Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Stock up on Islanders

Friday, February 15, 2013


This is a weird week in the NHL as the New York Islanders play five times while five teams (Anaheim, Boston, Dallas, Minnesota and Washington) play only twice. If you are in pools that allow only weekly moves, you can get a big break playing your Islanders.

 

In addition, there are 15 teams that play four games this week so if you own a lot of players on the NHL teams that play only twice, you could be in trouble this week.

 

I had a great time on Google+Hangout on February 14th, with Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Chris Foster and Brian Metzer all of NHL.com for our regular fantasy chat which takes place every other Thursday. You can watch it by clicking here.

 

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

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 18-24

 

5 Games - New York Islanders

 

4 Games – Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Toronto,  Vancouver, Winnipeg

 

3 Games – Buffalo, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, New York Rangers, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose

 

2 Games - Anaheim, Boston, Dallas, Minnesota, Washington

 

 

Columbus, Vancouver and Winnipeg play all four games on the road.

 

Calgary, Chicago, Detroit, Edmonton, Ottawa and Pittsburgh play three games at home this week.

 

New York Islanders, San Jose and Toronto play three games on the road.

 

Follow me on twitter!

 

INJURIES

 

Erik Karlsson suffered a lacerated Achilles tendon and will be out of action three-four months after surgery to repair the damage.

 

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

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Colorado

 

Notes

The Ducks only play twice this week and are the rested team Sunday at home against the Avalanche who face the Kings Saturday. Jonas Hiller (lower body) is expected to return this week and will likely split goaltending duties with Viktor Fasth. Ben Lovejoy has two points in three games but will likely lose his power play time to Cam Fowler once Fowler returns to action from an upper body injury. Hopefully it will be this week. Corey Perry is off to a slow start but do not lose faith in the winger as he has only a goal and six points in 12 games.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Notes

The Bruins only play twice this week and both are in Florida so at least they will be warm.  Dougie Hamilton has four assists in 11 games and is minus-three on the season and has not picked up a point in his last six games. Brad Marchand has seven goals on only 16 shots in 10 games. Shawn Thornton finally returned to the lineup after suffering a concussion early in the season and he is worth picking up in pools that have penalty minutes as a category.  Tuukka Rask is 6-1-2 with a 2.07 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Tyler Seguin is off to a slow start with only two goals on 34 shots, and six points in 11 games, although he is a plus-eight.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Toronto, vs. New York Islanders

 

Notes

It’s been tough sledding for Tyler Myers who was a healthy scratch twice in the last week. After an outstanding rookie season with 11 goals and 48 points he regressed slightly in his sophomore season with 37 points. Last season he had 23 points, albeit in only 55 games but the regression has continued this season as he is minus-nine in 12 games with only one point. Tyler Ennis has five goals and 10 points in 14 games this season. Patrick Kaleta returned to action after missing five games with a neck injury. He is someone else you can look at if you need penalty minutes.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Phoenix, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Minnesota, vs. Phoenix

 

Notes

The Flames are tired on Monday in Phoenix after playing in Dallas Sunday. They face the Coyotes twice this week so tempers could flare. Look for Steve Begin and Tim Jackman to add to their penalty minute totals. Calgary will be rested on Wednesday when they take on the tired Kings who are in Edmonton Tuesday. Michael Cammalleri has seven points in his last two games but missed three games with a hip flexor in between a three point and a four point game. Miikka Kiprusoff will miss two more weeks with a slight grade 2 MCL sprain. The Flames claimed Joey MacDonald off waivers from Detroit to back up Leland Irving during Kiprusoff’s absence.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Tampa Bay, @ New York Islanders

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. Expect to see Cam Ward play thrice with Dan Ellis getting one start. The Hurricanes are hurting on the blueline with Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason both banged up.  Jussi Jokinen has been a huge disappointment this season with only two goals and three points this season.  Alexander Semin is off to a very good start with three goals and 10 points in 13 games and a plus-11 rating.  Eric Staal was the worst plus/minus in the early going last season but is now leading the NHL at plus-12. Jiri Tlusty has five goals and seven points in his last four games and is plus-10.   

             

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. San Jose, vs. Columbus

 

Notes
The Blackhawks are rested Sunday against the Blue Jackets who play in St. Louis Saturday. The Blackhawks have gone 13 games without losing in regulation time and are three games away from tying the record set by the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks to start the season. Daniel Carcillo is close to returning to action after suffering a knee injury on opening night but he likely has lost his spot on the top line as rookie Brandon Saad has played well in his absence. Corey Crawford has put his poor sophomore season behind him and is now 7-0-3 this season with a sizzling 1.65 GAA and .935 save percentage. Patrick Kane has seven goals and 20 points in 13 games and trails only Thomas Vanek in the points race.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. St. Louis, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

 

Notes

The Avalanche are rested Wednesday when they face the Blues as St. Louis entertain the Sharks Tuesday. Colorado is the tired team on Sunday in Anaheim after facing the Kings Saturday. It’s unfortunate, but it appears that restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly will not re-sign with the Avalanche and is likely to be dealt elsewhere. Gabriel Landeskog is still out with a concussion and there is no current timetable for his return. The Avs seem snake-bitten injury-wise as they have now lost Erik Johnson with a head injury suffered Monday. He is out indefinitely. P. A. Parenteau leads the Avalanche in goals with seven in 12 games.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Detroit, @ St. Louis, @ Chicago

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play all four on the road and play three games in four nets so you have to expect that the Blue Jackets will split the net between Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason. Columbus fired general manager Scott Howson and replaced him with Jarmo Kekalainen, the first European to become an NHL GM. Congratulations to Jarmo. The Blue Jackets are the tired team on Sunday in Chicago as they play in St. Louis Saturday. Jared Boll had the 120th fighting major on Tuesday and is now the all-time leader in Columbus Blue Jackets history, one ahead of Jody Shelley.  Look for Brandon Dubinsky to be named the next captain of the Blue Jackets.

 

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. San Jose   

 

Notes

The Stars are rested Saturday when they host San Jose who are in Chicago the previous night. Jamie Benn is back with a flourish as he was the NHL’s second star of the week with four goals and six points in three games. Loui Eriksson is not off to the best start of his career with only four goals and seven points in 14 games. He had only six games last season where he failed to put a shot on net but has had five such games thus far. Brenden Morrow has five points in his last five games after starting the season with only two assists in his first nine games.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Columbus, vs. Nashville, vs. Vancouver

 

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights this week and expect to see Peter Mrazek in goal once in place of Jimmy Howard. They are the rested team twice this week as they take on Nashville Tuesday after the Predators are in Colorado Monday and it happens again on Saturday as the Predators are playing Vancouver Friday. The Red Wings are the tired team Sunday when they host the Canucks. As previously mentioned, the Wings play the Predators twice this week so look for Jordin Tootoo, the former Pred, to add to his penalty minute count. Johan Franzen is day-to-day with a hip injury. Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek had given up only four goals in three games before giving up four in an overtime loss on Wednesday.


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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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