Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Karlsson, Keith & Subban

Friday, December 13, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Colorado, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Sam Gagner is starting to heat up with 10 points in his last 13 games. He got off to a slow start upon his return from a broken jaw suffered in the pre-season and is worth looking at in deeper leagues. Taylor Hall was the second star of the week as he had four goals and six points in three games. Ilya Bryzgalov could be close to a return as he has been taking shots on goal this past week. He is out with a concussion but played well in his three starts giving up only six goals in 98 shots. Nail Yakupov has five goals and 11 points in 30 games with a horrible minus-20 rating. Among the regulars, enforcer Luke Gazdic leads the way in plus/minus at plus-one.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Ottawa, @ Winnipeg

 

Rested team: @ Toronto (Tuesday), @ Ottawa (Thursday)

Tired Team: @ Winnipeg (Friday)

 

Notes

The Panthers play three games in four nights so it appears that Scott Clemmensen will play once with Tim Thomas getting the other two starts. The Panthers are in Canada for all three games this week. Brad Boyes is the active leader in the NHL with 35 shootout goals. Tim Thomas has won his last three starts but may have been injured in practice Thursday as he left the ice early. Aleksander Barkov broke an eight game pointless streak on Tuesday with an assist. Dmitry Kulikov was a healthy scratch Tuesday due to his play and not because he was involved in a trade according to GM Dale Tallon.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. San Jose, vs. Colorado

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

No matter who the Kings put in net, they get great goaltending this season as Ben Scrivens is 7-2-4 with a 1.56 GAA and a .943 save percentage. But Martin Jones has been even better as he has had the last four starts in a row. He is 4-0-0 with a 0.74 GAA and a .974 save percentage as he went 177:16 minutes without allowing a goal. Jonathan Quick is still out of action with a groin injury but may have a tough time getting back the net full time upon his return. Drew Doughty is having a very good fantasy season with six goals, 16 points, a plus-seven rating and 34 penalty minutes. Mike Richards has only 10 penalty minutes but has six goals and 27 points.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ Pittsburgh, @ New York Rangers

 

Rested team: @ Pittsburgh (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mathew Dumba has been loaned to the Canadian U20 team and do not be surprised if the defenseman is sent back to the WHL once he returns from Sweden.  Dany Heatley played on the fourth line this past week and saw only eight minutes of action on Thursday including 1:24 minutes of power play time. He is not worth owning at this time. Jason Zucker was bumped up to the second unit on Wednesday alongside Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter but was benched on Thursday.  Josh Harding is 16-5-3 this season with a sparkling 1.52 GAA and a .938 save percentage.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ St. Louis, @ Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Although his 14-10-2 record does not indicate it, Carey Price has been terrific this season with a 2.08 GAA and a .933 save percentage. David Desharnais was red hot for a while with three goals and nine points in eight games but he is pointless in his last four starts. He has three goals and 10 points in 31 games this season. P.K. Subban leads the Habs in points with 24 and has a plus-eight rating but is now the third best fantasy defenseman in the NHL, behind Duncan Keith and Erik Karlsson. Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec lead the Canadiens with 11 goals but Pacioretty has only three helpers on the season while Plekanec has 11.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Montreal

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Seth Jones’ ice time is dropping as he has averaged only 11:04 minutes in his last three games. He has seen over 30 minutes of action in two games this season so this is a significant drop in play. He has three goals and 10 points with a minus-10 rating. Carter Hutton has played well in back-to-back games and has regained the net, however temporarily, from Marek Mazanec. Look for Filip Forsberg to be sent to the minors again once he recovers from an upper body injury. He is an in-between player right now as he is struggling in the NHL but is too good for the AHL. David Legwand leads the Predators in points with 24, including 10 on the power play.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Anaheim, @ Washington

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Devils play three times in four nights so look for Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider to play once each with coach Peter DeBoer deciding on the third game. Ryane Clowe has been medically cleared to return to action from a concussion suffered on October 13 but still needs to get into game shape. Bryce Salvador is now able to skate after fracturing his foot on October 21. It was thought at the time he would missed a week to 10 days but it was a lot longer than that. Forty-one-year-old Jaromir Jagr continues to play like someone in his mid-20s as he has 11 goals and 14 assists to lead the Devils in both categories. He wants to play in the NHL as long as some team wants him and with stats like this, it’s hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t want him.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Evgeni Nabokov was activated from the injured reserve list on Thursday and with the Islanders struggling, look for Nabokov to get the majority of the starts in the foreseeable future. The Islanders recalled Ryan Strome from the minors and he is worth taking, especially in keeper leagues. He had 17 points in his last eight games in the AHL and led the league in scoring with 33 points. The fifth overall pick in the 2011 Draft will likely make his debut on December 14.  Pierre-Marc Bouchard was placed on waivers and then sent to the minors upon passing through waivers. The Islanders will likely deal Thomas Vanek at the trade deadline as their playoff hopes are getting slimmer.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Henrik Lundqvist has been struggling of late and was pulled from Thursday’s game after giving up three goals on 13 shots in the first 11 minutes of the first period. He is 9-14-1 this season with a 2.71 GAA and a .910 save percentage, certainly not what you were paying for when you drafted him in the first round this season. If you are looking for penalty minutes, the Rangers called up defenseman Dylan McIlrath from the minors where he had 115 minutes in just 24 games. Another player to look at for minutes is Derek Dorsett who returned this week after missing three games with a wrist injury. 

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ New Jersey, vs. Florida, vs. Phoenix

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Florida (Thursday)

 

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. Anderson has struggled this season but stopped 40 of 41 shots on Thursday so he could be turning his season around. Bobby Ryan scored his 15th of the season on Thursday. The Senators recalled defenseman Cody Ceci from the minors and he made his NHL debut Thursday as he was a plus-two in a 2-1 win over Buffalo. Ceci was drafted 15th overall in the 2012 Draft and he has a big shot from the point as well as being a very good passer.


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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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