Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Horton doesn't hear a boo

Friday, January 24, 2014


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mark Streit had a poor start to the season as he had only nine assists in his first 32 games but since then he has six goals and 15 points in 20 games. Most will look at his whole season but look for the defenseman to still get to the 40 point mark this season, making him a worthwhile pickup in most pools. Vincent Lecavalier scored on Thursday but it was only his second goal in his past 20 games. Scott Hartnell has only 12 goals and 30 points in 48 games but does have two goals and eight points in his last nine. Jakub Voracek suffered a finger injury on Monday but managed to play both games since. He is having trouble holding the stick so fantasy owners may want to find an alternative in the short term.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Buffalo, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested team: vs. Los Angeles

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes are starting to lose contact with the Western Conference playoff teams and they need to go on a winning streak to get back to the pack. Phoenix did not have any shorthanded goals until two games ago and now have two as Antoine Vermette has one in each of his last two games. Martin Hanzal has 14 goals and 34 points in 45 games but has missed the last two games with a lower body injury. He is only one point away from his career high set as a 20-year-old. Keith Yandle has six assists in a five game scoring streak but he is minus-13 in his last eight games.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ Los Angeles, @ Phoenix

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Kudos to you if you selected Jussi Jokinen late in a deep draft as he has 15 goals and 36 points in 51 games this season. He also has 11 power play points with a plus-five rating. Sidney Crosby has 72 points this season and has a nine point lead in the scoring race over the Islanders John Tavares. Tomas Vokoun started skating for the first time this season as he is finally off blood thinners for a blood clot in his pelvis. It is unknown if he will be able to play this season. Paul Martin returned to action this past week first the first time since November 25th as he was out with a fractured tibia. Matt Niskanen has taken full advantage of the injuries to Martin as well as Kris Letang and has seven goals and 30 points in 51 games. He is also a plus-29, which is the best in the NHL.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Carolina, vs. Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Derek Roy was a healthy scratch on Thursday as he had only one assist in his last six games and had not scored since December 12. Alexander Steen left Thursday's game with a lower body injury. Vladimir Tarasenko returned to action on Thursday after missing a couple of games with the flu. He has 15 goals and 29 points in 48 games. Look for bigger things from him next season. Chris Stewart has one assist in his last seven games with a minus-two rating. Barret Jackman has only three goals and 12 points this season but had goals in back-to-back games over the last week.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary, vs. Chicago

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Calgary (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Sharks play four times including three games in four nights so look for Alex Stalock to get at least one start in place of Antti Niemi. Stalock has shutouts in back-to-back games and that has to be good for the organization as they can feel confident in games that Antti Niemi does not play. Stalock is working on a shutout streak of 140:59 minutes. The Sharks have been staying out of the penalty box as they have been shorthanded only 125 times, the least in the league. Logan Couture is looking to start practicing in the next week or two. He had hand surgery in early January and hopes to return before the Olympic break.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Ottawa, @ Montreal

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Lightning play all three games in Eastern Canada this week. Victor Hedman had three assists on Thursday and is now up to 29 points including 10 goals in 44 games. He is still not owned in 24 percent of fantasy pools so grab him if he is available in your pool. Steve Stamkos is getting ever so closer to returning to action as he participated in all practice drills on Thursday. It's hard to believe that he is not owned in two percent of all Yahoo! pools so grab him if you can. He may return this week. Martin St. Louis was the first star of the  week and is riding a nine game scoring streak with eight goals and 13 points.  

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay. vs. Florida, vs. Ottawa

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Phil Kessel had his seven game scoring streak end on Thursday, but he was hot while it lasted as he had six goals and 14 points during the streak. David Clarkson is on the injured reserve list with an elbow injury and is likely to miss action this week. Tyler Bozak has 14 points in 13 games. Tim Gleason has been a great help on the blueline with his defensive awareness and the Maple Leafs won six in a row until dropping a 7-1 decision to the Stars Thursday. Paul Ranger and Mark Fraser have been healthy scratches in nine of the last 10 games. Morgan Rielly is a minus-13 in 44 games this season but he is worth picking up in all keeper pools.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Chicago, @ Winnipeg

 

Rested team: vs. Chicago (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Roberto Luongo is having an outstanding season despite his 18-11-6 record as his peripherals are the second best in his NHL career. He has a 2.18 GAA and a .924 save percentage. He will battle with Carey Price for the number one job in Sochi for Team Canada. Jordan Schroeder has been out of action since October 19th as he underwent surgery on his injured ankle. He has been sent to Utica of the AHL on a conditioning stint. It was an eventful NHL debut for Kellan Lain as he picked up 15 minutes in penalties Saturday, playing only two seconds. It put him on a pace for 27,000 penalty minutes per 60 minutes played. He lowered that number significantly playing his next two games without a penalty, as he also managed to score his first NHL goal Tuesday against the Oilers.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Columbus, @ Detroit, vs. Detroit

 

Rested team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Friday)

 

Notes

The Capitals sent down Philipp Grubauer to the minors so look for Michal Neuvirth to play at least once in place of Braden Holtby as Washington plays four times this week including three games in four nights. They play a home-and-home series with the Red Wings and expect to see Tom Wilson and Troy Brouwer add to their penalty minute totals if there are any fisticuffs. Alex Ovechkin is out with a lower body injury as he has not practiced since missing Tuesday's game. Nicklas Backstrom has only one assist in his last six games. Mike Green continues to frustrate his fantasy owners as he has five goals and 26 points in 47 games with a minus-13 rating. He does have 59 penalty minutes with 13 power play points.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Vancouver, @ Montreal

 

Rested team: @ Montreal (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Look for Evander Kane to blossom under new head coach Paul Maurice. He is already seeing first line power play time and should be a fantasy asset the rest of the way. I like him to be even better next season. Ondrej Pavelec has been outstanding under Maurice as he is 4-0-1, allowing eight goals on 137 shots. Bryan Little had his five game scoring streak halted on Thursday but he managed to score two goals and eight points during the streak. Blake Wheeler has 39 points in 52 games. Dustin Byfuglien has been playing well up front but Maurice still has yet to decide whether he will leave him there or put him back on the blueline.  

 



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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