Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Chris Summers All-Star Chance

Friday, March 21, 2014


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ New York Rangers, vs. Toronto, vs. Boston

 

Rested team: vs. Boston (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flyers play four times this week so look for Ray Emery to play once for Steve Mason. Claude Giroux got off to a terrible start this season with only seven assists in his first 15 games but he has really turned it on ever since with 65 points in his last 54 games to jump into a tie for fourth place in scoring, only three points out of second spot. Giroux is a must-own in all traditional leagues. Kimmo Timonen has two goals and nine points in his last nine games as the 39-year-old Finnish defenseman has been outstanding since returning to Philadelphia following the Olympics. Ray Emery returned to action on Tuesday and kicked out 23 of 25 shots in a win over his former Chicago teammates. He had not played since February 8 due to a groin injury.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ Pittsburgh @ New Jersey, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Pittsburgh (Tuesday) 

 

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so look for Mike Smith to play three times while Thomas Greiss will be between the pipes once. The Coyotes signed Greg Carey to a one-year, entry-level deal. The St. Lawrence University star had 28 goals and 51 points in 38 games. Speaking of college stars, Andy Miele, the Hobey Baker winner in 2011, was sent to the minors on Tuesday. He picked up his first NHL points of his career earlier this season. Radim Vrbata hit the 20 goal mark Thursday with his fifth goal in his last eight games.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, vs. Los Angeles, @ Columbus, vs. Chicago

 

Rested team: vs. Phoenix (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Columbus (Friday)

 

Notes

The Penguins play four games this week including three in four days so expect to see Jeff Zatkoff play once in place of Marc-Andre FleuryLee Stempniak has settled in nicely beside Sidney Crosby and has two goals and seven points in his last six games. He is definitely worth looking at in playoff pools, especially as a high pick in points only pools if you think the Penguins are going deep into the playoffs. The Penguins averted quite a scare as James Neal only missed two games with a concussion before returning to the lineup on Tuesday. Evgeni Malkin has 21 goals and 68 points in 58 games this season.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

 @ Toronto, vs. Minnesota, vs. Dallas

 

Rested team: vs. Minnesota (Thursday), vs. Dallas (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blues finish a four game road trip in Toronto on Tuesday. This is the second week in a row that St. Louis is the rested team for two games and that is a huge advantage. Ryan Miller finally picked up his first loss in a St. Louis uniform Tuesday and is now 7-1-1 since being dealt from the Sabres. Derek Roy has found the back of the net only once in his last 36 games. Jay Bouwmeester has only two assists in his last 13 games with both coming on Monday in a 3-1 win over the Jets. David Backes has three goals and seven points in his last nine games and has 23 goals and 49 points in 64 games to go with a plus-11 rating and 89 penalty minutes.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, vs. Winnipeg, @ Colorado

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton

 

Notes

The Sharks play four games this week including three games in four nights so Alex Stalock should see action in at least one game for Antti Niemi. Raffi Torres has missed the last six games with a knee injury, the same one that kept him out all season, save for five games after the Olympic break. Joe Thornton scored a rare goal on Thursday and he now has 11 goals and 69 points in 71 games. Tomas Hertl's rehab is going very well but he is not close to returning after he injured his knee just before Christmas. Brent Burns scored his 20th of the season Thursday and he is a great play in fantasy pools if he qualifies on the blueline.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. New York Islanders, @ Buffalo, @ Detroit

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Lightning play four games this week including three games in four nights. Anders Lindback should play once in place of Ben Bishop. Teddy Purcell scored twice on Thursday to break a 19 game goalless drought. Steve Stamkos had the natural hat trick against Toronto Wednesday. Ryan Malone has played the last four games after being a healthy scratch in his previous eight games. Tyler Johnson is making a final push for Calder consideration with five goals and nine points in his last nine games to give him 22 goals and 46 points with a plus-20 rating in 70 games this season.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Philadelphia, vs. Detroit

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Detroit (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs beat both the red-hot Kings and the Ducks on the road but have followed that up with three straight losses heading into the weekend. There was a scary incident on Wednesday when defenseman Paul Ranger was driven head-first into the boards and it required his being taken off the ice on a stretcher but Ranger is okay as he was released from hospital later that evening. Phil Kessel is now third in NHL scoring but he could be ready to go on a hot streak after scoring his 35th of the season Wednesday, his first goal in five games. Jonathan Bernier is out with a groin injury so the Leafs are relying on James Reimer between the pipes.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Colorado, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested team: vs. Anaheim (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ Colorado (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Canucks play three games in four nights so look for Jacob Markstrom to play once in place of Eddie Lack. Lack has played in 12 straight games for the Canucks and had his fourth shutout of the season on Wednesday. The Canucks are in serious trouble in the playoff race as they are 10th in the West but have played more games than anyone else. Chris Tanev is likely out for the season after he blocked a Steve Stamkos shot with his hand. Alex Burrows had five assists in his first 34 games of the season but went on a tear with five goals and nine points in five games before being held off the scoresheet Wednesday. Kudos if you had him in the lineup for the hot streak but if he remained there all season then you are likely not leading your pool.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Boston, @ Nashville

 

Rested team: vs. Los Angeles (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Sunday)

 

Notes

Jaroslav Halak is 4-2-1 since the Capitals anointed him their starting goaltender. He has given up 15 goals in the span on 230 shots for a 2.13 GAA with a .935 save percentage. Should the Capitals sneak into the playoffs, they could be dangerous.  Brooks Laich underwent groin surgery and should be out for the remainder of the season as he is expected to miss the next four-six weeks. The Capitals signed goaltender Pheonix Copley to an entry level contract. He's from North Pole, Alaska and minded the net for Michigan Tech this season where he had a 2.51 GAA and a .911 save percentage in 30 games. Alex Ovechkin is only four goals away from 50 but his minus-31 rating really hurts his fantasy value.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ San Jose @ Los Angeles

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team:  None

 

Notes

Dustin Byfuglien is out of action with a lower body injury and while he is day-to-day, his spot on the first line was taken over by Eric Tangradi. Zach Bogosian is out with an upper-body injury. He has had another disappointing season as the 23-year-old has only three goals and 11 points in 54 games. He sure looked like he was ready to burst out offensively four seasons ago when he had 10 goals and 23 points as a 19-year-old in Atlanta, but that has not happened. Fortunately he is still young enough, but Bogosian may need a change in scenery for that to happen. Blake Wheeler scored on Wednesday for only the second time in 16 games but he has seven points in his last three contests to give him 24 goals and 59 points in 71 games this season.



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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