Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Three Amigos

Friday, March 08, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Detroit, vs. Nashville

 

Notes

Ladislav Smid leads the Oilers with 66 blocked shots and 69 hits. Boy is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins slumping. He has only one goal this season and has only two assists since the beginning of February, a span of 15 games. Jordan Eberle has only one goal in his last 10 games but does have five assists in his last six. With all the fine talent the Oilers have up front, they finally picked up a player who can protect them as Mike Brown, with his 70 penalty minutes was dealt from the Maple Leafs. He fought in his second game with the Oilers Thursday. Nick Schultz is a team worse minus-13 with Nail Yakupov right behind at minus-12.

 

 FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Boston, vs. New York Islanders

 

Notes

Stephen Weiss is gone for the season after undergoing wrist surgery. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the season but would like to re-sign with the Panthers. Mike Weaver is tops on the Panthers with 38 blocked shots. Jonathan Huberdeau has scored on two penalty shots this season and leads the Panthers in goals with 11. Jose Theodore is out five-six weeks with a groin injury and it looks like Jacob Markstrom may finally get his chance for a long-term shot in the net although he allowed two goals on two shots Thursday before getting pulled only 3:10 minutes into the first period. Tomas Fleischmann has 17 points this season, one ahead of Brian Campbell who has six goals.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Phoenix, @ San Jose, vs. San Jose

 

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights this week. Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier have split the net evenly over the last 12 games so look for more of the same this week. The Kings are tired Tuesday when they play the Coyotes in Glendale as they host Calgary Monday. They play the Sharks in back-to-back games so expect to see Keaton Ellerby and Jordan Nolan to find their way to the penalty box. Justin Williams has only two goals and 12 points this season but is a plus-nine. Drew Doughty has yet to find the back of the net while fellow blueliner Slava Voynov has four goals and 13 points. Doughty is tops on the Kings with a measly 25 blocked shots.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Colorado, @ Colorado

 

Notes

Good news on Cal Clutterbuck front as he finally practiced for the first time since he suffered a thigh contusion when Taylor Hall hit him on Feb. 21, a hit that earned Hall a two game suspension. Josh Harding is feeling a lot better after suffering from his multiple sclerosis. He has been out since Feb. 14 and the doctors have told him not to practice as of yet. GM Chuck Fletcher is happy with his signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter as he loves their work ethic. He thinks they will continue to improve as both are only 28. Suter leads the team with 33 blocked shots, one ahead of Tom Gilbert.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ New Jersey

 

Notes

The Canadiens will be rested on Saturday when they play the Devils who are in Philadelphia the night before. The Habs only play twice this week and I suggest benching your Montreal players in weekly transaction pools with the exception of P.K. Subban and the hot Max Pacioretty. Josh Gorges leads the team in blocked shots with 60. Subban has been outstanding on the power play since he re-signed as he has four goals and 11 points in 18 games. Tomas Kaberle is starting to become a healthy scratch and could find himself being one of Montreal's off-season's buyouts. Pacioretty was the first star of the week as he had four goals and seven points last week.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Notes

The Predators play three games in four nights this week so look for Chris Mason to get a start in place of Pekka Rinne. The Predators will be tired Friday when they travel to Calgary after playing the Canucks in Vancouver Thursday. Nashville starts a five game road trip this week. Kevin Klein leads the Predators with 47 blocked shots. Nashville is a low scoring team and that really comes into play when the opposition scores first as they are 1-9 when that happens. They claimed both Bobby Butler and Zach Boychuk off waivers this past week.  Sergei Kostitsyn replaced Roman Josi on the power play point early in the week.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ Philadelphia, vs. Montreal

 

Notes

Martin Brodeur is still out with a bad back and if he is unable to go this week, look for Johan Hedberg to play twice with Keith Kinkaid getting the other start. New Jersey will be the tired team on Saturday against the Canadiens after playing in Philadelphia Saturday.  They play the Flyers twice this week so look for Krys Barch and David Clarkson to lead the parade to the penalty box. Bryce Salvador leads the Devils with 53 blocked shots. Adam Larsson was a healthy scratch on Thursday after the Devils had dropped six in a row. He has three assists in 18 games this season and is a plus-four. He was drafted fourth overall last season and it is taking him longer to shine as originally thought but he has plenty of talent so do not forget about him next season in your fantasy pool.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Notes

Andrew MacDonald is the Islanders leader in blocked shots with 63. The Islanders play only twice this week so I recommend benching all your Isles with the exception of John Tavares and possibly Matt Moulson, if you have weekly transactions. New York has six players with a minus-seven rating or worse including Tavares, Moulson, Travis Hamonic, Brad Boyes, Mark Streit and MacDonald. Lubomir Visnovsky left the team again for personal reasons, this time heading back to Slovakia for the funeral of a close friend's 13-year-old son. He should be back this week. Brad Boyes has made a nice comeback offensively this season with five goals and 18 points in 23 games including a goal and seven assists on the power play.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

 @ Buffalo, @ Winnipeg, @ Pittsburgh

 

Notes

Daniel Girardi has 58 blocked shots to lead the Rangers. Brad Richards suffered a neck and back injury when he was knocked head first into the boards by Patrick Kaleta on Sunday. Consider him day-to-day for now. In more bad news for the Rangers, Marc Staal was hit by an errant puck near his eye and is out of action although the news has been good with regards to a recovery. New York claimed defenseman Roman Hamrlik off waivers from the Capitals. Rick Nash was out four games with an undisclosed injury but has been outstanding since his return with four goals and seven points in four games. He now has 20 points in 18 games.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Montreal, @ Buffalo, vs. Winnipeg

 

Notes

It is still hard to believe that injured defenseman Erik Karlsson (Achilles tendon) is leading the Senators in goals with six despite being out of the lineup for the past three weeks. Daniel Alfredsson is one behind after scoring his fifth of the season Wednesday to tie him with Jim O'Brien. Marc Methot and Chris Phillips are tied for the team lead in blocked shots with 42 apiece. Jason Spezza is out another month after he underwent back surgery on Feb. 1. Milan Michalek returned to action from a knee surgery Wednesday after missing 10 games and had an assist.  Craig Anderson continues to recover slowly from an ankle injury and his return is unknown at this time.

 


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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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