Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Last Week before the Olympics

Friday, January 31, 2014


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, vs. Colorado, vs. Calgary

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Steve Mason has struggled of late. He is 2-3-2 in his last seven games while getting pulled early three times. He shut out the Red Wings but Detroit is not the Detroit of the past 23 years and they could miss the playoffs (Sorry Tina). Mason has given up 21 goals in the seven games on 191 shots for a 3.43 GAA and a .890 save percentage including the 33 save shutout of the Motowners. Don't expect a lot of offense from Sean Couturier as he is a defensive center who can score rather than an offensive center who can play defensively.  He has nine goals and 25 points in 56 games this season.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Chicago, @ Dallas

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Dallas (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Coyotes play the Dallas Stars twice this week so if there are any fights Martin Hanzal or Paul Bissonnette could be involved. Coach Dave Tippett is very happy with the fourth line of Bissonnette, Jeff Halpern and Kyle Chipchura. The big news off the ice is that the Coyotes will be officially known as the Arizona Coyotes starting next year. Thomas Greiss has started the last two games for the struggling Mike Smith and is 1-1 with a 1.53 GAA and a .948 save percentage. Look for Smith to regain his spot quickly despite the way Greiss has played this past week.   

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ Buffalo, vs. New York Rangers

 

Rested team: vs. New York Rangers (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jussi Jokinen is still playing well and has 16 goals and 39 points after a one goal and two assist performance Thursday. Jeff Zatkoff has been a nice handcuff for Marc-Andre Fleury and if you have been using Zatkoff in daily transaction leagues when he starts, you have been rewarded as he is 9-2-1 this season with a 2.64 GAA and a .909 save percentage. Fourth liner Tanner Glass has been showing some glimpses of offense as he has two goals and an assist in his last two games. He now has four goals and 11 points in 39 games with 53 penalty minutes.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Boston, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested team: vs. Ottawa (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Alexander Steen thinks he has a lot more to give even though he is on a five game scoring streak in which he has three goals and seven points. Patrik Berglund has been a disappointment this season. He had a couple of helpers Tuesday to halt a seven game pointless streak but has only 22 points in 49 games this season. Vladimir Tarasenko is feeling more comfortable in his second NHL season and has 17 goals and 31 point thus far. The Blues are bringing him along slowly but he should have a breakout season offensively in the next year or two. Chris Stewart has seen only 13 minutes of ice time in three of the last four games but it was even worse two games ago as he played only 5:32 minutes against the Islanders.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Dallas, vs. Columbus

 

Rested team: vs. Dallas (Wednesday), vs. Columbus (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sharks have lost three in a row and have scored only once as Alex Stalock lost twice while Antti Niemi picked up one L. The Sharks were all over the Oilers Wednesday as they fired 59 shots at Ben Scrivens but the Oilers goaltender was amazing in stopping every shot as San Jose set a franchise record for most shots on net. Martin Havlat returned to action after missing over a month of action with a lower body injury. Coach Todd McLellan said that Tomas Hertl is "in the infant stages of rehab" as he tries to return from knee surgery. He should be fine for the start of training camp.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. Toronto, vs. Detroit

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Everyone is hoping that this is the week that Steve Stamkos finally returns from a broken leg. If he does, he is heading to Sochi for the Olympics and if he is unable to go, he will sit down with Lightning GM as well as Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman to discuss the Olympics. Valtteri Filppula is day-to-day with a lower body injury suffered on Thursday. Martin St. Louis picked up his 600th career assist in the same game and now has 965 points in 1,033 games. Ben Bishop suffered an upper body injury Thursday and he said he had a headache after the game so everyone is thinking a possible concussion. Victor Hedman continues to show that he is becoming a top defenseman in the NHL as he has 11 goals and 34 points in 47 games. It seems that he has been around for a long time but he just turned 23 in December.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs are in Florida for a couple of games after Tampa Bay and Florida played at the ACC this past week. James van Riemsdyk continues to have a break out year as he now has career highs in goals and points after a goal and an assist on Thursday. He has 22 goals and 43 points. Phil Kessel has 57 points in 56 games and is the only NHLer to be in the top ten of scoring in each of the last three seasons. Crosby has been there the last two years but was tied for 169th in 2011-12 with 37 points in only 22 games. Jonathan Bernier is the undisputed number one goalie in Toronto although coach Randy Carlyle will not come out and say so. He is 19-15-5 this season with a 2.61 GAA and a .926 save percentage.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Boston, @ Montreal, @ Toronto

 

Rested team: @ Detroit (Monday)

Tired Team: @ Boston (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Canucks play all four on the road this week including three games in four nights so look for Eddie Lack to play at least once in place of Roberto Luongo. Daniel Sedin did not like the month of January as he failed to score in 14 games and has only one assist in his last nine games. Twin brother Henrik Sedin has missed the last five games with a rib injury and should return at some point this week, if not sooner. Frank Corrado was recalled after Kevin Bieksa was sent to the sidelines with a sore foot. Tom Sestito had a goal and an assist in the last two weeks after a 64 penalty minute week in the middle of January. Sestito would be tied for 42nd for the season in penalty minutes just based on that four game week.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. Winnipeg, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested team: vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Braden Holtby has struggled this season and a perfect example has been the last three games in which he is 2-1-0 with a shutout but he allowed nine goals on only 77 shots. Holtby is now 15-12-2 this season with a 2.93 GAA and a .912 save percentage.  Mike Green was injured Thursday when he apparently hit his head into the boards following a hit from the Blue Jackets Boone Jenner.  It happened one game after Green had two goals and an assist to hit the 30 point mark for the first time since 2009-10. Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL with 38 goals and 14 power play goals.  

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Washington, @ St. Louis

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mark Scheifele has adapted to the NHL very nicely of late as he has 21 points in his last 23 games after starting the season with only eight points in his first 32 contests. Also keep an eye on fellow rookie Jacob Trouba who has three goals and seven points in his last seven games and has seven goals and 20 points with a plus-eight rating in 38 games. Ondrej Pavelec is  5-2 in his last seven while giving up 16 goals on 190 shots. He is 16-21-4 overall with a 2.99 GAA and a .901 save percentage. Evander Kane has a hand infection and will be out until after the Olympic bre



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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