Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Bobrovsky out of this World!

Friday, March 15, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. St. Louis

 

Notes

The Oilers will only play twice this week so I recommend benching all your Edmonton players in weekly transaction leagues.  Justin Schultz has 12 of his 15 points on the power play and is minus-10 this season. Sam Gagner is having a breakout season with 10 goals and 25 points in 26 games. Nikolai Khabibulin has been activated from the injured reserve list and Yann Danis was sent back to the minors.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doubled his goals this week as he scored his second of the season. Since the Oilers acquired Mike Brown, Ben Eager was made redundant and he passed through waivers before being sent to the minors.

 

 FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ New York Rangers, @ New Jersey, @ New York Islanders

 

Notes

The Panthers are on the road for all four games this week and play three games in four nights so Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen  should each get at least one start. The Panthers will be the rested team Tuesday when they face the Hurricanes who play the Rangers in New York on Monday and will be tired on Sunday in Long Island after playing the Devils in Newark Saturday. Kris Versteeg is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery.  Jack Skille is on a four-game point scoring streak heading into Thursday with a goal and four points. Shawn Matthias has five goals in his last eight games.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, vs. Phoenix, vs. Dallas, vs. Vancouver

 

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights this week so look for Jonathan Bernier to play at least once in place of Jonathan Quick.  The Kings are rested Thursday when they play the Stars who are in Colorado Wednesday. They play the Coyotes in back-to-back games so expect to see Keaton Ellerby and Jordan Nolan to find their way to the penalty box. Jacob Muzzin continues to impress and now has seven points in his last seven games to go with a plus-eight rating. He also had 19 penalty minutes Thursday.  Dustin Brown is starting to heat up with five goals in his last three games. Jeff Carter had 11 goals in 10 games before being held off the scoresheet in the last three games.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Detroit, vs. San Jose

 

Notes

Jason Zucker suffered an upper body injury on Tuesday when he was hit illegally by Corey Perry, an infraction that cost Perry a four game suspension. Zucker skated by himself on Wednesday and that was good news but he missed Thursday's game. Zucker was replaced in the lineup by Pierre-Marc Bouchard who had been a healthy scratch in his last three games. The Wild were in need of some depth on the blueline so they signed Brett Clark to a one-year deal. Highly touted rookie Mikael Granlund has struggled too much at the NHL level and has been sent to Houston of the AHL to get him plenty of ice time and hopefully his confidence back. He is worth stashing in keeper leagues.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ New York Islanders, vs. Buffalo

 

Notes

The Canadiens play the Sabres twice at home this week so look for Brandon Prust (if healthy as he could return from a degree 1 shoulder separation) and Ryan White to get into a fight if the Sabres tough guys are willing. Prust is having a very good fantasy season with 81 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating. He also has four goals and nine points and is the top all-round fantasy enforcer in the league. Tomas Plekanec has been scoring of late with three goals and six points in his last six games. Carey Price has a 14-4-3 record this season with a 2.39 GAA and a .910 save percentage.  The Habs sent Greg Pateryn to the minors and recalled former first round pick Jarred Tinordi from Hamilton of the AHL. P.K. Subban has been sensational since re-signing with Montreal as he has 20 points in 21 games including 15 points on the power play.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Calgary, vs. Columbus

 

Notes

The Predators are rested Saturday when they host the Blue Jackets who play Calgary on Friday. They play the Blue Jackets twice this week so expect to see Richard Clune in the penalty box at some point. Nashville has been having trouble on the road of late as they are 1-5-1 after a 4-2-1 start. The team is hoping to get Patric Hornqvist and Colin Wilson back this week as both are out with upper body injuries.  Nashville is having trouble scoring as Wilson leads the team with 19 points with Shea Weber and Martin Erat second and third with 14 and 13 points respectively. Weber has been hot of late with a goal and five assists in four games.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, @ Carolina, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Devils will be rested on Tuesday when they host the Rangers who host Carolina Monday. Ilya Kovalchuk has been a special teams star this season as he has two goals and eight assists on the power play to go with four shorthanded goals. David Clarkson has only two assists in his last 13 games. Martin Brodeur has missed the last 10 games with a back injury but could return on March 16. After going five games without a point, Andrei Loktionov had a goal and an assist on Tuesday. He has four goals and seven points in 12 games. Johan Hedberg is 3-1 in his last four games, giving up five goals in the loss but only two apiece in the three wins with two victories in the shootout.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Montreal, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Islanders placed Michael Grabner on the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury. He has 10 goals this season with three assists in 26 games as his goal scoring is reminiscent of the 2010-11 season when he scored 34 times rather than the 20 goals in 78 games last season. Tough defenseman Matt Carkner is skating again after he suffered a lower body injury on February 7. John Tavares and Matt Moulson have eight and seven power play goals respectively with Mark Streit the only other Islander with more than one goal as he has two. Evgeni Nabokov is 12-8-3 but his peripherals are nothing to write home about as he has a 2.88 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ New Jersey, vs. Florida, vs. Washington

 

Notes

The Rangers play three games in four nights so you could see Martin Biron play once in place of Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers are the tired team on Tuesday in New Jersey after hosting the Hurricanes on Monday. Marian Gaborik is struggling with only one goal in his last 13 games and he has been demoted at times to the third line. You should stick with him as his fantasy value is at an all-time low and you will not get enough if you try and deal him. He still has eight goals and 17 points in 26 games and while it is not Gaborik-like, he is far from the worst fantasy forward in the NHL.  Look for Marc Staal to return by the end of March if not a bit sooner as he recovers from an eye injury.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

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

 

Notes

The Senators start a five game home stand this week. David Dziurzynski practiced for the first time Wednesday since he suffered a concussion in a fight with the Maple Leafs Frazer McLaren. Patrick Wiercioch has been taking over the offense from the blueline and has scored three goals in the last five games to give him three goals and nine points this season in 23 games. He also chips in with penalty minutes as he now has 27 after a 19 minute performance Monday.  Robin Lehner is a hard luck goalie as he is 1-0-4 this season with a 2.07 GAA and a sensational .944 save percentage. He is just having trouble in shootouts as he has lost all four this season.


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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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