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The Week Ahead

Curse of the All-Star Goalie

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

It’s the curse of the All-Star goalie. Since being named to the All-Star game, Pekka Rinne and Jimmy Howard have suffered injuries that will keep them out of the mid-season game and the duo have been replaced by Marc-Andre Fleury and Jaroslav Halak.  Should Roberto Luongo, Corey Crawford, Carey Price and Sergei Bobrovsky be worried about getting hurt?

 

We shall see.

 

Late Note:  The curse struck again on Friday as Carey Price is now out with an upper body injury suffered on Wednesday when he collided with Matt Calvert of Columbus.  I guess we have now seen. Three down and who knows how many left to go.


It's the All-Star week and there is a five day break from the action with games on Monday through Wednesday and resuming again on Tuesday January 27.

 

Happy Birthday to my brother Larry!

 

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 19-25

 

2 Games- Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver

 

1 Game – Anaheim, Arizona,  Carolina, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Washington, Winnipeg

 

0 Games – Buffalo

 


Editor's Note:
 Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting an $18,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday night's NHL games. It's just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

 

INJURIES

 

Pekka Rinne is out three-five weeks with a knee 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

vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

I was kind of surprised that Matt Beleskey was a healthy scratch on Wednesday as he leads the Ducks with 17 goals. He had been practicing on the fourth line the previous two days so I guess the press box was the next step. Cam Fowler has yet to spend a minute in the penalty box and while that should get you Lady Byng consideration, it’s not good if penalty minutes are a category in your pool. For those who think that Ilya Bryzgalov has been a solid backup, think again. He has started two games and lost both while he has been in a total of three contests with a GAA of 4.93 and a .836 save percentage. Rickard Rakell had a brilliant game on Sunday with two goals and two assists but has only three goals and 12 points this season in 33 games.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

@ Chicago

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes dealt their top goalie of late Devan Dubnyk to the Minnesota Wild for a third round pick, so they are going to rely on Mike Smith the  rest of the way as they recalled Michael Lee from the ECHL on Thursday to backup Smith. Smith had played in four straight games before the Coyotes showcased Dubnyk on Tuesday against the Sharks. Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing four games with an upper body injury but Shane Doan missed the action Thursday with a lower body injury. Mikkel Boedker has scored five goals and chipped in with one assist in his last four games.

  

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ Colorado

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Colorado

 

Notes

David Pastrnak has been hot since he returned from the minors and the World Junior Tournament as he has four goals in his last two games before he was held off the scoresheet on Thursday. He is playing on the top line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic and is worth picking up at this time as GM Peter Chiarelli said that he is staying with the big club. Bobby Robins has been out of action since the third game of the season with a concussion that likely occurred in the first game of the season. There is no timetable for his return which is a tough break for the 33-year-old who got his first taste of NHL action this season. Tuukka Rask may be coming around, well that’s what his fantasy owners are hoping for anyway. He has won his last three starts, giving up only six goals on 83 shots.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

None

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

 Well, it’s a great idea to bench all your Sabre players this week, if you have any, as they do not play and get an early start on the All-Star week break. Tyler Ennis is in a huge slump with only one goal in his last 17 games and only two points in his last 14. The sad thing is that he still leads the Sabres in points with 24. Nikita Zadorov played on Thursday after being a healthy scratch the previous two games. While I won’t recommend him this season, I do like him in the future. Tyler Myers has moved to the front of the net during the power play as the Sabres see a similar role for him as Zdeno Chara has in Boston. 

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flames hit the All-Star break as they play a pair in the Los Angeles area, which is certainly warmer than Calgary (unless the Chinook winds are blowing and LA has some nasty weather). The Flames are thrilled with the leadership of Joe Colborne and he is now playing with Lance Bouma and Drew Shore. Mason Raymond got off to a great start with five goals and two assists in his first seven games but has only one point (a goal) in his last 20. Johnny Gaudreau is going to the skills portion of the All-Star game and is attempting to trademark the name ‘Johnny Hockey’. Brian McGrattan was sent to the minors after passing through waivers and his NHL future is definitely in peril.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes only play in Toronto this week. They are 4-1-1 in January and the return of Jordan Staal is a big reason why according to coach Bill Peters. Elias Lindholm has eight goals and 18 points in 43 games this season and should be looked upon to having a big year, perhaps as early as the 2015-16 season. Anton Khudobin got a rare win on Tuesday and is now 3-8-2 this season. Eric Staal will not waive his no-trade contract and has one more season left in Carolina, after which he may choose free agency. Victor Rask may be a nice addition in deep pools as he is playing with Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner. Skinner has only 10 goals and 19 points this season. Most poolies had him pegged for a lot more in 2014-15.   

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, @ Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: None  

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jonathan Toews was named a team captain for the NHL All-Star game. Patrick Kane has hit the 30 goal mark only once in his career (30 in the 2009-10 season) but with 20 goals in 43 games this season, he looks ready to smash that mark and perhaps hit 40. After a 61 point performance last season, Duncan Keith is on pace for 51 this season. He is pointless in his last four games. Corey Crawford is 17-8-2 this season with a 2.15 GAA and a .924 save percentage despite being out of action twice this season with injuries. Brandon Saad has 12 goals in 43 games this season with five goals coming in the last eight games.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: vs. Boston (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Avalanche finish up a five game road trip in St. Louis on Monday. Alex Tanguay has been a pleasant surprise this season with 13 goals and 31 points in 43 games after picking up 11 points in only 16 games during an injury-riddled 2013-14 season, Nathan MacKinnon has struggled in his sophomore season with eight goals and 25 points in 44 games with a minus-nine rating. He had 24 goals and 63 points with a plus-20 rating in his rookie season and you should assume that he will have a big season next year where he likely will be undervalued. It’s surprising but Jarome Iginla second in scoring on the Avs as he has 30, one behind Tanguay.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets will send three players to the All-Star game, second most among NHL teams to the Blackhawks. Good thing the game is in Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky, Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno are going. Foligno is on an eight-game scoring streak in which he has two goals and nine points. He was also name as a team captain. Artem Anisimov has been out of the Columbus lineup since November 29 with torn triceps but is getting close to returning as he has been skating for over a week. Ryan Murray (knee) has played in only four games this season but is also getting close to returning as he started taking part in contact drills in practice.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

John Klingberg had a two goal game on Tuesday and now the defenseman has six goals and 15 points with a plus-nine rating in 29 games. While Kari Lehtonen’s record is good at 17-9-7, his 2.95 GAA and .904 save percentage are mediocre. He has not won in last three starts, giving up nine goals on only 59 shots for a .847 save percentage to go with a 4.19 GAA. No wonder Anders Lindback got the start on Thursday. Ales Hemsky has been relatively hot of late with five goals and seven points in eight games heading into action on Thursday. Jason Spezza certainly hasn’t set the hockey world on fire since his trade to Dallas as he has only seven goals and 30 points with a minus-seven rating in 43 games.     

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota

 

Rested Team: vs. Minnesota (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Tomas Tatar leads the Red Wings in goals with 18. Jimmy Howard will miss the next two-four weeks with a slightly torn groin. Look for Petr Mrazek to get the majority (if not all) of starts as usual backup Jonas Gustavsson is still out of action after suffering a should injury on November 5.  Thomas McCollum was recalled to back up Mrazek. The Red Wings recalled Teemu Pulkkinen from Grand Rapids where he had 20 goals and 39 points in 33 games but thus far he has been held off the scoresheet in three games.  Daniel Cleary continues to be a healthy scratch as he has a goal and an assist in 11 games this season.

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Taylor Hall has a goal and seven assists in his last nine games. He leads the Oilers in points with 29, two ahead of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. Nevertheless, it has been a disappointing campaign for Hall as he was expected to average a lot closer to a point per game. It sure looks like the Oilers may have made an error when they dealt for Viktor Fasth last season. He is only 2-10-2 this season with a 3.47 GAA and a .886 save percentage as Ben Scrivens has been the number one netminder with an 8-16-7 mark after losing 3-2 on Thursday to Tampa Bay.  Benoit Pouliot has four goals in his last two games to give him 10 on the season. 

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Aleksander Barkov came into this season with great promise but got off to a horrible start with four points in his first 25 games. He has been coming on of late as the second overall pick in the 2013 Draft now has five points in his last six games. He is owned in only 2 percent of Yahoo leagues so chances are great he is still available in your pool. Players like Barkov aren’t drafted second overall for no reason, so he is worth taking a shot on. His linemate Jonathan Huberdeau is in the same boat as he was selected third overall in the 2011 Draft. He has four goals and 11 points in his last 10 games to give him 22 points this season. He was also named the third star of the week in the NHL. The Panthers have a couple of possible stars in the making.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Justin Williams is getting hot with four goals in his past five games. Jonathan Quick has been struggling of late as the netminder has given up 13 goals on just 67 shots in his last four games, going 0-2-1. Overall, Quick is 16-11-8 with a 2.49 GAA and a .912 save percentage, very unQuick-like. Martin Jones has been given a shot as he has seen action in three of the Kings last five games but hasn’t been impressive stats-wise despite shutting out the Maple Leafs on Monday. Jones has faced 48 shots in the three contests, allowing seven goals. The Kings are in trouble if they keep playing defensively as poor as they have been of late. Los Angeles suffered some bad news this past week as Tyler Toffoli has been diagnosed with mononucleosis while linemate Tanner Pearson is out for up to three months with a fractured fibula.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Detroit

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Wild dealt for goaltender Devan Dubnyk on Wednesday and he shut out the Sabres in his Minnesota debut Thursday, kicking aside 18 shots. The Wild lost Darcy Kuemper last week with a lower body injury and Niklas Backstrom just wasn’t doing the job as the Wild had been reeling of late, losing six straight before the win over Buffalo.  A prime example of their struggles was the play of Ryan Suter who was suspended for a couple of games for elbowing Steve Downie in the head. Before that, Suter had been a minus-21 in his previous 20 games, which was Washington Capitals-like circa 1974-75. Jason Pominville had three helpers on Thursday and leads the Wild with 33 points.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Nashville

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Carey Price continues to be one of the best goalkeepers in the NHL as he is 23-10-2 with a 2.19 GAA and a .927 save percentage. The Habs have been getting fine work as well out of backup Dustin Tokarski as he is 4-3-1 with a 2.33 GAA and a .922 save percentage. P. A. Parenteau returned from a concussion on Wednesday and played alongside Brandon Prust and Alex Galchenyuk. Parenteau had averaged .74 points per game over the last four seasons with the Islanders and Colorado but has been a major disappointment this season with 15 points in 40 games, which is a .375 points per game average.

  

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Montreal  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It’s bad news on the Pekka Rinne front for the Predators as he is expected to miss the next three-five weeks with a knee injury. The NHL’s best netminder this season with a 29-6-2 record to go with a sensational 1.96 GAA and an equally as marvelous .931 save percentage, Rinne’s loss will be interesting to see how it affects the league-leading Predators who will now have to rely on Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec to stop the puck. Nashville reassigned their first round pick in the 2014 draft Kevin Fiala from HV71 of the Swedish Elite League to Milwaukee as they want the young winger to learn the North American game. One of the hottest players of late is Colin Wilson of the Predators who has eight goals and 17 points in his last 11 games. His overall stats of 14 goals and 30 points with a plus-21 rating in 40 games makes it hard to understand why he is owned in only 44 percent of Yahoo pools.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Devils complete their California trip on Monday. Jaromir Jagr is out with the flu and the hope is that he can rejoin the Devils on the West Coast before the end of the road trip. It seems that the flu is going around the Devils locker room as Tuomo Ruutu is out with the illness as is Eric Gelinas. Cory Schneider has been a solid goalie for the Devils this season as he has played a league-high 39 games thus far. He is 15-19-4 for the mediocre Devils and has a 2.42 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Travis Zajac has two goals and five points in his last five games and is seeing time on the point during the power play.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Josh Bailey has a nice gig again as he is lining up with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo on the top line with the Islanders. Bailey has a goal and an assist in his last three games and has seven goals and 15 points in 31 games this season. He should be worth a pickup in deep leagues. Anders Lee is turning into a nice goal scorer with 11 but his lowly total of four assists hurt his fantasy value. Johnny Boychuk  had a career high 23 points in 75 games with the Bruins last season but is poised to smash that total to smithereens as he has four goals and 20 points in only 33 games. The big difference is on the power play as he had only a goal and four assists in 321 NHL games before this season but has four goals and 12 points on the pp thus far.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Ottawa

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

J.T. Miller got a boost in the depth charts as he is centering a line with Martin St. Louis and Chris Kreider on his wings due to the upper-body injury suffered by Derek Stepan. Consider Stepan, who has six goals and 27 points in 28 games, day-to-day. The Rangers have been shut out 3-0 in each of their last two games. Although Kevin Klein has gone three games without a point, he certainly has been a pleasant surprise offensively as the defenseman has eight goals to lead all Ranger blueliners, and 15 points in 40 games. His career high in goals has already been doubled and he is closing in on the 21 points he had in the 2011-12 season.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Toronto (Wednesday)

 

Notes

Robin Lehner has had a bad start to his season as he is 6-7-2 in 2014-15 with a 3.16 GAA and a .900 save percentage. It’s starting to look like the Senators are in too tough to make the playoffs, even with half a season to go and it could be Craig Anderson who is sent packing at the trade deadline, if not sooner, so Lehner may be a worthwhile shot especially in keeper leagues. Erik Karlsson finally scored on Thursday for the first time in 39 days and now has eight goals and 30 points in 43 games. He started the year off horribly in plus/minus but is now a minus-six after going plus-eight in his last 10 games.  

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Pittsburgh (Tuesday)

 

Notes

With Steve Mason out of action with a knee injury for a couple of weeks, it was thought that Ray Emery would be the number one netminder, but Rob Zepp looks like he has taken over as he started two games this week and had to come in after Emery gave up three goals on 12 shots Thursday. Zepp is 2-1-0 with a 2.21 GAA and a .909 save percentage, much better than Emery’s 7-8-1 mark with a 3.34 GAA and .885 save percentage. Braydon Coburn is out a month with a lower-body injury while Matt Read said that he has been bothered by a high ankle sprain the last two months. He has only three goals and 17 points this season but could have a second half breakout as he has scored 20 goals in two of the last three seasons.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, vs. Chicago

 

Rested Team: @ Philadelphia (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Penguins are starting to get healthy and have two nice lines with Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and David Perron making up the top line, while Nick Spaling, Evgeni Malkin and Beau Bennett make up the second unit. Downie has had a surprisingly good season fantasy-wise as he has seven goals and 20 points to go with a league-leading 141 penalty minutes. He is the only player over 100 minutes as Derek Dorsett and Cody McLeod are tied for second with 93. The Penguins picked up Mark Arcobello off waivers from Nashville and send Bryan Rust to the minors. It looks like Olli Maatta is done for the season with a shoulder injury.  

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The big news out of St. Louis is that Martin Brodeur was granted a one-week leave of absence on Thursday. Well a week will take the Blues into the All-Star break so it is really closer to two weeks. St. Louis has three goalies on their roster at the present time and it would not be surprising to me if Brodeur was let go or wants to retire. He was 3-3-0 this season with a 2.87 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He did help Jake Allen and Brian Elliott with some tips and for that he was worth the pickup. David Backes has been hot of late with seven goals and 11 points in his last five games. He was named the first star of the week. Paul Stastny has been shut out the last two games but had 11 points in his previous eight games before that.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Hurray for Patrick Marleau who finally scored on Thursday for the first time in 17 games. The seven time 30-plus goal scorer has only eight this season in 45 games and has 29 points with a minus-nine rating. Matthew Nieto has joined the Marleau and Joe Thornton line and is worth keeping an eye on despite only three goals and 10 points in 35 games. Antti Niemi is now 18-11-4 with a 2.54 GAA and a .913 save percentage and if he becomes a free agent at the end of the season then Alex Stalock, who is 5-4-1 with a 2.43 GAA and a .912 save percentage in an injury-riddled season, is poised to take over.

 

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver

 

Rested team: vs. Vancouver (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Tyler Johnson is showing no signs of slowing down. He has four goals and seven points in his last five games and is second in the NHL in plus/minus at plus-26 while he is third in scoring with 48 points and fifth in assists with 31. The undrafted center is sure a star and the other 29 teams in the NHL have to be upset at missing out at the diminutive American. He along with Steve Stamkos certainly gives the Lightning strength up the middle that only the Penguins and maybe the Red Wings when both Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are up the middle, are their equals. Jonathan Drouin was a healthy scratch on Thursday.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ Ottawa

 

Rested team:  @ Ottawa (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs just went through California playing all three teams and finally scoring once in their game against San Jose as they dropped all three contests. Toronto has lost six of their past seven games as they drop deeper and deeper down the standings. Defenseman Roman Polak was the goal scorer so it has been four games since a Maple Leaf forward has scored. Toronto recalled William Nylander from MODO of the Swedish Elite League and sent him to the AHL where the Maple Leafs want to once again acclimate him to the North American game. Nylander was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2014 Draft and while he has outstanding offensive skills, he needs to get bigger and learn how to play better defensively.

 

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Canucks finish up before the break in Florida as they play both the Panthers and Tampa Bay. It was thought that Zack Kassian could break out this season but he has only two goals and five points in 22 games and he was a healthy scratch on Thursday. Ryan Miller picked up a shutout on Thursday, He had split the net over the last six games with Eddie Lack and had given up four goals in his last three, stopping 87 of 90 shots. He is now 21-9-1 with a 2.40 GAA and a .916 save percentage and should be a top 15 goalie in most pools. Nick Bonino had just three points in 18 games before scoring on Thursday to give him 10 goals and 23 points this season in 42 games.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Capitals keep going to Braden Holtby as he made his 20th straight start on Wednesday. Holtby is 22-8-7 this season with a 2.17 GAA and a .924 save percentage. The Capitals sent Justin Peters to the minors for a couple of games just to get him some playing time but recalled him on Monday. Nicklas Backstrom has 15 power play assists but only one goal with the man-advantage. He leads Alex Ovechkin by one point in the category but Ovie has 10 goals. Marcus Johansson has been a bit of a surprise this season with 12 goals and 25 points in 43 games. He is on pace for 48 points this season which would be a career high as he picked up 46 in 2011-12. He has been a power play specialist the last two seasons as he had 21 of his 44 points last season on the power play and 10 of 25 this season.

 

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Ondrej Pavelec had given up four goals in three straight games before an outstanding effort on Thursday as he stopped 46 shots in a 2-1 win over Dallas. He had a tremendous start to the season before his recent poor play and his stats have evened out as he is 11-10-6 with a 2.46 GAA and a .913 save percentage. Michael Hutchinson, who is probably the number one goalie in Winnipeg at this time, is 12-4-2 with a GAA of 2.00 and a .931 save percentage as he has been one of the best goalies in the NHL this season. Mark Scheifele has a goal and five points in his last five games. He has been in a goal scoring slump of late with only one in his past 13 games.

 

 

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.