Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

It's Early. Don't Panic

Friday, October 11, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Pittsburgh, @ New York Islanders, @ Ottawa

 

Notes

The Oilers play four times this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Jason LaBarbera to play at least once for Devan Dubnyk. They are the tired team Tuesday in Pittsburgh after playing in Washington Monday. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returned on Monday, three weeks ahead of schedule. I like him to have a big offensive season the rest of the way if he can stay healthy. Corey Potter (back) is skating. Ryan Smyth was a healthy scratch with the return of RNH to the lineup. The veteran could find himself bouncing in and out of the lineup a lot this season. Coach Dallas Eakins is pleased with the performance of Ales Hemsky thus far.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Boston, vs. Minnesota

 

Notes

Sean Bergenheim could return to the lineup this week for the first time since the 2011-12 season as he has been battling core injuries. Tim Thomas suffered a groin injury on Tuesday and the Panthers recalled Scott Clemmensen to back up Jacob Markstrom. The Panthers want Drew Shore to play more so they sent him to the minors. Rookie Aleksander Barkov has two points in his first three games. Florida had the worst power play in the NHL with nary a goal in 16 chances before action on Thursday when they went one-for-five.  Marcel Goc is centering the top line with Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann the wings.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Nashville, vs. Dallas

 

Notes

Jacob Muzzin has been struggling and was a healthy scratch on Wednesday. Jeff Carter picked up a rare assist Wednesday but also had a couple of goals in a 4-3 win. Dustin Brown had a couple of goals as well on Wednesday after missing most of training camp with a hamstring injury. Jonathan Quick is off to a slow start with a .890 save percentage after four games with a 3.13 GAA. Fantasy owners should not be alarmed at the slow start.  Ben Scrivens, his backup, got into the Jets game on Friday as Quick was pulled but has yet to start in four outings. 

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Toronto, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Notes

The Wild play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. Niklas Backstrom was injured as he strained his knee Tuesday so Josh Harding could get more playing time.  Darcy Kuemper was recalled Thursday so it appears that Backstrom will miss some time. Consider him day-to-day for now. The Wild will be tired on Tuesday when they take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto after playing in Buffalo Monday. The Wild are shuffling their top two lines with Nino Niederreiter starting on the top line with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu while Jason Pominville moves down to the second line alongside  Dany Heatley and Mikael Granlund. Jason Zucker has been sent to the minors.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Columbus, vs. Nashville

 

Notes

Lars Eller, who was the NHL's second star of the week in the first week of the season, has continued his outstanding play in the early going alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher as he has six points including four goals in his first three games. Galchenyuk scored his first of the season Thursday and now has seven points. Encouraging news for George Parros as his concussion symptoms are subsiding and are almost gone.  Brandon Prust has a goal and 12 penalty minutes in four games. P.K. Subban has six points in four games to lead all NHL defensemen.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Los Angeles, @ Montreal, @ Winnipeg

 

Notes

The Predators will play four games this week including three games in four nights so do not be surprised to see Carter Hutton get one start for Pekka Rinne. The Predators will be tired Sunday and playing a rested Jets team as they are in Montreal Saturday. Roman Josi has yet to workout after suffering a concussion on October 4. He could be out a while. Seth Jones has taken over his spot alongside Shea Weber and seems to be thriving. Viktor Stalberg is skating but has yet to be cleared for contact after suffering a shoulder injury in training camp. Filip Forsberg, who has a bright NHL future and should be taken in all keeper leagues, scored his first goal of his NHL career on Tuesday.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, vs. New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Devils end a five game road trip to Canada and we suggest benching all your New Jersey players in weekly transaction leagues as they only play twice. Adam Henrique was centering Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder in practice Thursday.  Clowe was okay after taking a shot off his right foot Tuesday. Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias have been seeing ice time together along with Dainius Zubrus. Rostislav Olesz saw his first action of the 2013-14 season on Tuesday as he replaced Ryan Carter in the lineup. Cory Schneider played well in his return to Vancouver but the Devils dropped a 3-2 overtime decision.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Edmonton, vs. Carolina

 

Notes

The Islanders will be the rested team on Tuesday when they host the Sabres as Buffalo is home to Minnesota Monday. Matt Donovan has impressed head coach Jack Capuano with his offensive flair as the defenseman has a goal and an assist in three games. Cal Clutterbuck was activated from the injured reserve as he had been out since training camp with a leg injury. The Islanders returned Griffin Reinhart, their first pick and fourth overall in the 2012 Draft to the WHL. Michael Grabner has four assists in his first three games after picking up only five all of last season in 45 games. Evgeni Nabokov is 2-0-1 this season with a .935 save percentage and a 1.89 GAA. Grab him if he is available in your pool for some reason.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ New Jersey

 

Notes

At least the Rangers can go home when playing the Devils in New Jersey as they complete their nine game road trip to open the season as renovations continue at Madison Square Garden. Rick Nash may not be able to play this week because of a head injury as San Jose's Brad Stuart received a three game suspension for his hit to the head of Nash. Ryan Callahan is slated to start on the first line with Brad Richards and  Benoit Pouliot due to the injury to Nash while Derek Stepan will center the second line with Taylor Pyatt and Jesper Fast on his wings. Lundqvist has a 4.31 GAA and a .879 save percentage to go with a 1-3 record. Trade for him if you can from a disgruntled owner.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Phoenix, vs. New Jersey, vs. Edmonton

 

Notes

Stephane Da Costa took over from the injured Jason Spezza on Wednesday as he centered the top line with Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan. Spezza certainly looks to be injury-prone as he has a groin injury after missing most of last season with a back injury. The second line remained intact with Cory Conacher along with Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur. MacArthur has two assists and is plus-four after three games. Craig Anderson is 1-0-2 after three games with a 2.59 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Bobby Ryan has a goal and two assists in three games.


continue story »
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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Levitan: Is Knile top waiver?

    Levitan: Is Knile top waiver?
  •  
    Draft Profile: Devin Funchess

    Draft Profile: Devin Funchess
  •  
    Tuesday

    Tuesday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Monday

    Monday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Friday

    Friday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    RotoPat:: Week 2 Rankings

    RotoPat:: Week 2 Rankings
  •  
    Levitan: Start/Sit decisions

    Levitan: Start/Sit decisions
  •  
    Levitan: Snap-count analysis

    Levitan: Snap-count analysis