Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Karlsson, Keith & Subban

Friday, December 13, 2013


Defenseman scoring should be an important part of your fantasy team. While a lot of fantasy teams will look for one spot to be a player who does not score much but gets plenty of penalty minutes, finding a player who does everything or at least a couple of categories well, can go a long way to help you win your pool.

 

Ten defensemen have at least 20 points thus far this season including Erik Karlsson, Duncan Keith, P.K. Subban, Dustin Byfuglien, Keith Yandle, Brent Seabrook, Kevin Shattenkirk  Jay Bouwmeester, Oliver-Ekman Larsson and Niklas Kronwall.

 

The top-10 in plus-minus are: Seabrook, Erik Johnson, Keith, Justin Braun, Jan Hejda, Matt Niskanen, Francois Beauchemin, Hampus Lindholm, Bouwmeester and Kronwall.

 

The top-10 in penalty minutes are: Matt Carkner, Radko Gudas, Erik Gudbranson, Mark Borowiecki, Brenden Dillon, Mike Green, Andrew Ference, Shane O'Brien and Byfuglien.

 

The top-10 in shots on goal are: Byfulgien, Karlsson, Subban, Jason Garrison, Keith, John Carlson, Yandle, Drew Doughty, Kris Letang, Green and Torey Krug.

 

The top-10 in power play points are: Karlsson, Yandle, Subban, Cody Franson, Shattenkirk, Cam Fowler, Keith, Byfuglien, Kronwall, Andrei Markov, Krug and Shea Weber.

 

As you can see, players like Byfuglien, Keith, Karlsson, Kronwall, Yandle and Keith are among the leaders in a few categories with Seabrook and Krug up among the leaders in two categories.

 

Players like Krug and Seabrook were taken very late in most pools, if at all and they make a big difference in winning your pools.

 

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 DECEMBER 16-22

 

4 Games - Colorado, Dallas, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg

 

3 Games–Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton,  Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Washington

 

2 Games- Carolina, Chicago

 

Los Angeles, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Toronto play three games at home.

 

Anaheim, Calgary, Florida, Phoenix, Vancouver and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday's NHL games. It's $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link. 

 

INJURIES

 

Corey Crawford is out at least three weeks with a lower body injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ New Jersey, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Ryan Getzlaf is red-hot as he is on a 15 game point scoring streak in which he has six goals and 18 points. Corey Perry may be the best all-round fantasy skater in the NHL this season as he is second in the league in goals with 21, fifth in points with 36, has the 13th best plus/minus at plus-13 and four power play goals. Alex Grant has scored in each of his first two NHL games. Francois Beauchemin (upper body) is likely to play this week as is Jakob Silfverberg who was been out with a broken hand.

  

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Buffalo, vs. Buffalo

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins play the Sabres in a home-and-home series so expect to see Milan Lucic and Adam McQuaid add to their penalty minute totals. Reilly Smith continues to play well with seven goals and 21 points in 33 games. The Bruins are hurting with injuries to Dougie Hamilton who is out two-four week with a lower body injury and Daniel Paille who is not in the lineup with an upper body injury. Shawn Thornton will have his suspension decided upon on Friday after he injured Brooks Orpik on December 7. A lot of experts think he’ll get seven or eight games while others think 10-15 games.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Boston, @ Boston

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

 

Notes

The Sabres play a home-and-home series against the Bruins this week so look for John Scott, Steve Ott and Cody McCormick to add to their penalty minute totals if there are fisticuffs. Cody Hodgson missed Thursday’s game with an undisclosed ailment. Buffalo is sending two first round picks who have played for the Sabres Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres first round pick in 2013 and Mikhail Grigorenko, the first pick in 2012 to the World Junior Tournament and that experience can only help the duo in the long run. Tyler Myers is a minus-13 but had 39 penalty minutes in 32 games.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. @ Detroit, @ Pittsburgh

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

 

Notes

The big news in the NHL this week was Brian Burke firing GM Jay Feaster and proclaiming himself the interim general manager although he did say that a new one would be hired in the immediate future. The Flames sent Sven Baertschi to the minors on Thursday as he had two goals and 11 points in 26 games. Rookie Sean Monahan skated for the first time in three weeks on Wednesday as he tries to return from a broken foot. He has nine goals and 15 points in 24 games. Reto Berra had a couple of strong starts in a row as he gave up three goals on 55 shots in going 1-1.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Saturday)

 

Notes

Alexander Semin returned to the Carolina lineup on Thursday after missing 12 games with a concussion. Jeff Skinner has been a welcome addition of late as he has seven goals and nine points in his last seven games going into action on Thursday. He was out for 11 games with an upper body injury. Andrej Sekera is quickly moving upwards through the fantasy ranks on the blueline as he has six goals and 18 points this season with two goals and eight points in his last 10 games. Anton Khudobin is due back shortly and that will force the Hurricanes into moving Justin Peters, likely to the minors.

 

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested team: vs. Vancouver (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

 

The red hot Blackhawks have to be the Stanley Cup favorites at this time. Duncan Keith certainly has to be considered for the Norris Trophy as he has 28 points and a plus-17 rating on the blueline. Patrick Kane is second in the NHL in scoring with 42 points, one behind the great Sidney Crosby. Corey Crawford suffered a lower body injury this week and is expected to be out of action for three weeks. The injury has forced the Blackhawks to start Antti Raanta, an off-season acquisition from the SM-liiga where he was the MVP of the playoffs last season. Chicago wanted to give him one year in the minors to acclimate him to the North American game but he  has shone in Chicago as he is 5-0-1 with a 2.12 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Kent Simpson is now his backup.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ Dallas, vs. Edmonton, @ Los Angeles

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Colorado plays three times in four nights so look for Jean-Sebastien Giguere to play at least once in place of Semyon Varlamov. The Avs play a home-and-home series against Dallas so look for Patrick Bordeleau or Cody McLeod to add to their penalty minute totals if there are any fisticuffs. When Varlamov was arrested on October 30, he was 7-1-0 with a 1.76 GAA and a .945 save percentage. Since then, he is 7-7-0 with a 2.83 GAA and  a .907 save percentage.  Quite a difference. Paul Stastny has not recorded a point in his last eight games.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Philadelphia, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play the Flyers in a home-and-home series this week so look for Brandon Dubinsky or Nick Foligno to take care of things if any rough stuff breaks out. Curtis McElhinney left Thursday’s game with a lower body injury and with Sergei Bobrovsky already out of action with a groin injury that will keep him on the shelf for another three-four weeks, the net now belongs to Mike McKenna. Ryan Johansen is on a seven game scoring streak. James Wisniewski has missed the last three games with an upper body injury. Dubinsky is having a great fantasy season with six goals, 20 points and a plus-five rating to go with 66 penalty minutes.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Colorado, vs. Vancouver, @ San Jose

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Stars play three games in four nights this week so look for Dan Ellis to play once in relief of Kari Lehtonen. Dallas also plays a home-and-home series with the Avalanche so look for Antoine Roussel and Brenden Dillon to add to their penalty minute totals. I featured Roussel in this column last week and in two games since he had two goals, three points and 16 penalty minutes. I talked about Roussel last week and he rewarded his fantasy owners with two goals and 16 penalty minutes to go with nine hits on Tuesday. Jamie Benn is in a big slump with only four assists in his last 10 games as he now has 26 points in 30 games, one point behind Tyler Seguin. Valeri Nichushkin is shows flashes of being a stud as he had a goal and three assists Saturday on a line with Seguin and Benn.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Calgary, @ Toronto

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jimmy Howard suffered a knee injury this week and will be out at least a week or two. Jonas Gustavsson now has the net and has actually been better this season than Howard as The Monster is 8-1-2 with a 1.93 GAA and a .933 save percentage to Howard’s 6-8-7 record with a 2.65 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Dan DeKeyser is close to returning to action from a separated shoulder as he has been on the injured reserve list since November 20. Henrik Zetterberg has been placed on the long-term injured reserve list and will not be eligible to return until December 28 as he is out with a back injury.


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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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