Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Coaching change in Buffalo

Friday, November 15, 2013


The second coaching change in the span of a week took place on Wednesday as the Buffalo Sabres fired Ron Rolston and replaced him with interim coach Ted Nolan, who most hope will be given the full time gig in Buffalo.

 

The Florida Panthers let go of coach Kevin Dineen a week ago today and replaced him with Peter Horachek.

 

So two of the worst three teams have fired their coach and Edmonton’s Dallas Eakins, whose Oilers are currently the second worst team in the NHL with 10 points in 20 games is still on the job. Don’t expect Eakins to be canned as the Oilers are quite high on the young coach.

 

I was on NHL.com’s Google+ Hangout on Thursday with @NHLQubes, @NHLJensen, @scott_pianowski, @Brian_Metzer and @TheGoalieGuild. Check out the chat here.

 

 

It’s still 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 18-24

 

4 Games - Anaheim, Boston, Carolina, Detroit, Ottawa, Pittsburgh

 

3 Games–Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Dallas, Edmonton, Phoenix, San Jose

   

Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg play three games at home.

 

Chicago, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, Ottawa 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 7pm ET. Here's the link.

 

INJURIES

 

Steve Stamkos is out indefinitely with a broken leg. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. New Jersey, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Phoenix

 

Notes

The Ducks play three games in four nights so look for Viktor Fasth to play at least once in place of Jonas Hiller. The Ducks are the rested team on Friday when they play the Tampa Bay who face San Jose Thursday and then are the tired team on Saturday in Phoenix. The Ducks sent Frederik Andersen back to the minors on Thursday when Fasth returned from the injured reserve list. They also sent Sami Vatanen to the minors at the same time while recalling Peter Holland. Ryan Getzlaf has been out of action the last three games but the Ducks hope he will return this week. The flu bug is going through the Anaheim dressing room as Corey Perry, Jonas Hiller, Daniel Winnik and Kyle Palmieri were forced to miss action.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ New York Rangers, vs. St. Louis, vs. Carolina

 

Notes

Boston plays four times this week including three games in four nights so Chad Johnson should play once in place of Tuukka Rask. The Bruins are tired on Tuesday when they are in New York to play the Rangers after playing in Carolina Monday. They play the Carolina Hurricanes twice this week so look for Shawn Thornton and Jarome Iginla to engage in fisticuffs if there is any rough stuff. Torey Krug has two goals and five points in his last five games. Dennis Seidenberg has only five assists in 18 games but his plus-21 rating gives him some fantasy value. After going four games without a point, Patrice Bergeron has three goals in his last three games.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Philadelphia, vs. Detroit

 

Notes

The Sabres are the rested team on Sunday when they host the Red Wings as Detroit plays Ottawa Saturday afternoon. The big news of the week was the Sabres relieving Darcy Regier and Ron Rolston of their respective jobs as GM and head coach. Ted Nolan is the new coach and it’s good to see him back in the NHL as he was a terrific coach for both Buffalo and the New York Islanders. I’m sure that Rolston’s status was not helped by his benching of Matt Moulson for the last 26:11 minutes of the Nov. 8 game. Moulson is the leading point getter and the Sabres may try to sign him to a long-term deal and if they are unable to, then deal him by the trade deadline.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Columbus, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The Flames the rested team all three times this week and that makes it five times in the last two weeks. They are in Winnipeg Monday after the Jets are in Minnesota Sunday and then take on the Blue Jackets Wednesday after Columbus is in Edmonton Tuesday. Finally they play the Panthers Friday with Florida also in Edmonton Thursday. Sven Baertschi is on a five game pointless streak. Michael Cammalleri has 11 points in 11 games this season while Jiri Hudler continues to impress with six goals and 19 points in 18 games. Sean Monahan has only one goal and three points in his last 10 games.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Detroit, @ Boston, vs. Ottawa

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play four games this week with three in four nights as well. Cam Ward is expected to return so he will likely split the net with Justin Peters. The Hurricanes play Boston twice this week so look for Jay Harrison to get involved if there are any altercations. Jeff Skinner (upper body) skated on Thursday for the first time since October 24 and could return on November 15. Eric Staal has only nine points this season but is a good buy low candidate.  His younger brother Jordan Staal has three goals and six points. Manny Malhotra has won 64 percent of his faceoffs in five games thus far. Goaltender Anton Khudobin may be able to start practicing this week as he has been out with a lower body injury.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Winnipeg, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

The Chicago Blackhawks are rested on Saturday when they are in Vancouver as the Canucks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday. Andrew Shaw signed a two-year/$4 million deal. Patrick Sharp was the NHL’s third star of the week with a goal and seven points in three games. Patrick Kane has 10 goals and 19 points to lead the Blackhawks, two points more than Sharp and Jonathan Toews. Michal Handzus will likely miss at least another week with an upper body injury as he has been out of the lineup since October 24. Mike Kostka is still not skating but had the protective boot taken off this past week as he has been out of action since October 19.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, @ Phoenix, @ Los Angeles

 

Notes

Nathan McKinnon is now skating on a line with Paul Stastny and Gabriel Landeskog and scored on the power play Thursday, giving him 12 points in 18 games. Erik Johnson has been a pleasant surprise this season and gives a lot of credit to new coach Patrick Roy. Former Avalanche great Milan Hejduk is slated to announce his retirement. Jean-Sebastien Giguere has a .947 save percentage and a GAA of 1.73 and that’s after giving up five goals on Thursday. Jamie McGinn has two assists in his last 10 games after starting the season with five points in his first five contests. Jan Hejda is plus-14 after going minus-17 last season.

  

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Calgary, @ Vancouver

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play three games in four nights and all are in Western Canada so look for Curtis McElhinny to play once in place of Sergei Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets will be the tired team Wednesday in Calgary after playing the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday. Last season’s Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky has really struggled in the first quarter of the season as he is 5-8-2 with a .908 save percentage and a 2.83 GAA. Marian Gaborik is slumping with just one point in his last eight games. Boone Jenner is back practicing with the Blue Jackets after injuring his leg on October 25. Ryan Johansen is seeing first line time alongside Brandon Dubinsky and R.J. Umberger.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, @ St. Louis

 

Notes

The Stars only play twice this week so I suggest benching all your Dallas players in weekly transaction pools with the exception of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn if you have players going four games. Antoine Roussel is third in the NHL with 59 penalty minutes but has a goal and two assists in his last two games. There are plenty of rumors saying that Vernon Fiddler is headed out of town in a trade but coach Lindy Ruff is not saying anything. Fiddler apparently made the request to team management a couple of weeks ago. Ray Whitney was placed on the injured reserve list with a lower body injury. Alex Chiasson has only two assists in his last 10 games after picking up nine points in his first nine games. Tyler Seguin had four goals and five points Thursday while Jamie Benn had a goal and five helpers.

 

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Carolina, vs. Ottawa, @ Buffalo

 

Notes

Detroit plays three games in four nights so look for Jonas Gustavsson to play at least once instead of Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings will be the tired team on Sunday when they travel to Buffalo to face the Sabres after playing the Senators at home Saturday. Patrick Eaves was placed on waivers to make room for Jonathan Ericsson who was on the long-term injured list. Jordin Tootoo was sent to the minors after passing through waivers. Daniel Cleary has only a goal and three points in 18 games this season and as a result was a healthy scratch on Tuesday. Henrik Zetterberg has 10 goals and 21 points in 19 games with a plus-12 rating to lead the Red Wings.


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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 :Michael Finewax



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