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The Week Ahead

Bouwmeester okay and Boudreau gone in Minny

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: February 15, 2020, 12:09 pm ET

The Minnesota Wild fired their head coach Bruce Boudreau Friday morning and replaced him with interim coach Dean Evason.

The Wild missed the playoffs last season and at 27-23-7 this season, were tied for 10th in the Western Conference standings and out of the playoff picture. It has been a great regular season career for Boudreau who was 567-302-115, but he never had a lot of success in the playoffs and was never in a Stanley Cup Final despite having very good teams in Washington and Anaheim.

It may be the end of the road for Boudreau as he is 65 and teams are looking for younger coaches, not anyone who can collect Social Security.

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NBC’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues this weekend with four games as Colorado hosts Los Angeles Saturday evening as part of the Stadium Series. Then on Hockey Day in America Sunday, Detroit and Pittsburgh square off at 12:00 p.m. ET while Boston and the New York Rangers play. Coverage begins at 3:00 p.m. ET. Finally, on NBCSN St. Louis and Nashville play, starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here!

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 17-23

4 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Los Angeles, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg

3 Games –Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto  

2 Games - Vancouver

Florida plays all four games on the road.

Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles, Ottawa and Vegas play three games at home.

Boston, Montreal, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Connor McDavid is out two-three weeks with a quad injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Calgary, vs. Florida, vs. Colorado, vs. Vegas

Tired: @ Calgary (Monday)

Rested: vs. Vegas (Sunday)

Notes

The Ducks training and medical staff were amazing Tuesday when Jay Bouwmeester had a cardiac episode on the St. Louis bench. Along with the Blues training staff, they saved Bouwmeester’s life, needing to use the defibrillator to revive the defenseman. The Ducks play four times this week and this may be the final week of Ryan Miller’s career with Anaheim as the trade deadline is Monday February 24 and some teams could use an experienced backup. Miller and John Gibson (who is not having a good fantasy season at 16-22-4 with a 3.04 GAA and a .902 save percentage) could share the goaltending duties this week. The Ducks have sent Josh Mahura and Brendan Guhle to the minores. Ondrej Kase, who could be on the trade block as well, has missed the last three games with an illness. If he is traded, Kase could be worth a pickup in some fantasy leagues.

ARIZONA

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, @ Dallas, @ St. Louis, vs. Tampa Bay

Tired: @ St. Louis (Thursday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week. Darcy Kuemper suffered a setback this week as he is trying to return from a lower-body injury suffered on December 19. Antti Raanta should get three starts in net with Adin Hill picking up one. The Coyotes recalled their fifth overall pick in 2018, Barrett Hayton, from the minors. A hero at the World Junior Championships last month for Canada, Hayton was on a conditioning stint in the minors and had a goal and five points in five AHL games. Jakob Chychrun saw his five-game points streak come to an end in Ottawa Thursday. The talented blueliner has a career high 12 goals and 24 points in 60 games this season. This is the fourth NHL season for Chychrun, despite being only 21 and he has played in every game in 2019-20 after missing 59 contests over the last two seasons due to injuries. He is a keeper.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Calgary, @ Vancouver

Tired: @ Vancouver (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights as they make their annual trip to Western Canada. Tuukka Rask should get two starts with Jaroslav Halak picking up the slack once. David Pastrnak regained the NHL goal-scoring lead on Wednesday with a hat trick. The winger has 41 goals, one better than Alex Ovechkin and Auston Matthews heading into action Thursday (Matthews scored his 41st Thursday while Ovechkin was once again held off the scoresheet). He is having an outstanding season as he also has 40 assists in 58 games, good for third place in the NHL points race. With Pastrnak playing so well, Brad Marchand has been a bit under the radar this season but the tough winger has 23 goals and 71 points with 68 penalty minutes in 58 contests. Jeremy Lauzon completed his two-game suspension for his hit on Arizona’s Derek Stepan and the defenseman was promptly sent to the minors.

BUFFALO

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Winnipeg

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Rookie Victor Olofsson returned to action Thursday after missing six weeks with a lower-body injury and promptly scored twice, including the winner, to give him 18 goals and 37 points in 43 games. He is seeing plenty of action on the top line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart and should get plenty of Calder consideration if he stays healthy the rest of the way. Zach Bogosian requested a trade back on December 12 and has been a healthy scratch in every game since January 18. Jeff Skinner is in a career-high drought as he has not found the back of the net in his last 20 games. Skinner has not scored since December 2 and has only 11 goals in 48 games, after a career-high 40 goals last season. Carter Hutton started off the season with six straight wins, went 0-8-4 after that, and has won four of his last five starts.   

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Boston, @ Detroit

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Anaheim (Monday)

Notes

The Flames received outstanding goaltending from Cam Talbot Thursday as he stopped 44 shots for his first shutout of the season. He has provided Calgary with good backup goaltending as he is 8-8-1 with a 2.57 GAA and a .924 save percentage. Starter David Rittich is 22-15-5 with a 2.87 GAA and a .910 save percentage so don’t be surprised if Talbot sees more ice time down the stretch. Sam Bennett returned to the lineup Thursday after missing a couple of games with an illness. The former fourth overall pick could be on the trading block as many teams value his services and the Flames could use a boost elsewhere. Milan Lucic has been hot of late with two goals and five points in four games over the last week. He has only six goals and 16 points in 57 games but has been just as valuable of late, as the player he was traded from Edmonton for, James Neal.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. New York Rangers, @ Toronto

Tired: @ Toronto (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Hurricanes are in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division, the best in the NHL, but trail Columbus and Philadelphia (the two wild cards) by only four points, with two games in hand. Sebastian Aho set a career high in goals Tuesday, with his 31st. He has a six-game goals streak on the line Friday versus the New Jersey Devils. Martin Necas looks like he is here to stay as the 21-year-old rookie has 14 goals and 29 points. Necas was taken 12th overall in 2017 and has three goals in his last seven games. Ryan Dzingel was the Hurricanes big unrestricted free-agent signing in the off-season, but he has been a disappointment offensively with only eight goals and 29 points this season. Andrei Svechnikov has a career-high 22 goals and 52 points in only 56 games. The sophomore winger is a stud in the NHL and only going to get better as he is just 19 years of age.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, vs. Nashville, @ Dallas

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks were not pleased with the play of Dylan Strome of late as he was a healthy scratch Tuesday, but was returned to the lineup Wednesday. The center has only 10 goals and 30 points this season and has been held off the scoresheet in his last six games played, going back to January 7. He missed seven games with an ankle sprain in January but the coaching staff thought that sitting him would make him realize that he has ‘more to give’ according to the coaching staff. Patrick Kane has 25 goals and 67 points in 57 games thus far and is close to the pace for a 100-point season. Brandon Saad has 17 goals in 45 games.   

COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. New York Islanders, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

Tired: @ Los Angeles (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Avalanche play four games this week including three times in four nights. Philipp Grubauer should get three starts with Pavel Francouz getting the call in net once. Andre Burakovsky has moved into second place in Avs scoring, with 43 points as he has five goals and 15 points in his last 10 games. Nazem Kadri will be out four-six weeks with a lower-body injury suffered Sunday in Minnesota. Valeri Nichushkin continues to impress and the former Dallas Star, potted his first power play goal of the season Tuesday in a win over Ottawa. He has 11 goals and 23 points in 50 games. Cale Makar had his four-game points streak end Tuesday. He is still the favorite for the Calder Trophy but has some competition in the form of Quinn Hughes, Victor Olofsson and Ilya Samsonov.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, vs. Philadelphia, @ Nashville

Tired: None

Rested: @ Nashville (Saturday)

Notes

The Blue Jackets play the Philadelphia Flyers in a home-and-home series. If there is any rough stuff, look for Nick Foligno to be involved. The Blue Jackets have recalled their first-round pick from 2018, Liam Foudy, on an emergency basis in each of the last two games. Foudy has been with London of the OHL this season and picked up his first career NHL point Thursday with an assist. The Blue Jackets received horrible news when Seth Jones suffered a broken ankle that required surgery. He will be out eight-10 weeks. Cam Atkinson is out two-three weeks with an ankle sprain. He missed four weeks in mid-December with an ankle sprain as well. Elvis Merzlikins was named the first star of the week as he was 2-1-0 with a 0.67 GAA and a .971 save percentage.     

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. St. Louis, vs. Chicago

Tired: None

Rested: vs. St. Louis (Friday)

Notes

The Stars are firmly entrenched in the playoffs as they are third in the Central, but they are only three points out of first place. Tyler Seguin scored on the power play Thursday and it was his first goal in 18 games. The Stars are missing Joe Pavelski (upper body) and Alexander Radulov (undisclosed) from the lineup with Radulov being placed on the injured reserve list. The Stars recalled Jason Robertson from the minors and the second-round pick from 2017 made his NHL debut Thursday against Toronto. He picked up an assist in 12:18 of action. Denis Gurianov has goals in four of his last five games and has 17 this season, one behind team leader Jamie Benn. Corey Perry has lost his offensive flair as he has only four goals and 16 points in 45 games but he leads the Stars with 60 penalty minutes.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 15th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.