Mike Finewax

The Week Ahead

print article archives RSS

The Penultimate Week

Friday, March 28, 2014


 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, vs. Columbus, @ Boston, vs. Buffalo

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Buffalo (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Flyers play four times this week so look for Ray Emery to play once for Steve Mason. The Flyers have three players over 100 penalty minutes as Zac Rinaldo has 132 while Steve Downie and Wayne Simmonds each have 106. Four players have over 20 goals with Claude Giroux, Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Matt Read leading the way. Scott Hartnell has 19 and Brayden Schenn has 18 so the Flyers scoring has been spread around. Steve Mason is picking up the pace again as he is 5-2-1 since March 5 and has given up only 19 goals in 233 shots.

 

PHOENIX

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Los Angeles, vs. Edmonton

 

Rested team: vs. Winnipeg (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Los Angeles (Wednesday)    

 

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights but Mike Smith is currently injured so look for Thomas Greiss to play with Mark Visentin backing him up. Mike Ribeiro was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row on Thursday. Well, Chris Summers proved that he didn't need me to be in Phoenix as he scored his first goal on Thursday on his own as I was back in Toronto. So much for my theory from last week's article. Of course, he has yet to score at Jobing.com Arena without me, so one streak is still alive. Martin Hanzal picked up an assist on Tuesday and hit the 40 point mark for the first time in his career.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ Winnipeg, @ Minnesota, @ Colorado

 

Rested team: vs. Carolina (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

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 Fleury. Fleury has lost his last four starts and that has to worry the Penguins as they head into the playoffs. Evgeni Malkin is out two-three weeks with a foot injury so Brandon Sutter will get a chance to center the second unit. Rob Scuderi has played 44 games this season and the defenseman has yet to pick up a penalty. That is a rarity. Jussi Jokinen has 18 goals and 51 points this season and that includes 19 points on the power play which is the best in the NHL.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

 vs. Philadelphia, vs. Buffalo, vs. Colorado, @ Chicago

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Chicago (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Blues play three games in four nights including a three game in four night stretch, so expect to see Brian Elliott play once in place of Ryan Miller. David Backes is red hot of late with four goals and six points in his last three games with a plus-six rating. He is a fantasy stud this season with 27 goals and 55 points with a plus-16 rating and 97 penalty minutes to go with 10 power play goals. T.J. Oshie had not had a point in his previous three games but he has broken loose in the last two games with four goals and six points including a hat trick against the Wild Thursday. Patrik Berglund has only one assist in his last six games.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Nashville

 

Rested team: vs. Los Angeles (Thursday), vs. Nashville (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Joe Pavelski has been a fantasy stud this season with 37 goals and 72 points in 75 games but his plus-24 and 27 power play points to go with 202 shots on net makes him the Sharks top fantasy player, ahead of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Adam Burish suffered a hand injury on Tuesday that required surgery as he needed a couple of pins placed in his finger after he blocked a shot. Freddie Hamilton was recalled from the minors. Logan Couture was out of the lineup on Tuesday after blocking a shot on Monday but returned on Thursday. He has 20 goals and 48 points in 58 games this season.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Dallas, vs. Calgary

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

In the early going, the Lightning have certainly won the Ryan Callahan-Martin St. Louis trade as Callahan has four goals and eight points in 11 games while St. Louis has three assists in 12 matches. It is still early however. The Lightning power play has been on fire of late with nine goals in 32 chances in their past eight games. Steve Stamkos has four power play goals and is starting to return to form with seven goals and 10 points in his last eight games. Twenty-three-year-old defenseman Victor Hedman should be drafted as a top-ten defenseman next season as he is really coming into his own after being drafted as the second overall pick in the 2009 draft. He has 12 goals and 35 assists with a plus-six rating and 47 penalty minutes.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Boston, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested team: vs. Boston (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The slumping Leafs have lost six in a row and are now out of the playoffs as they are tenth with 80 points and tied with Columbus, Detroit and Tampa Bay but have played more games than the other three teams. It's hard to imagine where the Maple Leafs would be in the standings if not for the thievery of their GMs as Brian Burke and David Nonis picked up Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Joffrey Lupul, Cody Franson, James van Riemsdyk and Jonathan Bernier for very little and made a great free agent signing in acquiring Tyler Bozak out of college. It has been a horrible season for David Clarkson who has only four goals and 10 points in 52 games and has not had a point in his past 14 games.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canucks play only twice this week so I recommend benching all your Vancouver players in weekly transaction pools. David Booth has three goals and four points in his last three games but don't get too excited as he only has 17 points this season. He really has had only one good fantasy season and that was in 2008-09 when he had 31 goals and 60 points for the Panthers. Ryan Kesler returned from a knee injury three games ago and has one goal, giving him 23 on the season to go with 41 points in 70 games. He has 77 penalty minutes and 223 shots on goal but his minus-15 rating hurts.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas. @ New Jersey, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Nicklas Backstrom left Tuesday's game with an upper body injury but it does not look like he will miss any time. Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 48 but could end up being the worst in the NHL in plus/minus as he is second-worst at this time at minus-31, just two ahead of Nail Yakupov of the Oilers. Mikhail Grabovski skated with the Capitals on Monday for the first time since February 27 as has been out with an ankle injury. Evgeny Kuznetsov has a goal and six points in eight games thus far and is worth looking at next season as he has a lot of offensive upside.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Phoenix, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Toronto

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team:  @ Phoenix (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Winnipeg Jets play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Al Montoya to play at least once for Ondrej Pavelec. Josh Morrissey who was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, will play for St. John's of the AHL after his Prince Albert Raiders were eliminated in the WHL playoffs. He had a very good season with Prince Albert as he had 28 goals and 73 points. The Jets blueline looks like it will be outstanding in a few years with Morrissey, Jacob Trouba and Zach Bogosian leading the way. Blake Wheeler had a goal and three points on Thursday and now has 25 goals (a career best) and 62 points in 74 games. His 61 penalty minutes and 16 power play points give him plenty of fantasy value.



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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Monday

    Monday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Friday

    Friday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    RotoPat:: Week 2 Rankings

    RotoPat:: Week 2 Rankings
  •  
    Levitan: Start/Sit decisions

    Levitan: Start/Sit decisions
  •  
    Levitan: Snap-count analysis

    Levitan: Snap-count analysis
  •  
    Levitan: Week 1 flukes

    Levitan: Week 1 flukes
  •  
    Levitan: Week 2

    Levitan: Week 2's big games
  •  
    Thursday

    Thursday's Fantasy Minute