Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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NHL celebrates 100th Year

Friday, December 8, 2017


The NHL has granted Seattle permission to apply for a franchise after the city allowed this week a private group to renovate the current KeyArena to bring it up to NHL and NBA standards. The group is expected to spend $600 million to renovate.

 

It looks like the cost of a new franchise will be $650 million, up $150 million from the fees charged to the Golden Knights this season.

 

I never understood why the NHL did not award a franchise to Quebec City. I know the league wants another team in the West to balance the divisions to 16 in the East and 16 in the West but why could the NHL not do it this way with eight teams in Canada making up a division and the 24 teams in the United States making up the other three including eight on the East Coast, eight in the Western region and the remaining eight making up the Central.

 

Those are my thoughts but apparently the NHL is not interested.

 

There is plenty of information and good chatter always on the Rotoworld Hockey Podcast. Listen here.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld’s Season Pass is now available for the low price of $19.99. You get plenty of extra articles including the minor league report, the junior report and much, much more. Buy it now!

 

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

 

WEEK OF DECEMBER 11-17

 

 

4 Games – Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, St. Louis, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas

 

2 Games - Arizona, Montreal, San Jose

 

Dallas and Florida play all four games on the road.

 

St. Louis plays all four games at home.

 

Detroit, Minnesota, the New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Vegas play three games at home.

 

Carolina, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Toronto play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Roberto Luongo is out indefinitely with a lower body injury.  (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 

Note: A tired team is one that has played the day or night before and is going against a team that did not play the previous day or night. The reverse is true for a rested team.

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ St. Louis, @ Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The St. Louis game starts a six game road trip for the Ducks as they will not play at home again until December 27 against Vegas. Adam Henrique has been a welcome addition as he has a four game scoring streak since joining the Ducks with two goals and three assists. Hampus Lindholm is out of action with an upper body injury but could return this week. The Ducks are starting to get personnel back as Rickard Rakell returned from an upper body injury Tuesday after missing five games. Both Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler are due back during this lengthy road trip and that will be welcome news for the Ducks. Ryan Miller picked up his first shutout of the season Wednesday.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes play only twice this week. The good news out of the Coyotes camp is that Antti Raanta is healthy again and that gives Arizona two good goaltenders as Scott Wedgewood has been good for the team thus far. Jakob Chychrun returned to action on December 3 and scored in his first game as he returned from off-season knee surgery. He will be a force to come in the years ahead for the Coyotes. He is playing alongside Alex Goligoski on the blueline. Clayton Keller continues to lead the Coyotes in points with 23 in 31 games but is a minus-19. He had nine goals in the month of October but has only two in 18 games since with none in his last 15. Max Domi has only two goals in 31 games but does have 15 helpers.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, vs. Washington, vs. New York Rangers

 

Rested Team: vs. New York Rangers (Saturday)

Tired Team: vs. Washington (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights so look for Anton Khudobin and Tuukka Rask to each get one start. The third game will be interesting as Khudobin has outplayed Rask this season but they may still want to roll the dice with Rask.   The Bruins placed Ryan Spooner on the injured reserve list with a lower body injury. Jake DeBrusk returned on Thursday after missing three games with an upper body injury. David Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 25 points in 26 games with Brad Marchand just three points behind despite playing eight games less. Rookie Charlie McAvoy leads all Boston defensemen with 15 points, one ahead of Torey Krug.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ Philadelphia, vs. Carolina

 

Rested Team: vs. Carolina (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sabres play three times in four nights so expect to see Robin Lehner play twice with Chad Johnson getting one start. I can’t believe that Jack Eichel still has only one power play point in 28 games this season. He has more points shorthanded (two) than with the man-advantage. Evander Kane snapped a six game goalless drought Tuesday with his 13th of the season. The Sabres put Matt Moulson on waivers Monday and sent him to the Ontario Reign of the AHL Tuesday when he cleared. Moulson had 11 power play goals last season but did not have a point in 14 games this season. The Sabres picked up Scott Wilson from the Red Wings in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2019.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. San Jose, vs. Nashville, @ Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Flames play four games this week with three coming in four nights. Look for Mike Smith to get three starts with David Rittich getting the call in net once. Rittich was strong on Thursday as he kicked out 37 shots in a 3-2 overtime win over Montreal, his second NHL win of his career. Matthew Tkachuk served his one game suspension for spearing Matt Martin. Jaromir Jagr has missed the last two games with a lower body injury. Troy Brouwer saw his two game points streak end Thursday. He scored his first of the season Monday against the Flyers. Travis Hamonic leads the Flames in penalty minutes with 38, but his goal and two assists in 26 games is definitely not fantasy-worthy.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Vegas, @ Buffalo, vs. Columbus  

 

Rested Team: @ Buffalo (Friday)

Tired Team:  @ Vegas (Tuesday), vs. Columbus (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Hurricanes finish their six game road trip this week and play four games in a pair of back-to-backs. Scott Darling and Cam Ward should each get two starts this week. The big news coming out this week is that Tom Dundon has agreed to purchase a majority share of the Hurricanes from Peter Karmanos Jr. and will keep the club in Carolina. Sebastian Aho scored twice on Thursday and has all seven of his goals in the last 12 games. He has been streaky this season as he scored five goals in five games but had gone the last six and the first 15 without finding the back of the net. Noah Hanifin is developing into the blueliner the Hurricanes thought they were getting when he was drafted fifth overall in 2015. The third year pro has five goals and 15 points in 27 games after 22 and 29 point seasons. 

 

 CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ Winnipeg, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested Team: vs. Florida (Tuesday), vs. Minnesota (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Tanner Kero was placed on waivers Thursday and will be sent to the minors if he goes unclaimed. Corey Crawford has been skating on his own this past week as he is recovering from a lower body injury. He should be back this week, shunting Anton Forsberg to the bench. Ryan Hartman has moved up the depth chart and is playing alongside Jonathan Toews and John Hayden. Richard Panik had been playing with Toews but not finding the back of the net in 19 straight games will tend to move you down the lineup. He is currently on the fourth line with Tommy Wingels and Patrick Sharp. Patrick Kane is having a nice season but probably less than you were looking for if you drafted him in the first round this season as he has 27 points in 28 games.   

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Washington, vs. Florida, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Avalanche play four games this week with three coming in four nights. Semyon Varlamov should get the start in three games with Jonathan Bernier getting one start in goal. Nathan MacKinnon was the first star for the month of November as he is finally showing the form from his rookie season. The 22-yaer-old has 32 points in 27 games and is still even although he has been a minus-five in his last four games. It seems that he has been around a long time and it’s hard to believe that he is only 22. Gabriel Landeskog returned to action on Thursday after serving a four game suspension for cross-checking Matthew Tkachuk. He scored his 10th of the season and has 18 points in 23 games. His return dropped J.T. Compher down to the second line with Tyson Jost and Alexander Kerfoot as Landeskog rejoined MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. New York Islanders, @ Carolina

 

Rested Team: vs. New York Islanders (Thursday), vs. Carolina (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets are getting some production out of Pierre-Luc Dubois who was taken third overall in the 2016 Draft. He was sent back to junior last season but stuck with Columbus out of training camp this season, He struggled at first but has a goal and six points in his last five games as he is centering the top unit with Artemi Panarin and Josh Anderson on his wings. He has 11 points this season but needs to be picked up in deeper pools and keeper leagues now, if available. Seth Jones has points in back-to-back games after going pointless in 11 contests. Defenseman Zach Werenski is second on the Blue Jackets in goals with eight, trailing only Josh Anderson who has 10.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ New York Islanders, @ New Jersey, @ Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: @ New Jersey (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Philadelphia (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Stars make their annual trek to the New York area and north as they play all four games on the road with three coming in four nights. Ben Bishop is injured at this time with back woes and if he is able to go then he will get three starts with Kari Lehtonen getting one. If not, Lehtonen will get three starts and Mike McKenna will get the net once. Alexander Radulov has been a great UFA signing as the former-Hab has 25 points in 28 games, second-best to Tyler Seguin’s 27 points on the Stars this season. Radek Faksa has 10 goals and 16 points in 27 games with a plus-10 rating as he was the NHL’s third star of the week with five points in four games. Jason Spezza has four goals and 10 points in 28 games but the Stars need a lot more scoring than that from a second line player.  


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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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