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The Week Ahead

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!!! This point of the season is crucial in many eyes as it’s the quarter pole of the NHL season and usually if you are in a playoff spot by now, you will stay there as usually only one or two teams will move up from non-playoff positioning and vice versa.

 

Happy Birthdays are in order to my nephew Zack as well as Stephen.

 

There were plenty of injuries this past week, especially to some significant players like Steven Stamkos, Taylor Hall and Johnny Gaudreau. Read Corey Abbott’s Waiver Wired Sunday to see who you can pick up to help your squad if you have one or more injuries.

 


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 junior report and much, much more. Buy it now!

 

 

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

 

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 21-27


4 Games – Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Edmonton, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

 

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Buffalo, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, New York Islanders, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Los Angeles

 

Calgary and Chicago play all four games on the road.

 

San Jose plays all four at home.

 

Boston and Nashville play three games at home.

 

Carolina, the New York Islanders and Vancouver play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Steven Stamkos is out indefinitely after tearing his meniscus. (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. New York Islanders, vs. Chicago @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Ryan Getzlaf played in his 800th career game this past week and also became the Ducks all-time leading assist producer with 532 as he surpassed Teemu Selanne on the list.  Corey Perry picked up a couple of assists Tuesday and now has nine assists in his last nine games. He hasn’t scored in 10 contests but at least he has been producing. Hampus Lindholm has yet to pick up a point since inking a new contract five games ago but is a plus-three. Josh Manson has 36 penalty minutes in 18 games this season. Rickard Rakell continues to impress with five goals and nine points in nine games.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Edmonton, @ Edmonton

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes play a home-and-home series with Edmonton this week and it looks like rookie defenseman Jakob Chychrun is not afraid to stick his nose into the action. He leads the Coyotes in penalty minutes and should be considered a prime candidate for any fisticuffs should anything break out in the two games against the Oilers. Mike Smith returned to action after missing four weeks with a lower body injury and gave up a couple of goals on 24 shots in an overtime loss. Martin Hanzal was also activated in time for Wednesday’s game after he missed five contests with a lower body injury. Christian Dvorak was sent to the minors but will be heard from in the years to come.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Ottawa, vs. Calgary, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Calgary (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Bruins play four games this week including three in four nights. Tuukka Rask will see three games of action but Anton Khudobin could return to action at some point this week after being out with a hand injury since the end of October. If not, then Zane McIntyre could get a start. Rask was the NHL’s first star of the week with a 4-0 record, giving up only three goals. David Pastrnak missed Thursday’s game with an undisclosed injury. He leads the Bruins with 10 goals in 14 games. Zdeno Chara has only four points in 17 games but is a plus-12. Torey Krug has the same goal and four points but is a minus-five.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Detroit, @ Washington

 

Rested Team: vs. Calgary (Monday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Keep your eye on Sam Reinhart. I know he has only seven points in 17 games but he is going to explode, especially upon the return of Jack Eichel to the lineup. Eichel, who suffered a high-ankle sprain just before the start of the season, has ramped up his skating and should be back in action in a few weeks. Tyler Ennis is out six weeks after undergoing groin surgery. Ryan O'Reilly has missed the last three games with an abdominal injury. Kyle Okposo has a goal and two assists in his last nine games but two assists in his last four.  

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Columbus, @ Boston, @ Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: @ Boston (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Monday)

 

Notes

The Flames play all four games on the road and it looks like plenty of fans are clamoring for Chad Johnson to keep the starting gig in net as he has a 4-2-1 mark to go with a 2.24 GAA and a .915 save percentage, while Elliott is 3-8-0/3.36/.882. They made a big off-season trade to get Elliott so the Flames could give him more time to turn things around. Johnny Gaudreau suffered a broken finger and will miss the next six weeks. He will be replaced on the top line by Sam Bennett. Sean Monahan has only four goals and six points in 18 games with a minus-10 rating.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Montreal, @ Ottawa, vs. Florida

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play four games this week including three games in four nights. Cam Ward has taken over as the starting goalie and should play three games with Eddie Lack playing once. Justin Faulk, the Hurricanes top scoring defenseman, returned on Tuesday after missing three games with an upper body injury. Elias Lindholm seems to be regressing in his fourth year in the NHL. The 21-year-old was drafted fifth overall in 2013 but is off to a horrible start with three assists and a minus-eight rating in 15 games. Our best wishes go to Bryan Bickell who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last week. He is confident he can return to the lineup this season and we wish him the best and most importantly, good health.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ San Jose, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Los Angeles (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Blackhawks are on the road for all four this week, including three games in four nights. Scott Darling should get at least one start with Corey Crawford likely playing in three contests. Vince Hinostroza was on the top line Tuesday with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane but suffered an upper body injury. After a poor 2015-16 season in which he had only 13 goals and 33 points in 64 games, Marian Hossa already has nine goals and 15 points in 16 games. Artem Anisimov is slated to return on Sunday after he is scheduled to miss Friday’s game with an upper body injury. He has eight goals and 17 points in 16 games.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Edmonton, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: @ Columbus (Monday), vs. Vancouver (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

It’s too bad that Matt Duchene will miss his third straight game on Thursday with a concussion but his return hopefully is imminent. Gabriel Landeskog is also sitting out Thursday as he has a lower body injury. Nathan MacKinnon will center Andreas Martinsen and A.J. Greer and that shouldn’t strike fear into the Dallas Stars. The Avalanche have only 14 points in 16 games as they languish near the bottom of the NHL standings. Semyon Varlamov has won two of his past four games allowing just seven goals in the process. He is 4-8-0 with a 3.01 GAA and a .901 save percentage and that will need to improve dramatically if the Avs hope to challenge for a playoff spot.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Calgary, @ Tampa Bay. @ Florida

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Colorado (Monday), @ Florida (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets play three games in four nights as part of a four game week, so look for Sergei Bobrovsky to play twice with Curtis McElhinney getting one start.  Brandon Dubinsky has points in three of his last four games after getting off to a horrible start to the season. Cam Atkinson has been hot this season with 13 points in 14 games but Nick Foligno has been the impressive one as he has six goals and 16 points in 14 games as he has certainly shown that last season’s 37 point effort was a glitch and he is more like the 2014-15 player who had 31 goals and 73 points.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, @ Nashville, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Patrick Sharp could return to the Dallas lineup as early as November 19. Sharp suffered a concussion and will have missed 14 games if he is able to play Saturday. His presence has been missed in the lineup as he is a top-six forward. Antoine Roussel continues to have a great fantasy season with four goals and 12 points in 18 games as well as 54 penalty minutes. Jiri Hudler has missed the last nine games with an illness and there is no word on his return. Cody Eakin made his seasonal debut Thursday due to a knee injury. He started the game on the third line with Jason Spezza and Gemel Smith but won't see much, if any, special teams time.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ New Jersey, vs. Montreal

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Montreal (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights so look for Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard to get in one game apiece with the hot hand getting the second game. Darren Helm (shoulder) has been placed on the long-term injured reserve list and will be out of action for six-eight weeks. Riley Sheahan will take his place as the third line center. Thomas Vanek is expected to return on November 20 from a strained hip suffered on October 25. Gustav Nyquist, Mike Green and Henrik Zetterberg lead the Red Wings with 11 points as all three have three goals. Jonathan Ericsson leads the way with 35 penalty minutes.

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, @ Colorado, @ Arizona, vs. Arizona

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes    

The Oilers play four games this week and Cam Talbot, who has been struggling of late, is expected to play three times with Jonas Gustavsson getting a start. Edmonton plays a home-and-home series with Arizona at the end of the week so look for Zack Kassian and/or Milan Lucic to get involved in fisticuffs if there is any rough stuff going on. First round pick and fourth overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi has moved up and is now playing alongside Leon Draisaitl and Benoit Pouliot. He has only three points this season. Pouliot is pointless in his last 11 games.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Columbus, @ Carolina

 

Rested Team: vs. Columbus (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jared McCann who was dealt from Vancouver in the off-season, played the wing alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr Thursday. If he can keep the assignment, his fantasy value will rise. Alex Petrovic scored his first of the season on Tuesday but is now out of action with a lower body injury. Nick Bjugstad could return on November 20 from a hand injury and if he is able to, he will make his seasonal debut. Vincent Trocheck is second on the Panthers with 10 points, four in arrears of Jonathan Marchessault. Roberto Luongo has been solid this season with a 6-5 record to go with a 2.36 GAA and a .916 save percentage.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. Chicago   

 

Rested Team: vs. New York Islanders (Wednesday), vs. Chicago (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Kings are the only team this week to play twice so if you are in weekly transaction leagues and have better options, rest everyone with the exception of Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty. Kopitar has been hurt but should return this week. Derek Forbort leads the Kings with 30 minutes in penalties and has a goal and four assists in 18 games after picking up his goal and an assist Thursday. Peter Budaj had lost his previous four games heading into action on Thursday before he defeated the Oilers. Marian Gaborik is starting to skate and a December return looks to be in the cards. He suffered a broken foot during the World Cup in September and has yet to play for the Kings this season.  

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Wild play three games in four nights as part of a four game week, so look for Darcy Kuemper to get one game of action in as Devan Dubnyk should play in three. It looks like Dubnyk was in a bit of a slump as he had lost four of his last five before a shutout but he has given up only nine goals in that span. He is 7-5-1 with a 1.47 GAA and a .952 save percentage as he has given up only 19 goals on 392 shots. The Wild assigned Joel Eriksson Ek to Farjestad BK of the Swedish Elite League and while he will remain there the rest of the season, he is someone to keep an eye on in future years. He had two goals and five points in nine games and the Wild did not burn a year of his entry level contract by sending him down before the 10 game mark.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Carolina, @  Detroit

 

Rested Team: @ Detroit (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Alexander Radulov is out of action with an illness but should return this week. The Canadiens recalled Charles Hudon from the minors. He had 14 points in 15 games in the AHL and had two helpers in three appearances with Montreal last season. Carey Price finally was on the wrong end of a score after starting the season off 10-0 but it was still in overtime so he is 10-0-1 this season. He is the best goalie in the NHL. Alex Galchenyuk has a six game points streak giving him 18 in 17 games. Tomas Plekanec continues to struggle as he has a goal and four points in 17 contests. Shea Weber is an amazing plus-16 this season with 7 goals and 13 points.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Dallas, vs. Winnipeg, @ Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Predators play four times this week so look for Marek Mazanec to get a rare start with Pekka Rinne playing three times. Rinne was the third star of the week as he was 3-0 with a 0.67 GAA and a .976 save percentage. He has struggled over the last year-plus so it’s nice to see that he is still capable of leading the Predators. Nashville also has a home-and-home series with the Winnipeg Jets and if there are any altercations, then look for Mike Fisher and possibly P.K. Subban to be involved. James Neal has scored in each of his last six games and has seven goals and an assist in that span. He only had one goal in his first ten games to start the season.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, vs. Toronto, vs. Detroit, @ Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: vs. Toronto (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Devils have a four game week which includes three games in four nights. Cory Schneider will get the call in at least three games while Keith Kinkaid should play once. Taylor Hall is out three-four weeks after undergoing successful arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee. Michael Cammalleri should return this week as he has been out since November 8 due to personal reasons. The Devils saw their five game winning streak come to an end Thursday. Damon Severson has three goals and 12 points in 16 games after the defenseman had only a goal and 21 points in 72 games last season. Grab him if he is still available in your pool.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Los Angeles (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Islanders are in California for all three games and they play them in four nights. Jaroslav Halak is playing twice as much as Thomas Greiss so we will give him the nod to get two starts with Greiss getting one. The Islanders have to be disappointed with their lack of scoring up front as only John Tavares (12) and Brock Nelson (11) have more than eight points in 16 games. The blueline has been doing their fair share of scoring, led by free agent pickup Dennis Seidenberg who has four goals and eight points (but just suffered a broken jaw), one point and goal ahead of Nick Leddy. Travis Hamonic was slated to be out four-six weeks with an upper body injury but he missed only three games before returning Monday.  

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Philadelphia, vs. Ottawa

 

Rested Team: vs. Ottawa (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Pittsburgh (Monday)

 

Notes

The Rangers play four games this week so it's highly likely that Antti Raanta will get one start with Henrik Lundqvist picking up the other three. The Rangers also play the Penguins in a home-and-home series and while tempers could flare, the Rangers do not have anyone who has been in a fight this season with Jesper Fast leading the team with 10 penalty minutes. J.T. Miller is off to a fantastic start with seven goals, 17 points and a plus-16 rating in 17 games. Michael Grabner has to be considered in the early going for comeback player of the year as he has 10 goals and 13 points with a plus-16 rating after a meager nine goals and 18 points in 80 games with the Maple Leafs last season.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. Boston, vs. Carolina, @ New York Rangers

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Senators play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. Craig Anderson has left the team to be with his wife Nicolle again so the goaltending assignments are up in the air as Mike Condon and Andrew Hammond are also with the Senators.  Kyle Turris is the only Sens forward with 10 points. Of course, defenseman Erik Karlsson leads the team with 14 points. Derick Brassard scored his second of the season and first since the season opener as he halted a 15 game goalless streak Thursday. Mike Hoffman missed Thursday's game with an undisclosed injury.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Flyers play four games this week with three coming in four nights. Steve Mason will get the start in three games and it's possible that Anthony Stolarz will get his first as he has replaced the injured Michal Neuvirth. Only a few Flyers are on the plus side of the ledger but it’s mostly the secondary players like Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Michael Raffl and Brandon Manning who are leading the way. It was a huge shock on Thursday when the Flyers made Shayne Gostisbehere a healthy scratch. He was replaced by Andrew MacDonald and with the Flyers winning 5-2, you have to wonder if Gostisbehere will play Saturday against Tampa Bay.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

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

 

Rested Team: vs. New York Rangers (Monday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

 The Penguins play four games this week so it’s likely that Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury will split the net. The Penguins also play the Rangers in a home-and-home series so look for Tom Sestito to add to his penalty minute count if there are any problems. The problem with Sestito is that he was placed on waivers Thursday but if he passes through, there is no guarantee he will be sent down. Chris Kunitz is day-to-day with a lower body injury and Patric Hornqvist suffered a concussion and is also day-to-day for now. Derrick Pouliot returned to the ice on Monday as he has been out for a month with a lower body injury. Olli Maatta has only one assist in 16 games.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

@ Boston, @ Washington, vs. Minnesota

 

Rested Team: vs. Minnesota (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ Washington (Wednesday)

 

Notes

Jake Allen isn’t giving the Blues the goaltending he has in the last couple of season as he has a 2.45 GAA and a .904 save percentage. He is 7-3-3 this season and has given up only three goals in his last two games so perhaps he is coming around. Alexander Steen sat out Thursday’s game with an undisclosed injury. Jaden Schwartz is heating up and has five goals in his last six games. I’m not sure what to make of Paul Stastny anymore. He has only four goals and 10 points in18 games after an assist on Thursday was his first point in seven games. He hasn’t been at the 50 point mark in his last two seasons and he certainly isn’t trending there this season. Stay tuned as he may become a waiver wire player in all but deeper leagues.

  

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, vs. Chicago, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sharks play all four games at home this week and that’s a rarity in the NHL. Martin Jones should get three starts with Aaron Dell spelling him once. There are a lot of minuses dotting the Sharks lineup with Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson being only two of six players with a plus. They lead at plus-three. Logan Couture hadn't scored on a five-on-five situation until Thursday, his 17th game. Tomas Hertl is playing quite well as the Sharks third line center and is still seeing time on the power play. His fantasy value takes a hit not playing with Pavelski and Joe Thornton but he is a more complete player.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Columbus, @ Boston

 

Rested team: vs. Philadelphia (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Lightning got struck hard this week with the news that Steven Stamkos will miss at least four months after undergoing successful knee surgery. The Bolts play four games this week and while Ben Bishop will see the crease in two games and Andrei Vasilevskiy in one, it should be interesting to see who gets the fourth game. It should go to Vasilevskiy as he has outplayed Bishop this season but it remains to be seen who will actually get the start. Jonathan Drouin returned on Thursday after missing seven games with an upper body injury. The Lightning need Ondrej Palat to get going. He has only two goals and six points in 18 games with a minus-seven rating.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ New Jersey, vs. Washington

 

Rested team:  vs. Washington (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Wednesday)

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs are playing incredibly well at home as they are 6-2 after winning only 14 games all of last season. Nazem Kadri is off to a great start with seven goals and 13 points as well as 43 penalty minutes. James van Riemsdyk picked up his first hat trick as a Maple Leaf Tuesday and leads the team with eight goals and 17 points. Auston Matthews has gone 10 games without a goal. Mitch Marner continues to dazzle, scoring highlight reel goals. Matt Martin has only one assist in 17 games but leads the NHL in hits with 76 and has 37 penalty minutes. Frederik Andersen has won five of his last seven starts and is giving the Leafs the goaltender they thought they were getting when they dealt for him from Anaheim in the off-season.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

@ Arizona, @ Dallas, @ Colorado

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Colorado (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Canucks play they play three games in four nights so look for Jacob Markstrom to play twice and Ryan Miller once. Michael Garteig was promoted from the AHL but that was due to Miller being ill on Thursday. He will be returned by the start of the week if not earlier. Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks in points with 12, one ahead of his brother Henrik. Jake Virtanen is the only Canuck with a plus rating at plus-one. I guess he was making the rest of the team look bad as the Canucks sent him to the minors on Wednesday. He has only one assist. Erik Gudbranson and Brandon Sutter are a team worst minus-nine.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, vs. Buffalo, @ Toronto

 

Rested team: vs. St. Louis (Wednesday)

Tired Team:@ Toronto (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights this week so expect to see Philipp Grubauer get one start in place of Braden Holtby. Holtby's stats are starting to look better as he is 8-3-1 with a 2.06 GAA and a .925 save percentage. After a five point night Wednesday, Nicklas Backstrom is back on top of the Capitals scoring race with 15 points in 16 games. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a breakthrough year in 2015-16 with 77 points but he has regressed back this season and has only two goals and seven points in 16 games. T.J. Oshie had a big game on Wednesday as well with two goals and a couple of helpers to give him eight goals and 12 points.  

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Nashville, vs. Nashville

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Jets play a home-and-home series with the Nashville Predators so if there are ant fights in either game, expect to see Dustin Byfuglien and/or Chris Thorburn add to their penalty minute count. With Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine getting most of the headlines, Nikolaj Ehlers is quietly having a great start to the season with four goals and 17 points in 19 games. Nic Petan has a goal and six points in eight games since his recall. Drew Stafford has been out for over three weeks with an upper body injury but could return on the weekend. Bryan Little has started skating as he has been out of action since opening night with a lower body injury. 

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.