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The Week Ahead

Getting ready for the fantasy playoffs

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: March 7, 2020, 12:48 pm ET

A lot of fantasy playoffs start next week so I’m going to give you the remainder of the schedule for the last three weeks of the season (with this week’s schedule below). Best of luck if you are in the playoffs and pay special attention to each team’s games played.

11 Games – Carolina, Dallas. Florida, Los Angeles, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Washington

10 Games – Arizona, Boston Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Minnesota. Nashville, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver

9 Games – Anaheim, Detroit, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vegas, Winnipeg

Here is the split

Anaheim – 2,3,4

Arizona – 4,3,3

Boston – 4,3,3

Buffalo – 4,3,3

Calgary – 4,3,3

Carolina – 4,4,3

Chicago – 4,3,3

Colorado – 3,4,3

Columbus – 3,4,3

Dallas – 4,3,4

Detroit – 3,3,3

Edmonton – 3,4,2

Florida – 4,4,3

Los Angeles – 4,4,3

Minnesota – 3,4,3

Montreal – 3,3,3

Nashville – 3,4,3

New Jersey – 3,4,3

New York Islanders – 4,3,4

New York Rangers – 4,3,4

Ottawa – 3,3,3

Philadelphia – 3,4,3

Pittsburgh – 3,4,3

San Jose – 3,4,3

St. Louis – 3,3,3

Tampa Bay 3,3,3

Toronto – 3,4,3

Vancouver – 3,4,3

Vegas – 3,3,3

Washington – 4,3,4

Winnipeg – 3,3,3

Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Lineup Adviser, get our Weekly and Rest-of-Season rankings and projections, track all of your players and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!  

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

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues this weekend with a pair of Sunday games, including St. Louis and Chicago at 7:00 PM ET and the action continues at 10:00 PM ET as the San Jose Sharks host the Colorado Avalanche. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here!

WEEK OF MARCH 9-15

4 Games – Anaheim, Buffalo, Carolina, Colorado, Edmonton, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Winnipeg

3 Games – Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New York Rangers, San Jose, Toronto, Vegas, Washington

2 Games – Calgary, Columbus

The New York Islanders and Ottawa play all four games on the road.

Anaheim, Buffalo, Colorado, Dallas, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Tampa Bay play three games at home.

Carolina, Nashville, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Vegas and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Ben Bishop is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. St. Louis, @ Los Angeles, vs. Montreal

Tired: vs. St. Louis (Wednesday), vs. Montreal (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Ducks play four games this week with both being back-to-back games. John Gibson and Ryan Miller could split the starts but if someone is going to get three games, it will be Gibson. The Ducks signed undrafted free agent Bryce Kindopp to a three-year, entry-level deal. The 20-year-old winger has 38 goals and 71 points in 60 WHL games. Rickard Rakell snapped a 15-game goalless drought with a marker Wednesday to give him 14 on the season in 61 games. He had back-to-back 30-plus goal seasons two years ago but with 18 last season and this season’s total, he is not a fantasy asset at all. Troy Terry was a healthy scratch Wednesday after his recall from the minors where he had five goals and 12 points in 10 games. His confidence has been restored.

ARIZONA

Games this week

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

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes play three times this week after playing only two games in each of the last two weeks so teams have caught up to Arizona as far as the schedule goes. The Coyotes are just a point out of a playoff spot with 14 games left and have eight of the 14 games remaining at home. They do have Darcy Kuemper back in action after he missed more than two months with a lower-body injury. Jakob Chychrun may be able to practice soon as he has been out since February 19 with a lower-body injury. He had been the Coyotes top blueliner before the injury. It’s hard to believe that Phil Kessel has played all 68 games and has only 14 goals and 36 points, good for fifth in scoring on Arizona. What is not surprising is his team-worst minus-21, the only member of the Coyotes in the minus double digits.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Buffalo, vs. Toronto

Tired: vs. Toronto (Saturday)

Rested: @ Buffalo (Friday)

Notes

The Bruins are the top team in the NHL with 98 points, eight better than the Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues. Boston is getting great goaltending from both Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak as the duo have allowed only 154 goals on 1,880 shots. The Bruins rely heavily on their top line of stars David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron who have combined for 105 goals and 128 assists. Pastrnak was the third star of the month with 10 goals and 19 points in 14 games. Jake DeBrusk has 19 goals and is fourth in goal-scoring behind the trio of first-line players. The Bruins and UFA-to-be Torey Krug, have been communicating on a contract extension as the two sides have had cordial talks. Charlie McAvoy has four goals and 30 points in 65 games but had 13 points in 14 February contests.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Montreal, vs. Boston, vs. Carolina

Tired: vs. Boston (Friday)

Rested: vs. Carolina (Sunday)

Notes

The Sabres play four games this week including three games in four nights. Look for Carter Hutton to get the crease three times with Linus Ullmark (if healthy) to get one start. The duo could also split the starts. If Ullmark is unable to go, then Jonas Johansson should get another start. The Sabres are mixing up their lines in an attempt to get something going and Wayne Simmonds and Sam Reinhart switched lines Tuesday but were back on their normal lines Thursday with Reinhart alongside Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson while Simmonds was playing alongside Jeff Skinner and Curtis Lazar after spending some time with Eichel and Olofsson. In case you’ve been wondering, Casey Mittelstadt has nine goals and 23 points in 33 AHL games. He is only 21 and has struggled at the NHL level after he was selected eighth overall in the 2017 Draft.

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. Winnipeg

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Flames finish their five game homestand with a pair of games this week.  They are currently in third place in the Pacific and have 11 of their final 14 games at home, which makes it appear that they will be comfortably inside the playoffs. They are only one of two teams holding down a playoff spot with a minus goal differential at minus four with Columbus being the other team at minus-five. Johnny Gaudreau scored Sunday and it was in honor of his grandfather John, who passed away a day earlier. Our condolences to the Gaudreau family. Cam Talbot picked up second shutout of the season Sunday, stopping 38 Florida shots. He had a 44 save shutout on February 13 against Anaheim. Sean Monahan has only 22 goals and 47 points in 68 games. He has not been below 58 points in any NHL season since his rookie year of 2013-14 when he had 34.

CAROLINA

Games this week

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

Tired: @ Buffalo (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Hurricanes play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week. Petr Mrazek could return by the end of the week from his concussion and play once. Otherwise, it will be Alex Nedeljkovic seeing the crease with Anton Forsberg likely to get at least one game. The Hurricanes have lost Brett Pesce for the remainder of the season after undergoing right shoulder surgery while Sami Vatanen has suffered a setback from his lower-body injury and is out a while longer. He has yet to suit up for Carolina after being dealt from New Jersey at the trade deadline. The Hurricanes have been slumping of late with a 0-3-1 record since David Ayres beat Toronto. They are slipping out of playoff contention at a very bad time.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Ottawa, @ Washington

Tired: @ Washington (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks play three games in four nights. They should use Corey Crawford twice with the newly-acquired Malcolm Subban playing once. Crawford has been hot of late, winning all of his last four starts.  Alex DeBrincat scored a pair Thursday but that brought his total to only 18 goals after a 41-goal campaign last season as a sophomore. The Blackhawks have spread around their scoring on their top-three lines with Dominik Kubalik playing alongside Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad while Alex Nylander and Patrick Kane flank Dylan Strome. Rookie Kirby Dach is centering the third line with DeBrincat and Drake Caggiula on the wings. Strom has two goals and six points in his last five games and has 12 goals and 37 points in 55 contests.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Vancouver, vs. Vegas

Tired: @ Los Angeles (Monday)

Rested: vs. Vancouver (Friday), vs. Vegas (Sunday)

Notes

The Avalanche play four games this week but never back-to-back. Pavel Francouz should start three times with Philipp Grubauer still out of action (and not likely back until later in March) with Michael Hutchinson getting one start. The Avs sent Martin Kaut to the minors after the rookie scored twice and added an assist in eight games. Nathan MacKinnon has 34 goals and 88 points in 66 games as he continues his push to be a finalist in the Hart Trophy balloting. Vladisalav Namestnikov has a pair of goals and three points in five games since his trade from Ottawa. Nazem Kadri has been out since February 9 with a lower-body injury and is back at practice, albeit with a non-contact jersey. He could return for the final game of the week, against Vegas but a return the following week may be in the cards for him.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Nashville

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blue Jackets are hanging onto the first wild card spot despite a 2-5-6 record in their last 13 games. It took a while but Oliver Bjorkstrand finally underwent surgery Tuesday to fix his injured ankle. Bjorkstrand broke his ankle on February 20 and will need eight-10 weeks to recover, likely ending his season, unless the Blue Jackets make a prolonged playoff run. Josh Anderson underwent shoulder surgery and is out the rest of the way as his recovery time will be four-to-six months. Emil Bemstrom has four goals in his last six games. Zach Werenski became the first defenseman this season to hit the 20-goal mark. Keep an eye on Kevin Stenlund late in drafts next season. He had only six goals and 10 points in 30 games but five points came on the power play.   

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, vs. Florida, vs. San Jose

Tired: None

Rested: vs. San Jose (Saturday)

Notes

The Stars Alexander Radulov has not scored a goal in his last 13 games. Ben Bishop is out of action with a lower-body injury and Anton Khudobin has started the Stars last three games and while he was 0-1-2, Khudobin gave up only seven goals on 88 shots. He is having a great season with a 16-8-4 with a 2.22 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Bishop is day-to-day with the injury. John Klingberg had his four-game points streak end on Thursday. He had two goals and five points in the four games, and has six goals and 32 points in 56 contests. Tyler Seguin is the only Star player with at least 40 points but he has only 17 goals and 50 points in 67 games, a far cry from his career-best 84 points set in 2013-14.

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.