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Mark Stone
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The Week Ahead

Golden Knights hot since Deadline

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: March 9, 2019, 12:58 pm ET

There are four weeks left in the regular season and many pools have started its playoffs this past week. If so, best of luck the rest of the way. Pay close attention to the schedules as even this week, there are 15 teams that are playing four games while lowly Los Angeles and the hot Golden Knights play only twice. The good thing about these two teams playing only twice is that only Mark Stone has more than 48 points on the season. Stone has 64 points in 64 games but only two in five games with Vegas. Thanks Anitra!

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WEEK OF MARCH 11-17

 

4 Games - Anaheim, Arizona, Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Toronto

3 Games – Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Nashville, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

2 Games – Los Angeles, Vegas

 

Minnesota plays all four games at home.

New Jersey and the New York Rangers play all four games on the road.

Buffalo, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Winnipeg play three games at home.

Florida, Nashville, St. Louis and Washington play three games on the road this week.

 

INJURIES

Jake McCabe is likely out for the remainder of the season with an upper-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. Nashville, @ Arizona, @ Colorado, vs. Florida

Rested Team: vs. Florida (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Colorado (Friday)

Notes

The Ducks play four games this week with three games in four nights. John Gibson should see action in three games with Ryan Miller getting the other start. There is not a lot of good about the Anaheim Ducks season in 2018-19. At this time, in a year when scoring is way up, their leading scorer is Ryan Getzlaf who has only 39 points in 57 games and a minus-23 rating. And that is there best. To compare, the Chicago Blackhawks have two more points in the standings and have scored 69 more goals than Anaheim and have five players with at least 40 points including Patrick Kane with 94. Ryan Kesler played in his 1,000th NHL game on Tuesday. Devin Shore is day-to-day after suffering a charley horse and hyperextended knee Sunday when Ian Cole of Colorado went knee-on-knee on him.

 

ARIZONA

Games this week

@ Chicago, @ St. Louis, vs. Anaheim, vs. Edmonton

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Tuesday)

Notes

The Coyotes play four games this week including three games in four nights. Expect to see Darcy Kuemper play three games with Calvin Pickard playing once. The Coyotes have been charging up the standings and got Jason Demers and Michael Grabner back this week. Demers had been out since November 15 with a knee injury while Grabner injured his eye on December 1. Demers returned on Tuesday while Grabner made his first start Thursday. Arizona is led in goals by Brad Richardson’s 16 but they are spreading out their scoring nicely as 10 players are in double digits, all being forwards. They are still weak in five-on-five situations as they are a collective minus-108.

 

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Winnipeg, vs. Columbus

Rested Team: @ Columbus (Tuesday), vs. Columbus (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Bruins have recalled Karson Kuhlman after Marcus Johansson suffered a lung contusion Tuesday after a collision with Micheal Ferland. David Pastrnak skated on Tuesday with a stick and that is nice progress from a broken thumb suffered on February 10. Tuukka Rask has given the Bruins a point in each of his last 18 games (15-0-3) and has become only the second netminder to have points in each of 17 games this twice in a career, the first being Pete Peters. Boston continues to get outstanding goaltending from both Rask and Halak as the duo are a combined 41-17-9 with a .923 save percentage and a 2.31 GAA. The Bruins and Maple Leafs are likely headed towards a first round matchup and Brad Marchand could have got things started, stating that the Leafs’ Mitch Marner new deal could be worth $12 million per season.  

 

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Carolina, vs. St. Louis

Rested Team: @ Carolina (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights during their four-game schedule this week. Linus Ullmark should get three starts with Carter Hutton picking up one start in net. Jeff Skinner was once neck-and-neck (well maybe not neck-and-neck but certainly a close second) with Alex Ovechkin for the NHL goal-scoring lead but he has fallen off and has not scored in his last 10 games. He has 36 goals which is still good enough for a tie for sixth in the league. Jack Eichel thinks he needs to start shooting more and that has to be good news for his fantasy owners. Rasmus Ristolainen has been struggling with a minus-33 this season, the worst in the NHL. Jake McCabe is out for the next five-six weeks (that is more than the rest of the regular season with an upper-body injury.

 

CALGARY

Games this week

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

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Winnipeg (Saturday)

Notes

The Flames put Matthew Tkachuk on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and placed Elias Lindholm to the second unit alongside Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane. We shall see how long this move lasts. Michael Stone is getting close to a return from a blood clot that has sidelined him since November 11. He was sent to the minors on a conditioning stint. Gaudreau has scored only once in the last 18 games. Sean Monahan has only one goal in 12 games. Both have 30 goals and lead the Flames but you can see why Calgary has had trouble of late and why they made the line switch. The Flames are still struggling in net with David Rittich and Mike Smith unable to take the reins and become the undisputed starting goaltender. They will need someone to emerge before the start of the playoffs.              

 

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Columbus, vs. Buffalo

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Buffalo (Saturday)

Notes

Micheal Ferland seems to be injured every week and this week was no exception as he suffered an upper-body injury on Tuesday and skated by himself Thursday. Justin Faulk used to be one of the top offensive defensemen in the NHL as he averaged 16 goals over three seasons. This season he has only eight goals and 26 points in 66 games. Brett Pesce has been a solid blueliner with six goals and 20 points in 57 games with a gaudy plus-28 rating. Look for Petr Mrazek to be the starting goaltender next season. While Curtis McElhinney has played well with a 17-7-2 mark and a 2.31 GAA with a .921 save percentage, he is 35 and nearing the end of his career. This is by far his best career as his 17 victories have smashed his previous high of 12 set in 2014-15. Mrazek has been strong as well with a 16-12-3 mark and a 2.60 GAA.    

 

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Arizona, @ Toronto, @ Montreal

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Jonathan Toews has always been an outstanding two-way performer and not an amazing point-getter. He has surpassed the 70-point mark only once before in his career, that being a 76-point performance in 2010-11, his fourth season in the NHL. But he has had a resurgence this season with 29 goals and 69 points in 67 games and looks to be well on track to eclipse his career high as there are 15 games left on the schedule. The Blackhawks switched their lines up Thursday with Patrick Kane playing alongside Artem Anisimov and Dominik Kahun while Toews centered Brandon Saad and John Hayden.  The Blackhawks recalled Collin Delia from the minors to back up Corey Crawford as Cam Ward is out seven-10 days with a knee injury.

 

COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Anaheim, vs. New Jersey

Rested Team: vs. Anaheim (Friday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Mikko Rantanen has picked up the pace again as he has four goals in his last six games and with 85 points is one ahead of his center Nathan MacKinnon for the team lead. With only 14 games left in the season, the Avalanche are in trouble as they are four points out of a playoff spot in 10th place in the West and hold none of the tie-breakers at this time. The only good is they are the seventh best-team in the West in goal-differential with a plus-five. Ian Cole picked up 15 penalty minutes on Sunday and that gave him 39 minutes in his last three games although he has been quiet the last two with nary a penalty. He has 111 minutes this season, a career high. Tyson Jost has been a disappointment this season with only nine goals and 20 points in 56 games but has shown some glimpses of play that made him the 10th overall pick in 2016.

 

COLUMBUS       

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. Boston, vs. Carolina, @ Boston

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Boston (Tuesday), @ Boston

Notes

The Blue Jackets play the Bruins in a home-and-home series so there could be tempers flaring. If so, look for Josh Anderson to be involved. The Blue Jackets play a pair of back-to-back games this week and Sergei Bobrovsky and Keith Kinkaid could split the net although they are also carrying Joonas Korpisalo. The Blue Jackets went all-in at the trade deadline 11 days ago and it was thought that they would be the favorites to win the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets are 2-4-0 since the deadline and both wins have come in extra time with an overtime win over the Flyers and a shootout win over New Jersey. Cam Atkinson potted his career-high 36th goal Tuesday against the Devils.  

 

DALLAS

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Minnesota, vs. Vegas, vs. Vancouver

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Vegas (Friday)

Notes

The Stars play three games in four nights as part of a four-game week and Anton Khudobin should get one start with Ben Bishop playing three times. Bishop has been great of late with back-to-back shutouts. The netminder is 22-14-2 this season with a sparkling 2.13 GAA and a .930 save percentage. He has been the major reason the Stars are back in the playoff picture as they hold down the first wild-card in the West. Alexander Radulov had the hat trick Thursday to give him 20 goals in 55 games. Andrew Cogliano returned to action Thursday after missing three games with an upper-body injury. It was the first time in his 12-year career that he has missed due to injury. Mats Zuccarello has been recovering nicely from his broken arm surgery a week ago. He will be back in three weeks and is expected to start skating any day.

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.