Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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The All-Star Break

Friday, January 19, 2018


The All-Star break is coming up this week and the NHL takes its break from Friday-Monday to honor the best players in the league.

 

Every team save for the Los Angeles Kings, play on Thursday with the Kings getting an extra night off.

 

I’m in Las Vegas for the weekend and boy are the citizens ever Golden Knights crazy. Everyone is talking about the hockey team and it has given the city a great boost, especially after the terrible shooting spree in September in which 58 people were killed.

 

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 JANUARY 22-28

 

 

3 Games – Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Toronto

 

2 Games - Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Vancouver, Vegas, Winnipeg

 

1 Game - Washington

 

Buffalo, Colorado and Tampa Bay play all three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Corey Crawford has vertigo and could miss the rest of the season. (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.

 

Editor’s Note: FanDuel’s main NHL contest, the NHL Breakaway, boasts thousands in cash prizes every night and costs less than $5 to enter.  Get in on the action!

 

ANAHEIM

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team:

 

Notes

Ryan Getzlaf picked up an assist on Wednesday and hit the 600 career mark in helpers, becoming only the 86th player in NHL history to hit the milestone. The Ducks are looking for Nick Ritchie to be more consistent, especially when it comes to his physicality, play-making abilities and body checking. He has only three goals and 12 points in 39 games after being picked 10th overall in 2014. Andrew Cogliano saw his 830-game ironman streak end but not through conventional methods like an injury or healthy scratch. The NHL saw in its infinite wisdom to suspend him for a hit to the head of the Kings Adrian Kempe. Kempe remained in the game. A fine would have sufficed as Cogliano had no previous trouble with the NHL. After going 19 games without a point, Chris Wagner has goals in back-to-back games. Francois Beauchemin leads the Ducks in blocked shots with 77 while Chris Wagner leads the entire NHL in hits with 153.

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. Columbus

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Oliver Ekman-Larsson was a plus-one Thursday to improve to minus-38. That’s bad and he probably is hurting you in fantasy pools that use the category. Check that…he is, even though he has eight goals and 22 points. Apparently the Coyotes are listening to offers on OEL but are not at this time actively trying to trade him. Jakob Chychrun missed Thursday’s game due to an illness.   Zac Rinaldo returned to action on January 13 after completing his six game suspension. Luke Schenn leads the Coyotes with 139 hits and is second to Alex Goligoski in blocked shots as Goligoski has 73 and Schenn has 70.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Ottawa

 

Rested Team: vs. New Jersey (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Patrice Bergeron had the hat trick on Thursday and has five points in his last two games as he is up to 38 points in 39 games. He also has 14 points in his last 10 games and has been one of the top centers in the NHL of late. Brad Marchand, his linemate has been hot as well as he also has five points in his last two contests and 11 points in his last six games. The Bruins are getting great goaltending from both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin as the two have combined for 26 wins this season with Khudobin’s GAA at 2.38. Rask is at 2.21. Zdeno Chara leads the Bruins with 79 blocked shots. Not bad for a 40-year-old. Kevan Miller is the best Boston player in hits with 101.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights in Western Canada so look for Chad Johnson to get a start if they do not recall Linus Ullmark, with Robin Lehner getting a couple. Ullmark was sensational last Thursday as he stopped 44-of-45 shots in a win over Columbus. He was sent back to the minors due to the five day break. The Sabres are having trouble scoring and have a league-low 99 goals heading into action Thursday. Brendan Guhle was sent back to the minors but not before picking up his first NHL point. Jake McCabe and Marco Scandella lead the Sabres in blocked shots with 66 while Rasmus Ristolainen is tops in hits with 99.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs.  Buffalo, vs. Los Angeles, @ Edmonton

 

Rested Team: vs. Los Angeles (Wednesday)

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights so expect to see Mike Smith twice with David Rittich getting the call once. The Flames had the first two stars of the week as Johnny Gaudreau was first with two goals and eight points in four games while Smith was a perfect 3-0 with a 1.32 GAA and a .963 save percentage. Mark Giordano got off a bit lucky on the weekend as he did not get supplemental discipline for his hit on Sebastian Aho of the Hurricanes. GM Brad Treliving is very happy with the development of Rittich who started the season in the minors but replaced a mediocre Eddie Lack. Giordano leads with 94 blocked shots while Micheal Ferland has 89 hits.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Montreal  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team:  None

 

Notes

Sebastian Aho suffered a concussion and a knee injury when he was hit by the Flames Mark Giordano on Sunday. Justin Williams, who came to his defense, had a strong fantasy game with 17 penalty minutes. Scott Darling continued to struggle in the Carolina cage as he is 9-12-6 with a 2.94 GAA and a .895 save percentage after allowing four goals on 30 shots in a loss to the Flames. The Hurricanes had the flu going through the dressing room as both Elias Lindholm  and Joakim Nordstrom returned to action Sunday after each missing a game.  Jordan Staal has 105 hits with defenseman Jaccob Slavin heading the team with 99 blocked shots.

 

 CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Toronto, @ Detroit

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Blackhawks are in big trouble. Corey Crawford could be gone for the season with vertigo so they are going to have to rely on Jeff Glass and Anton Forsberg (barring any injury) to carry the load) They play three games in four nights so each will play once and likely the hot hand will get the second start. Anthony Duclair saw some playing time Sunday with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad and that will improve his fantasy value if he is able to stick. Artem Anisimov skated on Saturday but there is no word on his return as he has been out of action with an upper body injury since December 28. Brent Seabrook has 87 blocked shots with Lance Bouma leading the way with 113 hits, three ahead of Tommy Wingels.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Montreal, @ St. Louis

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Montreal (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Avalanche play three games in four nights. Semyon Varlamov is hopeful of returning to the Colorado lineup after the All-Star break from his groin injury so Jonathan Bernier will continue to play between the pipes while Andrew Hammond could get one start this week. Nathan MacKinnon has a four game goals streak as he had two goals and three points Thursday to give him 22 goals and 57 points in 44 contests. His best season ever was his rookie season in 2013-14 when he had 24 goals and 63 points, It looks like he is going to smash those marks. Nikita Zadorov has 113 hits with Patrik Nemeth tops in blocked shots with 93, two ahead of Erik Johnson.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Vegas, @ Arizona

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Ryan Murray has been out with a back injury since November 27 while he has partaken in some drills during practice of late, there is no timetable for his return.  Cam Atkinson skated and took some shots before practice Wednesday. Sonny Milano is out four-six weeks with a torn oblique muscle, Jussi Jokinen was claimed off waivers from Los Angeles but don’t look for any fantasy value there as he has only a goal and six points in 33 games. Jack Johnson, who has asked for a trade out of Columbus since he is going to be a UFA and is unlikely to be back with the Blue Jackets, leads the team in blocked shots with 87. Nick Foligno has 116 hits, three ahead of Boone Jenner.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: vs.  Toronto (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Coach Ken Hitchcock benched Jason Spezza on Monday and it was the first time in his career that that had happened to him. So what did he do about it? Well the center had two goals Tuesday to give him seven in 46 games this season. It certainly seemed to work. The Stars recalled defenseman Dillon Heatherington to replace the ailing Mark Methot who is out with a knee injury and he made his NHL debut Thursday in a 2-1 shootout loss to Columbus. The Stars are led in hits by Stephen Johns who has 106. He also leads in blocked shots with 80.   


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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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