Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

The NHL will be dark for three days as there will not be any game action Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but there will be 14 games played on Monday with only Montreal and Vancouver getting the day off.

 

The NHL returns with a bang on Friday evening as there will be 10 games played while there are 17 games on the weekend.

 

Enjoy the holidays and don’t forget to watch the World Junior U20 Championships that are on TSN in Canada and the NHL Network in the United States starting December 26. Here is the NHL Network’s schedule.

 

I was on the NHL.com’s Google+ Fantasy Hangout on Thursday with Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen and Justin Goldman of NHL.com and Yahoo!’s Scott Pianowski. Click here to watch as there was plenty of interesting chatter in the 30 minutes.

 

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 23-29

 

3 Games–Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton,  Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington

 

2 Games- Colorado, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal, Philadelphia, Winnipeg

 

1 Game - Vancouver

 

Calgary and Florida play three games at home.

 

Pittsburgh plays 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

 

Johan Franzen suffered a concussion and is day-to-day. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

@ Washington, vs. Phoenix, @ San Jose

 

Rested team: vs. Phoenix (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Sunday)

 

Notes

Ryan Getzlaf’s 16 game point scoring streak ended on Tuesday. The NHL credited him with only a 14 game streak as he missed a couple of games with an injury. Andrew Cogliano is hot of late with two goals and seven points in his last five games heading into action on Thursday. Jakob Silfverberg scored Tuesday in his first game back from a broken hand suffered on October 25.   It looks like Jonas Hiller is back as he has won five straight and has given up nine goals on 129 shots in that span. He has improved to 14-4-4 with a 2.45 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Ottawa, @ Ottawa

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

 

Notes

The Bruins play a home-and-home series with the Senators this week so expect to see some fireworks unless everyone is still in the Christmas spirit. Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand should add to their penalty minute count if there are any shenanigans. Marchand’s name has been bandied about in trade rumors but GM Peter Chiarelli denied the rumors. Loui Eriksson is still experiencing concussion symptoms as he has had two in the last couple of months. There is no timetable for his return. Shawn Thornton is appealing his 15 game suspension for his slewfoot and subsequent punching of Brooks Orpik.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ Toronto, vs. Washington

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Cody Hodgson was back in the Sabres lineup after missing a couple of games with a lower body injury but left Thursday’s game in the middle stanza with an upper body injury. Look for the Sabres to deal Matt Moulson at or before the trade deadline as well as Ryan Miller if they are unable to re-sign him. Buffalo picked up Linus Omark from the Oilers for a sixth round pick and that was a good move as Omark has offensive upside for a team that is lacking in scoring up front. Steve Ott ended a 12 game points draught on Tuesday with a goal.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, vs. Edmonton, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

 

Notes

The Flames have split up their top line as they look to have more balanced scoring so Michael Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak and Matt Stajan will not play together. Calgary is now using Karri Ramo as their number one goalie but with the Flames goaltending in such a state of flux, Reto Berra could still grab a number of starts the rest of the way. Sean Monahan returned to action last weekend after missing seven games with a broken foot. Mikael Backlund has three goals and six points in his last 10 games.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Toronto

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Anton Khudobin is getting close to returning to action as he has been out since October 13 with a lower body injury. He partook in part of practice on Thursday but will likely need a conditioning stint in the minors before returning. The Hurricanes will then have a dilemma as Justin Peters has been terrific in replacing Khudobin and Cam Ward when he was hurt. Carolina will loan first round selection Elias Lindholm to Sweden for the World U20 Championships this week. Jiri Tlusty has gone six straight games without a point. Eric Staal has two goals and five points in his last three games.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, vs. Colorado, @ St. Louis

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Saturday)

 

Notes

Bryan Bickell returned to the Chicago lineup on Tuesday forcing Brandon Saad to move from the left to the right wing and the duo joined up with Andrew Shaw to form the third line. The Blackhawks sent Jeremy Morin back to the minors with the return of Bickell to the lineup. Antti Raanta continues to play well in relief of the injured Corey Crawford and is 7-1-1 this season with his only loss coming against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Patrick Sharp has played very well this season and with the plethora of good forwards in Chicago, he has been overlooked by some. He has 16 goals and 34 points with a plus-10 rating in 37 games.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Chicago

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Matt Duchene has been on fire of late with four goals and 10 points in his last five games. He is up to 15 goals and 28 points in 30 games. Duchene has had only one poor season in the NHL with that coming in the 2011-12 season. He is only 22 and is one of the stars in the NHL. Erik Johnson is being talked about a lot lately as he has started to score a bit. The big feature of his fantasy value is his plus-18 rating and when he chips in with four goals and 12 points as well, he makes a good 3-4 defenseman in deeper leagues. Johnson was off the radar going into this season after a four assist season in 2012-13 so he has made a significant jump into fantasy relevance.  

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ New Jersey, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Cam Atkinson has scored in his last two games and is now up to 10 goals. Look for Marian Gaborik to return on Saturday after missing over a month of action with a knee injury. If Gaborik is available for any reason in your pool, he will make a great gift pickup heading into the holiday season. The Blue Jackets could also return on Saturday after missing eight games with an upper body injury. Sergei Bobrovsky (groin) skated by himself on Wednesday and is looking to return in early-mid January. Ryan Johansen had his nine game scoring streak snapped on Thursday but the former fourth overall selection in the 2010 draft should not be available in any deeper pool at this time.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested team: vs. St. Louis (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Kari Lehtonen continues to play well enough to be considered for Finland’s Olympic team but the Finns have so many capable goalies playing in the NHL (Tuukka Rask, Antti Niemi and Pekka Rinne to name a few) that he may not make the squad. He is 13-8-5 with a 2.57 GAA and a .918 save percentage. Sergei Gonchar has yet to find the back of the net this season but has six assists in his last four games including a four point effort last Saturday against Winnipeg. Ray Whitney had a pair of goals on Tuesday but that gives him only three on the season.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, @ Florida

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Daniel Alfredsson was an offensive force on Thursday with two goals and an assist to lead the Red Wings to a 3-2 overtime win over Calgary. Jonas Gustavsson is 10-3-2 but won for the first time in five games in the same game. Dan DeKeyser is hoping to return to action on Saturday from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the last month. Johan Franzen is out with a concussion. Henrik Zetterberg is still out with a back injury but he is expected to return after Christmas and in time for the Winter Classic. With all the injuries, the Red Wings recalled energy player Jordin Tootoo from the minors. Look for him to increase his penalty minute totals while up with the big club.


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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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