Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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A Bunch of Fours

Friday, October 6, 2017


 

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ Arizona, @ Vegas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Vegas (Friday)

 

Notes

Jimmy Howard received the opening night start for the Red Wings but I think that Petr Mrazek will share the net with the veteran Howard over the course of the season. Anthony Mantha got off to a very good start Thursday with a goal and two helpers. He started the season with Dylan Larkin and Martin Frk on his line.  Niklas Kronwall missed the opener with a groin injury. Don’t expect him to play more than 60 games this season with little fantasy value. Contract talks between Detroit and RFA Andreas Athanasiou have started up once again but for now the two sides are not close.  Ryan Sproul will start the season in the minors after offseason ACL surgery.

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Ottawa

 

Rested Team: vs. Ottawa (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes   

Wow! Is Connor McDavid fast. I can’t believe that he took the puck at his own face-off circle and outskated the entire Calgary team, getting a breakaway and scoring Wednesday. He had the natural hat trick and as I wrote in the Thursday Daily Dose, I think he is the best since Mario Lemieux. Yup, better than Sidney Crosby. Kailer Yamamoto made the Oilers squad after being drafted 22nd overall in June. He should be sent back to junior before he plays 10 games but he has a bright future. The Oilers sent Anton Slepyshev to the minors as he was unable to play in any preseason games due to an ankle injury and an illness. Expect him back with Edmonton shortly. Jesse Puljujarvi was also sent down as the Oilers want the fourth overall pick in 2016 to get in plenty of playing time. He  should also be called up within a couple of months.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Pittsburgh  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Panthers play only twice once again, just like in Week 1. Aleksander Barkov is looking to remain healthy this season and if he does, do not be surprised if he manages to get to 75-80 points. He is that talented. First round pick Owen Tippett managed to crack the Panthers roster but the 10th overall pick this season, will likely only get a small taste of life in the NHL and be sent back to the OHL before too long. Jamie McGinn will start the season on the second line with Vincent Trocheck and Radim Vrbata. Evgenii Dadonov is one to watch. He was a prolific scorer in the KHL and will start the season on a line with Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Buffalo, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jonathan Quick was injured in the opening game of 2016-17 and proceeded to miss almost five months of the season. On Thursday he got off to a much better start as he shutout the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0, making 35 saves. The Kings need Quick to be healthy and at his best if they hope to qualify for the postseason. Well here’s a shocker. Marian Gaborik is out of action with a knee injury. Mike Cammalleri is seeing ice time alongside Anze Kopitar. Alex Iafallo was so impressive during training camp that he cracked the 23 man team. Alec Martinez was injured in practice and will start the season on the injured reserve list with a lower-body injury.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. Columbus

 

Rested Team: vs. Columbus (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

I don’t think Chris Stewart went in too many drafts but he picked up a goal and an assist in the Wild’s 4-2 loss Thursday. Daniel Winnik could only receive a PTO in the offseason but he was good enough that the Wild inked him to a one-year deal for the season. Coach Bruce Boudreau wants to see Charlie Coyle shoot more this season. He had 159 shots last season but only managed one shot on goal in his seasonal debut Thursday. Zach Parise should be back in action this week as he was scheduled to miss the first two games with a back injury. Ryan Malone was unable to make the Wild but signed a PTO with their Iowa farm club.

 

MONTREAL

               

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: vs. Chicago (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jonathan Drouin’s Montreal career got off to a great start as he scored the shootout winner Thursday and added an assist. Karl Alzner started the season with Jeff Petry as his defensive partner. Nicolas Deslauriers was dealt to Montreal from Buffalo and he will add some grit to the forward lines. Ales Hemsky made the Habs lineup but as a fourth line winger. That will cut into his already limited fantasy value. Brendan Gallagher on the other hand, got a boost in fantasy value as he will play on the top line with Max Pacioretty and Drouin. Carey Price got off to a fine start as he stopped 43 pucks in a 3-2 shootout win over the Sabres.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Dallas, @ Chicago

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The defending Western Conference champions lost their opener to the Bruins on Thursday. It was nice to see that Scott Hartnell scored on the power play. He used to be one of the top power forwards in the NHL and was always and underrated fantasy player but he is back in Nashville after a tough season in Columbus. Hartnell started the season with Nick Bonino and Kevin Fiala as his linemates. He is worth taking late in most pools. Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and an assist in the opener as he was on a line with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg. Samuel Girard impressed many at camp and while he made the roster, he was a healthy scratch on Thursday along with Pontus Aberg and Anthony Bitetto.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Toronto, vs. Washington, @ New York Rangers

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Devils play four games this week including three in four nights so expect to see Keith Kinkaid once with regular netminder Cory Schneider starting the other three contests. John Quenneville will start the season in the minors as coach John Hynes thinks that he would not play enough at the NHL level and he needs playing time. Will Butcher, one of the top free agents in the offseason, made the Devils out of training camp. Jimmy Hayes inked a one-year deal worth $700,000. He was on a PTO in training camp. Michael McLeod is questionable for the opener as he twisted his leg last week. Don’t be surprised if Adam Henrique is the third line center. The Devils have plenty of fire power up front, something that has been lacking for too many seasons.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Anaheim @ San Jose, @ Los Angeles 

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Islanders play four games this week and look for Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss to split the net evenly. They face the Blues at home before going to California to play their last three games this week. Coach Doug Weight is putting a lot of pressure on defenseman Nick Leddy as he says the blueliner should be in the conversation for the Norris as well as the All-Star teams. John Tavares, a possible UFA at the end of the season, will start the year centering Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee. Joshua Ho-Sang could be a Calder Trophy candidate. Keep an eye on him if he was not drafted in your pool.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Columbus, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested Team: vs. St. Louis (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

 Notes

Mika Zibanejad scored both goals in a 4-2 loss to lowly Colorado in the Rangers season debut Thursday. Ryan McDonagh is excited to be playing alongside Kevin Shattenkirk this season. Anthony DeAngelo should see time on the second power play this season. The talented young defenseman was acquired by the Rangers in the Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta deal with Arizona. Filip Chytil, the Rangers 21st overall pick in the 2017 Draft made the team out of training camp. He is worth looking at in keeper leagues only but is starting the season on the second line with Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello. Lias Andersson was sent back to Sweden after a good camp. You will hear plenty more from him in the future.


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Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Michael Finewax



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