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Mathew Barzal
AP
The Week Ahead

Islanders flying but not on the power play

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: November 15, 2019, 5:29 pm ET

It’s a strange scheduling week as every team plays at least three times with Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Edmonton and Florida playing four games.

It is a very heavy Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday schedule with only a total of nine games being played on the other four nights.

Due to the quirk in the schedule, there are only four games this week when a rested team plays a tired team.

Happy Birthday to my nephew Zachary and a belated happy birthday to Skylar!

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

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 18-24

4 Games – Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida

3 Games - Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg

Edmonton plays all four games on the road.

Arizona, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, St. Louis and Vegas play three games at home.

Anaheim, Detroit, Toronto and Vancouver play three games on the road.

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INJURIES

Sidney Crosby underwent surgery on his core muscle and is out at least six weeks. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

John Gibson is one of the better goalkeepers in the NHL but he has faltered of late and is 6-9-0 this season with a 2.96 GAA and a .911 save percentage. He has lost three straight. Ryan Miller has been terrific in a backup role as he is 3-0-2 this season with a 2-61 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Hampus Lindholm is still out with a lower-body injury and the Ducks as a result, recalled Josh Mahura from the minors. Nick Ritchie leads the Ducks with 26 penalty minutes, while Jakb Silfverberg, who usually comes on strong at the end of a season to get to the 20-goal mark, has nine goals in 20 games and also leads Anaheim with 17 points.

ARIZONA

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Toronto, @ Los Angeles, vs. Edmonton

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes play four games this week with three occurring in four nights. Expect to see Darcy Kuemper play at least twice with Antti Raanta playing the remainder of the games. The Coyotes also play a pair of games against the Los Angeles Kings so look for Lawson Crouse to take care of things it there are any fights. He is the only Coyote with a fighting major this season. Rookie Barrett Hayton has been a healthy scratch the last four games and you have to wonder if the Coyotes would be better off letting him play junior hockey and play for Canada at the World Juniors. He has played in nine games this season and one more NHL contest will burn a year of his entry-level contract.  

BOSTON

Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. Buffalo, vs. Minnesota

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

David Krejci has played quite well since returning to action after missing a couple of weeks with an upper-body injury. He has two goals and eight points in seven games since then after picking up just a point in his first five games. Torey Krug is a surprising minus-four this season, on a Bruins squad that is a plus-54. While Tuukka Rask gets the majority of the starts, Jaroslav Halak has still started seven of the Bruins 18 contests. The Bruins continue to get their scoring from their big line of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron who have combined for 35 of the Bruins 64 goals. Only Danton Heinen has more than three and he only has four.               

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, @ Boston, @ Florida

Tired: None

Rested: @ Florida (Sunday)

Notes

After an 8-1-1 start, the Sabres have gone straight downhill as they are 1-5-2 since then. Marco Scandella returned to action Thursday after missing six games with a lower-body injury. He had a shot on goal in 15:18 of action. As a result of his return, Colin Miller was a healthy scratch. The former Golden Knight was pointless in his previous nine games before the benching. Vladimir Sobotka suffered a lower-body injury in Sweden and will be out of action for the next four-six weeks. Curtis Lazar was recalled in his place. Kyle Okposo is off to a slow start with only a goal and five points in 18 games.

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Colorado, @ St. Louis, @ Philadelphia

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Good news on the T.J. Brodie front as he was released from hospital on Thursday after suffering an apparent seizure during practice. He collapsed and was having convulsions before he was taken off the ice on a stretcher. We wish the veteran a speedy recovery and hope he is back on the ice quickly. Andrew Mangiapane was seeing action on the second line with Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund, but that changed Wednesday midway through the second period as Michael Frolik took his spot. Mangiapane played the rest of the game with Sam Bennett and Derek Ryan. David Rittich is on pace to play 60-plus games as Cam Talbot has started only five of 21 games while Rittich has been in 16 contests.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Florida, @ Detroit

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Hurricanes play four games this week including three games in four nights. Expect to see Petr Mrazek in the cage on three occasions with James Reimer getting the call once. Andrei Svechnikov continues to shine. The 19-year-old who was selected second overall in the 2018 Draft, had a goal and two assists Thursday to give him eight goals and 21 points in 19 games. He is tied for the team lead in scoring with defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Erik Haula returned to action Thursday. He started on the fourth line with Brian Gibbons and Brock McGinn and should move up the depth charts. Martin Necas, the Canes first pick and 12th overall in 2017, has seven points in his last seven games and should be considered in deeper pools.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Dallas

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks sent their first-round pick from 2018 (and eighth overall) Adam Boqvist back to the minors Thursday. After a huge 2018-19 season, Erik Gustafsson finally potted his first of the season Wednesday. He has five points in 17 games thus far after a 60-point performance last season. Dylan Strome is heating up with eight points in his last four games, as well as eight penalty minutes. He is up to four goals and 15 points in 18 games and his plus-nine leads the Blackhawks. He is on the top line, alongside Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Kane is hot as well, as he is on a seven-game points streak in which he had five goals and 14 points.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Minnesota, vs. Toronto

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Avalanche are hurting in net as both Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz are out of action. That forced the Avs to start Adam Werner Thursday with Antoine Bibeau as his backup. Werner was great on Tuesday as he stopped all 40 shots against the Jets after replacing the injured Francouz just 31 seconds into the contest. It was a different story Thursday as Connor McDavid and the Oilers pumped five shots past him in 18 attempts before he was pulled early in the second. Mikko Rantanen has started to skate on his own. Cale Makar, the early favorite for the Calder Trophy, has 18 points in 19 games.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Detroit, @ Winnipeg

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Congratulations to Eric Robinson who scored his first career NHL goal Tuesday. Backup goaltender Elvis Merzlikins is back up in the NHL and is still winless as he dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to Montreal. Since his awful start in which he gave up seven goals on 40 shots to Pittsburgh, he has lost his other three starts in extra time. Ryan Murray returned to action this past week after missing six games with a broken hand. Nick Foligno was suspended for three games for his charge on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of the Avalanche Saturday. He will return against Montreal on Tuesday. Kole Sherwood was put on the injured reserve list with an oblique tear.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Chicago

Tired: None

Rested: None  

Notes

The Stars started the season poorly at 2-7-1 but have turned things around completely as they are 8-1-1 in their last ten to get back into the playoff race. Dallas is still lacking in scoring as Tyler Seguin leads the team with only 13 points in 20 games but the Stars are getting great goaltending as Ben Bishop has a 2.12 GAA while Anton Khudobin has a 2.37 GAA. Andrew Cogliano missed a rare game Thursday with a lower-body injury. He had missed only six games in 13-year NHL career heading into action this week. Roope Hintz, the Stars leading goal scorer with nine goals in 15 games, was placed on the injured reserve list, dating back to November 2 with a lower-body injury. He could return at any time. Congratulations to Corey Perry who played in his 1,000th NHL game on Wednesday.

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.