Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Three Amigos

Friday, March 08, 2013


Three very good players held out at the beginning of the season as restricted free agents, Jamie Benn, P.K. Subban and Ryan O'Reilly.

 

O'Reilly is the most recent to sign and he has only one assist in three games. But Subban and Benn have been outstanding since signing as Subban has six goals and nine assists in 18 games with four goals and seven assists coming on the power play.

 

Jamie Benn has six goals and 16 points in 18 games so it seems that the effects of signing after the season starts have been negligible at least this season.

 

I would think that O'Reilly is capable of getting 15 points in the last half of the season and if this will help your fantasy team, grab him now.

 

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

 

Don’t forget to purchase Rotoworld's Season Pass if you haven't done so already.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF MARCH 11-17

 

5 Games - Boston

 

4 Games–Los Angeles, Nashville, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Washington, Winnipeg

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Jose , Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver

 

2 Games - Chicago, Montreal, New York Islanders, Philadelphia

 

Nashville plays all four games on the road.

 

Anaheim, Boston, Detroit and the New York Rangers play three games on the road this week.

 

Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, Pittsburgh and St. Louis play three games at home.

 

Follow me on twitter!

 

INJURIES

 

Cam Ward is out six-eight weeks with a knee injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Dallas, @ St. Louis

 

Notes

Coach Bruce Boudreau loves to mix up his lines and Bobby Ryan is the latest beneficiary of playing on the top unit alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. We shall see how long that lasts. Getzlaf has been very hot of late with six goals and 18 points in his last 11 games. Jonas Hiller has played in three of the last four games and is 2-0-1 with a GAA of 1.95 and a .933 save percentage as it appears that Boudreau, for now, is leaning towards Hiller over Viktor Fasth. After picking up 34 penalty minutes in a three game span in early-to-mid February, enforcer Brad Staubitz has played in only one of ten games since. Francois Beauchemin leads the team in blocked shots with 49.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Florida, vs. Washington, @ Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Bruins play five times this week so expect to see Anton Khudobin play at least once this week in place of Tuukka Rask. Boston will be tired on Tuesday when they travel to Pittsburgh as the Bruins are in Ottawa Monday. The Bruins play the Penguins twice this week and it is safe to put Shawn Thornton back in your lineup as he had a fight this past week for the first time since suffering a concussion on January 31. You can also add Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara to the list of players who should add to their penalty minute totals this week. Dougie Hamilton has a four game point scoring streak heading into action on Thursday. Dennis Seidenberg leads the Bruins in blocked shots with 48.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, vs. Ottawa, @ Washington

 

Notes

Tyler Ennis has five points in eight games since Ron Rolston took over from Lindy Ruff including a goal and two assists on the only three power play goals. Thomas Vanek has only a goal and five points in his last ten games after an amazing start to the season where he led the league in scoring with 23 points in 12 games. Jordan Leopold has missed the last eight games with an upper body injury. Patrick Kaleta was suspended five games for his hit on Brad Richards. Defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Andrej Sekera have 45 blocked shots to lead the Sabres.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, vs. Detroit, vs. Nashville

 

Notes

The Flames are rested Friday when they take on the Predators who are in Vancouver on Thursday.  Jarome Iginla has six goals and nine points in his last seven games. Sven Baertschi has only one assist in six games since he returned from a hip injury. Miikka Kiprusoff returned to action on Wednesday after missing a month of action and stopped 32 of 33 shots in a 4-1 win. Dennis Wideman has 45 blocked shots to lead the Flames. The Flames picked up Brian McGrattan because they have little toughness in their lineup as Mark Giordano leads the team with 18 penalty minutes while Matthew Stajan has 16. The duo aren't exactly the Broad Street Bullies.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Washington, vs. Washington, @ Tampa Bay

 

Notes

Cam Ward suffered a knee injury on the weekend and is out six-eight weeks so look for Dan Ellis to get the majority of the starts with Justin Peters backing him up. Peters got into a couple of games this past week with Ellis sidelined with an illness. The Hurricanes play a home-and-home series against Washington so look for Tim Gleason and Jay Harrison to add to their penalty minute totals if there are any fisticuffs. Harrison leads the team in blocked shots with 52. Alexander Semin has two goals and nine points in his last five games. Jussi Jokinen has three goals and five points in his last four games. It does not hurt to be on the top line with Eric Staal and Semin.

           

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Dallas

 

Notes
The Blackhawks have only two games this week but they are so hot, I can't really recommend benching your Chicago players. The Blackhawks are 21-0-3 this season as they hit the halfway point of the season. Brent Seabrook leads in blocked shots with 57 but the Blackhawks also have Niklas Hjalmarsson with 55 and Johnny Oduya with 50.  It appears that Patrick Sharp will be out of action for two-three weeks with a shoulder injury. Ray Emery became the first goalie in NHL history to start a season 10-0. Patrick Kane is having an outstanding season with 12 goals, 27 points and a plus-10 rating. His two penalty minutes hurt in traditional pools but his five goals and four assists on the power play help out.

  

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Minnesota, vs. Minnesota

 

Notes

The Avalanche play a home-and-home series with the Wild so expect to see Cody McLeod, Patrick Bordeleau and Ryan O'Byrne to add to their minute totals as tempers should flare. John Mitchell has been a nice surprise with seven goals in 21 games, putting him third on the Avs in goals behind P. A. Parenteau and Matt Duchene. Ryan O'Reilly got on the scoresheet in his third game of the season as he drew an assist Wednesday. Erik Johnson (concussion) and Ryan Wilson (ankle) have been out of the lineup for most of the season but the defensemen should return by the start of the week and  help anchor the blueline. Greg Zanon leads with 66 blocked shots.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Chicago, vs. Phoenix

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets are home for all three games this week. Jack Johnson leads the team in blocked shots with 34. Brandon Dubinsky has been out since Feb. 16 with a knee injury and should return this week. New GM Jarmo Kekalainen has been impressed with former first round pick Ryan Johansen. It's hard to believe but Vaclav Prospal's 14 points this season leads the Blue Jackets. Columbus has four players with a minus-10 rating or worse, including Johansen, Matt Calvert, Derek Dorsett and Adrian AucoinJared Boll has been good with 74 penalty minutes and a plus-three rating. He also has a goal and four points this season, giving him some fantasy value.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Anaheim, vs. Chicago

 

Notes

Stephane Robidas leads the Stars with 40 blocked shots. Ray Whitney (foot) could return by the end of the week but the week of March 13th is likelier. Derek Roy is heating up with five points in his last three games. Jaromir Jagr leads the Stars in points with 17 one ahead of Jamie Benn.  Jagr has four power play goals while only Cody Eakin (2) has more than one. Alex Goligoski has 12 assists this season without a goal and seven of his helpers have come on the power play. Kari Lehtonen is back from a groin injury and is 9-3-1 this season with a 2.24 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights so expect to see Jonas Gustavsson play once  in place of Jimmy Howard as Detroit makes the trip through Western Canada. The Red Wings will be the tired team Saturday when they are in Vancouver after visiting Edmonton Friday. Niklas Kronwall has 38 blocked shots. Ian White has been a healthy scratch the last five games and will have trouble getting back in the lineup as the Red Wings have only given up 11 goals in their last seven games. Todd Bertuzzi (back) has been out almost a month and is not close to returning. First year player Damien Brunner leads the Red Wings in goals with 10.


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Michael Finewax has been covering hockey since 2005 and is the Hockey Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter.
Email :Mike Finewax



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