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The Week Ahead

Ducks getting the Goaltending

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

There's lots to read so let's get right to it. The All-Star break is around the corner and all four teams have been announced. It was a surprise that Sidney Crosby was not named to the team but it's not like he's been there a lot anyway.

 

 

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Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 11-17

 

4 Games – Boston, Carolina, Chicago, New York Rangers, San Jose, Vancouver

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Arizona,  Buffalo, Calgary, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Dallas, Ottawa

 

Anaheim, Arizona, the New York Islanders and St. Louis play three games on the road.

 

Boston, Florida, New Jersey, the New York Rangers and Vancouver play three games at home.

 

 

INJURIES

 

Jiri Hudler is out at least a week with a groin 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. Ottawa, vs. Dallas, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: @ Los Angeles (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Ducks were worried that John Gibson would be out for a while after he suffered a lower body injury on Wednesday and it was thought to be more significant when they picked up Dustin Tokarski from Montreal for Max Friberg. But it looks like Gibson is okay and he should play twice if not all three games this week. Gibson was named the NHL's rookie of the month for December. Rickard Rakell is having a nice season with eight goals and 18 points in 32 games, second on the Ducks in goal scoring to Corey Perry. Kevin Bieksa finally scored his first as a Duck and now has six points and 61 penalty minutes in 39 games this season.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Detroit, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Mikkel Boedker leads the Coyotes in points with 30 but the future includes Max Domi and Anthony Duclair who have combined for 41 points this season. Add Boedker and Dylan Strome to the mix and the Coyotes do have a bright future.  John Scott was a healthy scratch for the eighth time in the last 11 games and was still named the captain of the Pacific Division in the all-star game. Martin Hanzal finally returned to the Arizona lineup Thursday after he missed 11 of the last 12 games. The Coyotes have been terrific within the division as they are 8-1-2 this year.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ Philadelphia, @ Buffalo, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins play four times this week including three games in four nights. Look for Jonas Gustavsson to get one start with Tuukka Rask handling the remainder. Rask has lost four of his last five starts. David Pastrnak was recalled by the Bruins and he is worth picking up in keeper leagues if he is not already owned. He has two goals and four points in 10 games this season for Boston. Patrice Bergeron is having a great season with 15 goals and 37 points in 38 games. He has eight goals and 19 points on the power play and leads the Bruins in all offensive categories. He is three ahead of Loui Eriksson.     

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. Boston, vs. Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Washington (Saturday)

 

Notes

Robin Lehner has been sent to the minors on a conditioning stint. He has been out of action since the first game of the season with an ankle injury. It was thought he would miss eight-10 weeks but he has now been out three months. He should return this week and that would necessitate the demotion of Linus Ullmark. Nicolas Deslauriers will miss the next three-five weeks with a foot injury. Tyler Ennis is out of action with an upper body injury and is considered week-to-week. Jack Eichel has 13 goals and 26 points in 40 games but has really been hot of late with four goals and 12 points in his last eight games. He has been held pointless only once in his last eight games.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Florida, @ Edmonton

 

Rested Team: None  

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jiri Hudler will miss at least a week of action with a groin injury. Sean Monahan is not having an especially good season as he has only 12 goals and 26 points in 39 games. He is also a minus-three with only eight penalty minutes so he has been a disappointment to everyone who drafted him so high. Still, he is second in points on the Flames to Johnny Gaudreau's 39. Sam Bennett has only one assist in his last 17 games heading into action on Thursday. Karri Ramo has started the last 11 games in a row while Jonas Hiller languishes on the bench.  

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, @ St. Louis, vs. Vancouver, @ Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play four times this week including three games in four nights. Look for Eddie Lack to get a start in goal with Cam Ward getting the other three. Lack has played in four of the Hurricanes last six games and is 2-1-1 during that stretch so the two could split the net. Carolina plays two games with Pittsburgh this week. Brad Malone leads the team in penalty minutes so he could add to his total if there are any fireworks. Phil Di Giuseppe is out of actions with a concussion. Ron Hainsey has three goals and 11 points but is a team-worst minus-15.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Nashville, @ Montreal, @ Toronto, vs. Montreal

 

Rested Team: vs. Montreal (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Toronto (Friday)

 

Notes

Chicago has four matchups this week including three games in four nights. Corey Crawford should see action in three games with Scott Darling getting one start between the pipes. The Blackhawks play a pair against Montreal and expect to see Ryan Garbutt pick up some penalty minutes if there are any fisticuffs.  Jonathan Toews saw his five game points streak end Wednesday. He has only 14 goals and 26 points in 42 games. The Blackhawks acquired Richard Panik from Toronto for Jeremy Morin. Patrick Kane was named the NHL's third star for the month of December as he had nine goals and 19 points in 15 games.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. New Jersey, @ Columbus  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

After a horrible sophomore season in which he had 14 goals and 38 points in 64 games, Nathan MacKinnon has 14 goals and 34 points in 41 contests thus far. The former first overall pick in 2014, MacKinnon is on pace for the best season of his young career. When Reto Berra was hurt on December 21, it was thought he would miss 10 days of action.   Well it's been 18 days and there still is no sign of Berra returning. Congratulations are in order for Jarome Iginla who scored his 600th career goal in the NHL Monday.  Iginla is nearing the end of a long and prosperous career and has 11 goals and 22 points with a minus-13 rating in 41 games.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ Toronto, vs. Colorado  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Toronto (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets pulled off a blockbuster of a trade this week when they acquired defenseman Seth Jones from Nashville and gave up Ryan Johansen. The Blue Jackets needed some help on the blueline and Jones will eventually team up with Ryan Murray to give Columbus a one-two pairing that will be among the best in the NHL. The Blue Jackets are having serious problems in goal as both Sergei Bobrovsky (groin) and Curtis McElhinney (ankle) are out of action with Anton Forsberg and Joonas Korpisalo taking control of the net. Brandon Dubinsky has been a bit of a disappointment with only six goals and 20 points in 34 games.

     

DALLAS

 

Games this week

 @ Anaheim, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Stars play only twice this week but you really can't take Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp and John Klingberg out of the lineup. They are in California all week and take on the Kings on the 21st to complete the road trip. Benn has been doing it all this season with 24 goals, 52 points, a plus-18 rating and 41 penalty minutes in only 41 games. That is great production. Coach Lindy Ruff benched Seguin for the final 12 minutes on Tuesday as he was a minus-three before the benching. Benn was benched as well. Ruff split up Benn and Seguin Thursday for the first period but the duo was back together in the second.

  

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Arizona, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: vs. Philadelphia (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Los Angeles (Monday)

 

Notes

Danny DeKeyser broke a 14 game goalless drought Thursday with his third of the season. The talented blueliner has only 10 points this season but is capable of a lot more. Petr Mrazek continues to show why he should be the number one goaltender on the Red Wings as he has stopped 57 of his last 58 shots in garnering two wins. He is now 14-8-3 with a 2.20 GAA and a .928 save percentage. Jimmy Howard is now a 1B goalie on Detroit at best and Mrazek could see 50-plus games between the pipes next season with the way he is playing.  Dylan Larkin was named to the All-Star team and deservedly so. He is the first rookie since Steve Yzerman to make the squad for Detroit.

 

EDMONTON

 

 Games this week

@ Arizona, @ San Jose, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes    

Andrej Sekera is starting to make all the adjustments work as the first year Oiler (signing a six-year/$33 million contract in the off-season) is now the team's top defenseman. He has five goals and 15 points in 40 while quarterbacking the power play. He is worth looking at in deeper leagues. It sure looks like Cam Talbot has the net back for the Oilers as he has played in each of the last seven games, starting in six. While Talbot is 3-2-1 in the time frame, he has surpassed Anders Nilsson once again. A lot of poolies seem to be dropping Leon Draisaitl of late and it doesn't make sense. He was red-hot at the start but still has six assists in his last 10 games and has nine goals and 32 points with a plus-eight rating in 31 contests. I would hang on to him.

 

 

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

 @ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Monday)

 

Notes

The Panthers come back to Florida after spending time in Western Canada. Jonathan Huberdeau is showing the offense finally that was predicted for him when he was taken third overall in the 2011 Draft. Huberdeau did have a nice season in 2014-15 when he had 15 goals and 54 points but after a slow start to the 2015-16 campaign (four assists in 11 games) he has responded with five goals and 23 points in his last 29 games. Roberto Luongo has won nine straight games and is now 19-11-3 with a 2.08 GAA and a .931 save percentage. He is a top-five goalie in fantasy at this time. Jaromir Jagr will turn 44 in the middle of February but he is playing like a 24-year-old. He has 30 points in 38 games including five goals and nine points in his last 10 contests.   

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Ottawa, @ Anaheim

 

Rested Team: vs. Detroit (Monday)

Tired Team: @ Anaheim (Sunday)

 

Notes

Jeff Carter scored for the first time in eight games, as well as returning from a five game absence with an upper body injury, on Thursday in leading the Kings to a 2-1 win over Toronto. The Kings picked up Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn from the Flyers (and got them to kick in paying for half their salaries) for Jordan Weal and a third round pick. Lecavalier is expected to retire at the end of the season but Schenn could be a force defensively on the blueline. Jake Muzzin has a goal and three assists in his last five games and now has five goals and 20 points with a plus-seven rating and 38 penalty minutes in 40 games. He is worth a pickup in deeper leagues.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Winnipeg, @ Nashville  

 

Rested Team: vs. Winnipeg (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Saturday)

 

Notes

Ryan Suter is a plus-six in his last two games. The defenseman has been having a good fantasy season with five goals and 27 points to go with a plus-11 rating. Devan Dubnyk gave up four goals Thursday and it was the first time in seven games that he had given up more than two goals. He is now 17-11-4 with a 2.33 GAA and a .920 save percentage. That's a good season but don't compare to last year as Dubnyk had a career year once he was dealt from the Coyotes. Zach Parise has four goals in his last two games and now has 15 goals and 26 points in 31 games. It was thought that Mikko Koivu would be out of action after he took an awkward fall Tuesday but he played on Thursday. He has only one assist in his last five games but has 10 goals and 32 points in 40 games this season.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Chicago, @ St. Louis, @ Chicago

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Chicago (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Mike Condon to play twice with Ben Scrivens also getting a start. The Habs play the Blackhawks twice this week and if there are going to be any fisticuffs, P.K. Subban and/or Alexei Emelin could add to their penalty minute totals. Carey Price was slated to return to action this week as he was given a six week recovery time period but he has yet to skate although he is recovering from his lower body injury. The Canadiens traded their spare netminder Dustin Tokarski (Ben Scrivens made him expendable) to Anaheim for Max Friberg and the forward will spend time in the minors until he is needed.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, @ Winnipeg, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested Team: vs. Winnipeg (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Predators got stronger at center when they picked up Ryan Johansen from the Blue Jackets in exchange for young blueliner Seth Jones. The Preds could afford to trade away the former fourth overall pick in the 2013 Draft as they have a strong blueline. They really needed help up the middle and finally got the first line center they have always been missing. This should also help James Neal as well as Filip Forsberg. I don't know what is wrong with Pekka Rinne but he certainly is not the same goalie as last season. Rinne was the runner up to Carey Price for the Vezina Trophy but this season he has struggled with a 2.43 GAA and a .907 save percentage, both mediocre numbers.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Colorado, @ Arizona

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Devils are on the road for all three games this week as they head out west. Mike Cammalleri was placed on injured reserve but could return at any time.  Cory Schneider continues to shine in net for the Devils. The goaltender is 17-12=5 this season with a 2.06 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Keith Kinkaid has been adequate as a backup but it's hard to play once every 10-14 days and keep sharp. I've been disappointed with the season of Damon Severson. He was a stud early on last season before he was injured and he seems to be treading water as he has only one goal and 11 points. While he leads all Devils defensemen in points, it is nothing to write home about.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jaroslav Halak returned to action on Thursday after missing two-plus weeks with an upper body injury. He is 10-7-3 this season with very good peripherals (2.14 GAA and a .923 save percentage), but he has been outplayed by Thomas Greiss as the German netminder is 12-6-2 with a 2.33 GAA and a .928 save percentage. Matt Martin is having a nice season as well (for what he does) as he has five goals and eight points with 53 penalty minutes. His biggest fantasy asset is his hits as he leads the NHL with 193, 13 more than Mark Borowiecki of the Senators. John Tavares had five points in five games from Dec. 21 -Jan. 2, but did not pick up a point otherwise in his last 10 games.

 

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ New York Islanders, @ Philadelphia, @ Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None    

 

Notes

The Rangers play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so look for Antti Raanta to play once instead of Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist has been struggling of late but gave up only two goals on 23 shots Tuesday for the win. He is 18-11-3  with a 2.49 GAA and a .920 save percentage. Chris Kreider missed Tuesday's game with a hand injury but should be ready to go on January 9. Derek Stepan has only eight goals and 15 points in 30 games this season but could be turning things around as he potted two goals Tuesday. He has had some nice seasons in the NHL and had 55 points in 68 games last season so he is certainly capable of more.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Senators are in the Los Angeles area this week as they play only twice. Craig Anderson has lost his last three outings and is now 16-12-4 with a 2.80 GAA and a .926 save percentage. That's a high GAA and the Sens could be looking at Andrew Hammond as he is only 3-3-2 but has a 2.35 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Fredrik Claesson is getting playing time as Erik Karlsson's defense partner but has yet to garner a point in four games and is a minus-three. Milan Michalek returned to action Thursday after missing 16 games with a broken finger. He scored his sixth of the season and has nine points in 25 games. He played alongside Mika Zibanejad and Mike Hoffman and really should be a good fantasy producer on that line.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. New York Rangers, @ Detroit

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Sunday)

 

Notes

After scoring just once in his first 36 games, Michael Del Zotto had a couple of goals Thursday to lead the Flyers to a 4-3 OT win over Minnesota. He now has 10 points but it's hard to recommend him as he has Shayne Gostisbehere and Mark Streit ahead of him on the depth chart and the power play.  Gostisbehere suffered a lower body injury Thursday but seems to be okay.The Flyers picked up Jordan Weal and a third round pick for Luke Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier. Weal has played 10 NHL games this season with nary a point. He was a healthy scratch on Thursday but look for him to make his presence felt shortly.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Carolina

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Penguins play twice this week against the Carolina Hurricanes so look for , believe it or not, Evgeni Malkin to add to his penalty minute totals. Marc-Andre Fleury returned to action on  Jan. 2 from a concussion that forced him to miss eight games, and is 1-1-1 since then, giving up seven goals on 106 shots. No defenseman in the NHL is hotter at this time than Kris Letang who has three goals and six assists in his last four games. Unfortunately he got off to a slow start to the season (like most Penguins) and now has four goals and 25 points in 31 games with a minus-12 rating. Sidney Crosby is not going to the All-Star game but has six goals and 12 points in his last nine games.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, vs. Colorado, vs. Montreal

 

Rested Team:  None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It's nice to see Patrik Berglund back in action after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery and he potted his first of the season Wednesday in his third game back. Paul Stastny has assists in five straight games and now has 15 assists but only three goals in 27 games. David Backes is playing through an upper body injury and while he doesn't practice with the team, he plays in all the games. Backes hadn't scored in nine games before finding the back of the net on Wednesday. Alexander STeen is once again quietly having a very good season with 13 goals and 37 points in 43 games. One fantasy stat that is hurting him however is his plus/minus as he is a minus-seven in his last nine games.  

    

SAN JOSE

                                                                                                                       

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Winnipeg, vs. Edmonton, vs. Dallas

 

Rested Team: vs. Dallas (Saturday)  

Tired Team: @ Winnipeg (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Sharks play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Alex Stalock to get a rare start with Martin Jones claiming the net on the other three occasions.   Joe Thornton saw his eight game scoring streak end on Thursday but he did manage 14 penalty minutes. Raffi Torres 41 game suspension will end on Thursday when the Sharks take on the Oilers in Edmonton but he may not play as he still has knee problems. Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau each are a team worst minus-14. Mike Brown has 48 penalty minutes with Thornton and Brenden Dillon following at 38. Five of Thornton's seven goals have come on the power play.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Florida

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Ben Bishop has been named to play in the NHL All-Star game. Ryan Callahan suffered a lower body injury on Tuesday and is day-to-day. Steven Stamkos has 17 goals and 30 points in 40 games but the big question is whether or not he will ink a new deal with the Lightning, get traded or become an unrestricted free agent. It was thought that he would sign a new deal last off-season but he didn't and the rumors are now rife.  Jonathan Drouin was sent to the minors and it was revealed that he requested a trade in November. The third overall pick in the 2013 Draft had two goals and eight points in 19 games before his demotion after a four goal, 28 assist campaign last year.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Chicago, @ Boston   

 

Rested team: vs. Columbus (Wednesday) vs. Chicago (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs play three games in four nights. James Reimer should be back in action and if he is, he will get a couple of starts with Jonathan Bernier seeing the net once. Reimer played Thursday and stopped 39 of 41 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Kings. Nazem Kadri is on a four game point streak. Leo Komarov is having a great season with 15 goals and 28 points and is the Maple Leafs representative at the All-Star game. P. A. Parenteau is up to 11 goals this season and there is a good possibility that he could be traded at the deadline because playoff teams are looking for goal scoring. The Maple Leafs have to be thrilled that Kasperi Kapanen, a Maple Leaf farmhand, scored the winning goal for Finland at the World Junior Championships.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ Washington, @ Carolina, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Florida (Monday)

 

Notes

The Canucks have four matchups this week including three in four nights so look for Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom to share the net. Miller had been hurt with an undisclosed injury but the Canucks sent Joe Cannata back to the minors so it appears that Miller will be fine. Chris Tanev is not known as a scorer but he is on a three game points streak. I'm surprised that the Canucks have not sent Jake Virtanen back to junior hockey. The talented forward was a member of Team Canada at the World Juniors and really needs to go back to junior to get his confidence back. Bo Horvat is a team-worst minus- 19.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested team: @ Buffalo (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights so look for Philipp Grubauer to play once with the great Braden Holtby picking up the remaining starts. Alex Ovechkin scored his 22nd of the season on Thursday and is now just three goals away from the magical 500 goal mark. The Capitals inked UFA Mike Richards to a pro-rated one year deal for $1 million. He was a healthy scratch Thursday and if he is able to put his troubles behind him, Richards could be a huge asset. John Carlson has been placed on the injured reserve list so look for Matt Niskanen to quarterback the first unit with Dmitri Orlov subbing in for Niskanen on the second power play.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ Nashville, @ Minnesota

 

Rested team: vs. San Jose (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Minnesota (Friday)

 

Notes

The Jets play three games in four nights this week so look for Connor Hellebuyck to get twice starts with Ondrej Pavelec (if healthy) to play once. Hellebuyck leads the NHL with a .937 save percentage. If Pavelec cannot go, then Michael Hutchinson will get the call between the pipes. Mathieu Perreault has only six goals but does have 21 assists. Tyler Meyers has 18 points this season in 41 games but has been great of late with three goals and eight points in his last 10 with a plus-10 rating. He was stagnating in Buffalo the last few seasons but his trade to the Jets seem to have done wonders.

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.