Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Stock up on Devils

Friday, March 01, 2013


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Boston, vs. Buffalo

 

Notes

The Flyers play three games in four nights so expect to see Brian Boucher in net at least once for Ilya Bryzgalov. The Flyers are tired Sunday when they face Buffalo after playing in Boston Saturday. Simon Gagne was acquired by the Flyers on Tuesday and potted a goal in his first game back in action Wednesday. His former team, the Kings, had made him a healthy scratch the last 10 days so he was happy to be back with his former Flyer teammates and seeing some ice time. Matt Read is back skating but is still a long way from returning to action as he recovers from a tear to his rib-cage muscle. Scott Hartnell has a goal and two assists in three games since returning from a broken foot on February 23.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, @ Anaheim, vs. St. Louis, vs. Dallas

 

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights and Jason LaBarbera should see playing time at least once instead of Mike Smith. The Coyotes are tired on Thursday when they host St. Louis after playing in Anaheim Wednesday. Martin Hanzal is skating but has not played since February 18 with an upper body injury. The Coyotes play the Ducks three times in five nights with the latter two games this week so expect to see Kyle Chipchura and Paul Bissonnette to be in the penalty box for five minutes at a time. Mikkel Boedker is hot as he has two goals and seven points in his last six games and now leads the Coyotes with 15 points in 20 games. Radim Vrbata is close to returning after missing the last five games with a lower body injury.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Philadelphia, @ Toronto, vs. New York Islanders

 

Notes

The Penguins play three games in four nights so look for Tomas Vokoun to get at least one start, taking the place of Marc-Andre Fleury. After a good start in which he gave up only nine goals in 124 shots and had a 3-1 record, Tomas Vokoun has been less than stellar of late as he is now 3-3-0 with a 3.26 GAA and a .891 save percentage.  He has allowed three or more goals in six of his seven starts. Evgeni Malkin (concussion) is skating and has been symptom-free since the weekend. Hopefully he will return to action quickly. Sidney Crosby is tied for the NHL scoring lead with Steve Stamkos at 31 points.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Phoenix, @ San Jose, @ Anaheim

 

Notes

The Blues play three games in four nights so look for the struggling Brian Elliott to get one start instead of Jaroslav Halak.  The Blues are the rested team twice this week, first on Tuesday against the Kings who host Nashville Monday; and again on Thursday when in Phoenix after the Coyotes are in Anaheim Wednesday. St. Louis will be the tired team Sunday after playing in San Jose Saturday. Alex Pietrangelo has not picked up a point in his last six games. If you are looking for penalty minutes, Ryan Reaves has 49 thus far. Andy McDonald is week-to-week and on the injured reserve list with a left knee injury. Alexander Steen is day-to-day with an upper body injury.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, vs. Calgary, vs. St. Louis, @ Colorado

 

Notes

The Sharks will be the tired team twice this week, first on Wednesday when they host Calgary after playing in Vancouver Tuesday and then again on Sunday in Colorado after playing host to the Blues on Saturday.  Ryane Clowe returned to action on Thursday after being suspended for two games and found himself on the third line with Tim Kennedy and Michal Handzus. He has six points and 68 penalty minutes in 17 games but will lose some fantasy relevance if he remains on the third unit. Antti Niemi has been great this season with a 8-4-4 record, a 1.88 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ New Jersey, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Montreal

 

Notes

Mathieu Garon should get one start in place of Anders Lindback as the Lightning play three games in four nights. Vincent Lecavalier has only two goals in his last 13 games while Martin St. Louis scored his first goal in seven games Thursday. Ryan Malone is still out of the lineup but hopes to return early in the week from a lower body injury. Steve Stamkos was the NHL's second star of the week and is now tied for the scoring lead with Sidney Crosby and leads the league in goals with 14. Cory Conacher had his six game scoring streak end on Thursday. He has 18 points in 19 games to lead all rookies.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, vs. Ottawa, @ Boston, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs play three games in four nights. James Reimer and Ben Scrivens will split the net this week. Toronto will be the tired team Thursday in Boston as the Maple Leafs host Ottawa Wednesday. Nazem Kadri picked up his first NHL hat trick on Thursday and leads the team in points with 21 in 22 games. Not bad for someone who was on the bubble to make the team at the start of training camp. John-Michael Liles has been a healthy scratch for the last seven games. Matt Frattin should be back at some point this week, possibly even the New Jersey game so activate him if you think he'll play in all four games.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ Columbus, @ Minnesota

 

Notes

The Canucks are rested Sunday when they are in Minnesota as the Wild play in Nashville Saturday. Ryan Kesler's tough season continues as he is out four-six weeks with a broken foot. His place on the first power play may be taken by rookie Jordan Schroeder. Cory Schneider continues to struggle as he has now given up at least three goals in four straight games. Roberto Luongo gave up eight to the Red Wings in his last outing so the Canucks goaltending has not been great of late but his GAA is still only 2.11. Henrik Sedin played in his 600th consecutive game earlier in the week.  Alex Burrows has five goals and 11 points and is a plus-seven with 26 penalty minutes.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. Florida, @ New York Islanders, vs. New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights this week so expect to see Michal Neuvirth play once in place of Braden Holtby. Neuvirth has not played since Feb. 7 so he is due to see the net. The Capitals will be tired Sunday when they face the Rangers as they play in Long Island Saturday. Mike Ribeiro continues to shine for the Capitals as he has six goals and 22 points including five goals and eight assists on the power play. He also has 28 penalty minutes to give him value in that category. Washington inked Holtby and John Erskine to two-year deals.

 

 WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ New Jersey

 

Notes

The Jets play three games in four nights this week as they are on the road for all four. Look for  Al Montoya to get at least one start from Ondrej Pavelec this week as he has returned from a lower body injury. The Jets will have Saturday off before taking on New Jersey but the Devils will be tired after playing in Carolina Saturday. Winnipeg plays the Panthers twice this week so look for Chris Thorburn to add to his penalty minute count. Andrew Ladd leads the Jets in goals and points with 12 and 20 respectively.  Good news in that Zach Redmond has been released from hospital after a life-threatening laceration to his leg. His season is over but he is recovering.



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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