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The Week Ahead

Happy Thanksgiving!

by Michael Finewax

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers. It’s certainly a different week in the NHL as the usual Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday schedule has been replaced by a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday schedule.

 

There are no NHL games on Thursday while there is only one contest on Tuesday.

 

Happy Birthday Zack!

There were plenty of injuries all week so let’s get into them.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld’s Season Pass is now available for the low price of $19.99. You get plenty of extra articles including the minor league report, the power play report and much, much more. Buy it now!

 

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

 

There is a lot of information to get to so let’s get started.

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 19-25

 

4 Games – Buffalo, Calgary, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia San Jose

 

2 Games – Minnesota

 

Winnipeg plays all four games on the road this week.

 

Chicago, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida and Vancouver play three games on the road.

 

Arizona, Los Angeles, Nashville, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay play three games at home.

 

INJURIES

 

Sidney Crosby is expected to miss a week 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. Vancouver, vs. Edmonton, @ Nashville

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Ducks haven’t won back-to-back games in over a month and that continued this past week as they beat Nashville in a shootout before dropping a 5-0 decision to Vegas. Cam Fowler suffered a complex right facial fracture Monday and will undergo surgery on Friday. There is no timetable for his return at this time although an update should occur Friday. Patrick Eaves could return this week after his second stint on the injured reserve list. He is currently out with an upper-body injury and has yet to pick up a point in five games. The Ducks have played 20 games and Rickard Rakell leads the team with 13 points but has only three goals after back-to-back 30 goal campaigns. Ryan Getzlaf has 12 points but has only played 14 games.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Vegas, vs. Colorado, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jakob Chychrun made his seasonal debut Tuesday as he returned from off-season knee surgery and the Coyotes announced that day that the defenseman had signed a six-year/$27.4 million extension that kicks in next season. The Coyotes power play is moving along slowly but they have finally caught up to their shorthanded unit as both sides have scored nine times. That was until Thursday when they scored shorthanded again. Alex Galchenyuk has three goals and eight points in 11 games. Clayton Keller, Michael Grabner and Brad Richardson lead the Coyotes with five goals apiece. Antti Raanta is still day-to-day with a lower-body injury and Arizona has used Darcy Kuemper in net. Hunter Miska is the backup and he saw his first NHL action Tuesday mopping up for Kuemper in a 6-1 loss to Detroit.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Detroit, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Montreal

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights so look for Tuukka Rask to play twice and Jarslav Halak once. Halak finally had a tough start Wednesday in a 6-3 loss to the Avalanche. Even after giving up six goals, Halak is 6-2-2 with a 2.16 GAA and a .932 save percentage. David Pastrnak leads the NHL with 17 goals and was the first star of the week with five goals and seven points. Zdeno Chara is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Jake DeBrusk has a pair of two-goal games in his last four games to give him seven this season. Charlie McAvoy is still out with a concussion and did not travel with the Bruins on their current road trip but the good news is that he is starting to skate.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Montreal, @ Detroit

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sabres play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Carter Hutton to play three games with Linus Ullmark getting the net once. Sam Reinhart has moved up to the top line with Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner with Jason Pominville moving down to play alongside Evan Rodrigues and Vladimir Sobotka. Conor Sheary leads the Sabres with three power play goals. Rasmus Dahlin has his first multiple point night of the season on the weekend and has a goal and seven points in 18 games. Skinner continues to impress with 13 goals and 20 points with a plus-12 rating. Not too bad as he will become a UFA at the end of the season if Buffalo does not re-sign him.

 

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Vegas, vs. Winnipeg, @ Vegas, @ Arizona

 

Rested Team: @ Vegas (Monday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flames play four games this week and Mike Smith should get the call in three games with David Rittich playing once. Rittich has outplayed the veteran Smith as the second-year goalie is 5-1-0 this season with a 1.91 GAA and a .935 save percentage while Smith is 5-7-1 with a 3.48 GAA and a .876 save percentage. If this trend continues, look for Rittich to see more action. The Flames had scored 11 power play goals heading into action Thursday and had yet to get a point from their second unit as Elias Lindholm leads with four goals and nine points, with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each having seven points. Sean Monahan has six points as does Mark Giordano.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, vs. Florida, @ New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play three games in four nights this week. Scott Darling should get two starts with Curtis McElhinney getting one start as Petr Mrazek is out with a lower body injury. He has started to make progress but is still not skating with the team. Victor Rask has been out all season but he is closing in on a return after undergoing surgery on his fourth and fifth fingers on his right hand.  He has yet to practice with the Hurricanes but once he does, a return should be shortly thereafter. Justin Williams has only one goal in 18 games this season but does have 10 assists. Valentin Zykov was sent to the minors on a conditioning stint.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play three games in four nights this week so look for Corey Crawford to play twice with Cam Ward playing once. Congratulations go out to rookie coach Jeremy Colliton who won his first NHL game on Wednesday as the Blackhawks defeated the Blues 1-0. Brandon Saad returned to the lineup on Wednesday after missing a couple of games with an arm injury.            Marcus Kruger has missed the last two games with a leg injury and is on injured reserve. With only two goals in 16 games, there is no reason to have him on your roster. Patrick Kane continues to shine with 12 goals and 23 points in 18 games this season. Alex DeBrincat is second with 16 while Jonathan Toews has 15.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this weekth

@ Los Angeles, @ Arizona, vs. Dallas  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 ,

Notes

The Avalanche play three games in four nights this week so look for Semyon Varlamov to play twice with Philipp Grubauer seeing action once. The Avs top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog have combined for 75 points in 18 games led by Rantanen’s NHL leading 29 points. Ian Cole leads the team in penalty minutes with 32 and has chipped in with a goal and six points as well as a plus-seven rating. J.T. Compher has been out with a concussion since October 13 and he could accompany the Avs this week as they hit the road. MacKinnon has eight points in his last five games. Carl Soderberg has had a nice comeback season as he has 12 points in 18 games this season.

 

COLUMBUS       

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, vs. Toronto, @ Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play a home-and-home series against the Maple Leafs this week (although Toronto doesn’t as they have a game in between) so look for Josh Anderson to add to his penalty minute count if there are any fisticuffs. Anderson has eight goals and 10 points with a plus-11 rating with 21 penalty minutes. That is a great start to his fantasy season. Anthony Duclair has been all over the place as far as which line he has been on including Thursday when he started on the third line and ended up on the first unit. He has eight goals and 12 points in 19 games. Joonas Korpisalo started Thursday as Sergei Bobrovsky is day-to-day with an illness.

 

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.