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The Week Ahead

Ducks hurting with injuries

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

The NHL trade deadline is nearing as there are only 10 days to go until 3 pm ET March 2 when all deals must be done and approved by the NHL.

 

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

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $30,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday night's NHL games. It's just $2 to join and first prize is $3,000. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 23-MARCH 1

 

4 Games - Anaheim, Arizona, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, New Jersey, St. Louis

 

3 Games – Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit,  Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia,  Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Edmonton, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Tampa Bay

 

Arizona and Detroit play all four games on the road.

 

Anaheim, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Nashville, New Jersey, the New York Islanders and Winnipeg play three games at home.

 

Calgary, Ottawa and St. Louis play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Sami Vatanen is out four-six weeks 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

vs. Detroit, vs. Ottawa, vs. Los Angeles, @ Dallas

 

Rested Team: vs. Los Angeles (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Ducks play four games this week so look for John Gibson to play three times if Frederik Andersen has not returned from his head injury. Andersen will not be with the Ducks on their two game road trip to Alberta this weekend but is hoping to return this week. Sami Vatanen’s lower body injury will likely force Anaheim into a trade deadline deal for a blueliner. Hampus Lindholm should return to the lineup this week from an ankle injury. The Ducks also lost Matt Beleskey for four-six weeks with an upper body injury. The only good thing about the injuries to Beleskey and Vatanen is that they should be at 100 percent come playoff time.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: @ Boston (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ New York Islanders (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Coyotes play all four on the road in the snow-bound northeast and play three games in four nights so expect to see Mike McKenna play once for Mike Smith. Martin Hanzal had successful back surgery on Tuesday and is likely out for the remainder of the season. Mark Arcobello had two goals in his first three games as a Coyote. Zbynek Michalek’s name is being bandied about in trade rumors as the Coyotes are not even close to the playoff race and Michalek can become a UFA on July 1. He is currently out with a lower body injury but Arizona does not play again until the 21st and he could return by then.   

  

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ New Jersey, vs. Arizona

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Arizona (Saturday)

 

Notes

Dennis Seidenberg could be on the move as the Bruins need a top-six forward and there are plenty of teams who need a top-six defenseman for the playoffs. Carl Soderberg has not scored a goal in his past 11 games but his overall season is not too bad with 10 goals and 33 points in 57 games, as well as a plus-seven rating. The Bruins recalled goaltender Malcolm Subban from the minors and he could make his NHL debut as early as this weekend. The Bruins are now carrying three goalies as Niklas Svedberg is still available. Zdeno Chara has only four goals and 15 points (with only a goal and an assist on the power play) in 38 games this season. His great value in fantasy hockey looks to be over.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Vancouver, @ Florida

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sabres are still looking to wheel and deal before the March 2 deadline and Torrey Mitchell is well aware that he could be gone as he will be a UFA come July 1. The asking price on Chris Stewart seems to be coming down as the Sabres are now looking for a second rounder with a prospect. It was thought earlier in the year that Buffalo wanted a first and a prospect. Despite a lousy (minus-19) rating, Tyler Ennis has 14 goals and 32 points this season to lead the Sabres with five goals and seven assists coming with the man-advantage. Zach Bogosian had a big first game with the Sabres as the former Jet had 11 hits while playing a game-high 24:49.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Wednesday)

 

Notes

Calgary plays three games in four nights so expect to see Karri Ramo play once for Jonas Hiller. It looks like Curtis Glencross' time as a Flame is coming to an end as he gave the Flames five-seven teams that he will go to. He has a no-trade contract which expires at the end of the season and was not happy that there were no negotiations going on between the Flames and his agent. Sean Monahan has a three game scoring streak and has 19 goals and 39 points this season. He should be a nice mid-round pick in pools next season. Sam Bennett, the Flames first round pick and fourth overall in June, has been cleared for contact after undergoing shoulder surgery on October 14. He could see some action in the minors on a conditioning stint upon his return but would have to stay with Calgary or be sent back to Kingston of the OHL.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes had Victor Rask and Alexander Semin in the press box the last two games but both are expected to be back in the lineup on Friday. Semin has only two goals and 11 points in 32 games this season. Not exactly worth $7 million for the next three seasons. Andrej Sekera is drawing a lot of interest of NHL teams seeking a defenseman. He has regressed this season with only two goals and 19 points after an 11 goal, 33 assist effort last season.  Defenseman Justin Faulk leads the ‘Canes in points with 35 while Eric Staal is tops in goals with 17 and second in points with 33.  

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Friday)

 

Notes

The Blackhawks finish an eight game home stand this week and play three games in four nights so look for Antti Raanta to play once for Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks also play a home-and-home series against the Florida Panthers. Expect to see Daniel Carcillo or Andrew Shaw add to their penalty minute totals if there are any fisticuffs. Brandon Saad continues to play well as he potted his 18th goal of the season on Wednesday. He has 40 points in 58 games and has been hot of late with three goals and eight points in his last seven contests. Marian Hossa was the first start of the week. Patrick Sharp has not scored in his last 10 games and has only one assists in his last nine.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ Dallas, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Minnesota (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Avs were 0-32 on the power play before Nick Holden scored on Monday. He also scored the Avs last power play goal on January 15. Semyon Varlamov is only 16-15-7 this season with a 2.60 GAA and a .919 save percentage after standing on his head last season with a 41-14-6 mark to go with a 2.41 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Daniel Briere is not happy with his reduced role this season but has accepted it. He has been a healthy scratch in his last three games and has only eight goals and 11 points this season in 47 games. Cody McLeod was a fantasy dream on Valentine’s Day as he had 30 penalty minutes against the Dallas Stars.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Montreal, vs. New Jersey, @ Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ Pittsburgh (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play four games this week and with Sergei Bobrovksy out of action, Curtis McElhinney should play three games with Anton Forsberg seeing action in one match. Bobrovsky was on the ice on Wednesday and took a few shots. He was injured just before the All-Star game and the prognosis was four-six weeks for the groin injury which means sometime during the next three weeks. Nick Foligno is back in the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with a lower body injury. Scott Hartnell is on a seven game scoring streak in which has three goals and 10 points. Ryan Johansen has 21 goals and 52 points in 55 games this season.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Colorado, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

If you are in a keeper league and still own Valeri Nishushkin, there is good news as he could return to the lineup in the next four-six weeks after he underwent hip surgery on November 18. Do not forget about him next season as he is a talented forward. Jason Spezza has taken over the top spot at center from the injured Tyler Seguin and has not been out of place as he has been red-hot of late with four goals and 12 points in his last nine games. He now has 12 goals and 47 points in 57 games for the Stars. Shawn Horcoff wants to stay in Dallas but he could be dealt at the deadline as he becomes a UFA at the end of the season.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @San Jose, @ Nashville

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Los Angeles (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Red Wings are on the road for all four games this week and play three in four nights in California. Expect to see Jonas Gustavsson play once with Jimmy Howard getting the rest of the starts this week. Howard finally won a shootout on Wednesday when the Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks. Howard was 0-7 this season after 65 minutes before Wednesday’s win. Detroit recalled Teemu Pulkkinen this week and placed him on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader, forcing Tomas Tatar to the second unit. Pulkkinen has been outstanding at Grand Rapids this season with 57 points in 44 games which is tops in the league, four points ahead of Brian O'Neill of Manchester.

 

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Not that you needed the prodding, but with the Oilers playing only twice this week, it would be a good idea to bench all your Edmonton players in weekly transaction leagues. Nail Yakupov is finally showing the offensive prowess that everyone thought he had when he was selected first overall in the 2012 Draft. He has four goals and seven points in his last six games to give him nine goals and 20 points in 59 games this season. Hopefully there will be plenty more where that came from next season. No sooner did Ben Scrivens return from a hamstring injury that forced him onto the injured reserve list, than Viktor Fasth went onto the list with a knee injury suffered in Monday’s contest. Richard Bachman will continue to serve as the backup.    

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. Chicago, vs. Buffalo, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Tampa Bay (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Panthers play three games in four nights as part of its four game week. Roberto Luongo should see most of the action but Al Montoya could start one game. The Panthers also play a home-and-home series against Chicago this week so look for Shawn Thornton and/or Erik Gudbranson to get into a fight should there be any rough stuff. Nick Bjugstad continues to show why he was a first round pick in 2010 as the 22-year-old has five goals in his last seven games to give him 21 this season. Dmitry Kulikov was suspended four games for his low hit on Tyler Seguin. He will be back for the Chicago game.  

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Ottawa, @ Anaheim, @ Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: vs. Detroit (Tuesday), vs. Ottawa (Thursday)

Tired Team: @ Anaheim (Friday)

 

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights as part of their four game week. Martin Jones should get a rare start in one game with Jonathan Quick getting the remainder of the starts. Drew Doughty had 59 points as a 20-year-old but has not had more than 40 points in the four years since then. This season should be different as he is up to 35 points in 57 games this season. Tyler Toffoli was named the second star of the week as he had four goals and six points in three contests. Toffoli has six goals and nine points in his last six games and now has 19 goals and a similar amount of assists in 51 games. Anze Kopitar scored on Monday for the first time in 10 games.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Nashville, @ Colorado

 

Rested Team: @ Colorado (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jared Spurgeon will miss at least one game after getting hit in the face by the puck on Wednesday. The brilliance of Chuck Fletcher in trading for Devan Dubnyk (and only giving up a third round pick) continues as the former Coyote is 11-2-1 for Minnesota, allowing only 25 goals on 379 shots. He has put the Wild in playoff contention. Jason Zucker and Nino Niederreiter are tied for second in goals on the Wild with 18, five behind Zach Parise. Keith Ballard returned to the ice on Sunday as he skated for 35 minutes. He is trying to return from a concussion which has kept him out of action since December 9.    

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Columbus, vs. Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canadiens were forced to recall Jarred Tinordi from the minors as they placed Sergei Gonchar on the injured reserve list with an upper body injury and then lost Alexei Emelin for approximately four-six weeks with an upper body injury. Max Pacioretty has four goals and six assists in his last nine games to give him 50 points in 58 games. Tomas Plekanec has four goals and seven points in his last eight despite being pointless in his last two.  Andrei Markov has had a nice offensive season but has been under the radar as he has 33 points in 58 games with 16 on the power play.

  

NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Minnesota, vs. Detroit

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Pekka Rinne saw his five game winning streak halted on Thursday to put his record at 34-8-2 with a 2.01 GAA and a .930 save percentage. He is the big favorite for the Vezina Trophy and should be in consideration for the Hart Trophy as well. Filip Forsberg hit the 20 goal mark on Thursday and now has 51 points. He is favored to win the Calder as the NHL trophies could be making a big appearance in Nashville. Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson have yet to play for Nashville as they are having a bit of trouble obtaining a work visa. Mike Ribeiro has 38 assists with four coming in his last three games.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. Calgary, vs. Boston, @ Columbus

 

Rested Team: vs. Calgary (Wednesday)

Tired Team: @ Columbus (Saturday)

 

Notes

New Jersey plays three games in four nights this week so look for Keith Kinkaid to play once for Cory Schneider. Lou Lamoriello has not yet decided when he should give up the co-coaching job in New Jersey as he is currently sharing it with Scott Stevens and Adam Oates. Damon Severson suffered a hairline fracture of his ankle December 15 and has starting skating on his own a week ago but there is still no timetable for his return.  Keep an eye on him for next season as he has a lot of offensive upside. Jaromir Jagr could very well be dealt at or before the deadline as he the 43-year-old veteran could really help a team in the playoffs.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. Calgary, vs. Carolina

 

Rested Team: vs. Arizona (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jaroslav Halak has 32 wins thus far this season and is tied for second best in the NHL with Carey Price, two behind Pekka Rinne. Do not forget about Michael Grabner next season. He has six goals and 10 points in only 20 games this season but has three assists in his last two games since coming back from an upper body injury. Brock Nelson got off to a great start this season but has only two goals and seven points in his last 26 games. John Tavares on the other hand, has been red hot of late with five goals and nine points in his last four games to give him 29 goals and 60 points this season. He is fifth in the NHL in both goals and points.  

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Arizona, @ Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

After a drought, Martin St. Louis is heating up with two goals and five points in his last three games to give him 42 points this season in 56 contests. Henrik Lundqvist skated before practice on Thursday. He was expected to miss at least three weeks with the neck injury when he was injured at the end of January, but expect his time on the shelf to be longer than that. Cam Talbot has played in all seven games since the injury but he has given up 21 goals in the seven games on 209 shots and he has to be better than that for the Rangers. Ryan McDonagh has four goals in his last seven games as well as three goals and an assist in his last four. He has finally broken out of his season-long slump.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Los Angeles (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Senators are in California this week and play three games in four nights. Craig Anderson (hand) is not yet back in action, nor is Robin Lehner (upper body) so look for Andrew Hammond to get the starts if Anderson or Lehner has not returned. The Senators recalled Chris Driedger to back up Hammond but he likely won’t appear unless there is another injury or a blowout. Mike Hoffman has scored all 20 of his goals this season at even strength. It’s a bit surprising that he does not see a lot of power play ice time as he is 10th on the team despite having six more goals than anyone else on the Senators. Eleven Senators have found the back of the net on the power play. Ottawa inked defenseman Marc Methot to a four-year/$19.6 million extension.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Toronto, vs. New York Rangers

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Steve Mason is hoping to return for the Carolina or Toronto game. He has been out of action since undergoing knee surgery on February 10 to repair a torn meniscus. Jakub Voracek has only a couple of goals and three points in his last eight games but is now one point away from his career high of 62 set last season. Wayne Simmonds and Voracek each have 10 goals at even strength with Simmonds scoring 12 on the power play and Voracek nine. The Flyers signed defenseman Nick Schultz to a two-year extension. Zac Rinaldo has completed his eight game suspension for his hit on Kris Letang but the Flyers have made him a healthy scratch in the two games since he was eligible to return.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

@ Washington, vs. Columbus

 

Rested Team: vs. Columbus (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Penguins play only twice this week.  They have been having trouble scoring of late with only one goal in each of the last three games. Sidney Crosby is pointless in his last three and five of the last six games. The Kid is slumping this season more than he has in any other year and that has to be a concern especially if you drafted him first overall or paid a lot in auction pools. Steve Downie continues to help his fantasy owners as he has 189 penalty minutes to lead the NHL, as well as 10 goals and 23 points with a plus-six rating.  Christian Ehrhoff is close to returning from a concussion but has missed the last ten games.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, @ Winnipeg, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Blues play four games this week including the last three in Western Canada. Brian Elliott and Jake Allen will likely split the net this week. Paul Stastny has not had a great fantasy season with only 11 goals and 33 points in 49 games. The Blues were expecting a lot more from Stastny when they signed him to a four-year/$28 million contract in the off-season from Colorado but I expect a lot more next season. I'm not sure if the Blues will keep Patrik Berglund or deal him as paying someone $3.7 million for the next two seasons make sense for a bottom-six forward. The Blues have first round pick Robby Fabbri with the team as he recovers from a high ankle sprain he received at the World Junior Championships. It's a smart move as he gets to soak in the atmosphere of being a professional and is likely receiving the best medical care.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Ottawa

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sharks play only twice this week. They switched up their lines on Thursday as they had won only two of the previous nine games and it paid off in a 5-2 win over Dallas but it was fourth liner Andrew Desjardins who was the offensive star with two goals. Joe Thornton centered Melker Karlsson and Patrick Marleau while Logan Couture was in the middle for Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels. Alex Stalock has struggled this season, just when it was thought that he would grab the top job. He is only 5-7-1 this season with a 2.85 GAA and a .899 save percentage and his play must be giving the Sharks some doubts as to his long term future. Do not be surprised if they try to re-sign Antti Niemi before he becomes a UFA at the end of the season.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, @ Florida

 

Rested team: vs. Chicago (Friday), @ Florida (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Lightning return from a five game road trip and play only twice this week with both games as a rested team, playing a team that had played the night before. Radko Gudas underwent knee surgery but hopes to return for the playoffs. He was originally slated to be out four months which would make his return in early May and that would be in the second round of the post-season. Ben Bishop has struggled of late but has given up only three goals in his last two games on 60 shots with both being wins. The competition from rookie netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy has boosted his play. Valtteri Filppula has been pointless in his last two games but had a goal and six helpers in his previous four outings.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ Montreal, @ Washington

 

Rested team:  None

Tired Team: @ Washington (Sunday)

 

Notes

The falling Leafs play three games in four nights this week so look for James Reimer to get at least one start for Jonathan Bernier.  The Maple Leafs dealt UFS’s to-be Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to Nashville for Olli Jokinen, prospect Brendan Leipsic and the Predators first round pick this season. Leipsic is a smallish center who is quite feisty and will get under the opposition’s skin, similar to Brendan Gallagher of the Canadiens and Boston’s Brad Marchand. He is still a couple of seasons away from contributing. Dion Phaneuf is still out with an upper body injury but is hoping to return this week.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Boston, @ Buffalo, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested Team: vs. St. Louis (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canucks return home after a five game road trip to play the Blues on Sunday. I’ve been surprised by the scoring of Ronalds Kenins as he has six points in his first nine games. It will give Latvians someone else to vote for at next season's All-Star break, beside Zemgus Girgensons. Ryan Miller has had an up-and-down season this year and is currently 27-15-1 with a 2.49 GAA and a .912 save percentage. The Canucks need a defenseman as they are hurting with Kevin Bieksa, Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev out of action. Bo Horvat has eight goals and 17 points in limited action this season but he has been scoring of late with four goals and eight points in his last 10 games. Keep an eye on him for next season's pool.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, @ Carolina, vs. Toronto

 

Rested team: vs. Toronto (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Alex Ovechkin has been red-hot of late and has become a viable candidate for the Hart Trophy as he leads the NHL in goals with 38 and is tied for third in points with 61. Linemate Nicklas Backstrom has been hot as well with two goals and seven assists in his last six games including two power play goals on Thursday to give him three this season. Braden Holtby continues to shine this season as he is now 28-12-9 with a 2.15 GAA and a .925 save percentage. John Carlson  has been strong on the blueline with nine goals and 40 points and has a plus-15 rating, the best on the Capitals.  

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. St. Louis, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Jets are continuing to use Dustin Byfuglien on the blueline despite the injury to Mathieu Perreault who is likely out until April with a lower body injury. The Jets would have moved Byfuglien up to forward but Drew Stafford recovered from his upper body injury and played Thursday. After a hot start to the season, Ondrej Pavelec has been a bit of a bust of late with only five wins since November 26. He is 13-13-7 this season with a 2.60 GAA and a .909 save percentage but has allowed 47 goals on 461 shots for a .898 save percentage since Nov. 26. Tyler Myers has a goal and four points in four games since being traded from Buffalo.   

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.