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The Week Ahead

A Bunch of Fours

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The season is only two days old as of this writing and already there have been four hat tricks, two on each night.

 

Connor McDavid and Wayne Simmonds got things started on Wednesday while Brandon Saad and Alex Ovechkin continued the goal scoring on Thursday.

 

It was a wild first couple of nights as the defending Cup champions got walloped by the Blackhawks. Who would have thought that Sidney Crosby would be a minus-five after only two games. Or Kris Letang a minus-seven.

 

There’s lots more so let’s get to it!

 

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 OCTOBER 9-15

 

4 Games - Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, New Jersey, New York Islanders, St. Louis,  Washington

 

3 Games –Arizona, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Carolina, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, Philadelphia, San Jose

 

St. Louis plays all four games on the road.

 

Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Detroit, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, Ottawa and Washington play three games on the road.

 

Anaheim, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Vegas play three games at home.

 

INJURIES

 

Patric Hornqvist is out with a hand 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. Calgary, vs. New York Islanders @ Columbus, vs. Buffalo

 

Rested Team: vs. Buffalo (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Ducks play four games this week so look for Ryan Miller to get one start with John Gibson starting the other three. At the present time, Miller is on the injured reserve list with an upper body injury and has not skated since September 25, so if he is unable to go, then Reto Berra could get a start. Patrick Eaves is also starting the season on the IR due to a lower body injury. Ryan Getzlaf (lower body) missed Thursday’s opener but did practice on Wednesday. The Ducks are also missing Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm due to offseason surgeries. Rickard Rakell opened the season centering the top line with Corey Perry and Andrew Cogliano. Josh Manson inked a four-year contract extension on Wednesday.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

@ Vegas, vs. Detroit, vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes play the second half of a back-to-back series against Vegas so expect to see Lawson Crouse or Luke Schenn partake in the dropping of the gloves if the situation arises. Jakob Chychrun was a revelation last season as he made the roster as an 18-year-old despite being drafted 16th overall. He was injured in the offseason and required knee surgery but he will start skating soon and is ahead of schedule. He is worth stashing in keeper leagues. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was injured a couple of weeks ago but he started the season on Thursday, despite wearing a knee brace. Clayton Keller made the roster and should be considered a Calder Trophy candidate this season. Derek Stepan made his Coyotes debut on Thursday but Antti Raanta (lower body) sat out. They were acquired from the Rangers in the offseason. Louie Domingue picked up the start as Raanta backed him up and looked good until the Ducks went wild in the second half of the game.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, @ Colorado, @ Arizona, @ Vegas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Vegas (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Bruins play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Tuukka Rask to get three starts with Anton Khudobin getting one. The Bruins play a home-and-home series against Colorado this week so expect to see Brad Marchand or David Backes if healthy, to get a head start on their penalty minute totals. Patrice Bergeron (lower body) and Backes (illness) missed Thursday’s opener. Top Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is on the injured reserve list with a broken jaw but he could return soon. Jake DeBrusk, the Bruins first pick and 14th overall in 2015, made the team and will start the season with David Krejci and David Pastrnak on the top line. He can be a big goal scorer and he is not afraid to battle in the dirty areas with his hard work. He is worth keeping an eye on as he had a goal and an assist in his debut.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ San Jose, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Anaheim (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights as part of a four game week and expect to see Robin Lehner getting the call in goal three times with Chad Johnson seeing the crease once. Jack Eichel is not going anywhere as he has signed an eight-year extension worth $80 million. It will be interesting to see next season what Auston Matthews is going to cost the Maple Leafs. Evander Kane is starting the season on the Eichel line and that will give him plenty of fantasy value. Seth Griffith is slated to be the third member of the line to start the season, but don’t count on Griffith holding onto the job for a long time. The Sabres acquired Zach Redmond from Montreal for Nicolas Deslauriers but he was sent to the AHL immediately.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, vs. Ottawa, @ Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights as part of a four game week and Mike Smith should see the crease three times with former Carolina goalie Eddie Lack playing once. Smith looked sensational in the Flames opener Wednesday against Edmonton with only Connor McDavid being able to get the puck past him. The Flames signed Jaromir Jagr to a one-year deal but he will need time to get into shape. He was practicing with Kris Versteeg and Sam Bennett and that could be a nice third line. Currently, the Flames have Johnny Gaudreau with Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland while Matthew Tkachuk is on a line with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. Garnet Hathaway was the odd-man out with the signing of Jagr and is in the minors.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes only play twice this week after playing only once last week so if you are concerned that your Carolina players are not scoring, relax, it has only been three games. Martin Necas, the 12th overall pick in the 2017 Draft has made the team but he likely won’t play more than nine games as the Hurricanes will not want to burn a year on his entry level contract. Sebastian Aho will start the season on a line with Elias Lindholm and Jordan Staal. Lee Stempniak is out with a hip/back injury but could return by the end of the week. Look for Cam Ward to be the backup to Scott Darling this season but could still see 30-35 starts.

 

 CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Montreal, vs. Minnesota, vs. Nashville

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Montreal (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play four games this week including three in four nights. Corey Crawford should get three starts with Anton Forsberg getting one. The Blackhawks were all over the Penguins on Thursday as they scored five in the first period en route to a 10-1 routing of the Penguins. Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz get a fantasy boost as they are playing alongside Patrick Kane. They both had big games Thursday as Hatman had a goal and four assists while Schmaltz chipped in with a pair of goal and a helper. They were a combined plus-nine with Hartman going plus-five. Jordin Tootoo was put on long-term injured reserve after suffering a lower body injury in training camp. Alex DeBrincat made the roster. The 19-year-old led the OHL in points last season during the playoffs and shone enough during training camp to make the squad despite his diminutive size. The Blackhawks signed Cody Franson to a one-year contract.

 

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. Boston, vs. Anaheim, @ Dallas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Dallas (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Avalanche play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Semyon Varlamov to play two or three times with Jonathan Bernier getting the remainder of the starts. They also play a home-and-home series with the Bruins so look for Gabriel Landeskog and/or Nikita Zadorov to get into a fight if the situation requires it. Matt Duchene was not traded and started the season with the Avalanche. It will be interesting to see where he is finally moved to, but in the meantime, chances are his plus/minus will hurt you. The Avs claimed defenseman Patrik Nemeth from the Dallas Stars. A few Avs need comeback seasons, especially Landeskog, Carl Soderberg and Duchene. I would expect Landeskog to have the best opportunity to do so but I am not high on Soderberg’s chances. Joe Colborne had a hat trick on opening night last season but did not get the opportunity this season as the Avs waived him and then sent him to the minors.

 

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, vs. New York Rangers, @ Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Minnesota (Saturday)

 

Notes

The good news is that Josh Anderson agreed to a three-year/$5.5 million contract with Columbus this week. Anderson was then sent to the minors on Thursday on a conditioning assignment. Pierre-Luc Dubois was selected third overall in 2016 and the Blue Jackets rationalized the move saying he was the top center they needed. Well, he made the Blue Jackets this season as a 19-year-old but he will start the season on the left wing.  Interesting. Nick Foligno on the other hand will start the season at center. Keep an eye on Oliver Bjorkstrand. He could easily get 25 goals and 50 points. Of course, he could find himself in the minors early on if he doesn’t produce.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, @ Nashville, vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: vs. Colorado (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Julius Honka made the 23 man roster as the eighth defenseman but will start the season in the press box as coach Ken Hitchcock wants defense coach Rick Wilson to work with him. Ben Bishop is being touted in more than a few places as a possible Vezina Trophy candidate. The Stars could use that as their netminding last season was less than desirable. Esa Lindell has the envious job of partnering with John Klingberg on the top defense pairing. Antoine Roussel should be among the league leaders in penalty minutes and will chip in with 12-15 goals.

 

 

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.

 

OTTAWA            

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Senators are in Western Canada all week. Erik Karlsson missed the opener on Thursday but he is hopeful of playing this week. The Senators signed Mark Borowiecki to a two-year deal. Borowiecki led the NHL in penalty minutes last season but does not put up many points. Alex Formenton made the roster despite being a second round pick in 2017. Derick Brassard underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason and it was thought he would have to miss some time at the start of the season but he got the green light to play Thursday and responded with a goal and two assists. He is worth taking late in drafts or right now if he is on the waiver wire. Logan Brown, the Senators first round pick in 2016, 11th overall, was a minus-one in his NHL debut.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Washington

 

Rested Team: vs. Washington (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flyers finally get their first home game in on Saturday when they face the tired Washington Capitals. Wayne Simmonds picked up the hat trick in the Flyers opener Wednesday but they were shutout Thursday in Los Angeles. Shayne Gostisbehere and Jakub Voracek each had three assists Wednesday. Travis Sanheim made his NHL debut Thursday. The Flyers have the deepest list of prospects in the NHL, especially on the blueline and they will be a force to be reckoned with in a few years. Matt Read was placed on waivers after six seasons with the Flyers and will start the season with their AHL farm team in Lehigh Valley. Oskar Lindblom was slated to be a top-six forward this season but a poor training camp has placed him in the minors.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Florida

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Penguins are off to a rough start as they lost 5-4 in overtime Wednesday and then got shellacked 10-1 by the Blackhawks the following night. I did not like the pickup of Antti Niemi in the offseason (just listen to the Rotoworld podcast of the Penguins last month) and he certainly didn’t prove otherwise on Thursday, giving up four goals on 13 shots before being pulled less than 10 minutes into the game. Phil Kessel scored and had a 10-minute misconduct Thursday. Nice to see Kris Letang healthy and back in the Penguins lineup. Look for a big season from him if he can remain healthy. Matt Murray has given up 11 goals on only 65 shots in the Penguins first two games. Poolies can’t be happy as he was a high first round pick in many drafts.

  

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ New York Rangers, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Blues play four road games this week including three in four nights. Carter Hutton should get one start with Jake Allen picking up the other three. The Blues sent down Russian Klim Kostin to the minors. The Russian was taken 31st overall in the 2017 Draft and has a lot of talent. Keep an eye on him. Captain Alex Pietrangelo scored twice including the overtime winner in the Blues opening night win over Pittsburgh. Vladimir Sobotka finds himself on the top line with Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko while Brayden Schenn is centering Jaden Schwartz and Dmitrij Jaskin on the second unit. The Blues are hurting badly with Alexander Steen, Robby Fabbri, Jay Bouwmeester, Zach Sanford and Patrik Berglund all out of action. Fabbri is out for the season with a bad knee injury.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Keep an eye on Tim Heed. The defenseman was a healthy scratch Wednesday and enters the season as the Sharks seventh defenseman, but he is a talented offensive threat who had 56 points in 55 AHL games last season. The 26-year-old played in his native Sweden until coming across the pond last season. The Sharks look to be a bubble team as far as the playoffs are concerned. Logan Couture, who scored Wednesday on the power play, needs to have a big year while Joe Pavelski cannot take a step back from his usual 70 point seasons. Kevin Labanc scored twice in the opener and could surprise this season. Martin Jones has been an average goalie as far as save percentage is concerned and if he falls under 30 wins, he is just a so-so second goalie in fantasy leagues.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested team: vs. Pittsburgh (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Lightning are favored in many corners to win their division, the conference and the Stanley Cup. To do so they will need a healthy Steven Stamkos who played only 17 games last season. He did get 20 points however, so you know how valuable he really is. Brayden Point will start the season at center between Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde while Stamkos will play with Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov. The third line is also potent with Alex Killorn, Ryan Callahan and Tyler Johnson making up the trio. Mikhail Sergachev, the 19-year-old ‘wunderkid’ defenseman has made the team for now. Jake Dotchin is expected to be a top-six defenseman.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. New Jersey, @ Montreal   

 

Rested team:  None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs got off to a big start with a 7-2 road win in Winnipeg. They may have the best top-nine in the NHL and all three lines contributed in a big way to the win. Frederik Andersen was stellar in net, stopping 35 shots. It looks like Martin Marincin’s with the Maple Leafs may be over as he was placed on waivers Thursday. There are plenty of blueliners with their AHL team who have surpassed Marincin (Travis Dermott, Calle Rosen, Timothy Liljegren) and the possible return of Roman Polak does not help Marincin’s cause in Toronto. Patrick Marleau scored twice in his Leafs debut. Dominic Moore was a healthy scratch as Eric Fehr got the call as the fourth line center in Winnipeg. The Leafs sent Liljegren to the Marlies rather than back to Sweden to keep a close eye on him.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: vs. Calgary (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canucks continue their homestand with three games this week. They have yet to play on the road but that will happen the following week. The Canucks improved their blueline when they acquired Derrick Pouliot from Pittsburgh in exchange for Andrey Pedan and a fourth round pick. Pouliot has a lot of offensive weapons and could flourish in Vancouver. Bo Horvat is expected to play on Saturday despite an injured shoulder. Jake Virtanen has been a big disappointment since the Canucks took him with the sixth pick in the 2014 Draft but he had four goals and six points in six preseason games and seems to have found a place in the lineup with new head coach Travis Green. Olli Juolevi could be playing back in Finland this season rather than with the London Knights of the OHL.

 

VEGAS

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. Detroit, vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: vs. Detroit (Friday), vs. Boston (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Golden Knights play their first home game this week as they face the Coyotes on Tuesday. The Arizona game is also the back-half of a home-and-home series so look for Deryk Engelland to pick up some penalty minutes. The Golden Knights claimed goalie Malcolm Subban off waivers from Boston and then placed Calvin Pickard on waivers. James Neal was place on the injured non-roster list but could return for the opener Saturday. He was practicing with Cody Eakin and David Perron on Wednesday. The Golden Knights first ever signing, Reid Duke, is out four-six months after undergoing shoulder surgery. Clayton Stoner starts the season on the injured reserve list.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, vs. Pittsburgh, @ New Jersey, @ Philadelphia

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Philadelphia (Saturday)

 

Notes

 The Capitals play three games in four nights as part of their four game week. Philipp Grubauer should see his first action in the cage with Braden Holtby playing in net for the other three contests. It was nice to see Alex Ovechkin off to a hot start with a hat trick on Thursday but the player to watch on that line is Jakub Vrana who likely is on the waiver wire in your league. He had two assists and was a plus-three. Tom Wilson was suspended for the first four games of the schedule for boarding Sammy Blais of the Blues. He will be eligible to return for the game against New Jersey. Madison Bowey was sent to the minors and fellow blueliner Christian Djoos was a healthy scratch Thursday. Alex Chiasson inked a one-year deal after attending the Capitals training camp on a PTO.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Vancouver, vs. Carolina

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Jets came out flying against the Maple Leafs but could not score on the power play and that was their Achilles heel as they dropped a 7-2 decision on opening night. The Jets failed to capitalize on eight power play chances and gave up two power play goals on four Leaf attempts. Steve Mason did not look good as he gave up five goals on only 20 shots before he was replaced very early in the third by Connor Hellebuyck. The line of Bryan Little, Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers will be a good one and a very good second unit to Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Mathieu Perreault. . Ehlers inked a seven-year contract on Wednesday worth $42 million. Kyle Connor was sent to the minors on Tuesday. A lot of people thought he had a chance at the Calder. 

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.