Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Lots of Wheeling & Dealing

Friday, March 07, 2014


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. St. Louis, @ Detroit, @ Carolina

 

Rested team: @ Carolina (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Friday)  

 

Notes

The Oilers started the season with Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera as their netminders, used Richard Bachman in October for five games and then signed Ilya Bryzgalov to a deal. Not satisfied, they traded Dubnyk to Nashville (agreeing to pay half his salary) and picked up Ben Scrivens in mid-January. This week, they dealt Bryzgalov to Minnesota and traded for Viktor Fasth from the Ducks, while inking Scrivens to a two-year contract. By the way, they play three games in four nights as part of a four game week, so look for Fasth and Scrivens to share the net. Nick Schultz was dealt to the Blue Jackets for a draft pick as was Ales Hemsky to Ottawa, albeit for a pair of picks. Taylor Hall has 58 points in 58 games.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ Tampa Bay, vs. New Jersey, vs. Vancouver  

 

Rested team: vs. Phoenix (Tuesday)

Tired Team: vs. New Jersey (Friday)

 

Notes

The Panthers now have Roberto Luongo as their starting netminder, so look for him to play at least three times this week with Dan Ellis playing once. The Panthers completely renovated their goaltending as Tim Thomas was dealt to Dallas in exchange for Ellis, while Luongo returned to the Panthers after being away for eight seasons as Florida sent Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias to Vancouver. Goalie Scott Clemmensen was sent to the minors. The Panthers got Brandon Pirri from Chicago and send Mike Weaver to Montreal for a pick. Scott Gomez cleared waivers and the Panthers decided to keep him in Florida rather than sending him to the minors.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, vs. Toronto, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested team: vs. Anaheim (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ Calgary (Monday)

 

Notes

The Kings provided one of the big splashes at the trade deadline as they picked up Marian Gaborik in exchange for Matt Frattin, a second round pick and a conditional third. They also picked up defenseman Brayden McNabb from the Sabres for prospects Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers. Gaborik will start his Kings' career on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams while Dustin Brown moves to the second unit with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. Brown has two goals and five points in five games since the break after picking up only 10 goals and 16 points in 58 games before the Olympics. Linden Vey was sent to the minors.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Columbus

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Wild were busy at the deadline as they acquired Ilya Bryzgalov from Edmonton for a fourth round pick and then picked up Matt Moulson from the Sabres, along with Cody McCormick, sending Torrey Mitchell and drafts picks back to Buffalo. Moulson is projected to play with Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle on the second unit to start his Wild career. The Bryzgalov trade was needed as Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding, Minnesota's two goaltenders to start the season, are likely out for the remainder of the season. Darcy Kuemper has been very good but Bryzgalov will provide a veteran presence and could steal the job if Kuemper slumps. Mikael Granlund has a goal and four points in three games since returning from the Olympics.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. Ottawa, @ Buffalo

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canadiens surprised everyone by being the winners in the Thomas Vanek sweepstakes and the final price was surprisingly low as they gave up prospect Sebastien Collberg and a conditional second round pick. They also picked up Mike Weaver for a fourth round pick. Carey Price is still out of action with a lower body injury so the Canadiens picked up some insurance as Devan Dubnyk was dealt from Nashville. Max Pacioretty hit the 30 goal mark and now has 43 points in 56 games with a plus-one rating. Lars Eller has been in a huge slump with only one assist in his last 22 games. The Canadiens made him a healthy scratch on Wednesay but he returned to the lineup on Thursday against Phoenix. He still did not score.

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ Buffalo, @ Chicago, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday) vs. St. Louis (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Predators play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Carter Hutton to play at least once for the returning Pekka Rinne. The Predators sent Devan Dubnyk to the Canadiens after picking him up in mid-January from the Oilers, and then dealt David Legwand to Detroit for Patrick Eaves, Calle Jarnkrok and a draft pick. Colin Wilson could end up being the big winner for the Predators as he is expected to take over Legwand's spot on the top line after seeing third line minutes most of the season. Eaves should take over a third line spot in Nashville. Rinne has lost both games since returning to action from a hip infection earlier in the week. He has given up five goals in the two games, but on only 41 shots.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested team: @ Florida (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Devils are on the road for all three this week. They did not deal Martin Brodeur as rumored but did make a nice deal for themselves, picking up Tuomo Ruutu from Carolina in exchange for Andrei Lotionov. Ruutu will provide the Devils with more grit and is a great playoff performer, if the Devils get that far. New Jersey got Bryce Salvador and Damien Brunner back this past week from injury. Jaromir Jagr is now in sole possession of ninth place on the all-time career assists list with 1,041. The Devils lucked out when they were given the 30th overall pick in the 2014 Draft. They were supposed to forfeit their pick for their part in the Ilya Kovalchuk contract negotiations a few years ago but the NHL reversed their stance somewhat and awarded them the final pick of the first round. The Devils are not allowed to trade the pick.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, vs. San Jose, vs. Buffalo

 

Rested team: vs. San Jose (Friday)

Tired Team: vs. Buffalo (Saturday)

 

Notes

What are the New York Islanders doing?  They made a questionable trade for Thomas Vanek earlier in the season in which they gave up Matt Moulson, a first and second round pick and then can only get a prospect in Sebastien Collberg and a conditional second round pick in a trade with Montreal. The Sabres dealt Moulson (with fourth liner Cody McCormick) to Minnesota and got back two second round picks. Garth Snow must be on the hot spot on Long Island. Snow also dealt Andrew MacDonald to the Flyers for a second and a third. Anders Lee has been quite the surprise as he has four goals and five points in five games. The 23-year-old was a sixth round pick in the 2009 Draft.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Minnesota, @ Winnipeg, vs. San Jose

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Rangers play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Cameron Talbot play once for Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers were one of the big wheelers and dealers on Wednesday as they picked up Martin St. Louis from Tampa Bay with UFA to be Ryan Callahan going the other way. The Rangers threw in a first rounder in 2015 and a second rounder in 2014 that will turn into another first round pick if the Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Final this season. The Rangers also picked up Raphael Diaz from the Canucks to give them depth on the blueline. J.T. Miller was sent to the minors. Mats Zuccarello should return to action this week.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, @ Montreal, vs. Colorado

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Colorado (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Ottawa Senators picked up Ales Hemsky for a third and fifth round pick and he'll be a top-six forward the rest of the way. Chris Phillips was drawing interest from plenty of teams especially Boston, before he signed a two-year extension. Joe Corvo was sent to the minors. Clarke MacArthur suffered an injury on Wednesday and missed the third period. He will be evaluated on March 7. There were plenty of trade rumors swirling around Jason Spezza but he remained in Ottawa.


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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 :Mike Finewax



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