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The Week Ahead

Play your Panthers this Week

by Michael Finewax

There is only a few days left as of this writing Friday morning, until the NHL trade deadline of Monday at 3 pm ET.

 

There is going to be more than a few trades by the deadline, mostly of the small variety but what there will be is plenty and plenty of rumors as that’s the beauty of a trade deadline.

 

There’s lots to read below 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 power play 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 FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 3

 

5 Games - Florida

 

4 Games - Anaheim, Buffalo, Colorado, Columbus, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas

 

3 Games –Arizona, Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Minnesota, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Detroit

 

Columbus and the New York Islanders play all four games at home.

 

Edmonton plays all four games on the road.

 

Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, the New York Rangers and Toronto play three games at home.

 

Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, Montreal, Nashville, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh play three games on the road this week.

 

INJURIES

 

Nazem Kadri suffered a concussion Tuesday and is day-to-day for now.(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

@ Vancouver, vs. Chicago, vs. Vegas, vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: vs. Vegas (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Ducks play four games this week but all the games are spaced out with a night off in-between. It was a bit of a surprise but the Ducks put Patrick Eaves on waivers and he cleared, allowing him to be sent to the minors. He has been injury-prone over the last two seasons, playing only twice last year and seven times thus far this season. Ryan Kesler scored on Tuesday and it was his first point in 26 games. He has fallen a long way with only five goals and seven points in 52 games after being a good scorer with plenty of penalty minutes for years. He has lost all his fantasy value. Jakob Silfverberg inked a five-year contract worth around $25 million. He is not going anywhere at the trade deadline. Ryan Miller became the all-time leader in wins by an American goaltender with his 375th this week. Congratulations!

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Vancouver, vs. Detroit

 

Rested Team: vs. Florida (Tuesday), vs. Vancouver (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes do not have any player with 15 goals but have eight players with at least 10. That’s balanced scoring although I think the Coyotes wouldn’t mind someone with at least 25 at this point of the season. Jordan Oesterle is having a nice season from the blueline with 20 points and 63 blocked shots in 52 games and was rewarded with a two-year contract extension worth $2.8 million. Christian Dvorak has been out of action all season with a torn pectoral muscle and is getting close to returning as the Coyotes sent him to the minors for a conditioning stint. He had 15 goals and 37 points last season in 78 contests. Remember Lawson Crouse next season in traditional fantasy pools. The power forward has nine goals and 18 points this season with 60 penalty minutes in 60 games. He is also a plus-three on a team that is an overall minus-157 this season.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested Team: vs. Tampa Bay (Thursday), vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins made a nice trade for themselves on Wednesday, getting another big body who is able to score as Charlie Coyle is headed to Boston for Ryan Donato and a conditional fifth that will become a fourth rounder if the Bruins win their first round series. While the 26-year-old has only 26 points this season, he had 56 two seasons ago, including 38 assists. Torey Krug has 13 points in his last 15 games and has 42 points this season in 50 games. Tuukka Rask picked up his 20th win of the season on Monday despite giving up five goals. Jake DeBrusk has 19 goals and 29 points in 52 games and has been red-hot of late with goals in five straight games as well as five of his 10 helpers.  

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Philadelphia, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Philadelphia (Tuesday), @ Toronto (Saturday)

Notes

The Sabres play a pair of back-to-back games this week so look for Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark to split the net this week. Buffalo also play the Maple Leafs twice with both games in Toronto. If there are any fisticuffs, look for Zach Bogosian to be involved. Bogosian had three majors in his first four games but only one since, on December 11. Kyle Okposo suffered a concussion on February 15 and has not played since. Jason Pominville has been skating with Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner as Sam Reinhart is seeing second line action with Casey Mittelstadt and Conor Sheary. The Sabres are trying everything as they are slumping. Once in second place in the tough Atlantic Division, Buffalo is six points out of a playoff spot heading into action Thursday.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ New Jersey, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Wednesday)

 

Notes

Johnny Gaudreau hit the 30-goal mark for the second time in his career Wednesday but it was his first goal in nine games. He has 79 points and is just five away from tying his career-high of 84 set last season.  He still has 22 games left this season and 100 points look to be within his reach. Mike Smith seems to have regained the net from David Rittich as he has started the last four games. You have to wonder if the Flames are going to go all in this season and make a trade for Sergei Bobrovsky who will become a UFA come July 1. He could be available. Michael Stone skated with the Flames on Wednesday for the first time since the middle of November when he was diagnosed with blood clots. He was wearing a non-contact jersey but could be up for more in the near future.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. St. Louis, @ Florida

 

Rested Team: vs. Los Angeles (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Florida (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Hurricanes have to be concerned with the amount of money Sebastian Aho asks for in his next contract. The RFA-to-be is by far Carolina’s best player and while the contract will not be discussed until the off-season, he is going to ask for a lot. He has 24 goals and 68 points in 61 games thus far. The Hurricanes have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL and are 16-6-1 in their last 23 to get back into the playoff race. While it was thought that Micheal Ferland could be on the block just a few weeks ago, the former Flame, who has 16 goals and 33 points in 52 games. The Hurricanes were called out by Don Cherry for their post-game celebrations, calling them ‘a bunch of jerks’ but it looks like a lot of good fun by Carolina and their fans love it.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Blackhawks are in California all week.  A lot of people thought the Blackhawks were a bottom-dwelling team this season  (I was among them) especially with Corey Crawford on the sidelines and an aging defense led by Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. But Patrick Kane is having a great comeback campaign after a mediocre (for him) season last year as he has 38 goals and 92 points in 60 games, a resurgence in the play of Jonathan Toews who looked to be an aging 30-year-old and the great play of youngsters Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome. Toews has 61 points in 61 games while DeBrincat has 32 goals and 61 points. Strome was acquired from Arizona and the former third overall pick in 2015 has 35 points in 36 games. The defense and the point on the power play has been led by Erik Gustafsson who has 12 goals and 41 points in 58 games. That’s why the Blackhawks are on the cusp of the playoff race.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Vancouver, @ San Jose, @ Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Avs are likely sellers at the deadline and have the luxury of Ottawa’s first pick as well as their own. It is possible (although unlikely) they would be able to get the first two picks in the Draft and how good would they look adding Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko to their outstanding forward group. Mikko Rantanen, one of the Avs best forwards, has only two points in his last seven games but has 25 goals and 77 points in 60 games thus far and is tied for the team lead in points with Nathan MacKinnon. Tyson Jost has been a disappointment this season, finding himself sent to the minors earlier this season, but he has two goals and four points in his last two contests. The Avs goaltending has been only so-so this season and the hope of Philipp Grubauer being a starting NHL goalie has gone by the wayside as he has a 3.42 GAA thus far in 23 games.

 

COLUMBUS       

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Edmonton, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Winnipeg (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play all four games at home this week, including three in four nights (the season ticket holders will be busy), so look for Sergei Bobrovsky to play three games (if he is still a member of the team) and Joonas Korpisalo to play once. Bobrovsky has a no-movement clause and the pending UFA could be dealt if he agrees to a trade, but it looks like chances are the Blue Jackets will keep him. Artemi Panarin is another player who becomes a UFA at the end of the season and it looks like he will not stay in Columbus, so a deal out of town is also a possibility. Ryan Murray is having his best offensive season with 29 points in 56 games, but is now out for a while with an upper-body injury. Cam Atkinson has 32 goals and is only three away from tying his career high of 35 set a couple of seasons ago.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Vegas, @ Los Angeles, @ St. Louis

 

Rested Team: @ St. Louis (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Stars did something on Thursday that no team has done in one month and that’s defeat the St. Louis Blues. Anton Khudobin was sensational as he turned aside 43 shots in a 5-2 win. He has taken over the net due to the upper-body injury suffered by Ben Bishop but with Bishop healthy again, Khudobin will find himself back on the bench for the most part. Roope Hintz has played well of late and has three helpers in his last six games. He likely will remain with the Stars the rest of the way and establish himself as a regular NHLer as the rookie just turned 22. Jason Spezza had only one assist in 19 games before breaking out with a goal and an assist Tuesday. Defenseman Esa Lindell has a goal and three assists in his last two games.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 14th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.