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The Week Ahead

Merry Christmas!

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

It’s the Christmas break this week as the NHL takes three days off but there is plenty of action the rest of the week including 11 games on Wednesday and Friday.

 

As we near the halfway point of the season, the surprise of the league has to be the Vegas Golden Knights. The expansion team is only two points out of first overall in the Western Conference and have three games in hand on the Kings. Wouldn’t that be something if they finished first overall and had home-ice advantage.

 

On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Penguins, defending Stanley Cup champions two years in a row, are out of the playoffs at this time. It’s only a point but you have to wonder if all the extra hockey the last two seasons are taking a toll on the club. We shall find out.

 

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 25-JANUARY 1

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Buffalo, Florida, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, San Jose, Vancouver

 

Anaheim and Colorado play three games at home.

 

Chicago, Montreal and Toronto play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Logan Couture is out with a concussion. (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. Vegas, vs. Calgary, vs. Arizona

 

Rested Team: vs. Calgary (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It has been 10 days since Corey Perry injured his knee but he has yet to even start skating. Hampus Lindholm had a hat trick Thursday and that’s a rarity for a blueliner. Ryan Getzlaf had a big night with four assists and the Ducks really missed his presence when he was out for six weeks. He has two goals and 15 points in 12 games and is on a five game points streak. Brandon Montour was a healthy scratch Tuesday as coach Randy Carlyle was sending a message to the defenseman and his teammates. Montour was a minus-three the previous game and Carlyle was not at all happy with his play, or lack thereof, in the defensive zone. Ryan Kesler could return this week from offseason hip surgery that has kept him on the shelf all season.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Toronto, @ Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Toronto (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Coyotes play the back half of a home-and-home series with Colorado this week so look for Zac Rinaldo or perhaps Jason Demers to get involved if tempers flare. Clayton Keller continues to lead the Coyotes in goals with 12 and points with 26 but has only one goal in his last 20 games. He is no longer a favorite for the Calder Trophy. Arizona once again sent Dylan Strome to the minors. I don’t understand what they are doing but made the move when they acquired Josh Archibald from Pittsburgh with goaltender Sean Maguire for Michael Leighton. Really, they are making a move to the minors on the third overall pick in 2015 for Josh Archibald! It’s not like the Coyotes are in a position to make a run for the playoffs. It is perplexing. Perhaps they should deal Strome like they did with Kyle Turris who went to Ottawa in 2011 for David Rundblad and a second round pick in 2012. That trade worked out great for the franchise.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ Washington, @ Ottawa

 

Rested Team: @ Ottawa (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights, so look for Anton Khudobin to play once and Tuukka Rask twice. The Bruins play a pair of games against Ottawa this week and if tempers flare, then Kevan Miller or Brad Marchand will get involved. Danton Heinen has been a nice surprise for the Bruins with 22 points in 29 games. Tuukka Rask continues to shine of late as he is 7-0-1 this season after a 3-8-2 start. Adam McQuaid could be back this week after missing over two months with a broken leg. Looks like the flu is sweeping through the Boston dressing room as Riley Nash and Ryan Spooner were unable to go although Marchand managed to play. David Krejci has missed the last three games with an upper body injury.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ New Jersey

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sabres are away this week as the World Junior U20 Championships are in Buffalo. The fans will have plenty to cheer about, as not only will the United States be one of the favorites for gold but the Sabres loaned their first round pick from 2016, Alexander Nylander, to Sweden. Nylander had a big tournament for the Swedes last season in Montreal and Toronto with 12 points in seven games. Robin Lehner is only 4-7-1 at home this season but his peripherals are outstanding as he has a 1.94 GAA and a .935 save percentage at the KeyBank Center. Jake McCabe has two goals this season, the only Buffalo blueliner to find the back of the net.  Evander Kane ought to get plenty of action if the Sabres try to trade the impending UFA. He has 14 goals and 31 points in 34 games this season.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Anaheim, vs. Chicago

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Anaheim (Friday)

 

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights so David Rittich, who has played quite well in limited action, will get one start with Mike Smith getting the net in the other two. It looks like the signing of Jaromir Jagr may not work out on the ice. The 45-year-old has been injured on many occasions this season, the latest being a lower body injury that has cost him a couple of games. He has played in only 19 games this season with a goal and seven points. He has played 1,730 NHL games and that is just 37 away from Gordie Howe’s record, but he may not be able to reach it this season. It’s likely his last in the NHL. Sam Bennett had only three points in his first 23 games but has 12 in his last 12 contests.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Pittsburgh, @ St. Louis  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team:  None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes started off this season with Scott Darling firmly entrenched as the number one goal, especially after inking him to a long-term contract. They re-signed Cam Ward but to be his backup. Well, it is not working out as planned as Ward is 7-2-1 this season with a 2.87 GAA and a .911 save percentage. While his peripherals are not great, it is a lot better than Darling who is 8-10-6 with a 2.87 GAA and a .896 save percentage. Look for both to start sharing the net. Justin Faulk has only one goal in 34 games this season after averaging 16 in his last three campaigns. Noah Hanifin has taken over as the offensive star with seven goals and 19 points in 34 games.

 

 CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Friday)

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play three games in four nights in Western Canada so Corey Crawford should get a couple of starts with Anton Forsberg getting the crease once. Patrick Kane was the first star of the week as he had four goals and an assist in three games. He has 34 points in 34 contests this season. Ryan Hartman scored on Sunday for the first time in 18 games. Richard Panik returned to the Blackhawks lineup Thursday for the first time in four games as he has been a healthy scratch. He has not found the back of the net in 22 games. Duncan Keith has yet to score this season and has only 16 assists in 34 games. Brent Seabrook is not much better with only one goal this season. The duo were the Blackhawks bread-and-butter for so many seasons but time is catching up to both.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. Toronto, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: vs. Toronto (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Avalanche play the back-half of a home-and-home series with the Coyotes and if there is any rough stuff then Erik Johnson could add to his minutes count. He has just finished a two game suspension for boarding Vladislav Namestnikov of the Lightning. Gabriel Landeskog is on a three game points streak in which he has four goals and seven points in that span. Mikko Rantanen is on a five game points streak with a goal and five helpers. He has 30 points in 34 games this season. Alexander Kerfoot does not have a point in two games since returning from a leg injury that cost him three contests. He has nine goals and 21 points this season in 31 games with 10 points on the power play.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Ottawa, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Zach Werenski has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury. Pierre-Luc Dubois is still producing at a great rate as the third-overall pick from 2016 has four goals and eight points in his last ten games as well as 12 points in his last 13 contests. He had only five points in his first 23 games but it looks like the Blue Jackets finally have the number one center they have been looking for since they dealt Ryan Johansen to Nashville. Seth Jones has three goals and eight points in his last 10 contests. He had been in a prolonged slump before that with no points in 11 games. Oliver Bjorkstrand leads the Blue Jackets with a plus-10 rating. Throw in six goals and 22 points and he is a fine addition in deeper leagues.  

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. St. Louis, vs. San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Marc Methot has been out since November 6 as he needed knee surgery but he could return this week if not sooner. Tyler Seguin scored a pair of goals Thursday and took over the team lead with 16, one ahead of Jamie Benn. Radek Faksa leads the team with a plus-14 rating while Devin Shore is at the other end of the spectrum at minus-16. Ben Bishop is 1-0-2 in his last three games, giving up six goals. It was greatly helped by the 24 save shutout on Thursday against Chicago. Antoine Roussel has 65 penalty minutes and has chipped in with four goals and six assists in 30 games. Alexander Radulov has 12 goals and 29 points with 32 minutes in the sin bin.   

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Red Wings recalled Tyler Bertuzzi from the minors Thursday after losing Luke Glendening to an upper body injury Wednesday. Dylan Larkin had a pair of assists on Wednesday and five in his last two games. He has 29 points this season, but only five have come on goals. Trevor Daley has only two goals this season but both have come in the last week and both were game-winners. He has five points in 32 games and shouldn’t really be considered in fantasy but does have four of the points in his last five games.  The Red Wings continue to get mediocre goaltending from both Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek. Mrazek was supposed to be their goalie of the future but he rarely plays anymore as has allowed 11 goals in his last 113 minutes of action over three games.

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Chicago, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: vs. Chicago (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes   

The Oilers play the Jets in a couple of games this week. Look for Milan Lucic to add to his penalty minutes count if there is any fighting in either game. Mark Letestu must be looking forward to this week as he had five goals in four games against Winnipeg last season.  The Oilers finally got Andrej Sekera back in the lineup after missing the opening of the season with a torn ACL suffered in the playoffs last season. His presence on the blueline will be noticed especially if you have Cam Talbot as your goalkeeper. Talbot has won his last three starts and is 13-10-1 this season. Connor McDavid is up to 41 points in 35 games and should get hot sooner rather than later. Milan Lucic has eight goals and 25 points this season and is playing with McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi on the top line in five-on-five situations.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Montreal  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Panthers are at home this week as they usually are during Christmas break with so many northerners travelling to the Miami area for vacation. They still need their hockey fix. Roberto Luongo returned to the ice Thursday for the first time since suffering a lower body injury December 4. Look for a return in late-January. James Reimer has taken over as the number one netminder but his stats are less than adequate as he is 7-9-4 with a 3.38 GAA and a .901 save percentage. You are not going to win too many hockey leagues with those stats. The Panthers thought they were getting a scorer when they inked Radim Vrbata to a contract in the offseason. He has been a disappointment with only four goals and 12 points in 28 games.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Vegas, @ Vancouver 

 

Rested Team:  vs. Vegas (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Dustin Brown celebrated his 1,000 game in the NHL on Thursday with an overtime goal as he is having a tremendous comeback season. He has 13 goals and 29 points in 36 games thus far. Christian Folin is out indefinitely with an upper body injury. Jonathan Quick is 17-10-1 this season with a 2.23 GAA and a .928 save percentage. Anze Kopitar continues to shine this season with 17 goals and 40 points in 36 games. He had only 12 goals and 52 points last season in 76 games so he should smash his points total in the near future. Drew Doughty continues to show why he should be the front-runner for the Norris Trophy this season. He has five goals and 26 points with a plus-18 rating.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Nashville, @ Nashville

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Wild play three games in four nights this week. Devan Dubnyk is week-to-week with a lower body injury but could return this week. If not, they will rely on Alex Stalock until the return of Dubnyk. Steve Michalek will back up Stalock and should get a start this week if Dubnyk is unable to go. If Dubnyk is ready, then he will share the net with Stalock. The Wild play a home-and-home series against Nashville and if there is any fisticuffs, then Marcus Foligno could get involved although the Wild are not noted for their rough play. Mikko Koivu finally scored on Tuesday, ending a 24 game goalless drought. Charlie Coyle was reunited with Eric Staal and Nino Niederreiter and it paid dividends immediately as he had a couple of assist while Staal had two goals and a helper. Niederreiter had one assist.  Jared Spurgeon returned Sunday from a groin injury.

 

MONTREAL

               

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights as they finish a six game road trip. Carey Price should get the call in two games with Antti Niemi getting one start.  Artturi Lehkonen has been practicing for a week but still does not have clearance to play from the medical staff. The Habs recalled defenseman Brett Lernout from the minors. He is just depth. Shea Weber is questionable for this week’s games on the road. He was shut down by doctors after his ailing foot was not getting any better. It’s hard to believe that perennial 30-plus goal scorer Max Pacioretty has only eight goals in 34 games this season. Paul Byron is second in goals on the Habs just like last season. This season he trails Brendan Gallagher, who has 13, by three.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Minnesota, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Predators play three games in four nights this week so Juuse Saros should get one start with Pekka Rinne starting in a couple. The Predators also play a home-and-home series with Minnesota and Cody McLeod should add to his minute count if and when tempers flare.  Viktor Arvidsson has 11 goals and 23 points and leads the Predators in shots on goal with 116. Pick up Kevin Fiala while he is hot. The winger has a nine game scoring streak in which he has eight goals and 12 points. Ryan Ellis could return as early as January 2 against Vegas. He has missed all season after undergoing offseason knee surgery. Kyle Turris is pointless in his last two games after having a seven game scoring streak.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Buffalo, @ Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Washington (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Devils got a few players back this week including Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri who combined with Nico Hischier to play on the top line. Second liner Marcus Johansson also returned from injury but New Jersey had rookie Jesper Bratt leave the lineup with a foot injury. Miles Wood had a couple of goals Wednesday to give him nine this season. He is a good combination of points and penalty minutes with 15 and 39 respectively and makes a nice pickup in pools that use the penalty minute category. Brian Boyle had a tough start to the season when he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia but he has been great since his return to the lineup with nine goals and 15 points in 24 games with four goals on the power play.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ Winnipeg, @ Colorado

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The big news out of the Islanders is that they will go back to Long Island after being chosen to develop the arena that will be adjacent to Belmont Park. The Islanders will finally get the new arena they deserve but will need to play in Brooklyn another two-three years until the arena is completed. John Tavares and Justin Bailey have had five straight games with multiple point nights. Tavares has three goals and 13 points in the five contests to give him 45 points in 35 games while Bailey had five goals and 12 points to give him 45 points as well. Great picks if you got both of them. Rookie Mathew Barzal continues to shine with nine goals and 32 points in 35 games including 12 on the power play.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Detroit   

 

Rested Team:  None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mats Zuccarello leads the Rangers in points with 29 this season. The Rangers are getting nice production from Paul Carey as the bottom-six forward has eight points in 23 games including two goals and an assist in his last two games. Mika Zibanejad has no points in the two games since missing nine games with a concussion. He should return to form soon as he did have 22 points in 24 games before the injury. Kevin Shattenkirk leads all Ranger defensemen with 22 points as well as five goals. Michael Grabner has 17 goals, all at even strength, but only three assists. Henrik Lundqvist has turned his season around as he is 17-8-3 with a 2.59 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

 

OTTAWA

 

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. Columbus, vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Senators play three games in four nights so look for Craig Anderson to play twice with Mike Condon getting the call once. Ottawa also plays Boston twice this week so look for Alex Burrows to get involved especially with Mark Borowiecki sidelined. Bobby Ryan is day-to-day with a finger injury suffered Thursday. Apparently it is not broken and he could quickly be back in the lineup. Dion Phaneuf missed Thursday’s game due to personal reasons. Matt Duchene has been awful since he was traded to Ottawa from Colorado. The center has two goals and five points in 22 games with Ottawa. The Senators were hoping for a lot more.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Brian Elliott has made nine straight starts in goal for the Flyers and Philadelphia is 7-2-0. He has a 13-7-6 record with a 2.67 GAA and a .912 save percentage, not horrible but under the league average. Michal Neuvirth is back with the team after injuring his leg a couple of weeks ago. Robert Hagg potted his first NHL goal of his career Wednesday. It was the defenseman’s 35th game of his career. Jakub Voracek continues to lead Philadelphia in points with 42, three ahead of Claude Giroux. Giroux has been strong this season with 13 goals, 39 points and a plus-10 rating, after a relatively poor 2016-17 season in which he had 58 points. Shayne Gostisbehere has three goals in his last six games, doubling his season total to six.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Carolina, @ Detroit

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Matt Murray has given up only nine goals in four games since returning from a lower body injury that forced him to the sidelines for two-and-a-weeks. He has not been great this season as he is only 13-9-1 with a 2.83 GAA and a .908 save percentage. The Penguins are just outside a playoff spot and need better goaltending among other things in order to compete for the Stanley Cup this season. It has not been a good season for Justin Schultz as well as he has only two goals and 10 points in 23 games. He has missed the last seven games with a lower body injury and has yet to return to the ice. He had 12 goals and 51 points last season so poolies who took him have to be disappointed. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have 66 points between them in 68 games but also have 69 minutes in the penalty box. 

  

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, @ Dallas, vs. Carolina

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blues play three games in four nights this week so look for Jake Allen to play twice with Carter Hutton, who has been great this season, getting the call once. Sammy Blais was injured Saturday and was placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury. The Blues called up Tage Thompson who was selected 26th overall in 2016. The Blues traded up to get him and he does have offensive talent but may need some time to put it together. He potted his first NHL goal of his career Thursday in his sixth NHL game. Patrik Berglund has four goals in 13 games this season. He made his season debut on November 29 due to offseason shoulder surgery. Brayden Schenn hit the 40 point mark in his 37th game. He has been great for the Blues since his trade from the Flyers in June.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Dallas  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

What is going on with Joe Thornton? He had two goals and an assist Thursday to give him seven goals and 25 points in 33 games. He had only seven goals all last season in 79 games and didn’t score on a goaltender until February. Logan Couture suffered a concussion on Saturday and has not returned to the ice. He has been the Sharks best player this season and is absence will be sorely missed. Brent Burns was in a horrible slump all season but he has started to score again with five goals and 11 points in his last eight games. He has six goals and 23 points in 33 games this season. Kevin Labanc had a goal and three assists Thursday and has been clicking quite nicely with Thornton. Labanc has six points in his last two games.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Philadelphia, @ Columbus

 

Rested team: vs. Montreal (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Lightning play three games in four nights and Peter Budaj should get one start in net with Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has been the best goalie in the NHL, getting a pair of starts. Vasilevskiy continues to have a great season as he leads the NHL in wins with 22 and his 2.20 GAA and .931 save percentage are second to Corey Crawford among NHL starting netminders. Brayden Point is having a stellar but quiet season with 14 goals and 31 points in 34 games. He gets second line action behind the Stamkos-Kucherov line and that is something every team needs. Anton Stralman leads the NHL in plus-minus and of course Nikita Kucherov is first in goals and points with 23 and 50.

 

TORONTO

Games this week

@ Arizona, @ Colorado, @ Vegas   

 

Rested team:  @ Arizona (Thursday)

Tired Team: @ Colorado (Friday)

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs conclude a five game road trip with three games in four nights. Frederik Andersen will get two starts with Curtis McElhinney getting one. Auston Matthews has missed the last six games in a row with a concussion but could be back by December 23 as he practiced with the Maple Leafs on Friday. Nazem Kadri has not had a point in his last nine games. Jake Gardiner had a goal and an assist Wednesday and has three goals and 17 points in 36 games. It looks like Mitch Marner is out of his season long slump as he looked great in a Tuesday afternoon game against Carolina with a goal and three helpers and then dazzled everyone Wednesday with his fourth of the season on an end-to-end rush. Grab him if you can.  William Nylander scored Tuesday for only his third goal in the last 27 games.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It was thought that Brock Boeser was going to miss plenty of time with a foot injury suffered on the weekend but the rookie did not miss a beat as well as any games.  He is up to 19 goals and 33 points in 33 games and has to be considered the favorite for the Calder as we enter the Christmas season. I thought the Sedin twins were done, especially after a slow start this season but they are showing me how wrong I was. Henrik Sedin has only two goals but 24 assists including nine in his six game points streak. Daniel has two goals and seven points in his last six and eight goals and 24 points this season. Ben Hutton has been a healthy scratch in each of the last two games. He has only four assists in 34 games. Many thought he would quarterback the power play this season.

 

VEGAS

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

James Neal has scored in three straight games for Vegas. He has 17 goals this season. Erik Haula has been hot of late with five goals and 10 points in his seven game scoring streak. Jonathan Marchessault leads the Golden Knights with 31 points. William Karlsson has only one assist in his last five games but leads all Vegas forwards with a plus-10 rating. Brayden McNabb leads the team in penalty minutes with 27 and a plus-12 rating. Marc-Andre Fleury is 2-0-1 since returning from a concussion. He has given up only six goals on 100 shots in the three contests. The Golden Knights are second in the Pacific Division with 46 points, only two behind Los Angeles with three games in hand. This is an unbelievable story for the expansion team.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Boston, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested team: vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Washington plays three games in four nights so look for Braden Holtby to play twice with Philipp Grubauer getting one start. The Capitals reclaimed Nathan Walker from Edmonton after losing him to the Oilers on December 1. Andre Burakovsky had a big game on Tuesday with two goals including the overtime winner, and an assist. The big night gives him three goals and eight points in 15 games. T.J. Oshie returned to the Washington lineup Tuesday after missing six games with a concussion. He lined up alongside Jakub Vrana and Evgeny Kuznetsov. That’s a good second unit. Dmitry Orlov leads all Washington defensemen with four goals.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

 The Jets play the Oilers in a pair of games this week so if there is any fighting in either game then it’s likely that Jacob Trouba or Tyler Myers will be involved as Dustin Byfuglien is on the injured reserve list with a lower body injury. Myers had three helpers Tuesday and has five goals and 19 points this season with a plus-seven rating. Mark Scheifele has 15 goals and 37 points in 36 games but has only a goal and two assists in his last nine contests. Nikolaj Ehlers has 17 goals this season including six in his last eight games. Patrik Laine has one more as the sophomore has 18. The Jets are bursting with young talent and will have to be considered a top team in the league in the not so distant future. Andrew Copp leads the Jets with a plus-11 rating.

 

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.