The Caps are the rested team on Sunday at home to Pittsburgh who travel from their arena after playing New Jersey on Saturday. The rumblings have started as Washington is 0-3 to start the season. Mathieu Perreault complained to the French press in Quebec about a lack of ice time as he played only 4:58 minutes and 3:52 in his first two games. After the article was published, Perreault played 12:15 in a 4-1 loss to the Canadiens. Marcus Johansson dropped from the first line to the fourth as Wojtek Wolski took his spot alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.  Brooks Laich has yet to play due to a groin injury.

 

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Notes

The Jets will be tired on Friday after crossing the state of Florida to play a rested Tampa Bay team. Kyle Wellwood went from the penthouse to the outhouse on Tuesday as he was dropped from the first line and was a healthy scratch. Blake Wheeler took his spot alongside Olli Jokinen and Evander Kane and had a goal and assist in the Jets first win of the season. No one on the Jets has more than one goal in three games but Tobias Enstrom does have four assists.



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

  •  
    Friday

    Friday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Levitan: Week 9 Tough Calls

    Levitan: Week 9 Tough Calls
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6-Pack: QB & RB
  •  
    RotoPat: Week 9 Rankings

    RotoPat: Week 9 Rankings
  •  
    Thursday

    Thursday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Levitan: Buy-Low Candidates

    Levitan: Buy-Low Candidates
  •  
    Levitan: Consistency issues

    Levitan: Consistency issues
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NBA 6-Pack: Wednesday