Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Final Three Weeks

Friday, April 05, 2013


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. Ottawa, @ Buffalo

 

Notes

The Flyers made a couple of moves with the acquisition of goaltender Steve Mason and tough guy Jay Rosehill, giving up Michael Leighton and Harry Zolnierczyk in return. The sophomore slump really hit Sean Couturier offensively this season but he finally broke a 27 game goalless streak by finding the back of the net Wednesday. Brayden Schenn also broke a long drought by scoring Thursday, his first goal in 18 games. A nice move by the Flyers in claiming Adam Hall off waivers this week. While he has no fantasy value, he is a useful bottom-six forward. Ilya Bryzgalov has played in 21 straight games.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary

 

Notes

The Coyotes are in Western Canada for all three games this week. Phoenix gave up some of their veterans as Raffi Torres, Steve Sullivan and Matthew Lombardi found new homes with the Coyotes getting a third, a seventh and a couple of minor leaguers back along with Brandon McMillan. Mike Smith has been out since March 21but could return as early as April 6 from an upper body injury. Chad Johnson played well on Thursday and could see some action down the stretch. Mikkel Boedker and Keith Yandle lead the Coyotes with 23 points, one ahead of Shane Doan. Chris Conner was recalled on Wednesday and scored Thursday.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Notes

The Penguins are rested on Tuesday when they travel to Carolina who play the Bruins in Boston on Monday. Oh were the Penguins busy in the days leading up to the deadline as they picked up Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Doug Murray and then managed to pick up Jussi Jokinen on deadline day. The bad news was that Sidney Crosby suffered a broken jaw when he took a shot off his face Saturday and he is likely out for the rest of the regular season although the Penguins are hoping he can return for the playoffs. Same for Paul Martin who is now out with a broken hand. Kris Letang (broken toe) is hoping to return this week. Jokinen will likely take over at center for Crosby, between Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ Minnesota, @ Columbus, vs. Chicago

 

Notes

The Blues play three games in four nights so it is expected that Jake Allen and Brian Elliott will likely split the net this week with Jaroslav Halak out of action with a lower body injury. The Blues will be tired on Friday when they play in Columbus after playing in Minnesota Thursday. It was a great move picking up Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary  for Mark Cundari, Reta Berra, and a conditional draft pick. Bouwmeester, who will be paired with Alex Pietrangelo, has never played in an NHL playoff game and if the Blues fail to make the post-season, you have to wonder if he is a jinx. Jaroslav Halak is out again so Jake Allen and Brian Elliott will share the crease.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Detroit, @ Dallas

 

Notes

The Sharks are rested Saturday in Dallas as the Stars are in Nashville Friday night. The Sharks were sellers as they dealt Doug Murray for a couple of second rounders and as well as Ryane Clowe but gave up a third rounder for Raffi Torres. They also traded Michal Handzus while picking up Scott Hannan in two separate deals. Martin Havlat has two goals and seven points in nine games since returning from a lower body injury. Unfortunately he only had six points in his first 20 games so his seasonal stats do not look good. Defenseman Matt Irwin was given a two-year extension after his very good start in which he has five goals and nine points in 27 games including three goals on the power play.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Washington, @ Buffalo

 

Notes

Tampa Bay plays three games in four nights. Look for newly acquired Ben Bishop to see the bulk of the action with Anders Lindback on the shelf. The Lightning were forced to give up rookie Cory Conacher to get the tall netminder. The Lightning recalled Brett Connolly from the minors. He had 27 goals and 57 points in 68 games in Syracuse and could have seen the last of the minors as he was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 Draft. Alex Killorn continues to impress as he has 16 points in 26 games including four in his last three. Vincent Lecavalier returned to action on Thursday after a foot injury kept him out of action the previous nine games. Get him back in your lineup.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. New York  Rangers, @ New York Rangers, vs. Montreal

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs did not bite and take Roberto Luongo off the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. They tinkered by adding a depth defensive defenseman as they picked up Ryan O'Byrne from the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth round pick. Toronto plays a home-and-home series against the Rangers this week and it could get rough so expect to see Colton Orr, Frazer McLaren and/or Mark Fraser spend a lot of time in the penalty box. Joffrey Lupul looks like he could be out for a bit as he suffered a head injury against the Flyers Thursday. Stay tuned to Rotoworld for further updates. Leo Komarov and Clarke MacArthur are both out with upper body injuries but are practicing with the Leafs and are close to returning to action.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ Calgary, @ Colorado

 

Notes

The Canucks did everything they could to try and trade Roberto Luongo, but couldn't, so it looks like he could be spending a lot of time on the bench with Cory Schneider seemingly entrenched as the number one goalie in Vancouver. They traded for Derek Roy, giving the Stars a second round pick as well as Kevin Connauton. Roy will slot in nicely as the second line center while Ryan Kesler is still out of action and the Canucks had been severely lacking at the pivot spot with Henrik Sedin the only center producing. As a result of the Roy trade, Jordan Schroeder was sent to the minors.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. Carolina, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Notes

The Capitals picked up Martin Erat and Michael Latta from Nashville at the deadline but gave up a prized prospect in Filip Forsberg. Erat will start his Washington career on the third line with Mathieu Perreault and Joel Ward but will also see plenty of power play time. Don't look now but Mike Green is becoming a fantasy stud again. He has five goals and an assist in his last four games and is on a four game goal scoring streak. Alex Ovechkin had his nine game scoring streak come to an end on Thursday but was also extremely hot as he had 10 goals and 15 points in that time span with 51 shots on net.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Jets play only twice this week so bench all your Jets if you are able to in weekly transaction pools. They were quiet at the trade deadline but did manage to claim Mike Santorelli off waivers from Florida. Nik Antropov is out two weeks with a lower body injury. The Jets have been struggling of late and are no longer in a playoff spot as they are 10th heading into action Friday. The big news in Winnipeg is their signing of Jacob Trouba to an entry-level contract. He was selected ninth overall in the 2012 Draft and starred for the United States in the World Juniors as the Americans won gold and he was named to the WJC all-star team.



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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