Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Horton doesn't hear a boo

Friday, January 24, 2014


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, vs. San Jose, @ Boston

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None  

 

Notes

Ben Scrivens has lost both games since being traded to the Oilers as he has allowed six goals on 60 shots. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 37 points in 50 games but his liability fantasy-wise is his minus-15 rating and a lack of penalty minutes as he has only 10. Coach Dallas Eakins has an interesting perspective on what is ailing the Oilers. He says that the Oilers have had five different coaches in the last six seasons and the lack of continuity has hurt the young Oilers. Philip Larsen has been out of action for over a month with an illness but is finally skating again.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Boston, @ Toronto, @ Columbus  

 

Rested team: @ Boston (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mike Weaver has only three assists and a minus-nine rating in 49 games but he had a dream fantasy game on Monday as he had an assist and a plus-five rating. Aleksander Barkov suffered a lower body injury on Tuesday but he could be back as early as January 24th. The rookie has been showing glimpses of greatness but has seven goals and 23 points this season. Last season's Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau finally snapped a 16 game goal scoring drought as he found the back of the net on Monday. He has only eight goals and 21 points in 48 games this season and has been a big disappointment to his fantasy owners.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Phoenix, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Phoenix (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. The Kings made a couple of moves this week as they recalled Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Schultz while sending Tanner Pearson and Linden Vey to the minors. Mike Richards had five points in three games before being held off the scoresheet on Thursday. In another show of how tough hockey players are, Drew Doughty accidently cut his toe before Monday's game and still played 28:22 minutes despite requiring stitches to close the gash.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Colorado, @ Calgary

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Darcy Kuemper has played in six straight games with Josh Harding on the shelf and Niklas Backstrom suffering from a nagging lower body injury but well enough to back up. Kuemper is 4-2-0 in that stretch and has given up only 11 goals in 181 shots. Zach Parise finally returned to the Minnesota lineup after sitting out 14 games with a foot injury and was held pointless. Defenseman Nate Prosser scored the game winner in back-to-back games this past week and has five points in 27 games while being a healthy scratch in 26 others.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ Boston, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested team: vs. Carolina (Tuesday)

Tired Team: vs. Winnipeg (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once for Carey Price. It was quite a game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday as Budaj replaced Price in a 5-1 loss. Fights broke out with a little more than five minutes to go in the game and Budaj wanted to tussle with Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The two were ready to go until the referees got between them. Alex Galchenyuk is skating but is not expected to return from a broken hand until after the Olympics. P.K. Subban leads the Habs with 35 points, five ahead of Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested team: vs. New Jersey (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Predators picked up Michael Del Zotto in a deal that sent solid defensive defenseman Kevin Klein to the Rangers. Del Zotto will eventually see time on the second power play as Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Seth Jones are ahead of him at this time, but he did not get any power play time in his Nashville debut Thursday as Ryan Ellis played on the second unit. Nashville will miss Klein's steadying influence on the blueline and during the penalty kill. Carter Hutton looks to be the starter despite the Predators dealing for Devan Dubnyk. Hutton has played in four of the last five games, winning all of them while allowing seven goals on 124 shots. Ellis has had a couple of two point efforts in his last five games.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Dallas, @ Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Friday)

 

Notes

The Devils play three games in four nights so it appears that Martin Brodeur will play once in place of Cory Schneider. Adam Larsson will remain in the minors for a while longer. The fourth overall pick in the 2011 Draft has four assists in six games since being sent to the AHL after a lower body injury on November 23rd kept him sidelined until January 9th. Eric Gelinas is heating up again with two goals and five points in his last five games. Damien Brunner had a triumphant return from a 14 game absence due to a knee injury as he had a goal and three points on Tuesday.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. New York Rangers, @ New York Rangers

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Islanders play a home-and-home series versus the Rangers and it is also the third time in 10 days that the two teams meet so look for Matt Martin and Matt Carkner to add to their penalty minute totals as there is likely to be some fisticuffs at some point in the series.  In an interesting twist, Thomas Vanek says that he could sign with the Islanders in the off-season even if he is traded as New York gave up a lot to get him and the team is currently 14th in the Eastern Conference standings and seven points out of a playoff spot. The Islanders should get a lot of offers near the trade deadline for the goal scorer. Evgeni Nabokov should be ready to return to action this week as he is recovering from a leg injury.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

As mentioned above, the Rangers and Islanders meet three times in 10 days so expect to see Daniel Carcillo battle and get some penalty minutes. As mentioned in the Predators piece, the Rangers received Kevin Klein from Nashville and he should help in the defensive end of the ice. Rick Nash has been finding the back of the net with great regularity since he was named to the Canadian Olympic team. The veteran winger has 10 goals in his last 10 games and now has 17 goals in 36 games. Chris Kreider has points in only one game in his last six but it was a three point effort against the Islanders.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Toronto

 

Rested team: @ Columbus (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Craig Anderson is 7-1-3 in his last 11 games as Robin Lehner has started only twice in the Senators last 15 matches. Anderson has allowed 27 goals on 327 shots in that span including 12 in his last four. Still, he has regained the top job in Ottawa. Chris Neil is noted for his penalty minute totals but he scored his 100th career goal Thursday. Jason Spezza has only 13 goals and 35 points in 46 games this season and his fantasy value has taken a big hit with his minus-19 rating. He has been passed fantasy-wise by Kyle Turris who has 15 goals and 38 points in 51 games but has a plus-17 rating.


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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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