Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

Hockey Day in America

Friday, February 08, 2013


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Winnipeg, @ New Jersey, @ Montreal

 

Notes

The Flyers are on the road for all four games this week. While they do not play three games in four nights, they do play two back-to-back games so they will be the tired team on Tuesday when they are in Winnipeg after playing the Maple Leafs Monday and then on Saturday the Flyers will be in Montreal and tired, since they are in New Jersey Friday. Scott Hartnell had the cast removed from his broken foot on Thursday and could begin skating this week. He has been out two-and-a-half weeks and was slated to miss four-eight weeks so his return is still unknown at this time. Wayne Simmonds could be back this week after suffering a concussion. Kimmo Timonen inked a one-year extension.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Nashville, vs. Columbus  

 

Notes

The Coyotes are the rested team when they face Columbus Saturday as the Blue Jackets are in Los Angeles Friday. David Rundblad is getting a lot of air mileage points as he keeps getting sent down to the minors in Portland, Maine and being recalled. He has been sent down three times and recalled twice and the season is not even three weeks old. Mike Smith is having his troubles in the early going with a 2-3-1 record to go with a 3.43 GAA and a .863 save percentage. The Coyotes will need a lot better performance from their star goalie of a year ago, if they hope to make any noise in the Western Conference. Keith Yandle has a goal and six points in 11 games and 22 penalty minutes.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ Winnipeg, @ Buffalo 

 

Notes

The Penguins are rested on Wednesday when they host Ottawa who play the Sabres Tuesday. After four points in his first seven games, Chris Kunitz has been white-hot of late with five goals and five assists in his last four games. Of course, a four-goal game does not hurt. Kris Letang missed Thursday’s game with a lower body injury. Consider him day-to-day for now. Marc-Andre Fleury had a so-so start to the season so Tomas Vokoun had a chance to strut his stuff in goal. Fleury has come back with a vengeance, giving the Penguins outstanding goaltending which will bode well for the team. Look for Vokoun to possibly get 18-20 starts barring injuries. Sidney Crosby has 10 points in his last four games including a trio of three point games.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Detroit, @ Calgary, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

The Blues are rested Monday when they host Los Angeles with the Kings playing in Detroit on Sunday.  Brian Elliott has not fared well since Jaroslav Halak went down on the weekend as he has given up nine goals in 40 shots over the last two games. Halak was put on injured reserve with a groin injury but could be back this week as he was on the ice Thursday albeit not facing any shots. Wade Redden played in his 1,000th game of his NHL career on Thursday. He has played in six games this season after spending the last two seasons in the minors as the Rangers buried his hefty contract. Vladimir Tarasenko was named the NHL’s rookie of the month after scoring five goals and nine points in seven January games.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Nashville, @ Chicago

 

Notes

The Sharks will be rested on Monday when they play in Columbus as the Blue Jackets are hosting the Oilers on Sunday. They are tired Tuesday when they take on the rested Predators. After red-hot starts, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been held pointless in their last four games. Coach Todd McLellan moved Marleau to the second line in an effort to get him going. After picking up four points in four games, Martin Havlat has only one point in his last six. Ryane Clowe has yet to score this season but does have five assists and a league-leading 56 penalty minutes.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Washington, @ Florida

 

Notes

Vincent Lecavalier has four goals and 11 points this season but is quite feisty when he goes against the Flyers as he has had two fights and 12 of his 14 penalty minutes against Philadelphia. The Lightning only face Philly once more this season, on March 18, so look for Lecavalier to pick up some minutes on that night.  Anders Lindback has been playing well for the most part and is 5-3 with a 2.89 GAA and a .906 save percentage but he has lost his last two starts. B.J. Crombeen leads the Lightning with 30 penalty minutes. Martin St. Louis has 13 assists and 16 points in 10 games and even at the age of 37, he continues to produce at an All-Star pace.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @Carolina, vs. Ottawa

 

Notes

Phil Kessel finally scored on Thursday and it was his first goal in 11 games. He leads the NHL in shots on goal with 46. James Reimer has put his injury-plagued sophomore season behind him and is now 4-3 with a 2.61 GAA and a .918 save percentage. He started the season on the bench but is now the number one goalie. Matt Frattin has been great since a short stint in the minors and has six goals and eight points in eight games. He is playing on the third line with Nazem Kadri but the Maple Leafs are going with a top-nine and not a top-six so do not worry that he is on the third line. The Maple Leafs have been rewarded early in dealing for James van Riemsdyk as he has six goals and has moved to the top line. The Maple Leafs are really missing Carl Gunnarsson and Jake Gardiner on the blueline as both are very good at making the first pass, something that is now lacking on the Toronto defense.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Dallas, vs. St. Louis

 

Notes

The Canucks are rested on Tuesday as they face a tired Minnesota team who are in Calgary the previous night. The Canucks continue to have a goaltending problem but this is a good one as both Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider have been very good. Schneider’s agent Mike Liut came out and said that the goaltending situation needs to reach a resolution, which likely meant that he wanted Luongo to be dealt. It was nice to see that Chris Tanev scored the winner on Monday as it was his first NHL goal in 63 career games. Ryan Kesler (shoulder/wrist) could be closer to returning than most thought. Coach Alain Vigneault thinks that he may only need a couple of practices before he is ready to go and Kesler is currently accompanying the Canucks on their road trip. Alexander Edler is tied for the Canucks scoring lead with Daniel Sedin at eight points.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ New York Rangers

 

Notes

The best thing the Capitals did in the off-season (although it may eventually be drafting Filip Forsberg), was the trade in which they acquired Mike Ribeiro from Dallas. He has four goals and 13 points including goals in his last three games. Ribeiro is one of only 23 NHL players who have averaged .8 points per game in each of the last three years. That stat is courtesy of Brian Rosenbaum. The Capitals are the worst team in the NHL thus far and were not helped out by the shortened training camp as coach Adam Oates hasn’t have enough time to put in his system. Alex Ovechkin is starting to heat up with four points in his last three games.

 

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Boston

 

Notes

The Jets will be rested on Tuesday when they face the Flyers who are in Toronto Monday. Look for defensemen Dustin Byfuglien (lower body) and Zach Bogosian (wrist) to return to the Winnipeg lineup this week and that will be welcome news for the Jets netminders. Defenseman Zach Redmond has made the most of the injuries to Byfuglien and Bogosian as he has a goal and two assists in his last two games for the first points in his NHL career. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec continues to struggle as he has given up 19 goals in his last five games (1-4), stopping only 91 of 110 shots.



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

  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6 Pack - WR & TE
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NBA 6-Pack: Friday
  •  
    Friday

    Friday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Levitan: Week 12 Tough Calls

    Levitan: Week 12 Tough Calls
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6 Pack - QB & RB
  •  
    RotoPat: Week 12 Rankings

    RotoPat: Week 12 Rankings
  •  
    Thursday

    Thursday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Week 12 Drop Options

    Week 12 Drop Options