Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Penalty Kill

Friday, November 08, 2013


While it does not seem important to fantasy pools, the penalty kill actually is as it is obvious that poor teams give up power play goals to the opposition while good teams do not.

 

It’s surprising therefore, to see some very good hockey teams at the bottom of the penalty kill in the NHL as the two worst teams in the league are the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks, two of the best teams in the West.

 

Nine teams are below the 80 percent efficiency rating heading into action on Friday with four teams, the Phoenix Coyotes, the Minnesota Wild and the previously mentioned Blackhawks and Ducks currently in a playoff position. The rest of the team’s, Florida, Columbus, Edmonton, Calgary and the Islanders are not.

 

Washington is the only team over 90 percent with Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Colorado filling out the top five at 87 percent efficiency or better.

 

The first five teams have given up an average of seven goals while the bottom eight teams have given up an average of almost 13 goals.

 

So you can see it is close to double the chance that a bottom team will allow a power play goal compared to a top team and that should help you if you are looking for power play points the rest of the season.

 

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

 

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

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 11-17

 

4 Games - Columbus, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay

 

3 Games– Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Toronto,  Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Vancouver

   

Los Angeles and San Jose play all four games on the road.

 

Calgary, Minnesota, New York Islanders, Ottawa and St. Louis play three games at home.

 

Anaheim, Columbus, Dallas, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay play three games on the road.

 

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 7:30pm ET. Here's the link. 

 

INJURIES

 

Dave Bolland is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his ankle. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ Carolina

 

Notes

The Ducks play three games in four nights so look for Frederik Andersen to play once in place of Jonas Hiller. The Ducks are the tired team on Friday when they play the Carolina Hurricanes as Anaheim takes on Tampa Bay Thursday. It is very surprising that Dustin Penner is leading the NHL in plus/minus at plus-15. Teemu Selanne is back in action after missing four games following oral surgery. Cam Fowler has four points in his last four games. Mathieu Perreault continues to impress with 14 points in 16 games. Saku Koivu will have a tough time taking back his spot as the Ducks second line center from Perreault. It's hard to believe the Ducks are the top team in the NHL with the second worst power play and penalty kill this season.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Columbus, @ Ottawa

 

Notes

The Bruins are tired on Friday when they are in Ottawa as Boston hosts Columbus Thursday. Loui Eriksson returned to action on Tuesday following a concussion that kept him out of the lineup for five games. He has only two goals and four points in 10 games but is a good buy-low candidate. Defenseman Troy Krug has six goals and nine points and should be in someone’s lineup, especially if you use defensemen goals as a category. Tuukka Rask is 8-4-1 with a sparkling 1.68 GAA and a .942 save percentage which is second and third respectively in the NHL.  Brad Marchand scored his second goal of the season Thursday and now has five points in 15 games.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Toronto @ Toronto

 

Notes

The Sabres play a home-and-home series with the Maple Leafs and things could get nasty as John Scott is eligible to return from his seven game suspension on November 8. Scott tried to fight with the Leafs Phil Kessel in the preseason and Toronto will likely send out their enforcers in Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren, to deal with the hulking Scott. Grab Scott in pools if you need penalty minutes this week. Matt Moulson has not missed a beat since being dealt from the Islanders to Buffalo as he has six points in five games. Ryan Miller picked up his second win of the season Tuesday and now is 2-10-0.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Dallas, vs. Edmonton

 

Notes

The Flames the rested team twice this week as they play Dallas on Thursday after the Stars take on Edmonton the previous night. They then are rested on Saturday when playing at home against the Oilers as Edmonton play at home to San Jose Friday. Sven Baertschi has been a healthy scratch the last two games and is practicing with the fourth liners. Lance Bouma is seeing time on the first line due to injuries. Curtis Glencross is out six weeks with a knee injury. The Flames recalled Reto Berra on the weekend and waived Joey MacDonald. MacDonald passed through waivers and is now on the Abbotsford team in the AHL while Berra has taken over the net in Calgary with Karri Ramo backing him up for now. Berra sparkled in his NHL debut stopping 42 of 44 shots in a 3-2 upset win over Chicago.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Anaheim, @ St. Louis

 

Notes

Carolina is the rested team on Friday when they host the Ducks as Anaheim play the Lightning in Tampa Bay Thursday. The Hurricanes then travel to St. Louis for a Saturday matchup with the rested Blues. Jeff Skinner is likely to miss another two weeks with an upper body injury. He has been out of action since October 24. The Hurricanes sent first round pick Elias Lindholm to Charlotte of the AHL after the Swedish rookie picked up a goal and an assist in 10 NHL games. They recalled Chris Terry at the same time after Terry had six goals and 10 points for the Charlotte Checkers in 10 games.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ Nashville, vs. San Jose

 

Notes

The Chicago Blackhawks play three games in four nights so they may go back to Nikolai Khabibulin for one game in place of Corey Crawford despite Khabibulin’s shaky start to the season. Coach Joel Quenneville had the opportunity to play 'The Bulin Wall' on Sunday as the Blackhawks played in back-to-back games but chose to play Crawford again. The Blackhawks are rested on Saturday when they face Nashville in Music City as the Predators are in Pittsburgh the previous night. Chicago then returns home on Sunday to host the rested Sharks. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are off to great starts in the goal scoring department with nine and eight respectively. Michal Handzus has missed the last seven games with an upper body injury.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ St. Louis, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Avalanche are rested Saturday when they host Florida who are in Minnesota Friday. Matt Duchene suffered a bruised foot Wednesday but is expected to play despite missing practice Thursday. Nathan MacKinnon is back centering the third line between John Mitchell and Maxime Talbot after coach Patrick Roy put Jamie McGinn on a line with Paul Stastny and Gabriel Landeskog. The moves were made with the injury to Alex Tanguay (knee). Semyon Varlamov is 1-1 since his arrest and subsequent release from jail but he has allowed seven goals in just 56 shots to lower his save percentage to .933.

  

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Boston, vs. Montreal, @ Ottawa

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play four times this week including three in four nights so look for Curtis McElhinny to play at least once in place of Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky saw his record drop to 4-8-0 Thursday in a 4-2 loss to a tired New York Rangers team but he does have a good save percentage at .910. The Blue Jackets will be tired on Friday when they host the Canadiens as Columbus will play the Bruins in Boston on Thursday. Good news for Nathan Horton owners as he skated for the first time since undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. He is still four-six weeks away from playing. Marian Gaborik drew an assist on Thursday for his first point in five games. He now has five goals and 11 points in 14 games.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Calgary, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

The Stars are in Western Canada all week and will be the tired team on Thursday in Calgary after playing up the road in Edmonton on Wednesday. Rich Peverley has two game winning goals in a row with the first one in a shootout on Tuesday. Kari Lehtonen has been a stud in goal this season for the Stars as he is 7-2-2 with a 2.02 GAA and a .934 save percentage. Valeri Nichushkin scored his first of the season and his NHL career on November 3 and is playing with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin on the top line. Seguin won only one of 14 faceoffs on Sunday before coach Lindy Ruff replaced him in the dot.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Washington, @ New York Islanders

 

Notes

The Red Wings will be the tired team on Saturday when they travel to New York to face the Islanders after playing the Capitals at home on Friday. Jonas Gustavsson was healthy enough on Thursday to return as a backup to Jimmy Howard as Gustavsson was out with a neck strain for a week. Jordin Tootoo passed through waivers this week but the Red Wings have not sent the tough winger to the minors as of yet. Johan Franzen missed Thursday’s game with an illness but should be fine for this week’s slate of games. Jonathan Ericsson comes off the long-term injured reserve list on Friday and will be ready to play against Washington.


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Michael Finewax has been covering hockey since 2005 and is the Hockey Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter.
Email :Mike Finewax



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