Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Stadium Series

Friday, January 17, 2014


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. Carolina, @ Columbus, vs. Boston

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Carolina (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Flyers play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Ray Emery to play at least once in place of Steve Mason. Wayne Simmonds continues to be hot as he has 20 points and 18 penalty minutes in his last 15 games. It was thought that Scott Hartnell would miss Thursday's game against Nashville after he was injured blocking a shot against Buffalo Tuesday but he played and picked up an assist to give him 15 points in his last 15 games. Vincent Lecavalier potted his first goal since November 28 on Tuesday but to be fair, he did miss nine games during that stretch with a back injury.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It's a Canadian week for the Coyotes as they host Toronto before playing three games in Western Canada. Mike Smith shut out the Canucks on Thursday and it was his first win since December 21.  Rostislav Klesla was placed on waivers when the Coyotes activated Zbynek Michalek from the injured reserve list Thursday. Antoine Vermette went 11 consecutive games without a goal before scoring Thursday in the 1-0 win over Vancouver. Radim Vrbata has 34 points and is two points clear of Martin Hanzal and Mike Ribeiro.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Montreal, @ New York Islanders, @ Dallas

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Islanders (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Penguins play three contests in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Jeff Zatkoff in goal once this week in place of Marc-Andre Fleury.  Sidney Crosby is having a healthy season and has opened up a 12 point lead in the scoring race heading into action on Thursday as he has 68 points. Evgeni Malkin has 47 points and the two have combined for 115 points, seven ahead of the Ducks duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Kris Letang has not had a good season according to his fantasy owners but the defenseman has nine goals in only 29 games. Paul Martin (fractured tibia) has been cleared for contact and should return shortly.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ New Jersey, @ New York Rangers, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Blues are on the road for all four games this week. Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak will likely split the net.  Jaden Schwartz is quietly having a very good fantasy season with 15 goals and 32 points in 44 games as well as a plus-22 rating despite going minus-three Thursday. Alexander Steen is still out with a concussion but is practicing with the Blues. He suffered the injury on December 21. David Backes has a goal and five points in six games since his return from an upper body injury. He has 17 goals and 35 points in 41 games with 74 penalty minutes and seven power play goals. T.J. Oshie has 11 goals and 40 points in 46 games and has seven goals and 10 points in his last nine.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Alex Stalock got a rare start on Thursday and picked up his first NHL shutout. He has been great in a limited role behind Antti Niemi as Stalock is 6-2-0 with a 1.80 GAA and a .938 save percentage. Look for Stalock to see more action leading up to the Olympics as Niemi will play for Finland and coach Todd McLellan doesn't want to overplay the Finnish netminder. The Sharks are 8-5 in the shootout and a large part of that has been the outstanding netminding of Niemi who has given up only 12 goals on 53 attempts. Joe Thornton scored a rare goal on Thursday as it was his sixth of the season to go with 45 assists.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Colorado

 

Rested team: vs. Colorado (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

After playing five games last week, the Lightning play only twice this week so we recommend benching most of your Tampa Bay players in weekly transaction pools with the exception of Martin St. Louis if you have better options. Steve Stamkos participated in Thursday's morning skate as it appears that he is getting close to returning to action from a broken leg. Victor Hedman is having a breakout offensive season as he has 10 goals and 26 points in 42 games. He has already tied his career high in points and easily surpassed his previous best five goal effort two seasons ago.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Phoenix, @ Colorado, @ Dallas, @ Winnipeg

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Colorado (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs play all four on the road and that includes three games in four nights so James Reimer will play at least once for Jonathan Bernier.  Good news for Maple Leaf fans in that Dave Bolland, who suffered a sliced ankle tendon on November 2, skated in full equipment on Wednesday and should return just before or after the Olympics. Phil Kessel is happy with the return of his regular center Tyler Bozak as he has four goals and 11 points in nine games while Bozak has five goals and 11 points in the nine games since his return. After struggling in the shootout since it began in the 2005-06 season, the Maple Leafs are finally good at it as they are 9-4 this season. Joffrey Lupul has scored on six of seven attempts.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Edmonton, vs. Nashville, vs. Phoenix

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Roberto Luongo could return this weekend to the lineup as he has been out with an ankle injury for the last six games. The Canucks are having trouble scoring and have found the back of the net only once in the last three games. Alexander Edler missed 16 games with a knee injury before returning on Monday.  Alex Burrows is expected to return on January 18. He has been a huge bust fantasy-wise with only three assists this season in 17 games. He could be worth a flier as he is available in 89 percent of Yahoo! pools. Zac Dalpe is back on the fourth line after seeing some time on the top line with the Sedin twins. Ryan Kesler is back on the top line.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ New Jersey, @ Montreal

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

While Alex Ovechkin has 34 goals and leads Corey Perry by eight, he has only 14 helpers this season. The Capitals goaltending situation is up in the air as Michal Neuvirth has started twice in the last four games after not seeing any action since November 22. Braden Holtby, the starter for most of the season, has started only once in the Capitals last 11 games with Philipp Grubauer taking over as the starter with eight starts in the Caps last 11. Brooks Laich scored a shorthanded goal on Wednesday and it was his first goal since November 27.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ San Jose, vs. Toronto, @ Chicago

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Chicago (Sunday)

 

Notes

Winnipeg fired head coach Claude Noel on Sunday and replaced him with veteran bench boss Paul Maurice. Maurice has juggled the lines and has won both games by a combined score of 10-2. The Jets play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Al Montoya to play at least once for Ondrej Pavelec. Mark Scheifele has eight goals and 26 points in 49 games but has really been coming on of late with two goals and eight points in his last nine games. He is seeing time with Blake Wheeler and Chris Thorburn. Michael Frolik is meshing well with Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd on the top line as he has a goal and an assist in two games.



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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