Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Grab the Lightning this week

Friday, January 10, 2014


If you are in a pool that only allows weekly transactions, that is quite a disparity as even a fourth liner on Tampa Bay will get more minutes this week than Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. While I can't tell you to sit Crosby or Malkin this week, it makes sense that if your two options are a Lightning player or Crosby, it may be wise to take the Tampa Bay player, especially if they are a top six forward.

 

It was a big week for hockey as most Olympic teams were announced. The guessing is now over and the debate over who was named and more importantly, who was not, was rampant.

 

Here is a listing of all the Olympic teams.

 

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

 

While you're at it, please also read Rotoworld writers @RyanDadoun, @CoreAbbott, @cyclelikesedins,  @kbrownroto and @katshockey for the latest news and comments.

 
 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday's NHL games. It's $10 to join and first prize is $600. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.


 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 13-19

 

5 Games- Tampa Bay

 

4 Games- Calgary, New York Rangers, Phoenix, Vancouver, Washington

 

3 Games– Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Jose, Toronto, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Detroit

 

1 Game - Pittsburgh

 

Carolina, Chicago, Minnesota, the New York Rangers and St. Louis play three games at home.

 

Calgary, Edmonton, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Washington play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Logan Couture had surgery on his wrist and will miss three-four weeks. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ Chicago, @ St. Louis

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Ducks play three games in four nights so look for Frederik Andersen to play at least once for Jonas Hiller.  Hiller has won his last 12 starts in a row and is 21-4-4 this season. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season but the Ducks could let him go as they have Andersen and Viktor Fasth waiting. Nick Bonino has surpassed his career highs in goal and points with 13 and 32 respectively. Saku Koivu felt he was not fit enough to play in the Olympics and as a result will not suit up for Finland.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Dallas, @ Chicago

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Loui Eriksson has not played since December 7 as he suffered his second concussion of the season but he has been cleared to practice with contact and it appears that his return to the lineup is imminent. Daniel Paille has four goals and five points in seven games since returning from a concussion that kept him out of action for seven games.  Shawn Thornton will return to the lineup on January 11 after finishing his 15 game suspension.  Reilly Smith continues to impress as he leads the Bruins in goals with 15 and is second to David Krejci with 32 points. He also has nine power play points.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ Toronto, vs. Columbus

 

Rested team: vs. Columbus (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sabres finally have a new General Manager as Tim Murray has taken the job. Drew Stafford has been out since January 2 and has been placed on the injured reserve list with an upper body injury. The Buffalo-Carolina game on January 7 was postponed due to snow and will be played on February 25. Tyler Myers will now return from his three game suspension Wednesday against the Maple Leafs. Cody Hodgson is practicing with the Sabres and he could return this week from his wrist/thumb injury that has kept him out of the lineup since December 19.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Nashville, vs. Winnipeg, @ Vancouver

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Flames play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Reto Berra and Karri Ramo to split the net this week. It was a surprise that Jiri Hudler did not make the Czech Republic Olympic team as he has 12 goals and 35 points in 42 games this season. Joe Colborne scored and had an assist on Monday but has only 11 points in 40 games. David Jones is out of action with an eye injury. Kris Russell (knee sprain) is skating on his own and should return to the lineup in late January or early February.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Florida, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jeff Skinner has taken over the spot of the injured Eric Staal on the top line, playing with Tuomo Ruutu and Alexander Semin. Semin was not named to the Russian Olympic team  and the same fate occurred with Eric Staal and Team Canada. Skinner was the first star of the week with six goals and nine points in four games and continued his fine play with a goal and an assist Thursday against Toronto. He has 17 goals in his last 17 games. Elias Lindholm won a silver medal at the World U20 Championships with Sweden at he had two goals and nine points in six games. He had a goal and two assists in his first game back Thursday against the Maple Leafs.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Anaheim, vs. Boston

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Nikolai Khabibulin is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff. Antti Raanta will back up Corey Crawford for the remainder of the season. Duncan Keith has to be considered the favorite at this time for the Norris Trophy. The defenseman has 18 points in his last 14 games and now has three goals and 40 assists in 46 games this season with a plus-17 rating. He also has 16 power play points.  Marcus Kruger is now seeing some action on the second line between Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg as he has replaced Michal Handzus on the line.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. New Jersey, @ Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Semyon Varlamov is having an outstanding season with a 20-8-4 record to go with a 2.37 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Paul Stastny has eight points in his last three games. Ryan O'Reilly picked up a weird injury as he suffered a shoulder injury during a goal celebration Monday. He missed Wednesday's game. Alex Tanguay has started skating again as he is looking to avoid season-ending hip surgery. Matt Duchene leads the Avalanche in goals and points with 16 and 38 respectively. He was named to the Canadian Olympic team on Tuesday.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Washington, @ Buffalo

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Saturday)

 

Notes

Sergei Bobrovsky was named to the Russian Olympic team while Marian Gaborik was named to the Slovakian team. Gaborik is currently out of action with a broken collarbone but hopes to be ready for the Olympics. It is not surprising that Nathan Horton is having some conditioning issues since returning to action on January 2 after missing the first half of the season with a shoulder injury that required off-season surgery. He has a goal and an assist in three games but do not expect him to score at that pace. Derek MacKenzie is due to return from a three game suspension on January 11.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Boston, @ Minnesota

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Tyler Seguin has gone three straight games without a point. The Stars leading point getter was not named to the Canadian Olympic team but his linemate Jamie Benn was, while his other linemate Valeri Nichushkin, made the Russian squad as an 18-year-old. Sergei Gonchar missed six games with a concussion before returning to the lineup this week. He has 12 assists in 37 games without a goal. Alex Chiasson had a great start to his NHL career but has fallen off as he has eight goals and 22 points in 41 games with a horrible minus-15 rating.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Red Wings play only twice this week so I would recommend going with players on Tampa Bay or a team that plays four times if you have weekly transactions but would not sit Henrik Zetterberg or Pavel Datsyuk (if healthy). Datsyuk has missed the last two games with a groin injury. Johan Franzen has missed the last nine games with a concussion but has been cleared to start practicing. He could be ready to go for the Los Angeles game. Datsyuk (15), Zetterberg (14) and Daniel Alfredsson (11) are the only Red Wings with double digit goals as the NHL has passed the halfway mark of the season.


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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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