Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Last Week before the Olympics

Friday, January 31, 2014


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ New York Rangers, @ New Jersey

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Friday)  

 

Notes

Ben Scrivens was absolutely sensational on Wednesday as he turned aside all 59 shots in a 3-0 win over San Jose. Scrivens set the record for the most shots on goal in a shutout since the NHL expanded in 1967. Ales Hemsky hopes to return to the lineup on February 1 as he has missed seven games with an ankle injury. He should be dealt by the trade deadline as he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Taylor Hall has points in nine of his last 10 games and has three goals and 13 points in that span. David Perron has five goals in his last six games including a hat trick Monday against Vancouver.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, vs. Detroit, @ Carolina  

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Carolina (Friday)

 

Notes

The Panthers play three games in four nights so expect to see Scott Clemmensen in goal once for Tim Thomas. Erik Gudbranson has been a healthy scratch for the last three games and in a surprise, Tomas Fleischmann was also a scratch on Thursday, the first time in three years he has been put in the press box. Fleischmann has only five goals and 23 points in 52 games and should not be on your fantasy roster. Brad Boyes leads the Panthers in points but it's not anything to write home about as he has 25 points in 52 games. The Panthers may not have a player get 40 points this season so it's no surprise that they are 27th overall in the NHL.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Columbus

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Kings get their Olympic break started early as they are done on Thursday. They are having a lot of trouble finding the back of the net as Los Angeles has only two goals in the last 296:47 minutes. Dustin Brown has been a major non-contributor this season as he has only 10 goals and 16 points in 55 games. The Kings are only 3-6-1 in their last 10 games and are in danger of missing the playoffs as they have gone from a top team in the West to sixth in the conference, only six points ahead of the ninth place Coyotes who hold two games in hand.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay. vs. Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Darcy Kuemper has started the last nine games in a row but the streak could end as he was pulled on Thursday after giving up four goals on 23 shots against Colorado. Mikko Koivu has yet to skate with the Wild since breaking his ankle on January 4. He still is optimistic that he will be able to play for Finland at the Olympics. Zach Parise was held off the score sheet in his first two games back after returning from a stress fracture in his foot but he exploded the last two games with three goals and seven points. Jared Spurgeon has been out since January 2 after hurting his foot blocking a shot but should return this week.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Vancouver @ Carolina

 

Rested team: @ Carolina (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canadiens are the rested team against the Hurricanes for the second week in a row. Carey Price had been struggling with five straight losses before he shut out the Hurricanes Tuesday, stopping 36 shots. The Habs then went to Peter Budaj for the first time since January 8 and he turned aside 34 of 35 shots as the Canadiens have now won two straight. P.K. Subban continues to lead the Canadiens in points with 37 while Max Pacioretty is first in goals with 23. Pacioretty has only 10 assists with seven of his goals coming on the power play as do four assists. Brandon Prust has 96 penalty minutes after picking up 27 against Washington January 25.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Shea Weber suffered an upper body injury Tuesday and should be considered day-to-day as he missed practice Thursday. Colton Sissons made his NHL debut on Tuesday and picked up an assist. He was taken 50th overall in the 2012 Draft and could eventually be a captain in the NHL as he has excellent leadership abilities. Viktor Stalberg has been a big disappointment this season. He was signed in the off-season as an unrestricted free agent to a four-year/$12 million contract but the former Blackhawk has only six goals, 15 points and a minus-10 rating in 47 games.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Edmonton, @ Washington

 

Rested team: vs. Edmonton (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Washington (Saturday)

 

Notes

Cory Schneider has taken over as the number one netminder in New Jersey and Martin Brodeur said he would  be willing to waive his no-trade contract if the Devils want to deal him. Schneider is only 10-10-7 this season but his peripherals are outstanding as he has a eye-popping 1.87 GAA and a just as impressive .926 save percentage. Dainius Zubrus is now playing on the top line with Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr while Patrik Elias is on the second unit with Stephen Gionta and Damien Brunner. Jagr continues to amaze at age 41 with 16 goals, 46 points and a plus-21 rating in 55 games.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Washington, vs. Calgary, vs. Colorado

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

John Tavares has only one assist in his last three games with a minus-two rating. Evgeni Nabokov returned to action and got his first start since Jan. 6 but dropped a 2-1 decision to the Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Lubomir Visnovsky returned on January 27th from a concussion suffered on October 19 and led the Islanders in power play time on ice Monday with 7:23 minutes. He is worth owning in deeper leagues and is owned in only 33 percent of Yahoo! pools. Thomas Hickey had a four game point streak end Wednesday at Yankee Stadium and he is plus-seven in his last five games, giving him three goals and 15 points with a plus-eight rating in 56 games this season.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Edmonton, @ Pittsburgh

 

Rested team: vs. Colorado (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Pittsburgh (Friday)

 

Notes

The Rangers play three games in four nights and Cameron Talbot should see action in one game with Henrik Lundqvist playing in the other two. Daniel Carcillo had the winner in the Stadium Series game against the Islanders. Ryan Callahan could be on the trade block as the unrestricted free agent to be apparently is seeking a seven-year/$42 million contract. Daniel Girardi is also looking for big bucks as he is asking for a six-year/$33 million deal according to sources. Anton Stralman rarely has a breakout fantasy game as he only has six assists in 54 games this season with a minus-three rating but he had a pair of helpers and was plus-four against the Devils Sunday.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ St. Louis, vs. Buffalo, @ Boston

 

Rested team: vs. Buffalo (Thursday)

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Senators play four games this week, including three games in four nights. Craig Anderson should get the bulk of the action with Robin Lehner playing once. Erik Karlsson leads all NHL blueliners with 51 points in 54 games. Kyle Turris has eight goals and 10 points in his last 10 games with a plus-five rating. Bobby Ryan has 20 goals this season but only two in his last 13 games. Twenty-year-old Cody Ceci has been told that he will remain with the Senators for the remainder of the season. The Senators first round pick in 2012 has only one goal and five points in 22 games but has offensive capabilities that should make him a fantasy asset in the years to come.


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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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