Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Stadium Series

Friday, January 17, 2014


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Phoenix, vs. Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None  

 

Notes

Nail Yakupov was injured on Thursday when the Wild's Matt Cooke ran roughshod over him and it appears that the second-year Russian suffered a head injury. The Oilers did some wheeling and dealing this past week as they sent Devan Dubnyk to the Predators for bottom six forward Matt Hendricks and then picked up Kings backup goalie Ben Scrivens for a third round pick. Scrivens will be given every opportunity to take over the job from Ilya Bryzgalov. The Oilers could be in trouble next season as both Scrivens and Bryzgalov will become UFA's at the end of the season if not re-signed. Justin Schultz has five goals and 20 points in 45 games with a minus-18 rating and had his three game point streak end on Thursday.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Buffalo, vs. Colorado, @ Detroit  

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

 

Notes

Tomas Fleischmann is in a huge slump with only two goals in his last 33 games. He has five goals and 21 points in 46 games after a 12 goal, 35 point effort in 48 games last season and 27 goals and 61 points the year before. Jonathan Huberdeau was benched on Tuesday and played only 9:12 minutes and didn't see much more action on Thursday as he saw only 11:03 minutes of action. Last year's Calder Trophy winner is going through the proverbial 'sophomore jinx' as he has only seven goals and 17 points in 45 games. Tim Thomas has kept the Panthers in most games while in net as he is 12-12-3 with a 2.56 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Boston, @ Columbus, @ Anaheim, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested team: @ Boston (Monday)

Tired Team: @ Columbus (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Kings play four games this week including three in four nights so expect to see Martin Jones play once in place of Jonathan Quick. They face the Ducks in a home-and-home series and there could be a fight or two so if you are looking for penalty minutes we suggest Kyle Clifford or Dustin Brown.  The Kings sent Tyler Toffoli back to the minors as he was on an 11 game pointless drought and needs to get back his confidence on offense. Los Angeles recalled goaltender Martin Jones to back up Jonathan Quick after dealing Ben Scrivens to the Oilers for a third round pick.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, vs. Chicago, @ San Jose

 

Rested team: @ Dallas (Tuesday) vs. Chicago (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Wild play Dallas in the back end of a home-and-home series so look for Clayton Stoner to get into a fight if the situation arises. The offense of the Wild has been damaged of late with Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise injured but Jason Pominville picked up the slack on Thursday with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over Edmonton. Darcy Kuemper has started the last three games as he has taken over from Niklas Backstrom. Kuemper has given up only four goals on 76 shots in the three games (two wins and a loss) as the Wild's top goalie Josh Harding is out of action with the effects of multiple sclerosis. It's not worth rostering Backstrom at this time.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Detroit, vs. Washington

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once for Carey Price. Tomas Plekanec is up to 16 goals for the Habs as he is having an outstanding season. Max Pacioretty scored on the power play Thursday and it was the Canadiens first in 18 chances of late. David Desharnais was back on his regular line with Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher on Thursday after missing Tuesday's game with the flu. Lars Eller took his spot on Tuesday. He has only two goals and three points in his last 19 games. Andrei Markov wants to sign an extension with Montreal.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ Vancouver, @Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Calgary (Friday)

 

Notes

The Predators play four times this week including three games in four nights. They picked up goaltender Devan Dubnyk in a trade from the Oilers and you have to think that he will be between the pipes when the Predators take on Edmonton on Sunday. The Predators will send either Carter Hutton or Marek Mazanec to the minors. GM David Poile believes that Pekka Rinne will return to action this season. He has been out since October 22 with hip problems which necessitated the Dubnyk deal. Craig Smith has 12 points in his last 15 games. Mike Fisher is contemplating retirement once his current contract expires after the 2014-15 season.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, vs. Washington, vs. New York Rangers

 

Rested team: vs. St. Louis (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It's hard to believe that Corey Schneider is only 7-9-7 this season as he has a 1.96 GAA and a .921 save percentage. Damien Brunner is now skating as he has been out of action since December 20 with a knee injury. Patrik Elias finally returned to action on Thursday after missing seven games with total body soreness. The Devils could use his scoring touch as the team has scored only 113 goals fourth worst in the NHL. They are even worse during the shootout as they have lost all eight games while scoring only once in 25 opportunities. Eric Gelinas has a goal and an assist in five games since his recall from the minors.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ New York Rangers, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested team: vs. Pittsburgh, (Thursday)

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Islanders play three games in four nights as part of their four game week so look for Evgeni Nabokov (if healthy) and Kevin Poulin to split the net. Nabokov is skating after suffering a quad injury on January 6 and is expected to return this week. The Islanders play Philadelphia in the back end of a home-and-home series so look for Matt Carkner or Matt Martin to pick up some penalty minutes. John Tavares was the first star of the week with four goals and 10 points in four games. Thomas Vanek's agent has had preliminary contact about a new contract with the Islanders but no deal is imminent.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. St. Louis, @ New Jersey

 

Rested team: vs. New York Islanders (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It certainly appears that Henrik Lundqvist has found his game again and that is great news for his fantasy owners, especially the ones who dealt for him when he was struggling.  Lundqvist is 6-2-1 in the Rangers last 10 games and he has allowed only 19 goals on 293 shots in that span which includes one stinker against the Penguins in which he gave up five goals on only 28 shots.  Cameron Talbot is now firmly established as his backup. Rick Nash has four goals in his last six games. Michael Del Zotto is a lot more comfortable as a left defenseman as the Rangers tried to convert him earlier in the season to the right side.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Tampa Bay, @ Carolina

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Senators play three times in four nights so look for Robin Lehner to play once in place of Craig Anderson. Chris Neil is still out of action with a hamstring injury as he has sat out the last six games. Clarke MacArthur has six goals in his last seven games and now has 17 this season. Erik Karlsson has a goal and eight points in his last five games and once again leads all defensemen in points with 46, two ahead of Duncan Keith. Robin Lehner is back on track with a shutout on Tuesday after giving up 10 goals in his previous two starts. Craig Anderson is still the number one goalie in Ottawa at this time.


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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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