Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2013


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Calgary, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested team: vs. Winnipeg (Monday)

Tired Team: vs. Philadelphia (Saturday)

 

Notes

Devan Dubnyk could be sitting on the bench a lot more than he wants to as the Oilers may be going to Ilya Bryzgalov more often than not. Dubnyk is 9-15-2 this season with a 3.38 GAA and a .892 save percentage, not exactly a great endorsement for starting in the NHL. David Perron is not happy with his teammates lack of anger with their losing results. Ales Hemsky will not be surprised if he is traded before the deadline, especially considering he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Corey Potter was suspended for a couple of games for boarding Nick Bonino, but will return this week.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Detroit, vs. Montreal

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Tim Thomas is likely to return this week, if not earlier, as he has missed the last four games with a groin injury. The good news is that he is back on the ice. Jonathan Huberdeau was the rookie of the year last season but is slumping in 2013-14 with only seven goals and 15 points in 34 games. Erik Gudbranson is worth considering if you need penalty minutes as he has 72 in 36 games. He has chipped in offensively a bit with two goals and seven points but the defenseman’s minus-seven rating hurts. Tomas Fleischmann leads the team with 14 points while Brad Boyes leads in goals with nine.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ Nashville

 

Rested team: @ Nashville (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Martin Jones picked up his seventh straight win on Thursday and is just one win away from the all-time record to start a career. He has allowed only six goals in seven games. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with five power play goals. He had none last season. Jeff Carter is up to 10 goals and 20 points in 26 games this season. Slava Voynov has started to pick up his pace as he has four assists in his last six games. He has three goals and 15 points this season. Dustin Brown has only seven goals and 12 points in 36 games this season but does have a plus-14 rating and 43 penalty minutes, giving him some value in traditional pools.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Winnipeg, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested team: vs. New York Islanders (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Philadelphia (Monday)

 

Notes

Josh Harding has been placed on the injured reserve list and should return for the game against Winnipeg as he needs an adjustment in his medication for multiple sclerosis. The netminder has been sensational this season with a 18-5-3 record to go with a .939 save percentage and a scintillating 1.51 GAA. It was hoped that Mikael Granlund would be able to return on December 18 from a concussion that has cost him the last 11 games but he was unable to go so look for him to play this week barring any setbacks. He has two goals and 12 points in 24 games. He is worth looking at in keeper leagues as he has plenty of offensive upside.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

George Parros is skating once again after suffering a concussion on December 14. It was his second concussion this season and both happened in fights so you have to wonder about the long-term effects on Parros. He has played in only nine games this season with a minus-five rating, no points and 42 penalty minutes. Daniel Briere was a healthy scratch on Thursday as he had gone the previous seven games without a point. He has five goals and 10 points in 26 games this season. Lars Eller is in a big slump as he is pointless with a minus-four rating in his last eight games. Alex Galchenyuk has been impressive in his sophomore season with 10 goals and 22 points in 37 games.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Dallas, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Los Angeles (Saturday)

 

Notes

Carter Hutton was the NHL’s third star of the week and started both games this past week but was pulled Thursday after giving up four goals on 14 shots. Colin Wilson was a healthy scratch on Thursday after compiling only one assist in his previous six games. The Predators sent Filip Forsberg back to the minors on Wednesday after he recovered from a concussion. Craig Smith scored twice on Thursday and is now tied with Shea Weber for the lead among Nashville skaters with eight goals. Richard Clune leads the Predators in penalty minutes with 74.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. Columbus, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Islanders (Saturday)

 

Notes

Ryane Clowe is hoping to return this week from a concussion suffered on October 13. Damien Brunner has been hot of late with four goals and six points in his last four games. This comes on the heels of a 17 goalless streak, so activate him while he is hot. Jaromir Jagr potted his first power play goal of the season Wednesday and it was his 693rd career goal moving him into eighth overall, one ahead of Steve Yzerman. Adam Henrique has not scored in his past nine games but does have four helpers. Adam Larsson is skating after suffering what coach Peter DeBoer said was a ‘fairly significant injury’ on November 23 when he crashed into the boards. He should be back within a couple of weeks at most. 

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, vs. New Jersey, @ Minnesota

 

Rested team: vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ Minnesota (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Islander season started with such hope, especially when they dealt for sniper Thomas Vanek early in the season but they currently have the third worst record in the NHL with only 25 points in 35 games. John Tavares was so upset after they blew a 2-0 lead with less than three minutes to go in the third period, eventually losing in a shootout to the Lightning on Tuesday. On a bright note, Ryan Strome played in his first two NHL games. He was held off the scoresheet but is worth looking at as he was leading the AHL in scoring before his recall and had 17 points in his last eight games. There is no update on the return of Lubomir Visnovsky who suffered a concussion on October 19.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Washington, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested team: @ Tampa Bay (Sunday)

Tired Team: vs. Toronto (Monday)

 

Notes

Chris Kreider was red hot but has come back down to Earth as he has only two goals and no assists in his last eight games. Henrik Lundqvist continues to struggle this season with a 10-14-2 record, a 2.71 GAA and a .908 save percentage which is average for most goalies but way below average for King Henrik. Diminutive Mats Zuccarello has been scoring of late with four goals and five assists in his last nine games. He has seven goals and 23 points in 34 games this season with two goals and nine points coming on the power play. After scoring only one goal in his previous 17 games, Carl Hagelin has two in his last two games.

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, @ Boston, vs. Boston

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Senators play the Bruins in a home-and-home series this week so look for Chris Neil and Zack Smith to pick up some penalty minutes if there is any rough stuff. Jason Spezza’s goal on Thursday was his first in 13 games. Craig Anderson has been a huge disappointment this season with a 9-9-3 record, a 3.39 GAA and a .897 save percentage after an outstanding 2012-13 campaign in which he was 12-9-0 with a 1.69 GAA and a .941 save percentage. If you grabbed Anderson high in your pool, chances are you are not challenging for the league lead. Erik Karlsson is hot again with a goal and four assists in his last four games. He has nine goals and 34 points in 37 games but a minus-nine rating hurts his fantasy value.


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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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