Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The Penultimate Week

Friday, March 28, 2014


This is the second last column of the season and teams are heading into the finals of their head-to-head league or if they are in rotisserie pools, hopefully still looking for a top finish.

 

Best of luck to everyone still competing and I hope that injuries have not affected your team too much.


Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

 

While you're at it, please also read Rotoworld writers @RyanDadoun, @CoreAbbott, @cyclelikesedins@kbrownroto and @katshockey for the latest news.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

 

WEEK OF MARCH 31-APRIL 6

 

4 Games- Anaheim, Buffalo, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, New Jersey,  New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis,  Winnipeg

 

3 Games– Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal, New York Rangers, Phoenix, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington

 

2 Games -  Nashville, Vancouver

 

Dallas plays all four games on the road.

 

Anaheim, Columbus, New Jersey, Ottawa, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Toronto play three games at home.

 

Buffalo, Calgary, Edmonton, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

 

 

INJURIES

 

Bobby Ryan is out for the remainder of the regular season with a sports hernia. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday's NHL games. It's $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Edmonton, vs. Nashville, @ Edmonton

 

Rested team: vs. Edmonton

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Ducks play four times this week but not three games in four nights. Fredrik Andersen should play at least once in place of Jonas Hiller. They also play twice against the Oilers and it's likely that Tim Jackman, Patrick Maroon or Bryan Allen could get into an altercation. Teemu Selanne is now the third member of the Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry line and that has to help his fantasy value. He has only nine goals and 24 points in 57 games but don't be afraid to pick him up for the final two weeks of the season. Stephane Robidas picked up his first point as a Duck on Sunday.

 

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Toronto, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Toronto (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights.  Chad Johnson is expected to play at least once in place of Tuukka Rask. Jarome Iginla continues to get closer to the 30 goal mark as he has nine goals in his last 10 games to give him 28 on the season. He was the third star of the week. Torey Krug was a healthy scratch on Saturday as Johnny Boychuk returned to the Bruins lineup. Going into action on Thursday, the Bruins had a seven point lead on the Penguins for the Conference lead so don't be surprised if they rest some of their regulars like Rask or Zdeno Chara down the stretch.  Milan Lucic is having a strong fantasy season with 21 goals and 53 points to go with a plus-27 rating and 78 penalty minutes. Patrice Bergeron has scored in each of the last six games.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested team: @ Philadelphia (Sunday)

Tired Team: vs. New Jersey (Tuesday), @ Detroit (Friday)

 

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. They are still missing Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth to injury so they are relying on Nathan Lieuwen and Matthew Hackett to tend to the net. Tyler Myers was re-injured on Tuesday so the Sabres recalled first round pick Rasmus Ristolainen who scored on Thursday. Ville Leino has yet to score in 52 games this season and it will be a surprise if the Sabres retain his contract going into next year. Even Zenon Konopka has found the back of the net once this season. Tyler Ennis leads the Sabres with 38 points and now has 40 penalty minutes after picking up 12 including a misconduct, on Tuesday.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Florida (Friday)

 

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights so expect to see Joey MacDonald play once for Karri Ramo. The Flames sent Joni Ortio to the minors as he was up on an emergency basis when Ramo was hurt and as a result Ortio had to be sent back to Abbotsford. Mark Giordano is up to 43 points in 54 games and trails only Jiri Hudler by four points for the Flames scoring lead. He and T.J. Brodie were both plus-five on Saturday and Giordano is now a plus-11 on a weak Calgary squad. Brian McGrattan set a career high, with his fourth goal of the season on Wednesday.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Dallas, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested team: @ Ottawa (Monday), vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ Pittsburgh (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play four times this week including three games in four nights. Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward should split the net this week. GM Jim Rutherford is expected to retire (or resign) at the end of the season and it may not look promising for head coach Kirk Muller's chances to remain as well as he has yet to make the post- season in three years at the helm in Carolina. Justin Faulk inked a six-year extension worth $29 million this week. Only one Hurricane has over 50 points and it's Eric Staal, who has 56 points including 17 goals but a minus-10 rating.    

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, @ Columbus, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested team: vs. St. Louis (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play three times in four nights so look for Antti Raanta to play once in place of Corey Crawford. Coach Joel Quenneville was pleased with the NHL debut of Teuvo Teravainen. Teravainen didn't get a point in 11:39 minutes of action but was perfect in seven chances on the faceoff. Corey Crawford is heating up was he is 4-1 in his previous five giving up only seven goals before a 3-0 loss to Boston Thursday. Duncan Keith has been an offensive boon of late with three goals and nine points in his last 12 games. The Blackhawks inked defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to a two-year deal. The undrafted van Riemsdyk is the younger brother of the Maple Leafs James.

  

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. New York Rangers, @ St. Louis, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Avalanche play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Jean-Sebastien Giguere to play once in place of Semyon Varlamov. The Avs are carrying a third goalie in Reto Berra and it is expected that Berra will back up Varlamov next season with Giguere retiring or going elsewhere. Ryan O'Reilly has a great chance to win a couple of trophies this season as he has yet to get a penalty minute which should put him in line for the Lady Byng while his outstanding defensive play should make him one of the favorites for the Selke. Oh yeah, he also has 26 goals and 32 assists in 71 games. Matt Duchene hit the 70 point mark for the first time in his young career.

           

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, @ Philadelphia, vs. Chicago, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested team: vs. New York Islanders (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Columbus Blue Jackets play four times this week including three in four nights. Sergei Bobrovsky should be fine as he is recovering from the flu, but Curtis McElhinney will likely see action in one game. Ryan Johansen continues to have an outstanding season with 29 goals and 54 points in 72 games after only 21 and 12 point seasons in his previous two NHL seasons. The Blue Jackets were 0-36 on the power play before they scored twice with the man-advantage in the first period on Tuesday. R.J. Umberger has only one goal in the Blue Jackets last 11 games but that includes two games in which he was a healthy scratch.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Florida (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Stars play all four games on the road including three times in four nights so expect to see Tim Thomas at least once in goal for Kari Lehtonen. Tyler Seguin has 75 points while Jamie Benn has 69 but it's a significant drop off after that as Alex Goligoski is next with 33. Look for Valeri Nichushkin to be a lot better next season as the rookie has 13 goals and 31 points but he has an awful lot of upside. The years may be catching up to Ray Whitney as the 41-year-old veteran has only eight goals and 29 points in 65 games. Antoine Roussel has 12 goals and 25 points to go with 183 penalty minutes.   

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. Buffalo. @ Montreal

 

Rested team: vs. Buffalo (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights so look for Jimmy Howard to play twice with Petr Mrazek playing once if Jonas Gustavsson is still unable to go. The Red Wings have some young talent as Gustav Nyquist has been joined up front by Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan. Nyquist had a six game goal scoring streak end on Thursday. The news is not good on Henrik Zetterberg as it appears the Red Wings are going to have to go deep into the post-season if the talented Swede has any chance of returning. Pavel Datsyuk skated in practice on Wednesday as he tries to return from a knee injury.


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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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