Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Hockey Day in America

Friday, February 08, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Colorado

 

Notes

The Oilers only play twice this week so I suggest benching all your Oilers if you are in pools with weekly moves. Nikolai Khabibulin is now healthy but has yet to get a start as Devan Dubnyk has started all ten. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has yet to find the back of the net although he does have five helpers. Shawn Horcoff broke a knuckle and will be out indefinitely. Ryan Whitney got quite a shock this past week as he was a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career. The Sam Gagner, Nail Yakupov and Ales Hemsky line has been Edmonton’s best combining for 12 goals and 26 points with Gagner leading the way with 11 points.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Montreal, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Notes

The Panthers play the back end of a home-and-home series with the Capitals so look for Scottie Upshall to possibly engage in fisticuffs. Stephen Weiss scored his first of the season on Thursday as he returned from a groin injury. Jack Skille was thought to be a great prospect when he drafted seventh overall in 2005 but at the age of 25, he is a fringe NHLer at best. He scored his first of the season Thursday and has one point in eight games. Eric Gudbranson injured his shoulder wakeboarding in September and is finally healthy enough to return to action. He played 21:02 minutes on Thursday and should be looked at in keeper leagues as he was drafted third overall in 2010.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, vs. Columbus, @ Chicago

 

Notes

The Kings are the tired team on Monday when they travel to St. Louis after playing in Detroit Sunday.  Los Angeles is the lowest scoring team in the NHL with only 20 goals in nine games and it appears that they are going to be life and death once again to make it into the post-season. After a slow start, Mike Richards had a goal and four assists heading into Thursday’s game and now has 30 penalty minutes in nine games. Simon Gagne lined up with former Flyer teammates Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. After a terrible start to the season, Justin Williams is picking it up with four points in his last three games including seven shots on goal Thursday when the Kings were shutout 3-0. The Kings picked up Florida tough guy Keaton Ellerby on Friday.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Vancouver, vs. Colorado, vs. Detroit

 

Notes

The Wild play three games in four nights this week so look for Josh Harding to play at least once in place of Niklas Backstrom.  Minnesota will be the tired team Tuesday in Vancouver as they take on the rested Canucks after playing in Edmonton the previous night. The Wild picked up some toughness this past week as they received Michael Rupp from the Rangers in exchange for Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri. Much hyped rookie Mikael Granlund was a healthy scratch Thursday while Devin Setoguchi was dropped to the fourth line as he has a measly two assists in 10 games. Charlie Coyle was recalled from the minors and is playing as a top-six forward.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, vs. Philadelphia

 

Notes

The Canadiens are the rested team Saturday when they host the Flyers who are in New Jersey Friday. Tomas Plekanec is off to a very good start with 10 points in his first 10 games after a mediocre 2011-12 season. The amazing Max Pacioretty missed only eight days after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. It was thought he would be out three-four weeks. Colby Armstrong is pointless and minus-one in 10 games. If you picked up P.K. Subban upon his return or drafted him, he has been gold since re-signing with the Habs as he has two goals and four points in four games. Carey Price has been sensational this season with a 6-2 record, a 1.74 GAA and a .936 save percentage.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Phoenix, vs. Anaheim

 

Notes

The Predators get a big break this week as they are the rested team playing a tired team twice. It gets started Tuesday as the Sharks come to town after playing in Columbus Monday and then take on Anaheim Saturday after the Ducks are in Detroit the previous night. Shea Weber finally picked up his first point of the condensed season on Thursday and now has one assist in 10 games. After a weak start, Pekka Rinne has allowed only three goals in his last four games and now is 4-2-3 with a 1.81 GAA and a .932 save percentage. The Predators are a low scoring team and need to shut it down defensively if they hope to make the post-season. After only one point in his first seven games, Colin Wilson has been hot with five points in his last two games and six in his last three.

 

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

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

 

Notes

The Devils are rested Tuesday when they take on the Hurricanes as Carolina are on Long Island Monday. New Jersey will be the tired team Saturday when they face the Islanders after playing against the Flyers the night before. Dainius Zubrus sat out Thursday’s game with a lower body injury and it allowed Stefan Matteau to play in his sixth game after missing a healthy scratch in his previous four. The Devils obviously decided that he was worth keeping and have now burned a year of his contract towards free agency. Patrik Elias has back-to-back three point games and now has 13 points in 10 contests. David Clarkson is off to an amazing start with seven goals and 13 points. He has four goals and six points on the power play.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ New York Rangers, vs. New Jersey

 

Notes

The Islanders will be rested on Saturday when they host the Devils as New Jersey take on the Flyers Friday. New York dealt for Tim Thomas on Thursday, giving up a conditional second round pick if Thomas ever decides to play for them. It was a salary cap move that gave the Bruins room and bumped the Isles past the cap floor. Joshua Bailey (knee) should finally be healthy enough to return this week after missing the start of the season.  Lubomir Visnovsky is ready to return to the lineup after missing the first three weeks tending to family matters in Europe. He is worth picking up in all fantasy pools. Brad Boyes is off to a good start with seven points in 10 games.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Washington

 

Notes

The Rangers had Ryan Callahan return to the lineup Thursday after missing nine days with a shoulder injury. Brian Boyle is off to a poor start and was a healthy scratch Thursday. JT Miller scored the first two goals of his NHL career in his second game Thursday.  Chris Kreider finally scored his first regular season goal in the NHL Tuesday as he had missed five games with an ankle injury. The Rangers sent Michael Rupp to the Wild this past week, acquiring Nick Palmieri who was sent to the minors and Darroll Powe.  Stu Bickel is not yet eligible on the wing but the blueliner does have 26 penalty minutes in eight games.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ Pittsburgh, @ Toronto

 

Notes

The Senators will be tired on Wednesday when they are in Pittsburgh after hosting the Sabres Tuesday. Craig Anderson is still having an outstanding season with a 6-2-2 record, a 1.50 GAA and a .950 save percentage but he has given up six goals in his last two games on only 49 shots. It goes to show you how great his start really was. Mika Zibanejad is getting a huge break as he is on the top line with Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson. This will give his fantasy value a boost. Erik Karlsson leads the team in goals with five while Turris has 10 points to lead all Senators.


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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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