Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Avs will miss Nathan MacKinnon

Friday, February 2, 2018


There’s lots of games as the NHL is back in full force this week. Let’s get right to the column.

 

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WEEK OF FEBRUARY 5-11

 

 

4 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Colorado, Dallas, Edmonton, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, St. Louis,  San Jose, Vancouver

 

3 Games – Arizona, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Florida, Montreal

 

Colorado, Nashville and Vancouver play all four games on the road.

 

Boston, Colorado, Edmonton and Philadelphia play three games on the road.

 

Buffalo, Carolina, Dallas, the New York Islanders, St. Louis, Toronto and Winnipeg play three games at home.

 

INJURIES

 

Nathan MacKinnon is out two-four weeks with an upper body 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

@ Toronto, @ Buffalo, vs. Edmonton, vs. San Jose

 

Rested Team: vs. San Jose (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Ducks conclude their five game road trip in Buffalo. They play four times this week so look for Ryan Miller to play once with John Gibson getting the call, if healthy, on three occasions. Gibson is currently day-to-day with a lower body injury and if he is unable to go, Miller will go three times with Reto Berra getting the call once. Ryan Getzlaf thinks that all the time he has missed this season (24 games) will make him a lot fresher come playoff time. I’ve been saying that for years and it worked with the Penguins last season. Adam Henrique has played quality fantasy hockey since his arrival in Anaheim as he has 17 points in 27 games for the Ducks. There is no word on the return of Patrick Eaves who has played only two games this season. He has Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

 

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!

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, @ Minnesota, vs. Philadelphia  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Max Domi continues to line up at center but GM John Chayka says that he eventually will move back to the wing. It’s not working out in the middle as he has only five points in 17 games. Antti Raanta is giving the Coyotes proper goaltending of late as he has not given up more than two goals in each of his last five games heading into action Thursday. He is only 8-13-5 but has decent peripherals of 2.56 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Looking at the Coyotes stats, they look like a Canadian weather map with everything in the minus. The Coyotes recalled Kyle Capobianco as they put fellow defenseman Jason Demers on the injured reserve list with an upper body injury.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ New York Rangers, vs. Buffalo, @ New Jersey

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The red-hot Bruins play four games this week including a pair of back-to-back games so it could be Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin sharing the net. Brad Marchand was suspended for five games and Danton Heinen moved up to the first line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak in his place. Anders Bjork was recalled for Tuesday’s game and suffered an upper body injury so he will be day-to-day for now. Charlie McAvoy could be back as early as February 3 after undergoing a heart ablation. Jake DeBrusk has only one goal in his last six games but the rookie is having a nice season with 11 goals and 26 points in 46 games. He is seeing second line action at this time with David Krejci and Ryan Spooner.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. New York Islanders, @ Boston, vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: vs. Anaheim (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights as part of a four game schedule. Robin Lehner should get three starts with Chad Johnson getting the start in net once. Evander Kane practiced on the top line Wednesday with Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo while Sam Reinhart is playing alongside Ryan O’Reilly and Scott Wilson. Kane has only four goals in his last 29 games heading into action on Thursday. Eichel was the NHL’s second star of the week with two goals and five points in three games. He saw his seven game points streak end a week ago in which he had 14 points. Zach Bogosian will have season-ending hip surgery.  Reinhart has eight points in his last seven games.          

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, @ New Jersey, @ New York Rangers, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Friday)

 

Notes

The Flames play four games on the road this week including three games in four nights. Mike Smith should start three games with David Rittich getting the crease once. The Flames decided to part company with Jaromir Jagr and loaned him to HC Kladno of the Czech League after he cleared waivers. His NHL career looks to be over at the age of 45. Calgary plays the back end of a home-and-home series with Chicago this week so look for Matthew Tkachuk to add to his penalty minute count. Tkachuk has been scoring of late with three goals in his last four games heading into action Thursday. He has 36 points in 49 games. The Flames have not had the scoring from the blueline that they expected this season. Dougie Hamilton leads with 26 points in 51 games, three ahead of Mark Giordano and four ahead of T.J. Brodie.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Vancouver, vs. Colorado  

 

Rested Team: vs. Vancouver (Friday)

Tired Team:  vs. Colorado (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Hurricanes are home for all three games this week as they continue their eight game home stand.  There have been rumors that the Hurricanes are ready to trade their starting goalie Cam Ward but coach Bill Peters wants to add to the team for a playoff run and not be sellers. Teuvo Teravainen has 40 points in 51 games, only two away from tying a career high set last season in 81 contests. Sebastian Aho returned from a concussion this week and scored in his first game back, giving him 38 points in 47 games. Ward is 4-1-1 in his last six games, giving up 12 goals, including five in a win over Montreal. Justin Williams is getting hot with six points in his last six games.

 

 CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Dallas, @ Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play the back end of a home-and-home series with Calgary this week so expect to see Ryan Hartman add to his penalty minutes total if there are any fisticuffs. It’s been 50 games this season and Duncan Keith has yet to find the back of the net.  Corey Crawford may get back on skates this week. Anton Forsberg has won two in a row as he has given up two goals on 67 shots. Alex DeBrincat at the tender age of 20 became the youngest Blackhawk to ever have two hat tricks in one season. The diminutive winger has 17 goals and 32 points in 49 games this season. Vinnie Hinostroza has a three game points streak in which he has two goals and four points. He has five goals and 13 points in 20 games this season.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ St. Louis, @ Carolina, @ Buffalo

 

Rested Team: @ Carolina (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Avalanche play four games his week including three games in four nights. Semyon Varlamov was activated off the injured reserve list Thursday and will likely split the net with Jonathan Bernier who played extremely well during Varlamov’s absence.  Bernier was the third star for the month of January as he went 8-3-0 with a 2.10 GAA and a .939 save percentage. Nathan MacKinnon will miss the next two-four weeks with an upper body injury. Alexander Kerfoot will replace him on the top line with Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog. Tyson Barrie returned to action after the All-Star game after missing over five weeks with a hand injury. He will be back on the first power play and Samuel Girard will lose some fantasy value.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Washington, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play a home-and-home series against Washington so look for Josh Anderson or Nick Foligno to add to their minutes count if there is any rough stuff. Artemi Panarin will have to pick up his pace a bit if he hopes to get to the 70 point mark for the third season in a row. He has 41 points in 50 games and will need 29 in his last 32 to hit the mark. He does have seven in his last eight games. Brandon Dubinsky has returned to the Columbus lineup after missing 18 games with a fractured orbital bone. Seth Jones missed the All-Star game due to an illness but was not forced to missed Tuesday’s game much to the chagrin of Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau, contrary to NHL rules.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, @ Chicago, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Pittsburgh (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Stars play three games in four nights as part of their four game week. While Ben Bishop should get three starts, the Stars could go to a split of the netminding duties as Kari Lehtonen has played quite well of late. Lehtonen has won his last three starts and is 8-5-1 with a 2.31 GAA and a .915 save percentage, much better than last season’s 22-25-7 mark with a 2.85 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Resident tough guy Antoine Roussel has missed the last two games with a nasal infection but should be back this week as he has been skating. Alexander Radulov is having a great fantasy season for his owners in traditional leagues as he has 48 points and 48 penalty minutes in 51 games with 15 points on the power play.


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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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