Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Friday, December 06, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Boston, @Vancouver, @ Anaheim

 

Rested team: Carolina (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Friday)

 

Notes

The Oilers play three games in four nights so look for Jason LaBarbera to play once in place of Devan Dubnyk. LaBarbera was recalled when Ilya Bryzgalov was injured in a collision with the Stars Ryan Garbutt and is currently out of action with concussion-like symptoms. The Oilers made a bunch of moves on Wednesday when they sent Will Acton and Denis Grebeshkov to the minors while recalling Anton Lander and Corey Potter. Nail Yakupov has only four goals and nine points with a minus-17 rating in 28 games. Justin Schultz continues to struggle defensively as he is a minus-nine in 22 games with 11 points.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Washington, @ Montreal

 

Rested team: @ Montreal (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

There are trade rumors swirling around Dmitry Kulikov as he is eligible to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season and there is some thought that he could return to his native Russia. Tomas Kopecky returned to the Florida lineup on Thursday. A couple of scoring droughts were ended this past week as Tomas Fleischmann had an assist on Tuesday, his first point in 10 games while Jonathan Huberdeau halted a six game pointless streak on November 30th. Tim Thomas picked up his first win in four games on Thursday and is now 7-10-1.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ Toronto, @ Ottawa, @ Chicago

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Toronto (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Kings play all four on the road including three games in four nights so look for Martin Jones to get a start in place of Ben Scrivens. Dustin Brown scored on Tuesday to end a six-game scoring slump and perhaps he is ready to start a hot streak. Jeff Carter has five points in five games since his return from a foot injury and Justin Williams has lost power play time because of his return. Tyler Toffoli has played well since his recall as he now has six goals and 11 points in 15 games. Martin Jones saw his first action of the season on Tuesday and stopped 26 shots in regulation and all nine shots in the shootout to garner the win.

  

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ San Jose, @ Colorado

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose  (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Wild play three games in four nights so expect to see Niklas Backstrom play once with Josh Harding getting the start in the other two games as the Wild are on the road for all three games. Harding was the third star of the month in the NHL in November. Mikael Granlund is out of action with a concussion and has been shut down as he is not making any progress according to coach Mike Yeo. Jason Pominville is not happy with the production of the top line of late which includes himself, Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. Look for the Wild to loan Mathew Dumba to Team Canada for the World U20 Championships in Malmo, Sweden over the Christmas holidays. It will be good for Dumba as he has been sitting in the press box for the last six games and could use some playing time.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Philadelphia, @ New York Islanders, vs. Florida

 

Rested team: @ Philadelphia (Thursday)

Tired Team: vs. Florida (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once as Carey Price gets a night off. Rene Bourque has six goals and seven points in 23 games but has missed the last two contests with a lower body injury after missing five games last month with a groin injury. David Desharnais has three goals and nine points in his last nine games and deserves to be looked at in deeper pools. P.K. Subban leads the Habs with 24 points and is plus-11 with 29 penalty minutes and 12 power play points as he is the top fantasy defenseman in the NHL. Max Pacioretty leads Montreal with 11 goals but has only three assists in 21 games.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Dallas, vs. San Jose

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

There was a dent in the armor of Marek Mazanec on Thursday as he gave up four goals on 13 shots in two periods. It was his first bad outing in 11 games as he gave up four goals in two periods on November 15 to Pittsburgh on 25 shots. He is 5-6-1 this season with a 2.31 GAA and a .922 save percentage. He was named the NHL’s rookie of the month for November. Shea Weber has missed the last three games with an eye injury and his return is not imminent at this time. Patric Hornqvist has two assists in three games since returning from an upper body injury and a surprising six penalty minutes, giving him 16 in 26 games to go with six goals and 15 points.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Rested team: @ Columbus (Tuesday)

Tired Team: vs. Tampa Bay (Saturday)

 

Notes

Damien Brunner continues to lose ice time as he has only one assist in his last 16 games. Cory Schneider has played in three of the Devils last four games as he slowly seems to be taking over as New Jersey’s number one goaltender in place of the veteran Martin Brodeur. Jaromir Jagr is 41 years of age and will turn 42 in February but you would never know by his age that he has been the Devils top offensive producer with 11 goals and 22 points to lead New Jersey in both categories. In fact, he has seven more points than Patrik Elias, who is second on the Devils. Eric Gelinas has 11 points in 20 games and seems to be taking over as the Devils top offensive defenseman.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ San Jose, @ Phoenix, vs. Montreal

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Islanders play three games in four nights so look for Anders Nilsson to play at least once in place of Kevin Poulin. Nilsson has played in the last three games for the slumping Islanders but is 0-1-2 with a 3.26 GAA and a .883 save percentage this season. Evgeni Nabokov practiced on Wednesday and is hopeful of returning this week but don’t count on it in weekly transaction pools. After going pointless in six games, Frans Nielsen finally picked up an assist on Thursday. He still has 10 goals and 23 points in 29 games but his days in the top ten of scoring are over. Kyle Okposo has passed him in scoring and is second on the Islanders with 26, six behind John Tavares.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Columbus, vs. Calgary

 

Rested team: vs. Calgary (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Henrik Lundqvist has signed a seven year extension with the Rangers that should ensure he will finish his career with New York and he will receive $59.5 million over the length of the contract that kicks in next season. Look for Lundqvist to play a little more often now with Cameron Talbot getting in three times out of every 10 games, although it may change after the Olympic break if Lundqvist and Sweden make the medal round. Brad Richards is on a five game scoring streak in which he has two goals and six points, giving him 22 points in 29 games this season. Michael Del Zotto has played in the last three games after being a healthy scratch the previous two. 

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ Buffalo, vs. Buffalo, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Senators play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so look for Robin Lehner and Craig Anderson to share the net. Erik Karlsson leads all defensemen in points with 27. Joe Corvo seems to have worked himself back into the Ottawa lineup as the blueliner has played 21:13 and 18:09 minutes his last two games with three points in his last five games after being a healthy scratch in 11 of the previous 12 games. The Senators are only 4-8-2 at home this season. Milan Michalek is a team worse minus-13 this year and has only four goals in 29 games.


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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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