Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Penalty Kill

Friday, November 08, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. San Jose, @ Calgary

 

Notes

The Oilers play three games in four nights so look for Jason LaBarbera to play once in place of Devan Dubnyk. The Oilers will be rested on Friday when they face San Jose who are in Vancouver on Thursday, but will be the tired team on Saturday in Calgary. Taylor Hall returned to action on Thursday after missing seven games with a knee injury and potted a goal. He is now playing with Sam Gagner at center and Nail Yakupov on the other side in which should be a high scoring line in Edmonton. GM Craig MacTavish stated that Yakupov is not going to be traded nor is he going to the minors and placing him on the top line reinforces that thought. David Perron could be back in the Edmonton lineup on November 9. Mark Arcobello finally scored and now has two goals and 12 points to tie for the points lead in Edmonton with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, @ Minnesota, @ Colorado

 

Notes

The Panthers are the tired team on Saturday against the Avalanche in Colorado as they play in Minnesota Friday. The Panthers are tied for the third worst point total in the NHL at 10 and coach Kevin Dineen was relieved of his duties on Friday morning. Tim Thomas could return to action as early as November 9 and that will likely place Scott Clemmensen back in the minors. Jonathan Huberdeau has assists in each of his last three games but has only eight points in 16 games this season. Scott Gomez has only one goal and four points in 15 games this season and was a healthy scratch earlier in the week. He has no fantasy value.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ New York Islanders, @ New Jersey, @ New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Kings play all four on the road this week and also play three games in four nights so expect to see backup Ben Scrivens play once instead of Jonathan Quick. They are the tired team on Friday when facing the Devils in New Jersey after playing the Islanders in Long Island on Thursday. The Kings will be rested Sunday when facing the Rangers as New York plays in Monteal Saturday. The Kings do not have to do a lot of traveling during the week as they will spend most of their time in New York. Tyler Toffoli has two assists since his call up two games ago and is seeing plenty of power play time. He had two goals and six points in 12 playoff games with the Kings last season so he is worth picking up in deeper pools.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, vs. Florida, vs. Winnipeg

 

Notes

Josh Harding continues to amaze as he is 9-2-1 this season with a spectacular 1.16 GAA and a just as sparkling .949 save percentage. Niklas Backstrom is now the backup as Harding has played the last four games. Backstrom is 1-1-2 this season with a 3.42 GAA and a .871 save percentage. Keith Ballard returned from a concussion and suffered an upper body injury three games later that is not related to the concussion. Zach Parise leads the team with 15 points while Jason Pominville has 10 goals to top the Wild. Zenon Konopka is the team leader in penalty minutes with 32 and has also scored once this season.   

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

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

 

Notes

The Canadiens play three times this week and will be the rested or tired team in all three games. They are rested Tuesday when hosting the Lightning as Tampa Bay plays Boston Monday. They are also rested on Friday when they are in Columbus as the Blue Jackets play in Boston Thursday but Montreal will be tired as they come home Saturday to host the Rangers.  Carey Price is only 6-7-1 this season but his peripherals are outstanding with a 2.22 GAA and a .930 save percentage. The relationship of P.K. Subban and coach Michel Therrien may not be good at this time as Subban found himself on the bench during the last four minutes of Tuesday game as Therrien is apparently not happy with the defensive play of Subban.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders @ Pittsburgh, vs. Chicago

 

Notes

The Predators will be the tired team on Saturday when they host the Blackhawks after playing in Pittsburgh Friday night. They sent Filip Forsberg to the minors on Thursday as he is not getting enough playing time at the NHL level. Viktor Stalberg finally potted his first goal as a member of the Nashville Predators on Wednesday, while adding an assist. Carter Hutton is now 4-1-1 this season as he is starting in place of Pekka Rinne who is out of action with a serious hip infection. It looks like Rinne will not return to the Nashville lineup until Christmas. Colin Wilson heated up on Wednesday with two goals and four points and now has nine points in 15 games.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Notes

New Jersey will be rested on Friday when they face the Kings who play the Islanders Thursday night.  Martin Brodeur picked up a shut out on Thursday and it was the 20th straight season in which he has recorded at least one in an NHL game. Cam Janssen was recalled from the minors on Wednesday and the enforcer potted his first of the season Thursday. It was only his fourth of his career in 313 career NHL games and his first since the 2010-11 season. Patrik Elias is out with back spasms. Travis Zajac returned to action Thursday after missing two games with an ankle injury. Jonathan Merrill went face first into the boards during his NHL debut but does not have a concussion.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Detroit

 

Notes

The Islanders are the rested team on Saturday when they host the Red Wings as Detroit is hoem to Washington Friday. Kevin Poulin is only 1-3 this season but his 2.27 GAA and .918 save percentage shows he deserves more playing time. Number one goalie Evgeni Nabokov has a 5-4-3 record with a weak 3.18 GAA and .897 save percentage. Cal Clutterbuck is out with an upper body injury. Kyle Okposo is off to a terrific start with 19 points in 16 games as he leads the Islanders in points, two more than John Tavares and Frans Nielsen. His career high is 52 points. Thomas Vanek has a goal and two assists in five games since his trade from Buffalo.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Montreal, vs. Los Angeles

 

Notes

The Rangers are the rested team on Saturday in Montreal as the Habs are in Columbus Friday. New York should be tired on Saturday as they host the rested Kings. Carl Hagelin has four goals and seven points in six games this season while Ryan Callahan has five goals and seven points in eight contests. Brad Richards continues to shine this season with five goals and 13 points in 16 games after a mediocre 2013 season in which he had 34 points in 46 games and found himself a healthy scratch at times in the playoffs. The Rangers are getting outstanding goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and new backup Cameron Talbot and their play is a pivotal reason the Rangers are 6-4 in their last ten.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Boston, vs.Columbus

 

Notes

The Senators will be the rested team on Friday when they host the Bruins as Boston hosts Columbus Thursday. Craig Anderson is out of action with a neck strain but the Ottawa net is being capably managed by Robin Lehner who is 2-2-2 this season but with a 2.15 GAA and a .947 save percentage. Bobby Ryan has been terrific in the early going for the Senators as he has nine goals and 18 points in 16 games with a plus-10 rating and three power play goals. His ice time on the first pp is a welcome sight as he played mostly on the second power play with the Ducks last season. Erik Karlsson leads all defensemen in points with 17, one ahead of P.K. Subban.


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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 :Mike Finewax



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