Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

They're Back!

Friday, February 21, 2014


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. New York Rangers, @ Washington

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flyers play three games in four nights so look for Ray Emery to get a start in place of Steve Mason. There was quite the incident in Sochi with the Austrian team as Michael Raffl apologized for the 'unprofessional' actions of himself and his teammates which included Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner. Apparently most of the team went out drinking until 6 AM on Monday, with the Austrians slated to play Tuesday against Slovenia. The break should help Vincent Lecavalier as he has been suffering with back woes. There are not any Flyers still remaining in Sochi.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, @ Colorado, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Colorado (Friday)

 

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights and it is likely that Thomas Greiss will play once for Mike Smith. Smith, Lauri Korpikoski and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are still in the hunt for medals at the Olympics. Brandon Gormley was recalled by the Coyotes on Wednesday. Martin Hanzal was a healthy scratch for the Czech Republic against Sweden, one of many disturbing decisions made by the Czech hierarchy.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, @ Chicago

 

Rested team: vs. Montreal (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Kris Letang is not practicing as he suffered a small stroke in late January but the hope is that he will be able to return by the end of March. The news is better for Tomas Vokoun as he practiced on Wednesday for the first time since September when he needed a medical procedure to dissolve blood clots in his pelvis. Pascal Dupuis is out for the season but has started rehabbing his right knee which required surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL. Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik, Jussi Jokinen and Olli Maatta are all still looking for an Olympic medal.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

 @ Vancouver, @ Anaheim, @ Phoenix

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blues have to be concerned with the way Jaroslav Halak was lit up at the Olympics. Brian Elliott could see a lot more action down the stretch. Vladimir Sobotka did not skate in practice on Thursday as suffered a broken knee on January 31 and is still not ready to return. St. Louis still has a lot of players in the medal chase at Sochi as David Backes, Patrik Berglund, the biggest star in the United States T.J. Oshie, Alexander Steen, Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jay Bouwmeester are still involved.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Buffalo, @ New Jersey

 

Rested team: @ New Jersey (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Sharks play three games in four nights so it's likely that Alex Stalock will get a start with Antti Niemi playing twice. Joe Pavelski got a huge break as he has been playing with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk at the Olympics.  Dan Boyle played with a thumb injury his last five games before the break and the time off obviously will help. Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Antti Niemi.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ Dallas, @ Colorado

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Colorado (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Lightning are one of 13 teams who play three games in four nights.  Anders Lindback is expected to return from an ankle injury and play once with Ben Bishop drawing the other two starts. Speaking of netminders, third string goalie Kristers Gudlevskis was outstanding as he stopped 55 shots in a 2-1 Latvian loss to Canada. It bodes well for the 21-year-old's future. Martin St. Louis is the only Lightning player still playing in Sochi. Steve Stamkos will have an x-ray taken early in the week and it will determine if he is able to play against Nashville. He has played only 17 games this season.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ Montreal

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Dave Bolland (ankle) suffered a sliced tendon in November and is finally getting close to a return as he practiced on Wednesday. The Maple Leafs came into the break as the hottest team in the NHL as they were 11-2-1 in their last 14. Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk are the only Maple Leafs still participating at the Olympics and they have been seeing first line minutes with Team USA. Kessel leads all Olympians with five goals.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, vs. Minnesota, vs. Ottawa

 

Rested team: vs. Minnesota (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Alex Burrows has not had a good time of it this season and his injury woes continued as he sprained his hand during the Canucks last game before the break. He did not practice on Wednesday but is still expected to play against St. Louis. The Canucks lost their last seven games before the break and are now in serious trouble in the playoff race. Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Alexander Edler, Dan Hamhuis and Roberto Luongo are still participating in the  final weekend of Olympic competition.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Boston, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Capitals play three times in four nights so look for Michal Neuvirth to get at least one start in relief of Braden Holtby who has struggled this season.  Alex Ovechkin is getting plenty of the blame for the poor showing by the Russians but blame a lack of defensemen and a serious lack of a proper system for the demise of the Russians at the Sochi Games. They played like individuals and the blame cannot be put on Ovechkin's shoulders. The problem is that he took the Russians loss at the 2010 Games hard and had only 20 points and a plus-two rating in 18 games after the Olympics compared to 89 points and a plus-43 in 54 games before the Vancouver Games. Mike Green could be ready for the Florida game  after missing five games before the break with a concussion. Mikhail Grabovski is also likely to play after missing eight games. Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson and John Carlson are still playing at the Olympics.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Olli Jokinen and Blake Wheeler are still in the medal hunt at Sochi. Evander Kane 's infected hand is completely healed and he should be ready to go against Phoenix. Tobias Enstrom isn't as fortunate as the defenseman has a lower body injury and did not practice this week. Mark Scheifele is out with the flu but should be fine for the Phoenix game. Jim Slater practiced on Wednesday. He has been out of the lineup since October 18th and underwent sports hernia surgery.



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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6 Pack - WR & TE
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NBA 6-Pack: Friday
  •  
    Friday

    Friday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Levitan: Week 12 Tough Calls

    Levitan: Week 12 Tough Calls
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6 Pack - QB & RB
  •  
    RotoPat: Week 12 Rankings

    RotoPat: Week 12 Rankings
  •  
    Thursday

    Thursday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Week 12 Drop Options

    Week 12 Drop Options