Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Karlsson, Keith & Subban

Friday, December 13, 2013


 

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Columbus, @ Columbus

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flyers play the back half of a home-and-home series with Washington on Tuesday and then play a home-and-home series with Columbus so look for Zac Rinaldo and Steve Downie to add to their penalty minute totals. Rookie Michael Raffl has only two goals and five points in 20 games but has both goals and an assist in his last three games. Claude Giroux continues to disappoint his fantasy owners with only six goals and 23 points in 32 games. He has eight points in his last 10 games but he was expected to be at over a point-a-game pace this season. Despite his mediocre play, he leads the Flyers by five points with Brayden Schenn in second with 18 points.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ Toronto, @ Ottawa

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Shane Doan has a mysterious illness that has forced him to miss the last three games and there is no timetable for his return. Zbynek Michalek was activated from the injured list and that is good news if your league uses the blocked shots category. Mike Ribeiro leads the Coyotes with 26 points, one ahead of Radim Vrbata. Rob Klinkhammer is someone to look at if you need help in plus/minus as he is at plus-15. He also has seven goals and 14 points in 31 games so he can chip in offensively. Mike Smith is 14-6-5 but his peripherals are so-so, especially his 3.01 GAA.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ New York Rangers, vs. Minnesota, vs. Calgary

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Minnesota (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Penguins play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Jeff Zatkoff to play once for Marc-Andre Fleury. It was a tough game for the Penguins on December 7 against the Bruins as they lost Brooks Orpik to a concussion/sore neck/sore back and then had James Neal suspended for five games for kneeing Brad Marchand in the head.  Sidney Crosby leads the NHL in points with 43. Only two players on the Penguins have good plus/minus ratings, Matt Niskanen at plus-16 and Chris Kunitz at plus-13.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, vs. San Jose, vs. Montreal, @ Edmonton

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. San Jose (Tuesday)

 

Notes

Brian Elliott should get at least one start for Jaroslav Halak as the Blues play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. David Backes continues to show that last season was an aberration as he now has 15 goals, 29 points, a plus-10 rating and 60 penalty minutes in 30 games. He also has six power play goals and nine power play points.  T.J. Oshie has only four goals but has 27 points. The Magnus Paajarvi for David Perron trade has not worked out for the Blues thus far as Paajarvi has only two goals and a minus-two rating in 12 games while Perron has 14 goals and 27 points with six goals on the power play for Edmonton. Jaden Schwartz has quietly put together a good season with eight goals, 22 points and a plus-13 rating in 30 games.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested team: vs. St. Louis (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Joe Pavelski is getting third line minutes in five-on-five situations (now with Tommy Wingels and Matthew Nieto) but is on the first power play and that is why his fantasy value is high as he has 12 goals and 30 points in 32 games with six goals and 10 assists coming with the man-advantage. Martin Havlat has only two goals and five points in 18 games and has been held off the scoresheet in his last five games. Antti Niemi has a 17-5-6 record with a 2.23 GAA and a .916 save percentage this season. Wingels has been a surprise this season with nine goals and 20 points in 32 games and a plus-10 rating.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. Nashville, vs. Carolina

 

Rested team: vs. Carolina (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Keep an eye on Nikita Kucherov who has three goals in eight games including two goals in his last two outings. He was selected 58th overall in the 2011 Draft and the Lightning love his offensive potential. Ben Bishop has had a great season for the Lightning as he is 16-5-2 this season with a 2.05 GAA and a .931 save percentage. Victor Hedman is still out with a lower body injury and could miss more action this week as he is not making any progress. Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson each have a goal and three assists with a plus-three rating in their last four games.  

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Florida, vs. Phoenix, vs. Detroit

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Florida (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so look for Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer to split the net. The Maple Leafs have not won a game in regulation in their last 12 outings. Cody Franson finally scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday. Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner were a good pairing for the two games that Dion Phaneuf was forced to sit out with a suspension that he received for a hit into the boards on the Bruins Kevan Miller. The Maple Leafs have been terrible killing penalties of late as they have slipped to 27th in the NHL at 77.2 percent after being as high as second earlier in the season.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Dallas, @ Chicago, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Chicago (Friday)

 

Notes

The Canucks goalie Eddie Lack should play at least once this week for Roberto Luongo as Vancouver plays three games in four nights. Luongo was the third star of the week with a 3-0-0 record to go with a 1.30 GAA and a .960 save percentage. Four players have been responsible for most of the Canucks power play success as Henrik Sedin and his twin brother Daniel Sedin each have three goals and eight assists while Ryan Kesler has five goals and four helpers. Defenseman Jason Garrison leads the way on the blueline with three goals and five assists. Jannik Hansen is seeing first line time with the Sedin twins.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Carolina, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Capitals play the back end of a home-and-home series with Philadelphia on Tuesday and since tempers could flare, look for Tom Wilson and Aaron Volpatti (if he is in the lineup) to increase their penalty minute totals. Michal Neuvirth could return this week after spending the weekend in the AHL getting in some game action as he tries to return from an ankle injury. Alex Ovechkin has 26 goals in 29 games but has only nine assists. This is an anomaly as he usually picks up plenty of helpers. Nicklas Backstrom now has 32 points in 31 games after a five point game Monday.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Buffalo, vs. Florida, @ Vancouver

 

Rested team: vs. Florida (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Jets play four times this week but not three in four games. Still, expect to see Al Montoya play at least once for Ondrej Pavelec. Bryan Little has 13 goals and 29 points this season with one goal and seven helpers in his last 10 games. Evander Kane has missed the last five games with a lower body injury and will miss at least one more. He has only seven goals and 14 points in 26 games and has been a disappointment to his fantasy owners. Mark Scheifele has only three goals and 11 points in 33 games but has been scoring a bit more of late as he has two goals and six points in his last 10. 



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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