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The Week Ahead

Back to Work

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

The NHL gets back in full force Tuesday after a dark Monday as the All-Star break continues.

 

Twenty-eight teams are in action with Calgary starting on Wednesday and Vancouver getting until Thursday before they are back in game action.

 

It will be a grueling time down the stretch as the NHL has condensed its schedule. There is two-and-a-half-months to go in the season and still plenty of time for you to catch the leader or hold on to your lead. 

 

Listen to the Rotoworld Hockey Podcast with yours truly and Joey Alfieri here.


Editor's Note
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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 30-FEBRUARY 5

 

4 Games - Edmonton, Los Angeles, Montreal, Washington 

 

3 Games - Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Florida, Vancouver

 

Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

 

Dallas, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington play three games at home.

 

INJURIES

 

Evgeni Malkin is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. We are shocked. (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

 vs. Colorado, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Saturday)

 

Notes

Jakob Silfverberg has missed the last three games with a head injury that may be a concussion. He has been skating on his own and that has to be encouraging. Rickard Rakell had 20 goals in 72 games last season but required only 39 this season. Ryan Getzlaf has two goals in his last five games after scoring only five in his first 39. Sami Vatanen has had some big seasons with the Ducks with 37 and 38 points in his last two seasons but the defenseman was a healthy scratch Monday after going minus-four Saturday. He was back in the lineup Wednesday and was a minus-one.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Chicago, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Michael Stone has had a tough go of it this season after a big 2015-16 campaign as he has only a goal and seven assists in 36 games. He had off-season knee surgery and coach Dave Tippett said that Stone has come around the last 10-12 games. He may be worth a pickup in deeper pools the rest of the way. Alexander Burmistrov has five assists in his five games with the Coyotes after they picked him up on waivers from Winnipeg before scoring his first of the season Thursday. Burmistrov had two assists in 23 games with the Jets so a change of scenery was the boost he needed. Mike Smith has won 10 games this season but Monday was the first in which he faced less than 30 shots and got the W.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Washington, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Brad Marchand got off a bit lucky as he was only fined for slew-footing Niklas Kronwall. He potted a couple of goals in the game and now has 21 this season. David Pastrnak halted a 17 game goal-less drought with his 20th of the season Tuesday as he had the overtime winner. He was reunited with Patrice Bergeron and Marchand while Frank Vatrano lined up with David Backes and David Krejci. Kevan Miller celebrated his return to the lineup Tuesday after missing four games with a concussion by scoring his first of the season. Torey Krug has 17 points in his last 18 games.

  

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Ottawa

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Josh Gorges has an abdominal injury and has missed the last 10 games. The Sabres miss his presence on the blueline but poolies could care less as he has only one assist in 34 games. Cody Franson had a three game points streak with four points including a goal halted on Thursday. He is second on the Sabres blueline in points with 13, trailing Rasmus Ristolainen who has 28. Ristolainen has 17 power play points including 16 assists. Ryan O'Reilly is third in points on the Sabres but is one of the few in the plus column as he is a plus-five. Robin Lehner has won his last two in a row to even his record at 12-12-5.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: vs. Minnesota (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Johnny Gaudreau went 11 games without finding the back of the net before scoring the overtime winner Thursday. He was a minus-seven in his last four games before Thursday and has 11 goals and 31 points with a minus-17 rating in 42 games. No matter what most say, when you sit out training camp, you are behind the eight-ball all season. The Flames had given up the first goal of the game in nine straight before finally breaking the streak Thursday. Sean Monahan has one goal in the last three games but had goals in five consecutive before that. Garnet Hathaway continues to skate on his own. Matthew Tkachuk may not be in the talk for the Calder but he could be the best fantasy rookie he has 92 penalty minutes in addition to nine goals and 31 points. Oh yeah, he is a plus-seven, the best on the Flames with Mark Giordano.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Edmonton, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: vs. Edmonton (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

While the Hurricanes are strong at home (15-6-1) they are weak on the road with a 6-14-6 record. The Hurricanes made Noah Hanifin a healthy scratch on Saturday after going minus-three his previous game. Elias Lindholm is seeing time with Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal. He has a goal and seven points in eight games since returning from an upper body injury that cost him five games. Aho has 26 points in 48 games but won’t receive any Calder consideration as the group is so strong. Jeff Skinner leads the Hurricanes with 35 points in 47 games but has none in his last six.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Arizona, @ Dallas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blackhawks start a six game road trip this week. They play the next eight of nine on the road as well. Jonathan Toews had six points in two games heading into action Thursday. Patrick Kane is fifth in NHL scoring with 49 points. He leads the Blackhawks with 34 assists. The Blackhawks have four players with 15 or more goals including Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov, Artemi Panarin and Kane. Kane leads the Blackhawks in penalty minutes with 26. Niklas Hjalmarsson leads all Chicago defensemen with five goals.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Semyon Varlamov underwent season-ending hip surgery Thursday that lasted three hours. Like all sports surgery (or so it seems) it was successful. Calvin Pickard and Spencer Martin are slated to be the goaltenders in Colorado the rest of the way barring a trade. Matt Duchene says he is open to being traded from Colorado and that should get things started even though he doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract. The Avs are by far the worst team in the NHL and that will get them a nice player at the 2017 Draft.  Tyson Barrie is on the injured reserve with a lower body injury but could return this week.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Cam Atkinson has been named to the All-Star team and has 46 points in 47 games. He had a career high 53 points last season and is poised to smash that mark in the near future. After a bit of a slump, Zach Werenski has two goals and an assist in his last three games and is deserving of plenty of Calder talk. Sergei Bobrovsky has given up four goals in back-to-back games as Devan Dubnyk pulls further away from him in the race for the Vezina Trophy. Alexander Wennberg continues to pile up the assists and is fourth in the NHL with 32. Congratulations to Scott Harrington who scored his first NHL goal on Saturday.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Chicago

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Stars woes in net continue but at least coach Lindy Ruff is getting a quicker trigger finger as he pulled Antti Niemi Thursday after giving up two goals on five shots. Kari Lehtonen came in and played surprisingly well enabling the Stars to get a rare win. The Stars also have to be disappointed with the play of Jiri Hudler who was a healthy scratch Thursday. He had 76 points just two seasons ago but has only two goals and seven points in 22 games this season. One of the big surprises fantasy-wise this season is that Patrick Eaves has 10 power play goals. He had only 14 total in his last seven years in the NHL. Jamie Benn has three goals and six points in his last five games.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Red Wings are another team that has been having problems between the pipes. Before the start of the season it was thought that Petr Mrazek was the undisputed number one goalie on the team but he had been mediocre this season and Jimmy Howard regained the crease with superb play. But Howard (5-7-1/1.96/.934) suffered a sprain of the MCL a month ago and has not played since. Mrazek (10-12-5/3.16/.894) continues to struggle and Jared Coreau (5-1-3/2.90-.907) has had the opportunity to play a lot in the Detroit cage. I’ve been impressed with the play of Anthony Mantha, just another fine rookie in this outstanding year. He has 11 goals and 22 points in only 34 games and trails Dylan Larkin and Thomas Vanek by only one in the Red Wings goal scoring race.

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, @ Nashville, @ Carolina, @ Montreal

 

Rested Team: @ Montreal (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Carolina (Friday)

Notes    

The Oilers play three games in four nights as part of their four game week and it appears that Cam Talbot will play three games with Laurent Brossoit getting the call in net once. Talbot has been giving the Oilers great goaltending as he is 26-12-7 with a 2.33 GAA and a .922 save percentage. Connor McDavid is on a six game scoring streak and leads the NHL with 42 assists as well as 59 points. Jordan Eberle continues to be spotty this season as he has points in only one of his last four games but that was a four point effort against Calgary. He has only 32 points in 51 games this season but seven against the Flames in four games. The two sides don’t meet anymore in the regular season this year.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

After the news last week that Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov could miss the rest of the season, the news on Thursday was different. Huberdeau was ‘jacked up’ according to Nick Bjugstad, his rehab partner and was hoping to return in March from his Achilles tendon injury. Barkov is back skating at is likely to miss at least another two weeks but he likely will not require surgery to fix a back injury. Jussi Jokinen has only 13 points after a goal and an assist on Thursday, a far cry from the 60 points he picked up last season. Vincent Trocheck has seven goals and 12 points in his last nine games.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Arizona, vs. Colorado, @ Philadelphia, @ Washington   

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Kings play four times this week with both being back-to-back games. This will likely mean that Jeff Zatkoff should get at least one start with Peter Budaj playing two or three games. Bad news once again with Jonathan Quick as the netminder, who injured his groin on opening night will not be able to play before early March at the earliest as he has yet to resume skating. Anze Kopitar is up to five goals this season in addition to his 22 assists in 43 games. Tyler Toffoli is finally skating once again after he suffered a lower body injury on December 20. He has missed the last 17 games.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Calgary, @ Vancouver

 

Rested Team: @ Vancouver (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Calgary (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Wild are in Western Canada where they play all three games in four nights. Devan Dubnyk has been All-World this season and will get at least two starts in goal with Darcy Kuemper should get one. You look at the stats and it’s amazing to see the Wild have so many players among the NHL leaders in plus/minus, starting with Ryan Suter at plus-28. They have five players in the top-seven including Jason Zucker, Jared Spurgeon, Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund. The downside is that Zach Parise is a minus-two on such a good squad. Charlie Coyle has not found the back of the net in his last 10 games.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ Philadelphia, vs. Washington, vs. Edmonton

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Edmonton (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Canadiens return to action after the All-Star break by playing four games including three in four nights. Carey Price is likely to get three starts between the pipes while Al Montoya should see the net once.  Andrew Shaw is a nice combination of all the numbers, especially if penalty minutes are a category in your pool. The Habs resident tough guy has 82 penalty minutes but also has seven goals, 18 points and a plus-10 in only 36 games. Alex Galchenyuk has missed the last two games after re-injuring his knee. He has 27 points in 30 games so his absence will be missed.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Edmonton, vs. Detroit

 

Rested Team: vs. Detroit (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mike Ribeiro has been a healthy scratch in three of the Predators last eight games. He has only four goals and 25 points in 46 games this season after 50 and 62 point seasons in his last two years in Music City. Calle Jarnkrok has only seven goals and 14 points in 49 games but has a goal and two helpers in his last two games. The Predators were quite excited to take Colin Wilson seventh overall in 2008 but the forward has not panned out as anticipated with a season-best 42 points in 2014-15. He has only 18 points in 40 games this season after missing eight contests earlier in the month with a lower body injury. Ryan Johansen has a goal and six points in his last four games. 

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, vs. Calgary, @ Columbus

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Devils claimed Stefan Noesen from the Ducks earlier in the week and the former first round pick of the Senators potted a goal in his first game for New Jersey Thursday. The Devils have gone two games in a row pulling their netminder as Cory Schneider gave up three goals on 12 shots in the first period Tuesday and Keith Kinkaid came back on Thursday after giving up four goals on only 17 shots. That goaltending is not going to get you into the playoffs. Andy Greene has missed the last 11 games with an arm injury. Taylor Hall leads the Devils with 31 points. Mike Cammalleri has four assists in his last three games but hasn’t scored in his last 11.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Detroit, vs. Carolina

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Islanders are 4-0-1 since firing Jack Capuano and putting Doug Weight behind the bench.  They are only five points behind the Flyers for the final playoff spot and have three games in hand. It may not be too late for the New Yorkers to get into the post-season. John Tavares continued his hot ways as he has a pair of assists in each of his last two games and has eight goals and 13 points in his last eight. He is up to 19 goals and 40 points this season in 47 games. Thomas Greiss was the second star of the week with a 2-0-1 record to go with a 0.98 GAA and a .971 save percentage. With the exception of one game against Carolina in which he gave up seven goals, Greiss has been outstanding since Jaroslav Halak was sent to the minors and he was given the net.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Buffalo, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Antti Raanta is expected to return this week from a lower body injury. Henrik Lundqvist has returned to form since Raanta went to the sidelines. J.T. Miller is now centering Michael Grabner and Jimmy Vesey after the injury to Kevin Hayes. Hayes is out two-three weeks after suffering a lower body injury Sunday. Matt Puempel was activated this week after suffering a concussion on New Year’s Eve and celebrated with his sixth goal of the season in his return. Michael Grabner is tied with Auston Matthews for the most even strength goals at 20.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ Buffalo

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mike Condon was sensational for the Sens during the absence of Craig Anderson but Ottawa hopes that Anderson returns this week for the remainder of the season and that will send Condon to the bench or be trade bait as they may want to keep Andrew Hammond around once he returns from his high ankle sprain. Derick Brassard has been a bit of a disappointment this season with only eight goals and 25 points. The Senators gave up Mika Zibanejad to get him and they could regret that move in the future. Curtis Lazar has only one assist in 27 games. The Senators acquired Tommy Wingels from San Jose this week.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, vs. Montreal, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

All of a sudden the Flyers are getting goaltending as Steve Mason picked up a 34 save shutout and Michal Neuvirth followed that by stopping 27 of 28 shots in a win over Toronto Thursday. Wayne Simmonds has goals in each of his last three games and is up to 21 this season. Michael Del Zotto is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Jakub Voracek is back with Claude Giroux on the top line. Giroux halted a 12 game goal-less streak Sunday. Mark Streit leads the Flyers defensive corps with five goals, one ahead of Shayne Gostisbehere, Del Zotto and Ivan Provorov.   

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Columbus, @ St. Louis

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Saturday)

 

Notes

I have not been a Justin Schultz fan at all in the last four years but he is certainly proving me wrong this season as he has eight goals and 35 points with a plus-27 rating in 48 games. He has taken off since Thanksgiving (American style) as he had five assists in 22 games before the holiday and all eight goals and 30 points in the subsequent 26 games. No surprise here. Finally Evgeni Malkin has missed a game. It remains to be seen how long he will miss but he has played 70 or more games only once since the 2008-09 season when he had 50 goals and 109 points in 75 games during the 2011-12 season. Sidney Crosby is second in NHL scoring with 55 points, four behind Connor McDavid.

   

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Toronto, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: vs. Pittsburgh (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

What has happened to the St. Louis Blues? They were expected to contend for the Stanley Cup but right now they are life and death to even make the playoffs. Jake Allen has been a disaster and he has started only three of the last 10 games, getting pulled in all three. He played most of the third period Thursday stopping all three shots but in the last ten he has played only 88 minutes and has given up 10 goals on 39 shots. That’s a bad lacrosse goalie’s stats. If you took him in your draft, chances are you are not competing. Vladimir Tarasenko scored Thursday and it was his first goal in nine games. James Wisniewski inked a 25 game professional tryout with the Blues affiliate the Chicago Wolves.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, @ Vancouver, vs. Arizona

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None  

 

Notes

It was nice to see Tomas Hertl return to the San Jose lineup Thursday after missing 31 games with a knee injury. He was a minus-one but look for a lot better after the All-Star break. Brent Burns continues to amaze and he is probably the best fantasy player in the NHL this season. He plays the toughest position to collect stats and yet he already has 21 goals and 51 points, fourth best in the NHL behind Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He is also a plus-14 with six power play goals and 14 pp points. All that and a beard that is long enough to play with ZZ Top. Patrick Marleau had a natural hat trick and a four goal game on Monday, all in the third period.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. Ottawa, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested team: vs. Anaheim (Saturday)  

Tired Team: None  

 

Notes

Only four Lightning players are on the plus side of the column with Brian Boyle leading the way at plus-seven. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Valtteri Filppula are the others.  Andrei Vasilevskiy has played well in his last four starts as he has given up eight goals on 127 shots. He is only 1-2-1 in the starts but the turnaround after a tough couple of months is encouraging. After three nice starts in a row, Ben Bishop gave up five on Saturday on only 17 shots. The Lightning picked up Jonathan Racine and a sixth round pick from Montreal in exchange for Nikita Nesterov Thursday. It was a meaningless trade as far as fantasy is concerned.   

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ St. Louis, @ Boston

 

Rested team:  None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs are in the midst of a six game road trip and they have been exceptional away from the ACC where they are 9-1-2 in their last 12 after losing a close one to the Flyers in Philadelphia Thursday. Frederik Andersen is working on a pair of shutouts this week as he beat the Flames and Red Wings, stopping all 48 shots. William Nylander gets little publicity compared to what he should have with Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews on the team but the rookie has 10 goals and 21 assists with five goals and 15 points coming on the power play. Matthews has five game winning goals. Curtis McElhinney has given the Maple Leafs great goaltending from a backup in his two starts, something they did not get this season from Jhonas Enroth et. al.   The Leafs hope that Morgan Rielly is back this week from a lower body injury.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Minnesota (Friday)

 

Notes

The Canucks get an extra two day break from the All-Star game as they do not play until Thursday. Ryan Miller has been very sharp of late and lost only his second game in his last 13 contests Thursday, despite stopping 29 of 31 shots. Sven Baertschi broke a five game pointless drought Wednesday with a couple of goals to give him 13 this season. Bo Horvat leads the Canucks in goals with 14. Congratulations to Henrik Sedin who became the 85th player in NHL history to get to the 1,000th career point mark. Twin brother Daniel is only 31 points away from the magic figure.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. Boston, @ Montreal, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Braden Holtby leads the NHL in shutouts with six. He has been terrific of late and his play is reminiscent of last season when he tied the all-time record for most wins in a season with 48. He is 24-8-4 this season with a 1.97 GAA and a .930 save percentage. John Carlson is still out of action with a lower body injury and could be back this week as coach Barry Trotz says he is ‘progressing pretty well’. T. J. Oshie was the third star of the week with six points including three goals in three games. He was scratched on Thursday due to a family matter. Alex Ovechkin’s eight game points streak ended on Tuesday. Tom Wilson has 21 penalty minutes in his last six games.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Dallas, @ Colorado

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Bryan Little has a five game points streak in which he has six goals and nine points. The Jets welcomed rookie Patrik Laine back from a concussion and he had a goal and an assist Thursday to regain the rookie scoring lead with 40 points, one ahead of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Connor Hellebuyck sure likes playing against the Blackhawks as he has defeated them in all four games this season, giving up a total of five goals. Unfortunately he also plays against the rest of the league and that accounts for his 17-13-1 record with a 2.82 GAA and a .908 save percentage. Andrew Copp is playing with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler and has taken full advantage with a goal in each of his last three games and four in his last five. He is worth picking up at this 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.