Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Last Week before the Olympics

Friday, January 31, 2014


The Olympic break starts on February 9th and the NHL will not resume until February 25th when the makeup game between Buffalo and Carolina takes place. The rest of the league starts play over the next two days.

 

I've done the research on if there is any Olympic letdown when the NHL season resumes and the answer is ...

 

No!

 

Some players will have better stats than in the first half, some will remain the same and some will be worse but there has been no discernible difference in the previous four Olympics.

 

I was on the NHL.com's Google+Hangout Thursday along with Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Brian Metzer and Justin Goldman of NHL.com and Yahoo!'s hockey expert Scott Pianowski. Click here to watch.

 

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.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday's NHL games. It's $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.


Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 3-9


4 Games- Colorado, Ottawa, Vancouver

 

3 Games– Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus,   Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville

 

Colorado and Vancouver play all four games on the road.

 

Carolina, St. Louis, San Jose and Washington play three games at home.

 

Calgary, Chicago, Columbus, Edmonton, Ottawa and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Paul Stastny suffered an ankle injury Thursday. The extent of the injury should be known on Friday so consider him day-to-day for now. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Chicago, @ Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Coach Bruce Boudreau was  not happy with the play of his Ducks of late as they were 3-3 heading into action on Thursday but they responded by defeating the Flyers 5-3. Look for the Ducks to be buyers at the trade deadline as the organization thinks that they have a great shot to win the Cup. Luca Sbisa returned this week from a hand injury that caused him to miss 28 games. Jonas Hiller recorded the first NHL shutout in an outdoor game when he stopped 36 shots in a 3-0 whitewash over the Kings in Dodger Stadium. Hiller has been outstanding of late as he is 24-7-4 this season with a 2.39 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ St. Louis, vs. Ottawa

 

Rested team: vs. Vancouver (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It's hard to believe that Reilly Smith is the Bruins top goal scorer this season as he potted his 18th of the year on Tuesday. He is also second on the team in points as he seemed to be a throw-in to most pundits in the Tyler Seguin-Loui Eriksson deal in the off-season. Milan Lucic is having a solid all-round fantasy season with 15 goals, 36 points, a plus-17 rating, 60 penalty minutes and eight power play points in 51 games. After three good starts in a row in which he was 2-0-1 and allowed five goals in 93 shots, Tuukka Rask gave up three goals on 18 shots Thursday.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Ottawa

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Ottawa (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights so look for Jhonas Enroth to play once this week with Ryan Miller playing the other two games. Tyler Myers is pointless in his last six games with a minus-seven rating. Christian Ehrhoff has been a good fantasy player of late as he has 16 points in his last 25 games with a plus-one rating for a poor Buffalo team. Drew Stafford has missed the last three games with an upper body injury. Cody Hodgson has six goals and 10 points in 10 games since his return from a hand injury that caused him to miss eight games.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ New York Islanders, @ Philadelphia

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Karri Ramo had another strong performance on Thursday leading the Sharks to a 4-1 win over San Jose. Ramo has taken over the number one spot that has been up in the air all season in Calgary as he has won three straight games, including a win over Chicago. Reto Berra will continue to back up and get a start every three or four games. It was thought that Michael Cammalleri would return on Thursday from a concussion that has sidelined him since January 11 but it looks like he will return on February 1. Mark Giordano is on an eight game point streak as he has four goals and eight points. The defenseman has nine goals and 26 points with a plus-two rating, 34 penalty minutes and 12 power play points in 36 games, making him a huge fantasy asset.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Florida, vs. Montreal

 

Rested team: vs. Florida (Friday)

Tired Team: vs. Montreal (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play all three games at home. Cam Ward was activated on Thursday after missing a month of action with a lower-body injury and was sent to the minors on a conditioning stint. He should return this week and the Canes could carry three goalies for the rest of the week. Alexander Semin had his six game point streak end on Tuesday but he had six goals and nine points on the streak. Elias Lindholm has hit the wall after returning from the World Junior Championships as he has only one assist in his last nine games.  Tuomo Ruutu has been seeing fourth line minutes of late and had averaged 9:30 minutes in five games before seeing 12:49 minutes Tuesday.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim, @ Phoenix

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blackhawks will finish the pre-Olympic break with three games in the West. Michal Handzus was a healthy scratch on Tuesday after going the previous 14 games without a point. He played Wednesday and halted the streak with an assist. Brandon Saad scored for the first time in 12 games on Wednesday but still has 17 goals and 39 points with a plus-22 rating. Antti Raanta has played in only two full games and half of another in the last 10 games as Corey Crawford has taken back the top job after returning in early January from a lower body injury.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ New Jersey, @ New York Rangers, @ Philadelphia, @ New York Islanders,

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers

 

Notes

The Avalanche play all four in the East and play three times in four nights so look for Jean-Sebastien Giguere to play once in place of Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov inked a five-year deal worth $29.5 million on Thursday. P. A. Parenteau has been a healthy scratch the last two games and rumors persist that the Avs are trying to send him to Montreal. The Habs on the other hand, are apparently interested in Jamie McGinn who has 12 goals and 20 points this season but two goals and an assist in his last three games. Nathan MacKinnon has four goals and eight points in the last six games as the youngster leads all rookies with 19 goals and 37 points. He leads Colorado with seven power play goals. The Avalanche are 15-1 with Alex Tanguay in the lineup.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Friday)

 

 

Notes

Wow! Ryan Johansen been the best breakout candidate this season as the former fourth overall pick in the 2010 Draft has 21 goals and 40 points this season in 54 games after picking up only 33 points in his first 107 games. The 21-year-old has blossomed this season and should be their top center for years to come. James Wisniewski has been very good for the Blue Jackets as well as he has five goals and 33 points in 47 games. The blueliners has been great on the power play as he has set up 15 goals and scored twice himself. Marian Gaborik is skating with the team but is not expected back from a broken collarbone until after the Olympic break.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Phoenix, @ San Jose, vs. Phoenix

 

Rested team: vs. Phoenix (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Stars play two games this week against the Coyotes so look for Antoine Roussel, Brenden Dillon and Ryan Garbutt to add to their penalty minute totals if there is any fisticuffs. Dallas signed Garbutt to a three-year extension that's worth $5.4 million. Tyler Seguin is red-hot with three goals and seven points in his last four games, giving him 53 points this season in 52 games. Kari Lehtonen was named the first star of the week as he won three of four games with a 1.25 GAA and a .944 save percentage. Alex Goligoski got off to a very slow start but has 10 assists in his last nine games to give him 22 points in 53 games in 2013-14.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Vancouver (Monday)

 

Notes

The Red Wings are an old team and are having a tough time staying healthy. Pavel Datsyuk (35 years-old) has missed the last 11 games with a lower body injury. Henrik Zetterberg (33) has missed the last two games but is expected to return on the weekend. Johan Franzen (34) has missed the last 18 games with a concussion and will not play for Sweden at the Olympics. Goaltender Jimmy Howard is expected to return on Friday from a knee injury and it appears that he is ready to take back the net. It's been a bad season injury-wise for the Red Wings but they are still in the playoff race as they have 57 points and are tied with the Hurricanes for eighth overall in the East.  


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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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