Loading scores...
The Week Ahead

Ovechkin back on Top

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

Congratulations to my first cousin Paul Wernick who has a new movie coming out this week…Deadpool. He co-wrote it with his writing partner Rhett Reese and it stars Ryan Reynolds.

 

The movie is getting a lot of publicity and I can’t wait to see it on the weekend. I hope everyone goes out and watches and enjoys it.

 

Congratulations again Paul!

 

Editor's Note: This is your chance to try FanDuel risk free! Sign up today and if you lose your first contest, you’ll be refunded the entry fee up to $10. Play 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 FEBRUARY 15-21    

 

4 Games – Anaheim, Calgary, Carolina, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Vancouver

 

3 Games –Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Colorado, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Jose, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games - Columbus

 

Detroit plays all four games on the road.

 

Anaheim, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Philadelphia, San Jose and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

 

Arizona, Calgary, Carolina, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, Ottawa and Vancouver play three games at home.

 

 

INJURIES

 

Jason Garrison is day-to-day 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

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Ducks play three games in four nights as part of a four game week, so look for Frederik Andersen to get a start and maybe two, with John Gibson getting the remainder. Andersen has been adding to his value as he has won his last six straight starts after Gibson stole the job from him a couple of months ago when Andersen was ill. Anaheim finishes up a seven game road trip before they are at home to Calgary. The Ducks face Calgary twice this week so look for at least one of Ryan Kesler, Chris Stewart or Kevin Bieksa to add to their penalty minute totals. Rickard Rakell continues to play well of late and had a couple of goals Tuesday.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. Dallas, vs. St. Louis

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Joe Vitale played one game this season, on October 17, and suffered a concussion. He will be gone the remainder of the season as there has been no progression in his recovery and the Coyotes decided to shut him down. Steve Downie was sent back to the minors this past week. Tyler Gaudet was recalled this week after Boyd Gordon went down with an upper body injury. Oliver Ekman-Larsson leads the Coyotes in points with 38, three ahead of rookie Max Domi and Mikkel Boedker.  Boedker is a minus-24 and that is 807th best and second worst in the NHL. Only Bo Horvat was worse heading into action on Thursday. 

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Nashville, vs. Dallas

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins play three road games for the second week in a row. Matt Beleskey was supposed to provide some bottom-six scoring for the Bruins and while he does have eight goals this season, he has not scored in his past 11 games. The good news is that he practiced Wednesday with David Pastrnak and David Krejci. Tuukka Rask was considered a top-three fantasy netminder after the 2013-14 season as he had started for the Bruins over two seasons and was sensational with seasons of 19-10-5/2.00/.929 and 36-15-6/2.04/.930. But last season he regressed some (34-21-13/2.30/.922) and this year he has been even worse with a 20-16-5 mark and mediocre peripherals of 2.55 GAA and a .917 save percentage. I still like him for next season but he really has to turn things around as he turns 29 in less than a month.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ Columbus, vs. Pittsburgh

 

Rested Team: vs. Pittsburgh (Sunday)

Tired Team:  None

 

Notes

Robin Lehner had five straight games of giving up two goals before the Florida Panthers put four past him on only 12 shots Tuesday and the Flyers put five behind him on Thursday. Chad Johnson is getting less action with the return of Lehner as the Sabres have to see what they have in the goaltender they traded for in the off-season. Jack Eichel is showing why he was the second overall pick in the 2015 Draft as he has seven goals and 22 points in his last 23 games. He should be targeted in trade talk in all dynasty pools. It was a big night on Tuesday for Evander Kane owners as he had a goal and 29 penalty minutes in a loss to Florida.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Minnesota, vs. Vancouver, @ Anaheim

 

Rested Team: vs. Vancouver (Friday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Flames play four games this week but not three in four nights. Still look for Jonas Hiller to get in between the pipes at least once with Karri Ramo playing in the remainder of the action. Calgary plays a pair of games with Anaheim this week so look for Brandon Bollig to add to his penalty minute totals if there are any fisticuffs. Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma were scratched from the game this week against the Maple Leafs as the trio was disciplined for showing up late. While Bouma owners are few and far between, owners of Monahan and especially Gaudreau had to be disappointed. The good news is that everything has been forgotten and all three played Thursday.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Ottawa, vs. San Jose, vs. Tampa Bay

 

Rested Team: vs. Tampa Bay (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play four games this week including three games in four nights. Look for Eddie Lack and Cam Ward to share the net. Jeff Skinner has a five game scoring streak, heading into action on Thursday. He has had a couple of 30 goal seasons in his five-plus year NHL career and is close to that pace again this season with 19 goals in 54 games. Eric Staal played in his 900th NHL game on Sunday, all with the Hurricanes, but it could be coming to a close, either at the trade deadline or the end of the season when he is slated to be an unrestricted free agent. He has only two points in his last 10 games.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ New York Rangers, @ Minnesota

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Corey Crawford has been sensational this season with a 31-14-2 record to go with a 2.17 GAA and a .929 save percentage. He has to be the second choice for the Vezina at this time, right behind Washington’s Braden Holtby. I wrote about Brent Seabrook in a FanDuel column this past week and stated that while he leads all Blackhawk defensemen in points with 33, he has had only two goals and six points in his last 16 games including action on Thursday. Teuvo Teravainen came into this season full of hope for poolies but he has only two assists in his last 16 games and only nine goals and 22 points in 54 contests.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

vs. Montreal, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver   

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Sunday)

 

Notes

Semyon Varlamov has lost his last two starts but has played well this season overall, despite a horrible start to the season. He is 20-14-3 with a 2.66 GAA and a .916 save percentage. Matt Duchene had a bit of a down year last season with 21 goals and 55 points, but he has picked it up again this season as he has 24 goals and 43 points in 57 games. Nathan MacKinnon has 44 points this season. He had a terrible sophomore season last year with only 38 points in 64 games but this has been a comeback season for the former first overall pick in 2013.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. Buffalo  

 

Rested Team: @ None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blue Jackets only play twice this week so I would bench all your Columbus players this week in weekly transaction pools. Ryan Murray inked a two-year extension on Thursday and the second overall pick in 2012 is primed to break out next season. He will be a target of mine in pools. Joonas Korpisalo has been great of late in net with a 5-1-2 record to go with 2.16 GAA and a .935 save percentage. He has given the Blue Jackets some great goaltending since Sergei Bobrovsky went down with injury. Alexander Wennberg has been moved into a top-six forward role since the trade of Ryan Johansen and that will help him next season and the seasons to come.

   

DALLAS

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, @ St. Louis, @ Arizona, vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Stars play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. Expect to see Antti Niemi see at least two and maybe three games of action with Kari Lehtonen cleaning up the rest. After a prolonged slump, John Klingberg has been hot of last with four goals and eight points in his last eight games. The Swedish blueliner has 10 goals and 46 points this season in 55 games. Patrick Eaves is now playing on a line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn and that will give his fantasy value a big boost for as long as it lasts. Radek Faksa has no points in four games since his recall from the minors but he should be looked at next season in deeper pools if he makes the team.

  

DETROIT

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ Pittsburgh, @ Ottawa, @ New York Rangers

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Red Wings play four games this week so it is likely that Petr Mrazek will play three times while Jimmy Howard will get one start. The Red Wings play all four on the road after playing all four last week at the Joe Louis. Henrik Zetterberg finally picked up his 10th goal of the season Wednesday. He had four straight 30-plus goal seasons from 2005-06-2008-09, but has not had more than 17 goals since the 2011-12 campaign. Joakim Andersson was sent to the minors on Thursday. Pavel Datsyuk has three goals and 13 points in his last 12 games with a plus-six rating.

 

EDMONTON

 

 Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Minnesota, vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: vs. Anaheim (Tuesday), vs. Minnesota (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

Notes    

Anders Nilsson was the starter for the Oilers through most of the early going but Cam Talbot has taken over the net and Edmonton finally decided to send Nilsson to the minors this week. He will be replaced on the roster by Laurent Brossoit who was 14-8-3 with a 2.70 GAA and a .921 save percentage in the AHL. Brossoit will back up Talbot for now while Nilsson regains his confidence as he has not had a win in over two months. Connor McDavid has 12 points in the six games since returning from a broken clavicle and now has 24 points in only 19 games. He could still win the Calder. Griffin Reinhart was sent to the minors. Don’t be surprised if Justin Schultz is dealt at the trade deadline. He was a healthy scratch Tuesday and has not come even close to his projected offensive skills that accompanied him out of the University of Wisconsin.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. San Jose, vs. Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Aleksander Barkov is day-to-day with an upper body injury suffered on Monday. I’ve been impressed lately by the play of Vincent Trocheck who has five goals and 11 points in his last seven games to give him 17 goals and 35 points in 54 games this season. Reilly Smith had a tough 2014-15 campaign with Boston who dealt him to Florida in the off-season. Smith had 13 goals and 40 points last season and it looks like he will shatter that mark soon as he has 18 goals and 34 points with five goals and 10 points in his last nine games. Erik Gudbranson is on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. Jaromir Jagr played in 1,600th game on Monday.   

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

@ Washington, @ St. Louis, @ Nashville

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jonathan Quick suffered an undisclosed injury when Jimmy Hayes slid into him in a 9-2 win Tuesday over the Bruins. Consider him day-to-day for now. The Kings recalled Peter Budaj on an emergency basis and he will back up Jhonas Enroth for now. The Christian Ehrhoff experiment could be over as he has cleared waivers. He was sent to the minors and that’s quite a comedown for the former offensive threat. Tanner Pearson has spent the last two games in the press box. Drew Doughty is having a fine offensive season as he has 11 goals and 33 points including the 300th of his NHL career.

 

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton, vs. Chicago  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Wild play three games in Western Canada this week before coming home to face the Blackhawks. Minnesota also play three games in four nights so look for Darcy Kuemper to play once with Devan Dubnyk getting the remainder of the starts. Jared Spurgeon is day-to-day with a deep bruise suffered on February 6. Thomas Vanek got a bit of a surprise when coach Mike Yeo made him a healthy scratch on February 6. He returned to the lineup with a vengeance as he had a couple of assists to give him 17 helpers and 31 points in 52 games this season. Jason was also a healthy scratch last Saturday but didn’t respond as well as he was held off the scoresheet and was a minus-one.

 

MONTREAL

           

Games this week

@ Arizona, @ Colorado, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Carey Price has been skating of late but there is still no timetable for his return as he has been out since November 25 with a lower body injury. The goaltender won all the major goaltending awards last season and was the Hart Trophy winner as well as the most valuable player in the NHL. Jeff Petry continues to be out of action with a lower body injury and close miss this week’s actions. Ben Scrivens has taken over as the Canadiens top netminder from Mike Condon. He has given up just four goals in his last three starts. Tomas Plekanec has been hot of late with three goals and eight points in his last four games including a plus-six rating.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Boston, vs. Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Filip Forsberg scored a pair of goals Tuesday and now has 17 this season as well as 18 assists. Colin Wilson has been activated from the injured reserve list after missing 12 games with a lower body injury. Mike Ribeiro was honored on Tuesday for playing in his 1,000th NHL game which occurred last Saturday. He had a couple of assists in his milestone game. Roman Josi and Shea Weber continue to be the offensive spark plugs of the Predators. They have 38 and 35 points respectively and have 25 goals between them. Not too shabby for a couple of blueliners.

 

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. New York Islanders,  @ Washington

 

Rested Team: vs. New York Islanders (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Washington (Saturday)

 

Notes

There is currently no timetable for the return of Mike Cammalleri from his hand injury. Patrik Elias did some light skating on Thursday and it was his first time on the ice since suffering a knee injury in December. Elias has played in only 13 games this season and at the age of 39, it looks like the end of the road. Jon Merrill is expected to return this week as he has been out of action since January 16 with an arm injury. Cory Schneider continues to shine in the New Jersey cage as he is 24-16-6 with a 2.01 GAA and a .930 save percentage. He has been one of the top goalies in the NHL this season.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Washington, @ New Jersey

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Friday)

 

Notes

The Islanders have been fortunate this season as off-season acquisition Thomas Greiss has been great with a 15-6-2 mark to go with a 2.24 GAA and a .929 save percentage. Not too bad for a backup goaltender who has forced himself into a 1B slot with Jaroslav Halak being the 1A goaltender. John Tavares had only 34 points heading into the All-Star game but he has nine points in the six games since the festivities were over and now sits tied for 27th in points, a big jump from the tied for 57th in the standings just two weeks ago. There are no contract talks currently going on between the Islanders and Kyle Okposo and that has to be difficult for Islander fans who have to think the talented winger will take his talents to at least the free agency market on July 1.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

vs. Chicago, @ Toronto, vs. Detroit

 

Rested Team: vs. Detroit (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Toronto (Thursday)

 

Notes

Rick Nash is still out of action and has now missed seven straight games with a leg injury. Ryan McDonagh is out of action with a concussion suffered on Saturday against Philadelphia. There is no timetable for his return and that should allow Keith Yandle to remain a Ranger through the remainder of the season as New York is not that deep on the blueline. The injury to McDonagh has placed Yandle on the first power play and hopefully for his owners, he can take advantage. J.T. Miller has eight goals and nine points in his last nine games. He has 30 points this season in 54 games and could hit the 45-50 point mark after a career high last season of 23.

 

OTTAWA     

 

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Carolina, vs. Detroit

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Senators made a big splash by acquiring Dion Phaneuf and others from Toronto and did not give up a lot from their main roster. Phaneuf will be a force on the second defense pairing and that will help his game as he isn’t a number one defenseman any more. He is playing alongside Erik Karlsson on the power play and that worked like a charm Thursday as Phaneuf had a couple of power play assists. His fantasy value will go up in Ottawa. Patrick Wiercioch could be the odd-man out of the Sens lineup with the addition of Phaneuf as he missed action on Wednesday before returning to the lineup Thursday.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

@ New Jersey, @ Montreal, @ Toronto

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team:  @ Toronto (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Flyers activated Michal Neuvirth off the injured reserve list this week as he has recovered from a lower body injury. He should see plenty of time in goal as the Flyers may try to showcase him before the trade deadline. Matt Read was a healthy scratch on Thursday and it appears that his fantasy value will be negligible the rest of his career. The 29-year-old had some nice seasons at the start of his career but had only 30 points including eight goals last season and has only nine goals and 18 points in 51 games during this campaign. Flyers first round pick Ivan Provorov is too good for the WHL as the defenseman has 12 goals and 50 points in 44 games with a plus-37 rating. He could crack the blueline next season.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

@ Florida, vs. Detroit, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Buffalo

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Penguins play four times this week including three games in four nights. Jeff Zatkoff will likely get one start with Marc-Andre Fleury picking up the starting assignment in the other three games. Evgeni Malkin has missed the last four games with a lower body injury but could return at some point this week. The talented forward had 49 points in 49 games before the injury and had been the Penguins top player, better than Sidney Crosby. Speaking of Crosby, he had 12 goals and 19 points in nine games before the Rangers shut him down completely on Wednesday. Nick Bonino is still out with a hand injury suffered on January 12.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Los Angeles, @ Arizona

 

Rested Team: vs. Dallas (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jaden Schwartz will return to the Blues lineup on February 12 and will be reunited on the STL line with Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera. Schwartz was activated off injured reserve this past week after missing almost four months with a fractured ankle. He has only four assists in seven games and is owned in only 56 percent of Yahoo pools so grab him immediately if he is available in your pool. Jake Allen has been out of action since January 8 with a knee injury but he has been joining the Blues near the end of practice of late and while there is no timetable for his return, it is getting much closer. The Blues want defenseman Colton Parayko to shoot more often as they love how hard he can shoot the puck.  

    

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ Carolina

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Sharks start a five game road trip this week and play three games in four nights. Look for Alex Stalock to get a start with Martin Jones getting the net in the other two matchups. Logan Couture had a big night Thursday with a goal and four points and now he has 15 points in the 18 games since his return from a fractured fibula. Joonas Donskoi is having a fine rookie season with nine goals and 25 points. The 23-year-old was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 Draft and has finally blossomed this season. Tommy Wingels scored his fifth of the season Thursday but he has only 15 points, a huge dropoff from the 38 and 36 point campaigns the last two years.

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Winnipeg, @ Pittsburgh, @ Carolina

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Carolina (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Lightning play four games this week so expect to see Andrei Vasilevskiy play at least once and possibly twice with Ben Bishop getting the remainder of the starts.  It has been a tough season for Ondrej Palat as he has constantly been injured and his play when healthy has been ordinary as far as fantasy goes. He has only six goals and 16 points in 33 games with a plus-one rating after 59 and 63 point seasons the last two years with a combined plus-63. Steven Stamkos has only one goal in his last 10 games but does have a trio of two assist games in that span. Victor Hedman has two goals and nine points in his last 10 games.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Philadelphia   

 

Rested team: vs. New York Rangers (Thursday), vs. Philadelphia (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs dealt their captain Dion Phaneuf earlier in the week and it appears the team is going all out for the best chance to get the first overall pick and Auston Matthews, the Scottsdale-born wunderkid who is playing in Switzerland this season. The Senators gave up Jared Cowan and Milan Michalek off their roster but Michalek had only six goals and 10 points in 32 games and Cowan was even worse as a fantasy player with only four helpers in 37 games. Nazem Kadri missed Thursday’s game with a lower body injury and was fined $5,000 by the NHL for a throat-slashing gesture against Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames Tuesday. Jake Gardiner has goals in back-to-back games.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Anaheim, @ Calgary, vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: vs. Colorado (Sunday)

Tired Team @ Calgary (Friday)

 

Notes

The Canucks play four games this week including three in four nights. It’s likely that Jacob Markstrom and Ryan Miller will split the net despite the definite advantage that Markstrom has over the veteran Miller this season. Alexander Edler is out of action with a fractured fibula suffered on Tuesday. There is no timetable at this time on his return. Brandon Sutter suffered a fractured jaw in the same game. It has been a tough season for Sutter who has played in only 20 games as he missed 33 games after undergoing sports hernia surgery. Sven Baertschi has 10 goals and 19 points in 46 games this season but has three goals in his last seven matchups.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ New York Islanders, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested team: vs. New Jersey (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The amazing season of Braden Holtby continues as he is now 35-5-3 after a win over Minnesota Thursday. He has a 2.10 GAA and a .927 save percentage as he gets ever so closer to Martin Brodeur’s seasonal record of 48 wins. Alex Ovechkin has eight goals in his last eight games as he had a hat trick on Thursday. He has taken over the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy as he is one goal ahead of Patrick Kane. Marcus Johansson returned on Tuesday with a goal and three points after missing four contests with an upper body injury. Jay Beagle has been out since December 30 after undergoing hand surgery. He should resume skating this week.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The big news coming out of Winnipeg this week was the inking of Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year/$38 million contract. There is a no-movement clause for the first two seasons and Byfuglien can provide the Jets a list of 14 teams that he does not want to go to in years three-to-five. The signing makes it look like Andrew Ladd could be expendable as it’s unlikely the Jets could afford both. Alexander Burmistrov was highly regarded before the start of the season as he was returning from a stint in the KHL but he has been anything but good fantasy-wise as he has five goals and 11 points in 53 games this season. He has only two goals and no assists in 16 games since the start of the New Year.

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.