Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

Defensive Awareness

Friday, October 25, 2013


In one pool I'm involved in, we do not play penalty minutes as a category but have blocked shots, hits and plus/minus as three different categories.

 

The categories tend to look at how well you are defensively (I know plus/minus rewards you for a goal while you are on the ice, but it also takes away when the player is on the ice for a goal against) so I combined all three to see who was the best in the NHL.

 

It's not a surprise that of the 34 players who have a plus-40 or better that most are defensemen with Matt Greene and Kevin Bieksa the only two over 60 at 65 and 61 respectively.

 

Greene has 35 hits, 26 blocked shots and a plus-four rating while Bieksa has 28 hits, 22 blocked shots and a plus-11 rating.

 

There are nine players with totaling 50 or more including Radko Gudas (58), Dion Phaneuf (57), Ladislav Smid (55), the first forward Evander Kane (54), Nicklas Grossmann (53), Brooks Orpik (51) and Shea Weber, Mike Weaver and Cody Franson, all with 50.

  

It's not too late to join a Yahoo! Hockey pool.

 

                                                        

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

 

Twenty-three players have 40 or more including forwards Tommy Wingels, Justin Abdelkader (whose 47 includes 43 hits), Martin Hanzal, Tanner Glass and Troy Brouwer.

 

The rest of the defensemen include: Francois Beauchemin, Bryan Allen, Brent Seabrook, Nate Guenin, Jan Hejda, David Savard, Brenden Dillon, Jeff Petry, Erik Gudbranson, Drew Doughty, Josh Gorges, Matt Martin, Jared Cowen, Zbynek Michalek, Carl Gunnarsson, Paul Ranger, Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien.

 

There are four Maple Leafs on the list and three Winnipeg Jets.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF OCTOBER 28 - NOVEMBER 3

 

4 Games - Chicago, Dallas, Montreal, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh

 

3 Games– Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington

 

2 Games – Colorado, Columbus, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, San Jose, Winnipeg

 

 Anaheim, Detroit, Montreal and Toronto three games on the road.

 

Minnesota, the New York Rangers and Vancouver play three games at home.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Friday). It's just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 7pm ET. Here's the link.

 

INJURIES

 

Taylor Hall is out four weeks with a knee injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Boston, @ Buffalo

 

Notes

The Ducks will be rested on Thursday in Boston as the Bruins are in Pittsburgh Wednesday night. Viktor Fasth is still unable to play due to a lower body injury that occurred last week so Frederik Andersen is backing up Jonas Hiller.  Dustin Penner suffered an apparent concussion when hit in the head courtesy of Dallas' Ryan Garbutt on Sunday and is out of action. Jakob Silfverberg is off to a good start with seven points in nine games. Francois Beauchemin has two points in nine games and has gone seven straight games without a point but his plus-eight rating gives him fantasy value.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Anaheim, @ New York Islanders

 

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights so expect to see Chad Johnson play once in place of Tuukka Rask. The Bruins will be tired Thursday when they host the Ducks after playing in Pittsburgh Wednesday. The will be rested when they are in Long Island to play the Islanders who are in Ottawa Friday.  Brad Marchand was demoted to the third line but with the injury to Loui Eriksson, Marchand will once again see second line minutes alongside Patrice Bergeron and the surprising Reilly Smith. Eriksson is out indefinitely with a concussion. Jarome Iginla finally found the  back of the net Thursday and has four assists in nine games. Torey Krug has been terrific on the blueline fantasy-wise as he has three goals including two on the power play, in eight games.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ New York Rangers, vs. Anaheim

 

Notes

At 1-9-1, the Sabres are the worst team in the NHL in the early going. Look for John Scott to get a hefty suspension for his hit to the head on Loui Eriksson. The Sabres other enforcer, Patrick Kaleta could be appealing his 10 game suspension to a neutral arbitrator. Ryan Miller is just 1-7-0 with a 3.01 GAA, but that could be more about the team around him as his save percentage is .918. Steve Ott has only two points in 11 games this season. Ville Leino (cracked rib) could be ready to return to action this week.  Nikita Zadorov scored his first NHL goal this past week. The defenseman was selected 13th overall in the 2013 Draft.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto. vs. Detroit, @ Chicago

 

Notes

The Flames get a huge break this week as they are the rested team twice. The first time is Wednesday against Toronto as the Maple Leafs play in Edmonton the previous night. They are in Chicago Sunday to play the Blackhawks as Chicago is in Winnipeg Saturday. Jiri Hudler was the last player to score in every game this season but that came to an end Thursday when he was held off the scoresheet. Sven Baertschi was a healthy scratch Thursday while Matt Stajan returned to action after missing eight games with a leg contusion.  Lee Stempniak is on a five game scoring streak and has four goals and nine points this season.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Tampa Bay, @ New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Hurricanes are the tired team Saturday in New York as they take on Tampa Bay at home Friday. Carolina is hurting in goal with Cam Ward out a month and Anton Khudobin on the shelf as well, leaving the net to Justin Peters. Rookie Elias Lindholm, the Hurricanes first round pick in 2013, has missed the last five games with a shoulder injury but should be back this week. Tim Gleason has been out all season with a concussion but his return is imminent. They miss his steadying influence on the blueline. Jeff Skinner leads the team in points with nine.

           

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. Ottawa, @ Winnipeg, vs. Calgary

 

Notes

The Blackhawks are the tired team twice this week with the first game coming on Tuesday against the Senators at home as Chicago plays in Minnesota Monday. They are home to Calgary on Sunday after playing the Jets in Winnipeg Saturday. The Blackhawks start the week in the second game of back-to-back contests against the Wild so look for Brandon Bollig to get into a fight as he is the Blackhawks resident enforcer. Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with eight points in 10 games after his two point effort on Thursday against Tampa Bay. Mike Kostka is out four-six weeks with a lower body injury suffered in practice.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, vs. Montreal

 

Notes

The Avalanche are still the surprise team in the NHL and although they only play twice, there are seven teams that do so, so I suggest keeping your Avs in the lineup if you have a lot of players only playing twice in weekly transaction pools. Erik Johnson could miss some time after being hit in the foot by a shot during practice Wednesday. Cody McLeod will be eligible to return against Montreal after being suspended five games for his hit on Niklas Kronwall. P. A. Parenteau has been very impressed with the play of linemate and first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon. With all the offensive skill that MacKinnon possesses, Parenteau loves his competitiveness and the way he battles. That bodes very well for the future of the Avs and MacKinnon as he has huge offensive talent.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play a home-and-home series against the Penguins this week for their only two games of the week. If there are any fisticuffs, and usually in  back-to-back games, tempers tend to flare, then look for Jared Boll and possibly Nick Foligno to be involved. Cody Bass is another possibility but he has yet to be cleared to practice after injuring his thumb and could be sent to the minors for conditioning. Sergei Bobrovsky got back in the win column Tuesday after giving up four goals apiece in his previous two games. James Wisniewski should feel under the weather a few more times this season. He was considered a game-time decision Tuesday with flu-like symptoms but played and had a goal and two assists in the win.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Montreal, vs. Colorado, @ Ottawa

 

Notes

The Stars play four times this week but not three games in four nights. Nevertheless, look for Dan Ellis to play at least once as Kari Lehtonen just returned to the lineup after missing five games with a lower back injury. Brenden Dillon has been a fantasy hidden gem in the early going as the defenseman has three goals, five points and a plus-seven rating thus far. He will also pick up penalty minutes and has eight in 10 games. Ryan Garbutt was suspended for five games for his hit on Dustin Penner. Ray Whitney has yet to find the back of the net but has six assists. Alex Goligoski was a healthy scratch on Thursday.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Notes

The Red Wings play all three games in Western Canada this week and they play all three in four nights so look for Jonas Gustavsson to play once in place of Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings will be tired on Saturday in Edmonton after playing the Flames in Calgary Friday. Jonas Gustavsson was named the first star of the week in the NHL. Niklas Kronwall returned to action on Wednesday after taking a hit to the head courtesy of Cody McLeod. There was some doubt as he took a puck to the mouth in practice but after a visit to the dentist, he was deemed okay to play. Patrick Eaves could return to the lineup on October 26 after being out of action all season with knee and ankle problems.


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

  •  
    RotoPat:: Week 3 Rankings

    RotoPat:: Week 3 Rankings
  •  
    Beer’s NFL 6 Pack - QB & RB

    Beer’s NFL 6 Pack - QB & RB
  •  
    Thursday

    Thursday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Levitan: Drop options

    Levitan: Drop options
  •  
    Levitan: Biggest flukes

    Levitan: Biggest flukes
  •  
    Wednesday

    Wednesday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Levitan: Is Knile top waiver?

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

    Draft Profile: Devin Funchess