Michael Finewax

The Week Ahead

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Bruins Racing to the Top

Friday, February 9, 2018


 

OTTAWA

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Alex Burrows got 10 games for kneeing and punching Taylor Hall in the head and I think he got off light. It’s the NHL and not the UFC and I don’t understand why the league never makes a statement with a severe penalty. Derick Brassard has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury while Mark Stone missed his ninth straight with a lower body injury but should be back this week. The Senators are also sellers and Mike Hoffman could be one of the best pieces to be dealt as he has 15 goals and 37 points this season after three straight seasons between 26 and 29 goals. He has goals in three straight games.  Congratulations to Colin White who scored his first of his NHL career on Tuesday.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: @ New York Rangers (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

If he is still available in your league, grab Travis Konecny as he has seven goals and 11 points in his last 10 games. He is a new player since he was placed on a line with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux. He should be picked up in all pools at this time. Jakub Voracek has not lost much, if any, value as he is on a seven game scoring streak with three goals and 10 points. The winger has 11 goals and 63 points in 54 games this season and leads the second line alongside Nolan Patrick and Wayne Simmonds. Brian Elliott returned to action this week from a lower body injury and has given up four goals on 56 shots in winning both games.

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Toronto, @ Columbus

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Columbus (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Penguins play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. Look for Matt Murray to get the call three times with Tristan Jarry playing once. The Penguins are hurting a bit as Patric Hornqvist and Tom Kuhnhackl were both placed on injured reserve Thursday. Conor Sheary participated in practice on Thursday as missed the last three games with a lower body injury. Evgeni Malkin was the first star of the week with six goals and eight points in three games. Phil Kessel is on a six game points streak with three goals and 11 points to give him 24 goals and 65 points in 55 games. Riley Sheahan has been centering the third line with Kessel and Jake Guentzel as his wingers.

  

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ Dallas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blues are on the road for both games this week. Carter Hutton had a bad game on Tuesday when he was pulled after a period, giving up three goals on only eight shots. But he was back between the pipes on Thursday and stopped 23-of-24 shots in the 6-1 win over Colorado. He is 15-5-1 with a 1.70 GAA and a .944 save percentage as he continues to relegate Jake Allen to the bench. Vladimir Tarasenko is in a slump with only one assist in his last six games. Alexander Steen has five goals and 10 points in his last 10 games. Joel Edmundson is out with a broken forearm suffered on Thursday. The defenseman had six goals in his first 21 games of the season but nothing in his last 35 contests. He had surgery Friday and is likely out until April at the earliest.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. Vancouver, vs. Dallas

 

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

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Joe Pavelski scored twice on Thursday but that only gave him 12 goals this season in 54 games. He had 145 goals in his previous four season (that’s an average of 36-plus goals per season) so he has been a huge disappointment this season. Tim Heed had 56 points in 55 AHL games last season so there was some hype entering this season but after a nice start at the beginning of the season, the wheels fell off and he was sent to the minors Thursday after not playing in almost four weeks and garnering 11 points in 27 games. Timo Meier scored his 13th of the season on Thursday and has 11 goals since December 1. He is worth looking at in keeper leagues. Martin Jones has won only one of his last six games and is 15-14-5 with a 2.64 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Buffalo, vs. Detroit, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Lightning play four games this week including three in four nights. Andrei Vasilevskiy will get the call three times with Louis Domingue starting once.  Vasilevskiy is 32-10-2 this season with a 2.27 GAA and a .929 save percentage. Adam Erne was recalled from the minors Thursday and scored on his first shot for the Lightning later that night. Nikita Kucherov also scored Thursday and it was his first goal in 12 games. Yanni Gourde is up to 20 goals and has been part of a nice third line with Alex Killorn and Matthew Peca. He has six goals and 10 points in his last eight games giving him 40 points in 54 games this season with a plus-24 rating. Vladislav Namestnikov had an assist Thursday halting a four game pointless streak.

 

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Columbus, @ Pittsburgh, @ Detroit  

 

Rested team:  None

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs play four games this week including three in four nights. Frederik Andersen will play three games with Curtis McElhinney getting his usual start on the weekend when Toronto plays on back-to-back nights. Andersen was especially strong on Wednesday as he stopped 44 shots in a 3-2 shootout win over Nashville. Josh Leivo has apparently asked to be dealt as he wants to play and that is not happening in Toronto. Nazem Kadri had his six-game points streak end on Wednesday. He had three goals and eight points in the streak. Jake Gardiner has 13 assists in his last 10 games. Auston Matthews has 43 points in 47 games and has to be considered for the Lady Byng Trophy as he has only four minutes in penalties.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ San Jose, vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Canucks play three games in four nights so Anders Nilsson will get a start with Jacob Markstrom getting a pair. It was not a good night on Thursday for Nilsson who gave up five goals on 36 shots to Tampa Bay. Brock Boeser has 26 goals and 47 points in 51 games and should be considered a front-runner for the Calder. Sam Gagner is day-to-day with a sprained ankle. The Canucks will be sellers at the deadline and while it may be hard to trade the Sedin twins, Thomas Vanek will likely be moved. Henrik Sedin played in his 1,300th NHL game on February 3. Alexander Edler leads all Vancouver defensemen with 20 points. Sven Baertschi has seven of his 12 goals this season on the power play.

 

VEGAS

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Edmonton, vs. Montreal

 

Rested Team: vs. Chicago (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jonathan Marchessault has back-to-back games with a goal and an assist and is up to 54 points including 20 goals this season. He has made a believer out of me as I was wary as to what he could do after last season’s 30 goal campaign with Florida. Reilly Smith was the third star of the week with four goals and five points in four games. The Golden Knights acquired Zachary Leslie from the Kings for future considerations.   Colin Miller has been a pleasant surprise this season and leads all Vegas blueliners with seven goals and 30 points. As well, he leads the Golden Knights in power play time on ice. Marc-Andre Fleury has given up 11 goals in his last 101 shots on net in three games.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, @ Minnesota, @ Chicago

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Andre Burakovsky has a goal and two assists in his last five games but was projected to be a healthy scratch on Friday. Nicklas Backstrom potted his 200th goal of his career on Tuesday. He is not having a typical Backstrom campaign as he has 12 goals and 41 points in 52 games.  If he was having his normal season for him, he would have an extra 10-12 assists. Jakub Vrana has one assist in his last 15 games. John Carlson has eight goals and 41 points in 53 games while Alex Ovechkin has 32 goals with 26 assists in 53 games. His 32 goals lead the NHL, two ahead of fellow Russian Evgeni Malkin. It has been a tough season for Braden Holtby who is 27-10-2 but his peripherals are not so great as he has a 2.76 GAA and a .915 save percentage.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Colorado. vs. Florida

 

Rested team: vs. Florida (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Jets are expected to get Mark Scheifele back on February 9 as he has missed 16 games with an upper body injury. The return will mean that Blake Wheeler will move back to the wing from center and that should help his goal total as he has not found the back of the net in 12 games. With Patrik Laine on the other wing, it will be one of the top lines in the NHL. Scheifele’s return will hurt the cause of Jack Roslovic who had three goals in his last five games on the top line. Goaltender Michael Hutchinson is out with a concussion so the Jets will go to Eric Comrie (the fourth goalie on their depth chart) to back up starter Connor Hellebuyck. Dustin Byfuglien has three goals and eight points since returning 14 games ago from a lower body injury that cost him 10 games.             



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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