Loading scores...
The Week Ahead

Back in full swing

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

It's been a tough week for me as my dear Aunt Betty passed away. 

 

I have so many fond memories of her and her passing is leaving me with a big hole in my heart and plenty of sadness for her four daughters.

 

I'm really going to miss you Aunt Betty!

 

Editor's Note: This is your chance to try FanDuel risk free! Sign up today and if you lose your first contest, you’ll be refunded the entry fee up to $10. Play now.

 

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 FEBRUARY 8-14    

 

4 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Colorado, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay

 

3 Games –Arizona,  Calgary, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Minnesota, Nashville, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Carolina, Montreal

 

Detroit plays all four games at home.

 

Anaheim and Los Angeles play all four games on the road.

 

Boston, Colorado and Toronto play three games on the road.

 

Buffalo, Columbus, Minnesota, the New York Rangers and Philadelphia play three games at home.

 

 

INJURIES

 

Jason Spezza left Thursday's game with a lower 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

@ Pittsburgh, @ Philadelphia, @ Columbus, @ Chicago

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Philadelphia (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Ducks play three games in four nights as part of a four game week, so look for Frederik Andersen to get a start with John Gibson getting three. Cam Fowler finally returned to action on Tuesday after missing 13 games with a knee injury. The Ducks are finally finding the back of the net as they have scored 30 goals in their last eight games. That is quite a feat since only two teams (Washington and Dallas) are averaging at least three goals a game this season. The Ducks switched their lines around and Ryan Getzlaf is centering David Perron and Chris Stewart while Corey Perry is on the wing alongside Rickard Rakell and Patrick Maroon.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Calgary, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: vs. Vancouver (Wednesday), vs. Calgary (Friday)

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights so look for Louis Domingue to play twice with Anders Lindback getting a start. Mike Smith is likely still a couple of weeks away from returning from core muscle surgery and he could have a tough time getting back the net. Domingue was the NHL’s rookie of the month in January but has allowed 10 goals in two February games. The Coyotes have recalled Steve Downie from the minors as he was waived 17 days earlier and sent to the minors. He will provide poolies with penalty minutes and some points as he has three goals and six points in 25 games with 53 penalties minutes.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Winnipeg, @ Minnesota, @ Detroit

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Bruins play four games this week including three in four nights, so Tuukka Rask could get a night off, even with Jonas Gustavsson on the shelf with a heart problem. Expect to see Malcolm Subban between the pipes if Gustavsson is still out of action. Gustavsson has been cleared to practice but not yet play in games so Subban could see a start. Dave Krejci has 38 points in 41 games this season as he was drafted late in most pools, if at all, after a 31 point performance in an injury-riddled 47 games last season. Loui Eriksson may be dealt at the trade deadline as he can be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He does have a partial no-trade clause.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ Philadelphia, vs. Montreal, vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: vs. Florida (Tuesday)

Tired Team:  vs. Montreal (Friday)

 

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights as part of a four game week, so look for Chad Johnson and Robin Lehner to share the net. Lehner has given up two goals in each of his last four starts as the Sabres are seeing what they got when they dealt for him from Ottawa during the off-season. Marcus Foligno took advantage of playing alongside Jack Eichel and Zemgus Girgensons as he potted his first goal in nine games Wednesday. Eichel was the third star of the week as he had two goals and two assists in two games before the All-Star break. Eichel has three goals and five assists in his last seven games as he has jumped back into the Calder race.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ San Jose, @ Arizona

 

Rested Team: @ Arizona (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights and Karri Ramo is likely to get the net in two games with Jonas Hiller playing once. Dennis Wideman was suspended for 20 games as he knocked linesman Don Henderson to the ice last week. He said it was not on purpose but the NHL is sending a message to its players that you do not touch the officials. Sean Monahan broke out of a season long slump with a goal and three helpers Wednesday and now has 15 goals and 33 points in 49 games. Mason Raymond inked a three-year deal in the summer of 2014 and still has another season to go as he will now spend his time in Stockton after clearing waivers this past week.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. New York Islanders (Saturday)

 

Notes

I really have been impressed with the season that Victor Rask has put together. The 42nd overall pick in the 2011 Draft now has 12 goals and 30 points in 50 games this season and should easily surpass the 33 points he picked up last season as a rookie. Elias Lindholm is another fine talent and the duo should be instrumental when the Hurricanes are ready to challenge for a playoff spot. Noah Hanifin will also be a vital cog when the Canes finally make the playoffs and he is being mentored by Justin Faulk this season. Don’t be surprised if Eric Staal is gone at the trade deadline, unless Carolina is able to get a deal done with him as he is eligible to become a UFA at the end of the season.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ Dallas, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jonathan Toews returned to action on Thursday after a one game suspension for missing the All-Star Game due to injury. Look for Marcus Kruger to return to the Chicago lineup around the start of the post-season as he suffered a dislocated left wrist in mid-December. While he has only one assist in 33 games this season, he could prove to be a nice playoff player if you think the Blackhawks are making a deep run as he should get four or five points. Corey Crawford was the second star of the month in January and deservedly so as he was 9-2 with a 1.64 GAA and a .952 save percentage. Patrick Kane leads the NHL in points with 75 and has points in nine of his last 10 games.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ Ottawa, @ Detroit, @ Buffalo   

 

Rested Team: @ Ottawa (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It appears that Semyon Varlamov’s legal troubles are over as a jury sided with him and awarded him $126,000 after his former girlfriend filed charges in a civil lawsuit which the jury found was ‘groundless and completely unsupported’. Calvin Pickard started the last three games and was 1-2, giving up nine goals on 100 shots. Alex Tanguay went from the first line, to the press box, to the fourth line in a matter of three games so bench him if you can. Jarome Iginla was reunited with Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon on Tuesday. That should upgrade his fantasy value. MacKinnon should get a healthy increase at the pay window as he is better than Aleksander Barkov and the Finnish forward inked a six-year/$35.4 million extension.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. Anaheim, vs. Ottawa  

 

Rested Team: @ None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It’s not looking good for the return to the lineup of Sergei Bobrovsky as his groin injury is not getting any better. He has played only a game-and-a-half since December 8, a span of 23 games and he may not return until March. David Savard (oblique strain) has not been given the green light for contact but is practicing with the Blue Jackets. He should return at some point this week. David Clarkson continues to sit on the sidelines as he has not played since January 2 with an upper body injury. Scott Hartnell is having a fine season with 18 goals and 36 points with 85 penalty minutes in 51 games. Cam Atkinson was the second star of the week as he had four goals and six points in two games.

   

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. Chicago, vs. Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Antoine Roussel has been scoring of late with a goal and four points in his last six games. The power forward has 71 penalty minutes to go with eight goals and 18 points in 50 games. It sure looks like Antti Niemi has taken over as the number one goaltender in Dallas as he has played in 35 games while former number one Kari Lehtonen has played in 22. Niemi’s numbers are superior thus far and he should be the starter in the playoffs if the status quo remains. John Klingberg is breaking out of a big slump as he has two goals and five points in his last five games with a plus-six rating. He has eight goals and 43 points in 52 games with a plus-17 rating.

  

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Ottawa, vs. Colorado, vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: vs. Boston (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Red Wings four games this week so it is likely that Petr Mrazek will play three times while Jimmy Howard will get one start. Darren Helm has taken over the role as the player in front of the net during the power play. It used to be the domain of Tomas Holmstrom with the Red Wings and Helm has taken to his new role with relish. He should be good for some power play goals from tip-ins or rebounds. The Red Wings placed Niklas Kronwall on long-term injured reserve but he could be back on Sunday when the 10-game minimum ends. Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and 10 points in 11 games during January.

 

EDMONTON

 

 Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. Toronto, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: @ New Jersey (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes    

Connor McDavid is back!!! He scored a goal in his return that was reminiscent of Mario Lemieux and then chipped in with a couple of assists to lead the Oilers to a big win. He has five points in two games since his return. Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist in the same game and is playing with McDavid and Benoit Pouliot on the same line Cam Talbot has taken over as the Oilers starter as he has now started in 14 of the Oilers last 16 games. It's been a tough go of things for Oscar Klefbom who has missed the last 22 games with a broken finger and now can't practice due to an infection in his leg. Zach Kassian was recalled from the minors.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Buffalo, vs. St. Louis, vs. Nashville

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Panthers play four times this week and both are back-to-back so Al Montoya should get one start and maybe two, in relief of Roberto Luongo. Aleksander Barkov is starting to heat up as he has a couple of goals and five points during a four game scoring streak. Barkov now has 15 goals and 34 points in 41 games and should be owned in all pools. Jonathan Huberdeau has been just as good of late and he had two goals and an assist in leading the Panthers to a win Tuesday. Huberdeau is another first round pick that is panning out nicely for the suddenly hot Panthers.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Boston, @ New York Islanders, @ New York Rangers, @ New Jersey

Rested Team: @ New Jersey (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Friday)

 

Notes

The Kings play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Jonathan Quick to play three times with Jhonas Enroth getting one start. It was a rare night for Dustin Brown on Tuesday as he potted a couple of goals, albeit weak ones. He now has eight goals and 19 points and could reach the 27 point mark again like he has in each of the last two seasons. Kyle Clifford is back practicing with the Kings after missing two months with a concussion. He has only three assists in 26 games so he obviously cannot be taken in pools but he is a valuable bottom-six forward for the Kings.  

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Washington, vs. Boston  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Zach Parise is in a slump and has only a goal and one point in his last eight games. He is also a minus-nine in that span. This has to be discouraging to Parise owners as he was a high pick in pools and has already missed action from a sprained right MCL. Congratulations to Ryan Suter who played in his 800th career game on Thursday. Charlie Coyle had a four game goal scoring streak active going into action on Thursday. Jason Pominville is having trouble finding the back of the net but did score his sixth of the season Tuesday. Matt Dumba has 13 points this season including two helpers on Tuesday.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Buffalo

 

Rested Team: vs. Tampa Bay (Tuesday), @ Buffalo (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canadiens play only twice but both games will face a tired opponent and that has to help their chances.  It is possible that Carey Price won't play another game with season as the Canadiens are in a freefall and they could decide to just wait until next season if there is little to no chance to make the playoffs when he is ready to return from his lower body injury. Dale Weise scored his 12th of the season and that betters last season's mark of 10. Weise gives the Habs some nice secondary scoring something that is a rarity. Alexei Emelin has scored three goals in every one of his four NHL seasons but this year it could be difficult as the blueliner has five assists in 42 games with nary a goal.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mike Ribeiro is expected to play in his 1,000th NHL game on February 6. Early congratulations to Mike and the Ribeiro family. The Predators could be getting some help  after the college hockey season ends if former third round pick and Harvard star Jimmy Vesey (16 goals, 33 points in 20 games) signs. Of course he could decide to leave college and then wait to become a UFA in the summer and sign elsewhere. Eric Nystrom is out indefinitely with a broken foot. Ryan Johansen has 12 points in 12 games since joining the Predators after a trade with Columbus.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Edmonton, @ Philadelphia, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Edmonton (Tuesday), vs. Los Angeles (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Devils play a pair of back-to-back games this week so Keith Kinkaid could see action in a couple of games although one seems more reasonable with Cory Schneider getting the net in the other games. Schneider is dealing with a minor ailment but should be okay this week.  Mike Cammalleri will likely be back this week as he has been out of action since January with a hand injury.  Lee Stempniak is tied for the team lead in points with Cammalleri at 38 but is likely to be trade bait if the Devils fall out of the playoff race. Damon Severson was a healthy scratch Thursday.

  

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Los Angeles, @ Carolina

 

Rested Team: @ Carolina (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jaroslav Halak returned to action on Thursday as Jean-Francois Berube was a healthy scratch two days after his first NHL win. He should be a healthy scratch until the Islanders trade him as they do not want to lose him on waivers. He stopped 40 shots in a 5-3 win over Minnesota. John Tavares has had an up-and-down season and this past week was no exception with a goal and an assist Tuesday and being held off the scoresheet on Thursday. Johnny Boychuk has yet to play in 2016 as he has been out with an upper body injury but he could return soon as he has been practicing. He has only three goals and 14 points in 38 games this season.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey,  @ Pittsburgh, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: vs. Los Angeles (Friday), vs. Philadelphia (Sunday)

Tired Team: None    

 

Notes

Ryan McDonagh got back into the swing of things Thursday with a goal and an assist as he had gone the previous three games without a point. He was quite hot before that with a goal and six assists in his previous seven games. The talented captain of the Rangers has seven goals and 26 points in 51 games this season. Rick Nash has missed the last four games with a bone bruise but the Rangers are hopeful that he will be able to practice on Friday. Kevin Klein is out of action with a broken thumb so look for Dylan McIlrath to get a serious chance to play on the blueline. J.T. Miller has been quite hot of late with 12 goals in his last 21 games including seven in his last six contests.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Colorado (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Senators play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Andrew Hammond to get one start with Craig Anderson seeing the net in the other three contests.  Mark Stone scored his 15th of the season on Thursday and now has 37 points in 51 games. He had 64 points last season but he really took off in the second half of the season as he had 47 points in 46 games from January on. Hopefully he can have a big rest of the way but he did undergo off-season wrist surgery and that can take a while to recover from 100 percent. Clarke MacArthur has been out of action since October 14 with a concussion but is hoping to rejoin the Senators for practice by the end of February.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: vs. Anaheim (Tuesday)

Tired Team:  @ New York Rangers (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Flyers play four games this week as well as three games in four nights, so look for Steve Mason to play three games with Michal Neuvirth (if healthy) playing once. Neuvirth suffered a lower body injury that should allow him to play by the weekend but if he is unable to go, then Anthony Stolarz will get the start. Jakub Voracek had 81 points last season but got off to a horrible start this season. He now has eight goals and 41 points in 49 games but has half his goals and 15 points in his last 10 games. Sean Couturier returned this week after missing four games with a lower body injury. He had an assist in each of the two games.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. New York Rangers, @ Carolina

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

I think I jinxed Evgeni Malkin last week. I wrote "What has been amazing is that Malkin has yet to miss a game after last playing over 70 games in the 2011-12 season." Well, this week he has a nagging lower body injury and will miss the February 5 and 7 games. He should be back for this week's games. Eric Fehr is out for a month with a lower body injury. Sidney Crosby has been flying up the scoring stats as he has eight goals and 14 points in his last eight games and hit the 20 goal mark with 45 points. He is currently tied for 15th overall in the NHL. Marc-Andre Fleury is 20-11-5 with a 2.36 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jaden Schwartz continues to practice and could return to action this week as he has recovered from a fractured ankle. He should be picked up in all pools as he will play alongside Vladimir Tarasenko and Paul Stastny. David Backes has gone eight games without a goal. I liked Ryan Reaves before the start of the season for penalty minutes but the tough winger has only 25 penalty minutes this season (but he does have 131 hits) and has been a healthy scratch the last three games. Alexander Steen has 42 points in 54 games. Jake Allen has missed 10 straight games and is still not skating after suffering a lower body injury.

     

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. Calgary, vs. Arizona

 

Rested Team: vs. Arizona (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Joe Pavelski has eight points in his last six games and now has 51 points in 50 contests as he sits fifth in scoring in the NHL. Martin Jones has really taken advantage of the opportunity given him in San Jose as he has run with the starter's job in net. He is 24-14-3 with a 2.37 GAA and a .915 save percentage. Playing alongside Pavelski and Joe Thornton has really helped the play of Tomas Hertl who has 11 points in 12 games despite being held off the scoresheet the last two games. Joonas Donskoi has been a pleasant surprise this season as he has eight goals and 23 points in 45 games. He has a couple of goals and six helpers in his last eight games.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ Montreal, vs. Nashville, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested team: @ Montreal (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Lightning play four games this week and Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy have been splitting the net of late so do not be surprised if the same happens this week. Tyler Johnson had eight power play goals last season but finally picked up his first this season on Wednesday in a win over the Red Wings. He has only six goals and 17 points in 37 injury-riddled games after a 29 goal, 73 point effort last season for the Lightning. It appears that the eight year/$68 million offer by the Lightning to Steven Stamkos will be rejected as his agents are looking closer to $11 or 12 million per season. He has a full no-movement clause so don't expect him to be moved at the trade deadline.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs make their yearly jaunt out West as they play all three games in Western Canada this week.  The Maple Leafs were 1-7-2 before the All-Star break but have won twice since, one in overtime and once in a shootout. It has been a great turnaround for James Reimer who was 9-16-1 last season with a 3.16 GAA and a .907 save percentage. This season, the netminder is 10-8-6 with a 2.12 GAA and a .932 save percentage. If it wasn't for his lack of wins, Reimer would be a top fantasy netminder in the NHL. Brad Boyes has been a healthy scratch for the last five games. James van Riemsdyk is still two-four weeks away from returning to action.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Arizona, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team @ Arizona (Wednesday)

 

Notes

Henrik Sedin returned to action on Thursday after missing four games with an upper body injury. He played 20:23 and was held off the scoreboard. Dan Hamhuis is scheduled to return to the lineup on February 6 after suffering facial fractures December 9. The Canucks placed Brandon Prust on waivers this past week and he went through unclaimed. Vancouver inked Alex Biega to a two-year deal worth $1.5 million. He has little fantasy value as the defenseman has only four assists in 26 games this season. Jake Virtanen was a healthy scratch on Thursday and it was the third time in the past six games that he has witnessed the game from the press box. He should be owned in keeper leagues only.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ Minnesota, @ Dallas

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Braden Holtby continued his great play this season as he is now 31-5-3 and only 17 wins away from tying Martin Brodeur's record of 48 wins set during the 2006-07 season. Nicklas Backstrom is continuing his fine season as he has 46 points in 45 games after missing the entire pre-season and the start of the season after undergoing off-season hip surgery. Brooks Orpik has missed 35 games with a lower body injury but has been skating and practicing with the Capitals and he should return to the lineup shortly. Marcus Johansson (upper body) should return to action this week as well. Evgeny Kuznetsov was held off the scoresheet Thursday but had 10 points in his previous four games.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, vs. Boston, @ Edmonton

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Ondrej Pavelec (knee) is getting close to returning to action and could be back by this week but he could go to the AHL for a conditioning stint. The Jets will have a tough time sending Connor Hellebuyck back to the minors as he has been so good thus far with a 2.19 GAA and a .924 save percentage to go with 12 wins. Bryan Little has scored only one goal in his 15 games but he has been shooting the puck as he has 12 shots on net in his last three games. He should break out soon. Nikolaj Ehlers has been starting to score as he is on a five game points streak and has 10 points in his last 12 games. He has 23 points on the season and everyone in keeper leagues should be targeting him.  

Michael Finewax

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