Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Chris Summers All-Star Chance

Friday, March 21, 2014


 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Anaheim, vs. New York Rangers

 

Rested team: vs. San Jose (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None  

 

Notes

The Oilers have been using both Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth to split the goaltending duties of late and expect that to continue the remainder of the season. Nail Yakupov has missed the last two games with a sore ankle. He is really going through a sophomore slump as the former first overall pick in the 2012 draft has only 24 points in 63 games with a horrific minus-33 rating. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the first time in 17 games on Thursday. Justin Schultz continues to upset his fantasy owners as he has only nine goals and 27 points with a minus-16 rating in 62 games. His nine goals are okay but the rest of his stats are not.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Carolina, vs. Montreal

 

Rested team: vs. Ottawa (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Sean Bergenheim has missed the last five games with a lower body injury. Roberto Luongo was sensational on Tuesday as he stopped 52 shots in a 3-2 win over San Jose, which included 28 saves in the third period...and apparently Eddie Lack gave the Canucks a better chance to win according to John Tortorella. Brandon Pirri has three goals and seven points in his last six games as the Panthers made a nice acquisition in getting him from the Blackhawks at the deadline. Look for the Panthers to sign Erik Gudbranson to a long-term deal in the summer.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Washington, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Washington (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Martin Jones in net once in place of Jonathan Quick. Dustin Brown returned to the Kings lineup on Thursday after missing a couple of games with an illness. Brown had two goals and six points in six games after the Olympic break but has resumed his poor season ever since and has only 12 goals and 22 points in 67 games. The Kings would love to bring up Linden Vey from the minors but cap problems have made that an impossibility at this time. 

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ St. Louis, @ Phoenix

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Thursday)

 

Notes

After a five game week, the Wild play only three times but it will be in four nights. Darcy Kuemper and Ilya Bryzgalov will get at least one start each. Ilya Bryzgalov was mediocre in goal for the Wild on Thursday as he allowed four goals on 29 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Devils but his play overall for the Wild has been very good as he is 1-0-2 with a 1.93 GAA and a .931 save percentage. Jason Zucker is out for the remainder of the regular season as he needs more surgery to repair a tendon in his right quadriceps. The trade for Matt Moulson has relegated Dany Heatley to a role as a bottom six forward and he has only one assist in his last nine games.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. Buffalo, @ Detroit, @ Florida

 

 Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Buffalo (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Canadiens play four times including three games in four nights so look for Petr Budaj to play once instead of Carey Price. Thomas Vanek has been hot of late with four goals for the Canadiens in his last two games. Brandon Prust is out with an upper body injury. Great news on prospect Tim Bozon who is now in stable condition after being in a medically induced coma with meningitis. Alex Galchenyuk has a goal and an assist in his last eight games. David Desharnais is on a four game point streak with two goals and six points giving him 13 goals and 43 points in 67 games this season.             

 

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Buffalo, @ Dallas, @ Florida

 

Rested team: @ Florida (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Dallas (Friday)

 

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 Pekka Rinne. Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch on Wednesday as his play had slipped according to coach Barry Trotz. Currently. Craig Smith leads all forwards with 20 goals and 40 points this season, while Mike Fisher is second at 36 points. Roman Josi is having a fine offensive season with nine goals and 30 points. Seth Jones is minus-24 this season, the worst mark on the Predators. Shea Weber leads all Preds with nine goals and 23 points on the power play.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Devils play only twice this week so I would suggest benching all your New Jersey players in weekly transaction pools if you can. Adam Henrique was moved to the wing on Thursday and it paid immediate dividends as he had three assists as did linemate Patrik Elias in a 4-3 OT win over the Wild. The third linemate, Michael Ryder, had a goal. Jaromir Jagr has five goals and 10 points in his last 10 games but is minus-six in his last four games. Cory Schneider garnered his 13th win of the season on Thursday and is now 13-14-9 with a 2.14 GAA and a .914 save percentage.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Kyle Okposo is having his best season in 2013-14 with 27 goals and 69 points in 69 games but he has not slowed down at all in the last 10 games without star center John Tavares as he has three goals and 10 points since the Olympic break. He was the second star of the week with seven points in three games. Kevin Czuczman made his NHL debut on Tuesday after a stellar career at Lake Superior State where the defenseman had 10 goals and 21 points to go with 73 penalty minutes in 2013-14. Anders Lee has been terrific since his recall as he has six goals and 10 points in 10 games with 35 shots on goal.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, vs. Philadelphia, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Derek Stepan leads the Rangers in points since the Olympic break with 12 in 11 games. Henrik Lundqvist set a New York Ranger record for most wins with his 302nd of his career on Tuesday as he surpassed Mike Richter. Martin St. Louis has only three helpers in eight games since his trade from the Lightning eight games ago. Carl Hagelin had the hat trick on March 14 and has four points in his last three games. Ryan McDonagh has 12 goals and 37 points this season with four goals and seven points coming in the 11 games since the Olympic break.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, vs. Chicago, vs. Calgary

 

Rested team: vs. Chicago (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Florida (Tuesday)

 

Notes

Ales Hemsky has eight points in seven games since being dealt from the Oilers at the deadline. Robin Lehner has been terrible since the Olympic break with a 0-2-2 record as well as an unsightly 4.67 GAA and a .863 save percentage. Craig Anderson is still out of action with a 'stinger'. Mika Zibanejad had goals in back-to-back games before being shut down on Thursday. He has 13 goals and 27 points in 58 games this season and is someone to watch next season, especially if Jason Spezza is sent packing. Erik Karlsson continues to sparkle offensively as he has a goal and six assists during a five game scoring streak, giving him 62 points this season.


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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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