Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Coaching change in Buffalo

Friday, November 15, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Florida

 

Notes

The lowly Oilers only play two times this week so bench all your Edmonton players if you can in weekly transaction pools. It appears that Ilya Bryzgalov will be activated this week and he is worth taking a shot on in deep pools as he could get traded close to the trade deadline since he is on a one-year deal. The Oilers have now gone 182:04 minutes at home without scoring. Edmonton is having a hard time with Nail Yakupov as the first overall pick in 2012 is complaining about his lack of ice time as he has played less than 11 minutes in each of his last two games. Coach Dallas Eakins says that Yakupov has to earn his ice time. Philip Larsen has a goal and five points in six games but the defenseman is also minus-five.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary

 

Notes

Florida plays three games in four nights in Western Canada so look for Scott Clemmensen to play once in place of Tim Thomas. The Panthers are the tired team on Friday against the Flames in Calgary as they play in Edmonton Thursday. Florida dealt veteran Kris Versteeg to Chicago Thursday evening along with minor leaguer Philippe Lefebvre and picked up youngsters Dylan Olsen and Jimmy Hayes in return. Brad Boyes has six goals and eight points in 18 games. The Panthers sent Jacob Markstrom to the minors as the first year of his two-year contract was a two-way deal. Tomas Fleischmann leads the Panthers in points with 12.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. New Jersey, vs. Colorado

 

Notes

The Kings are the rested team on Thursday when facing the Devils as New Jersey takes on the Ducks in Anaheim Wednesday. It looks like Jonathan Quick will miss about a month of action as the netminder has a Grade Two groin strain. Ben Scrivens is now the starter with Martin Jones as his backup. Jeff Carter is still out of the lineup with a broken foot as he has missed the last two weeks with the injury. Doctors have yet to determine if the injury is a recurrence of an old one or brand new injury. Tanner Pearson was recalled by the Kings and scored a goal on Thursday. Mike Richards has 17 points in 19 games.  

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ Ottawa, @ Winnipeg

 

Notes

Niklas Backstrom got a rare start on Wednesday and was injured when the Maple Leafs Nazem Kadri ran into him, a decision that cost Kadri a three game suspension. Josh Harding took over and got his 10th win of the season as he continues to sparkle with a spectacular 1.21 GAA and a just as sparkling .947 save percentage. Ryan Suter still has yet to find the back of the net this season although he does have 11 assists in 19 games. Jason Pominville has 11 goals this season and is a plus-eight. Mikael Granlund did not practice on Thursday after receiving a high hit courtesy of the aforementioned Kadri but could be ready to play as early as November 15.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, @ Washington, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Notes

David Desharnais was a healthy scratch earlier in the week for the second time this season as he has only one assist in 17 games. Montreal mayor-elect Denis Coderre tweeted that the Habs should send Desharnais to the minors prompting coach Michel Therrien to say that the comment was ‘inappropriate for our mayor’. Brandon Prust should be in the lineup this week so put him back in your lineup if you need penalty minutes as he had 12 minutes in eight games to go with three points. Daniel Briere returned this past week and Alexei Emelin is projected to return as early as November 15th for the first time this season after off-season knee surgery.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Toronto, vs. New York Rangers  

 

Notes

The slumping Predators have lost three in a row and have given up 13 goals in the three games while scoring only once. Roman Josi was reunited with Shea Weber on the blueline with Seth Jones being placed alongside Kevin Klein. Filip Forsberg was recalled by the Predators after picking up six points in four AHL games as Nashville could use some scoring punch. Forsberg has five points in 11 NHL games this season with four coming on the power play. Carter Hutton has struggled since replacing the injured Pekka Rinne in net as he is 4-3-1 this season with a mediocre 3.53 GAA and a .887 save percentage. Marek Mazanec stopped 30 of 33 shots in his first NHL start this week and could see more action in the foreseeable future in place of Hutton. David Legwand continues to lead the Predators in points with 15.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

 

Notes

New Jersey will spend the week in California where they play three games in four nights so look for Martin Brodeur to play at least once in place of Cory Schneider. They will be tired on Thursday when in Los Angeles to take on the Kings after playing in Anaheim Wednesday. Patrik Elias is due back on November 15 after missing six games with a back injury. Eric Gelinas seems to be getting nicked up every game as he took a puck to his ear Tuesday but should be ready to go on Friday. Damien Brunner has seven points in 17 games but is pointless in his last seven. Veteran Jaromir Jagr continues to amaze as he leads the Devils in points with 14, three ahead of defenseman Marek Zidlicky, the only other Devil in double digits.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Pittsburgh, @ Philadelphia

 

Notes

The Islanders are the tired team on Saturday when they are in Philadelphia after playing in Pittsburgh Friday. Kevin Poulin has played the last three games in net for the Islanders as Evgeni Nabokov remains glued to the bench. Thomas Vanek has missed the last three games with an upper body injury but could return on November 16. Cal Clutterbuck returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing three games with an upper body injury and is worth putting in your lineup if you need hits. John Tavares has a goal and six points in his last four games and leads the team with 23 points, two ahead of Frans Nielsen.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Dallas, @ Nashville

 

Notes

The Rangers are the rested team on Tuesday against the Bruins as Boston is in Carolina Monday. There is good news in New York as Rick Nash practiced for the first time since suffering a concussion on October 8. There is still no timetable for his return. Chris Kreider has been scoring of late and now has 10 points in 11 games. Ryan McDonagh has been coming on as well as he has two goals and five points in a four game scoring streak. The defenseman has 11 points in 18 games this season as he has taken over the first power play from Michael Del Zotto who has only a goal and four points in 16 games this season. 

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, vs. Minnesota, @ Detroit, @ Carolina

 

Notes

The Senators play four times this week with two back-to-back games so look for Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner to split the net. Last season’s rookie sensation at the beginning of the season Cory Conacher has only two goals and three points this season in 18 games. Milan Michalek has only three goals this season and has not scored in six straight games. Lehner was the NHL’s first star of the week with a 3-0-0 record, a 1.33 GAA and a .957 save percentage. Anderson returned to action this past week and gave up five goals to the Flyers. Bobby Ryan leads the Senators with 19 points, one ahead of Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris.


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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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