Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Stock up on Devils

Friday, March 01, 2013


It's a busy week in the NHL with the Devils playing five times while 20 other teams play four games. You can get a big advantage playing those team's players rather than Dallas or Ottawa who only play twice.

 

Here's my take on NHL realignment and how the playoffs should be implemented, and if you're looking for an article on what will occur during the regular season under the new realignment in back-to-back games, read Gus Katsaros' great insight in his column from Mckeenshockey.com.

 

I was on Google+Hangout Thursday with NHL.com's Chris Foster, Pete Jensen, Brian Metzer and Matthew Sitkoff for our regular fantasy chat. You can watch the chat by clicking here.

 

Don’t forget to purchase Season Pass as we are closing in on the halfway mark of the NHL season.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF MARCH 4-10

 

5 Games - New Jersey

 

4 Games– Anaheim, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose , Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg

 

3 Games – Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Minnesota, Nashville, Vancouver

 

2 Games - Dallas, Ottawa

 

Edmonton, Montreal and Winnipeg play all four games on the road.

 

Los Angeles plays all four games at home

 

Anaheim, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Phoenix, Toronto and Washington play three games at home this week.

 

Buffalo, Calgary and St. Louis play three games on the road.

 

Follow me on twitter!

 

INJURIES

 

Evgeni Malkin suffered a concussion and is out of action. Ryan Kesler is out four-six weeks with a broken foot. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Phoenix, vs. Phoenix, vs. Calgary, vs. St. Louis

 

Notes

The Ducks play the Coyotes twice this week and will have played them three games in five nights including Saturday March 2. This ought to allow Brad Staubitz, Sheldon Souray and Matt Beleskey to add to their penalty minute totals. The Ducks will be rested Sunday when they take on St. Louis after the Blues are in San Jose Saturday. Corey Perry is on a six-game scoring streak and now has 17 points in 18 games as does Saku Koivu. Viktor Fasth is now 9-1 this season. The Ducks sent Peter Holland to the minors and recalled former first round pick Emerson Etem. Andrew Cogliano saw some time on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry but was replaced by Kyle Palmieri on Wednesday. Palmieri celebrated with a natural hat trick.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Washington, vs. Toronto, vs. Philadelphia

 

Notes

The Bruins are rested on Thursday when they host the Maple Leafs as Toronto are home Wednesday against the Senators. It's a good time to pick up Bruins as they have 31 games left heading into action on March 1, the most remaining in the NHL. Brad Marchand has 10 goals in his first 16 games this season. Tuukka Rask has a 11-1-2 record with a 1.82 GAA and a .933 save percentage. After going eight games without a point, Zdeno Chara had a goal and three points in three games. Patrice Bergeron has been terrific with four goals, 14 points and a plus-12 rating in 16 games.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ New Jersey, @ Philadelphia

 

Notes

The Sabres are rested Sunday when they face Philadelphia as the Flyers are in Boston Saturday. Marcus Foligno has not scored in 15 games and only once in 20 so the Sabres made him a healthy scratch on Thursday. The Sabres made a nice deal for themselves at the trade deadline last season when they acquired Cody Hodgson from the Canucks for Zack Kassian. Hodgson has 17 points in 21 games this season and will definitely be a top-six forward for many years, barring any serious injuries. The Sabres lost their first two games under interim coach Ron Rolston but got Rolston his first win with a 2-1 decision over Tampa Bay Tuesday.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

 

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights and are hoping to have Miikka Kiprusoff  (knee) back. If not, look for both Joey MacDonald and Daniel Taylor to each get at least one start. The Flames are rested Wednesday when they take on San Jose who play in Vancouver Tuesday. They are tired Saturday when they play the Kings after playing in Anaheim Friday. MacDonald has been the Flames best netminder statistically this season as he is 3-3-1 with a 3.04 GAA and a .899 save percentage. Kiprusoff is only 2-3-2 with a 3.24 GAA and a mediocre .870 save percentage. Alex Tanguay leads the Flames with 17 points, three ahead of Michael Cammalleri.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Montreal, vs. New Jersey

 

Notes

Jeff Skinner is slated to return on Thursday after missing five games with a concussion. Ryan Murphy was returned to the Kitchener Rangers after four games as an emergency call up. He failed to register a point and was a minus-four but the experience should bode well for next season as he will have some NHL games under his belt. Alexander Semin continues to impress with four goals, 16 points and a plus-11 rating and coach Kirk Muller has given him props for his playmaking skills and defensive play.  Cam Ward continues to struggle as he is 7-6-1 with a 3.00 GAA and a .904 save percentage. He caught on fire in the second half last season and his fantasy owners expect more of the same in 2013.

           

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Colorado, @ Colorado, vs. Edmonton

 

Notes
The Blackhawks play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. Corey Crawford and Ray Emery should split the net. Crawford returned to action on Tuesday with a shutout over Columbus and is 9-0-3 with a 1.43 GAA and a .943 save percentage while Emery is 8-0.  Crawford was hurt Thursday and could once again miss some time. The Blackhawks play the Avs in a home-and-home series this week so expect to see Daniel Carcillo and Andrew Shaw add to their penalty minute totals. Brandon Bollig should also be on the list but has only played in nine of 19 games. Good news for Steve Montador as he has been symptom free from his concussion woes for weeks and is now skating and participating in contact drills. Hopefully he is close to returning to action.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Chicago, vs. Chicago, vs. San Jose

 

Notes

The Avs play three games in four nights so look for Jean-Sebastien Giguere to get one start in place of Semyon Varlamov. They are rested on Sunday when they host San Jose who entertain the Blues Saturday. The Avalanche take on the Blackhawks in a home-and-home series this week so expect to find Cody McLeod and Patrick Bordeleau in the penalty box after a fight. Ryan O'Reilly has signed an offer sheet with the Calgary Flames and it should be interesting to see if Colorado matches or accepts the draft picks. Matt Duchene missed one game with a groin injury but was back in the lineup Thursday. Paul Stastny continues to be an enigma as he had only one assist in his previous four games before striking for a goal and an assist on Thursday.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Vancouver, vs. Detroit, @ Detroit

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play four times including three games in four nights so you should expect to see both Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason split the net. The Blue Jackets are the worst team in the NHL and it certainly doesn't help that they have so many injuries to deal with as Jack Johnson (upper body), James Wisniewski (foot), Brandon Dubinsky (knee), Artem Anisimov (head) and Derick Brassard (upper body). The Blue Jackets recalled Ryan Johansen due to all the injuries but he is still struggling at the NHL level and has no points in two games with a minus-three rating after starting the season with two assists in 10 games with a minus-five rating before his demotion.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Phoenix

 

Notes

I suggest sitting all your Dallas Stars this week if you are in a pool with weekly transactions as they play only twice. The Stars dealt Michael Ryder and a third round pick for Erik Cole this past week and Cole will start on the third line with Cody Eakin and Reilly Smith. Kari Lehtonen is due back in net Thursday after missing five games with a groin injury. Ray Whitney has started skating after breaking his foot on February 1 and should be able to return within two weeks as the original diagnosis was four-six weeks. Jamie Benn was minus-six in his first two games this past week.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Edmonton, @ Columbus, vs. Columbus

 

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights so expect to see Jonas Gustavsson play once in place of Jimmy Howard. It was a surprise to see Ian White being a healthy scratch on Wednesday. Valtteri Filppula has played 58:20 minutes on the power play and not only is he pointless, he has not even been on the ice for s Detroit power play goal! He is now out with a shoulder injury. Kyle Quincey scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday and it was his first point of the season as well, in 19 games. He's been a bit of a disappointment as he has been a 25+ point getter the last three years.


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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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