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The Week Ahead

The All-Star Break

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

It’s the All-Star break.

 

There is a short schedule in the NHL this week as there are no games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or the following Monday.

 

The All-Star game will be played in Los Angeles this season and one of the highlights should be the naming of the remainder of the Top 100 players in the first century of the NHL.

 

It may be tough without box scores for four days but it should give everyone plenty of time to figure out their rosters and decide who to keep and/or trade to win your fantasy league.

 

Good Luck!

 

Listen to the Rotoworld Hockey Podcast with yours truly, host Joey Alfieri and Gus Katsaros here.


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Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

 

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 23-29

 

3 Games - Calgary, Los Angeles, San Jose, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver

 

Calgary and Los Angeles play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Morgan Rielly suffered a lower body injury 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

@ Winnipeg, vs. Edmonton

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Stefan Noesen was sent to the minors on Wednesday and recalled Thursday. That is what you call having a cup of coffee in the minors. Ryan Getzlaf had a six game points streak that extended past his lower body injury that cost him four games halted on Thursday. John Gibson is 7-1-1 in his last nine games. He has impressed coach Randy Carlyle with his progress and work ethic. Ryan Kesler leads the Ducks in scoring with 38 points, four ahead of Getzlaf but Getzlaf has played seven less games. Rickard Rakell leads in goals with 19.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: vs. Vancouver (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes sent Anthony Duclair to the minors on Thursday and GM John Chayka stated that Duclair had struggled this season but the team wants him to work on a few things in the minors and maybe he can regain his scoring touch. Martin Hanzal is out of action as he is dealing with a personal matter. Radim Vrbata had five points in his previous four games heading into action Thursday. Alexander Burmistrov picked up an assist on Wednesday as he faced his former Jets teammates for the first time since he was placed on waivers at the beginning of January. Ryan White returned to action Thursday after missing 10 games with a lower body injury.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins are slumping and are now in danger of missing the playoffs as they have been playing quite poorly. Tuukka Rask has given up 14 goals on 81 shots in his last four starts and that hasn’t helped the Bruins. Frank Vatrano has taken over David Pastrnak’s spot on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand and celebrated by scoring a couple of goals Wednesday. Bergeron is finally heating up with four goals and 10 points in his last 10 games after starting the season with six goals and 11 points in his first 34 contests. Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 19 goals but hasn’t scored a goal in the last 15 games.

  

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Nashville @ Dallas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Please pick up Sam Reinhart if you can, especially in keeper leagues. He is ready to explode and next year will be a big one for him. Tyler Ennis returned after a long absence with a groin injury and scored 19 seconds into his return. He was scratched Tuesday after playing Monday for precautionary reasons but played Thursday. Jack Eichel has 10 goals in 23 games thus far. Robin Lehner has been giving the Sabres good goaltending but they still are not playoff ready. Congratulations to Cody Franson as he played in his 500th NHL game on Tuesday.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Montreal, @ Ottawa

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights so look for Chad Johnson to play twice and Brian Elliott to get one start as Calgary plays all three games in Eastern Canada. Sam Bennett was a surprise healthy scratch Thursday as Micheal Ferland returned to action after missing three games with a lower body injury. Bennett hasn’t had a point in his last 10 games. Mikael Backlund had two goals and an assist Tuesday and has five goals and 10 points in his last 10 games.  He leads the Flames in points with 32, three ahead of rookie Matthew Tkachuk.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Washington, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Bryan Bickell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over two months ago and last played on October 30th but he practiced with the Hurricanes for the first time on Monday. The Hurricanes got 10 points from the Brock McGinn, Jordan Staal and Elias Lindholm line on Saturday.  Carolina is red-hot at home as they are 14-1-1 in their last 16. Eddie Lack practiced on Monday. He has been out since December 28 with a concussion, his second of the season. Jeff Skinner leads the Hurricanes in goals and points with 17 and 35 respectively. Victor Rask is next in line with 13 and 32.

 

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jonathan Toews has not had a good fantasy season and has only three goals in his last 25 games. We wonder if the effect of playing in the World Cup is hurting him. Tanner Kero had no points in his first seven games this season but has five in his last five. Marian Hossa picked up his 600th career assist Tuesday on a Kero goal. Before being held off the scoresheet Tuesday, Patrick Kane was pretty hot with four goals and 12 points in his previous nine games. The only 100-point getter last season has 14 goals and 47 points in 47 games this season and sits tied for fourth in the NHL scoring race, seven points in arrears of Connor McDavid.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Semyon Varlamov is out until after the All-Star break as he suffered yet another groin injury. He had returned for three games in January before suffering the injury again. The Avs net is now in the hands of Calvin Pickard who has been spotty in goal but has allowed only three past him in his last two games on 72 shots. Tyson Barrie missed Thursday’s game with a lower body injury. The Avs want to build around Nathan MacKinnon but coach Jared Bednar benched him Saturday for part of the second period due to poor play. He returned to action and Bednar has not found the need to bench him since.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ Nashville  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets are in the midst of a five game road trip. Boone Jenner had his four game points streak end on Thursday in a 2-0 loss to Ottawa. It’s hard to believe that Cam Atkinson, who had his best NHL season last year with 27 goals and 53 points, is so close to beating it this season. He already has 43 points in 44 games. I guess you just have to take Brandon Dubinsky off the power play to get him going. The Blue Jackets did that on Saturday and Dubinsky picked up an assist that night and followed it up with two goals on Tuesday and 12 penalty minutes Thursday. He has only five goals and 18 points in 42 games but is a plus-seven and has 43 penalty minutes.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Buffalo

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Tyler Seguin has 16 goals and 44 points in 47 games but his minus-15 rating has to hurt in pools that use the stat. Not to belabor the point (and I do) but the Stars goaltending situation is awful. They won over the Rangers this week but needed seven goals to do so as Antti Niemi gave up six goals on 28 shots in only 47 minutes of action.  Both Niemi and Kari Lehtonen have .902 save percentages and while that was good in the 1980’s, it is no longer good enough in 2016-17. In case you were ever wondering about Valeri Nichushkin, the Stars first pick and 10th overall in 2013 has nine goals and 16 points in 27 games with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. Patrick Sharp has seven points in nine games of late but has only nine this season in 21 games.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Toronto (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Red Wings placed Jimmy Howard on long-term injured reserve with an MCL sprain suffered on December 20 so he is eligible to return at any time. Darren Helm could return from his shoulder injury suffered on November 15 on January 20. Andreas Athanasiou has five goals in his last seven games. Jared Coreau remained 5-1-1 after giving up three goals on eight shots to Boston Wednesday in less than nine minutes of action. The good news is that he did not take the loss as the Red Wings stormed back to win 6-5. Thomas Vanek is having a very good season with 12 goals and 31 points in 34 games. It was a nice off-season pick up by the Red Wings.

 

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Thursday)

Notes    

 Connor McDavid reached the 100 point mark in his career on Wednesday and became the fourth fastest active player to do so as he did it in 92 games. Only Alex Ovechkin (77), Sidney Crosby (80) and Evgeni Malkin (89) did it quicker. Leon Draisaitl also hit the 100 career point mark Wednesday and the Oilers certainly have a dynamic duo for the next 10 years of the franchise. Jordan Eberle broke an 18 game goal-less drought Wednesday but has only nine in 47 games. Adam Larsson has three points in his last five games but is also a plus-five in those contests. He has only nine points this season so his fantasy value is negligible.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Arizona, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Panthers may have received the worst news possible Thursday when it was revealed that two of their top players, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, may not be able to return this season. Huberdeau suffered an Achilles tendon injury in training camp while Barkov has been out since December 28 with a lower body injury. This news will not help out their chances to make the post-season. Seth Griffith is wanted by many and is unwanted by just as many. He was placed on waivers for the third time this season as he was also let go by Boston and Toronto. Vincent Trocheck has six goals and 10 points in his six game scoring streak.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ New Jersey, @ Carolina   

 

Rested Team: @ New York Rangers (Monday)

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights as the All-Star game approaches and that means that Jeff Zatkoff should get a start with Peter Budaj getting the other two. As I have written, Anze Kopitar has been the Kings points leader the past nine seasons but is 16 points behind Jeff Carter and is now in third as defenseman Alec Martinez is one point ahead of Kopitar’s 24. Good news on the Tyler Toffoli front as he skated on his own Wednesday. He has been out the past 13 games with a lower body injury and there is no timetable for his return.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Nino Niederreiter has been hot lately with five goals and two assists in his last seven games. He has clicked with Eric Staal and Charlie Coyle on the Wild’s top line. Jonas Brodin is out at least four weeks with a broken finger. Joel Eriksson Ek started the season in Minnesota but will finish it in Sweden as the Wild sent back the 19-year-old on November 17 after he had two goals and five points in nine games. He has two goals and four points in 10 SHL games with Farjestads BK Karlstad and will be eligible to return once their season is over. Zach Parise is pointless in his last five games and has only eight goals and 20 points in 35 contests.   

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canadiens moved Alex Galchenyuk to a line with Andrew Shaw and Sven Andrighetto but Galchenyuk will move back up the depth charts once his regains his scoring magic. Carey Price continues to struggle despite giving up only one goal to Detroit on Monday as he has given up 19 goals in his last four other starts of late. It’s not like he has been facing a lot of shots either as he has stopped 103 shots in that time frame. His GAA is up to 2.35 and while that is still good, it was at 1.81 on December 1. Andrei Markov has stopped skating and hasn’t played in 15 games since hurting his groin on December 17. There is no timetable for his return.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Columbus

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Filip Forsberg has 10 goals in his last 18 games. It’s too bad that he had only two in his first 27 games of the season. Ryan Ellis is making the most of the injuries to P.K. Subban and Roman Josi as he potted a pair on Thursday. Speaking of Subban, he could return this week as he has been skating with the team since Monday. He has missed the last 16 games of the season with an upper body injury. After scoring over 20 goals in each of the last three seasons, Craig Smith has only one in his last 25 games. Ryan Johansen leads the Predators in points with 30, two better than Forsberg and three ahead of Mike Fisher and Viktor Arvidsson.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Washington

 

Rested Team: vs. Los Angeles (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Cory Schneider missed morning practice Friday with an illness and is considered day-to-day. Patrik Elias is still hoping to return to the NHL as he is without a contract but has been skating on his surgically repaired knee. He wants to play this season but may wait until the 2017-18 season if his knee doesn’t come around. Congratulations to Blake Coleman who recorded his first career NHL point Tuesday. The 25-year-old was playing in only his fourth NHL career game. Taylor Hall is on a four game points streak. Mike Cammalleri continues to struggle with only a goal and six points in his last 22 games.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Montreal

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Islanders changed things up this week by firing head coach Jack Capano and replacing him with Doug Weight. John Tavares has been on a roll of late with seven goals and a plus-six rating in his last four games. Johnny Boychuk is out with an upper body injury. Andrew Ladd is also out with an upper body injury.  He has been a major disappointment with eight goals and 12 points in 41 games. Casey Cizikas has only four goals and 17 points this season but he is a plus-12.Thomas Greiss has started the last eight games in a row and is 3-2-3 in that span, giving up more than two goals only once. He is working on back-to-back shutouts.  

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Los Angeles (Monday)

 

Notes

It’s hard to believe but the two goal effort from Michael Grabner boosted his total to 21 this season and he has a chance to break his rookie mark when he found the back of the net 34 times with the Islanders. Henrik Lundqvist hopes that he has righted his season around as he gave up only two goals in a win over Toronto Thursday. The month of January has not been kind up until then as he had given up 26 goals in six games, going 2-4 before Thursday. J.T. Miller is on a path to new career highs as he already has 15 goals and 33 points in 46 games. Miller's best results were last season when he had 22 goals and 43 points in the full 82 game season.

 

OTTAWA

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: vs. Washington (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Senators received good news on Friday as Craig Anderson is supposed to return to the team after the All-Star game and remain with the team through the remainder of the season. Mike Condon has performed admirably for the Senators in place of Anderson and has them in a playoff spot with plenty of games in hand over teams above them. Clarke MacArthur will not return to the Senators this season after sustaining his fourth concussion in 18 months during training camp. Erik Karlsson leads the Senators in points with 37, three ahead of Mark Stone.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

There was not much news in Flyerland this week as the team was on their mandatory five day break without any practices. Steve Mason has struggled of late He has given up 26 goals in less than seven full games and it looks like Michal Neuvirth should get an opportunity to see if he can claim the net on a full time basis. Claude Giroux has not scored in his last 11 games and the Flyers have been switching things up as far as the lines are concerned to see if they can get them going. Brayden Schenn saw his five game scoring streak end on Sunday.   

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Boston

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jake Guentzel was recalled by the Penguins and he is worth picking up as he is playing alongside Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist. Guentzel has four goals and six points in seven games this season. Justin Schultz has had points in only one of the last four games but what a game it was as he had four assists against Washington. Schultz has seven goals and 30 points in 44 games with a plus-24 rating. Consider that before this season, Schultz's career high was 33 points and he was a minus-71 in 266 career games. Kris Letang is out week-to-week after suffering yet another injury on the weekend as he is out with a knee injury. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are tied for second in the NHL scoring race with 50 points each.

   

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blues continue to struggle and Jake Allen continues to get the blame as the number one goalie. He was likely taken quite high in most drafts as he didn’t have Brian Elliott to split the net with anymore but he has been anything but stellar this season with a 17-12-5 record to go with a 2.85 GAA and a .897 save percentage. Allen has been particularly poor of late as he has started only three of the last seven games and has been pulled in all three, giving up 10 goals in 70 minutes of action on only 36 shots. Those are European Handball stats. Jaden Schwartz has a goal and six assists in his last six games.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Winnipeg, vs. Edmonton

 

Rested Team: vs. Edmonton (Thursday)

Tired Team: None  

 

Notes

The Sharks play three games in four nights so look for Martin Jones to get a couple of starts with Aaron Dell getting one. Dell has been everything the Sharks could have hoped for as he is 5-2 in seven starts with a 1.84 GAA and a .933 save percentage. Logan Couture picked up the winner on Thursday after he missed Wednesday's game due to an illness. Melker Karlsson moved up to the first line with Couture out but was back on the fourth unit Thursday. Brent Burns continues to amaze as he has 19 goals and 47 points, good for a tie for fourth overall in NHL scoring.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, @ Florida

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None  

 

Notes

The Lightning continue their long road trip this week. Ryan Callahan is out at least four more weeks with a hip injury. Victor Hedman has missed the last three games with an illness but the Lightning hope he is able to return this week. Valtteri Filppula has seven goals and 29 points in 45 games this season and saw his five game points streak end on Thursday. Ben Bishop is 2-0-1 in his last three starts since returning from a lower body injury that kept him out of the lineup for nine games. He has given up only five goals in the three games as he attempts to turn his season around. He has lowered his GAA to 2.64 as it was hovering close to 3.00 earlier in the season.  

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Detroit, @ Philadelphia

 

Rested team:  @ Detroit (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs play three games in four nights, so look for Curtis McElhinney to get a start with Frederik Andersen getting the crease in the other two matches.  Morgan Rielly is day-to-day with an ankle injury and the Leafs really miss his minutes on the blueline. Mitch Marner has 10 goals and 37 points this season and he trails Auston Matthews in the rookie scoring race by only one point. Matthews gets all the publicity for the Calder Trophy but Marner deserves his fair share as well. William Nylander, yet another rookie, leads the Maple Leafs with 15 power play points including five goals.  

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Arizona

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Arizona (Thursday)

 

Notes

Ryan Miller has been terrific since the beginning of January as he has both of his shutouts in giving up only eight goals in six games in 185 shots. The Anton Rodin experiment looks to be off the tracks as he re-injured his surgically repaired knee. He was a big scorer in Sweden but needed surgery a year ago and he has not fully recovered. He was supposed to be the power play specialist lacking in Vancouver. Henrik Sedin is only a point away from becoming the 85th player in NHL history to get 1,000 points. Ben Hutton is out three-six weeks with a small fracture in his hand. Jake Virtanen is not putting up the numbers in the minors but he has played well and has had a good attitude down in Utica.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ Ottawa, @ New Jersey

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Ottawa (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights. Braden Holtby should get a couple of starts while Philipp Grubauer gets one.  Alex Ovechkin is slowly closing in on Sidney Crosby in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy as he is up to 21 goals. Nicklas Backstrom, who was the first star of the week, is on an eight game scoring streak in which he has four goals and 14 points to boost him to 44 points in 45 games this season. Justin Williams got off to a terrible start for the Capitals this season and many thought he was done but the veteran has been something else of late with 14 goals in his last 21 contests.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. San Jose, @ Chicago

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Jets finally recalled Ondrej Pavelec as Michael Hutchinson simply was not doing the job in net for Winnipeg. I commented that the Jets should recall Pavelec in the Tuesday Dose and lo and behold they did so later that day. While Connor Hellebuyck should remain the starter, the Jets have been so poor, they may give Pavelec another chance to show what he can do. Winnipeg plays three games in four nights this week and while Pavelec and Hellebuyck should see the net once each, the final start should remain up in the air.  Patrik Laine has missed the last six games with a concussion but skated on Wednesday before practice for the first time.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for NBC Sports Edge. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.