Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Hockey Day in Canada

Friday, February 01, 2013


It’s Hockey Day in Canada on Saturday and all seven Canadian teams are in action as Winnipeg travels to Ottawa, Toronto plays in Montreal and Calgary hosts the Canucks in the late game. Edmonton is in Detroit as I guess the Red Wings have been granted Canadian status for the day.

 

It’s hard to believe that Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau go scoreless for the first time this season and are surpassed in the scoring race by Thomas Vanek.

A lot of good NHL players are off to slow starts like Alex Ovechkin, Bobby Ryan, Shea Weber, Dustin Brown and Jarome Iginla. Don't panic. Let your fellow poolies panic and be there when they get fed up with one of the above and just give him away.

 

Don’t forget to purchase Season Pass by clicking here and while you’re at it, it’s not too late to join and play Yahoo! hockey.

 

I was on a Fantasy Hockey Chat with NHL.com's Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen and Chris Foster yesterday on Google+Hangout. Check it out here.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 4-10

 

4 Games – Anaheim, Buffalo, Detroit, Edmonton, Nashville, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto

 

3 Games – Boston,  Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Jose, St. Louis,  Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Colorado

 

 

Tampa Bay plays all four games on the road.

 

Columbus, Detroit, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia and Toronto play three games at home this week.

 

Anaheim, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles and St. Louis play three games on the road.

 

Follow me on twitter!

 

INJURIES

 

Jason Spezza (back) is out for at least two months and could be gone for the season.

 

 (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ Colorado, @ Dallas, @ St. Louis

 

Notes

Anaheim plays four times this week, including three games in four nights so look for Viktor Fasth to play once in place of Jonas Hiller. The Ducks are tired this week when they take on the Blues Saturday after playing in Dallas Friday. Daniel Winnik has five goals in seven games and was rewarded by moving from the third line to the top unit alongside Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks recalled Emerson Etem and Sami Vatanen from the minors and sent Peter Holland down. Saku Koivu has seven points and is a plus-seven in seven games. Hiller has struggled in the early going with a 2-1-1 record, a 3.43 GAA and a .868 save percentage.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. Tampa Bay @ Buffalo

 

Notes

The line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton has been the Bruins’ best of late. Tyler Seguin has a goal and three points in six games but is plus-four. Tuukka Rask was off to a great start with a 4-0-1 record, a 1.74 GAA and a .932 save percentage, making Boston fans forget all about Tim Thomas, but got beat up against the Sabres Thursday giving up six goals on 31 shots in a 7-4 loss. No surprise in that Boston has decided to keep Dougie Hamilton past the five game mark, burning a season before he is entitled to go to free agency.  Dennis Seidenberg returned to action after missing a couple of games with a lower body injury.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, vs. Montreal, @ New York Islanders, vs. Boston

 

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights so expect to see Jhonas Enroth between the pipes once in place of Ryan Miller. Buffalo will be rested on Thursday when they face Montreal who host Boston Wednesday. The Sabres are keeping Mikhail Grigorenko and he celebrated by potting his first NHL goal on Tuesday against Toronto. Thomas Vanek is up to a tremendous start with six goals and 15 points in six games. Ville Leino has yet to play because of a hip injury but coach Lindy Ruff said that he will not require surgery. Patrick Kaleta is out with a neck injury.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Columbus, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

Sven Baertschi, Calgary’s top prospect, is week-to-week with a hip flexor injury. The Flames want him to work on adding muscle to his frame while he is out. Roman Cervenka is having trouble staying healthy, missing the first three games with blood clots and almost missing the Jan. 31 game as he ran into Blake Comeau during practice. After this week the Flames will have played only nine games, the least in the NHL so the extra games will come in handy if you are able to trade for a Calgary player. Dennis Wideman has been terrific quarterbacking the power play. It’s nice to see Jiri Hudler back playing after the death of his father.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Ottawa, @ Philadelphia

 

Notes

The Hurricanes are in the midst of a six game road trip.  They may be changing their power play around as Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner were bumped off the top unit and replaced by Jiri Tlusty and Jussi Jokinen. The other three members of the top unit are Eric Staal, Alexander Semin and Joni Pitkanen. Look for Justin Faulk to return to the lineup after missing a game with an upper body injury. Cam Ward says his game is coming back and Hurricane fans hope so as he is 1-3-0 with a 4.50 GAA and a .861 save percentage.

             

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Phoenix, @ Nashville

 

Notes
The Blackhawks finally end the toughest part of their schedule as they end a string of 10 road games in their first 12 contests this season. They get a break this week as they are the rested team in two games; first against San Jose Tuesday after the Sharks are on the road to face Anaheim Monday, and then Sunday in Nashville as the Predators are in Minnesota Saturday.  Corey Crawford has put his sophomore slump behind him and is off to a great start with a 5-0-1 record, a 1.79 GAA and a .931 save percentage. The Blackhawks penalty kill has gone through a tremendous transformation as they are now first in the NHL, giving up one goal in 27 chances after finishing 27th overall last season.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Anaheim, vs. Edmonton

 

Notes

The Avalanche were reeling to start the season as they had scored only one goal in three games before Thursday’s match against Calgary in which they put in six. Paul Stastny was off to a horrible start with one assist and a minus-seven rating in seven games before scoring twice in the third period Thursday. Gabriel Landeskog is out of action after a huge hit on Saturday by Brad Stuart flattened him. He has a head and a leg injury and there is currently no timetable for his return.  The Avs recalled Michael Sgarbossa from the Lake Erie Monsters where he had 36 points in 38 games after leading the OHL in scoring last season. Still no word on a contract agreement or even if the two sides are talking with restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly who is rehabbing after getting injured in a KHL game.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Calgary, vs. Edmonton

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets are in the middle of a six game home stand. Columbus will be rested when they take on the Oilers Sunday as Edmonton are in Detroit Saturday. A lot of poolies thought that Cam Atkinson would have a break out year but he is now out two-three weeks with a high-ankle sprain. Steve Mason played well this week despite giving up three goals on 26 shots Tuesday. They recalled Tim Erixon and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault from the minors. Audy-Marchessault was terrific in the minors with 45 points in 42 games and the Blue Jackets are hoping the rookie can play even close to his AHL performance in the NHL. Ryan Johansen has only two assists in seven games but the Blue Jackets are pleased with his game.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Edmonton, vs. Anaheim   

 

Notes

Derek Roy is hoping to return to action this week after being out with a groin injury. The Stars recalled their first round pick in 2011 Jamie Oleksiak and are hoping the six-foot, seven-inch 254 pound blueliner is ready to stick. They are currently playing him with Alex Goligoski and the added size on the back end is something that has definitely been lacking with Dallas. They finally signed their top forward Jamie Benn to a contract but Benn may need a few games to get up to speed. Brenden Morrow was a first or second round pick in fantasy pools only a few short years ago, but is now seeing fourth line time and playing less than 10 minutes per game. He is still able to contribute to the Stars but his fantasy value is becoming negligible.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ St. Louis, vs. Edmonton, vs. Los Angeles

 

Notes

The Red Wings are playing four times this week and play three games in four nights. Look for Jonas Gustavsson to return to action this week and play once in place of Jimmy Howard. They will be tired Sunday when they host the Kings after hosting the Oilers the day before. Damien Brunner is on a four-game point scoring streak and has three goals and an assist in six games.  Johan Franzen has taken over the retired Tomas Holmstrom’s spot in front of the net during the power play but wants his teammates, especially Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to shoot more, so he can tip the puck or garner the rebound. Jordin Tootoo has 25 penalty minutes in only 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 :Mike Finewax



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