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Patrik Laine
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The Week Ahead

Patrik Laine Jets to the Top

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: October 12, 2019, 1:26 pm ET

It’s starting to get busy in the NHL as only the Sharks play twice while 10 teams play four times.

There are plenty of afternoon games on Monday as it is Thanksgiving in Canada and Columbus Day in the United States.

James Neal continues to sparkle for the Oilers as he leads the NHL in goals with seven, one ahead of Anthony Mantha and Auston Matthews.

There is plenty to read so let’s get to it!

Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Lineup Adviser, get our Weekly and Rest-of-Season rankings and projections, track all of your players and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!

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

WEEK OF OCTOBER 14-20

4 Games – Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary, Colorado, Dallas, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, Vancouver, Washington  

3 Games - Arizona, Boston, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vegas, Winnipeg

2 Games – San Jose

Colorado and Dallas play all four games on the road.

Anaheim, Calgary, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Washington and Winnipeg play three games at home.

Buffalo, Carolina, Detroit, Minnesota and Vancouver play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Evgeny Malkin is out long-term with a lower-body injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. Buffalo, vs. Carolina, vs. Calgary

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Calgary (Sunday)

Notes

The Ducks play four games this week but they are spread out. Nevertheless, Ryan Miller should get one start with John Gibson getting the crease the other three games. Gibson has been great thus far as he is 3-1-0 with a 1.26 GAA and a .961 save percentage. Ondrej Kase scored his first of the season Thursday and is tied with Hampus Lindholm for the Ducks lead in scoring with three points. No Anaheim player had more than one goal this season in four games. Sam Steel has been put on the injured reserve list with a mid-body injury. He played opening night but has not played since.

ARIZONA

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Nashville, vs. Ottawa

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes won their first of the season Thursday as they defeated Vegas 4-1. Barrett Hayton made his NHL debut after being a healthy scratch the first two games and picked up his first NHL point with an assist. Conor Garland scored twice in the win and leads the Coyotes in goals as Arizona had scored only once in their first two games. Phil Kessel is off to a slow start with only one assist in three games. Darcy Kuemper has started all three games and has given up only four goals on 93 shots. He held the Coyotes together last season and this year has been no different thus far as he has allowed two or less goals in his last 10 games dating back to last season. Lawson Crouse is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

BOSTON

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Toronto

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Bruins lost their first of the season Thursday as Colorado became the first team to beat them on the road, 4-2. Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask have split the net over the first four games so don’t expect Rask to play much more than 50 games this season as they will keep him well rested for the playoffs. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak lead the Bruins with five points apiece. Joakim Nordstrom injured his foot in the playoffs last season and finally returned to the lineup Thursday, playing on the fourth line. He has no fantasy value. David Krejci returned to action after missing the opener with a lower-body injury. He centers the second unit.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

Tired: @ Los Angeles (Thursday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Sabres play four games this week including three games in four nights. They are home to Dallas before heading out to California to play the rest of the week. Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark could share the net this week. Rasmus Dahlin has points in each of the Sabres first four games and leads all NHL defensemen with seven points. Victor Olofsson continued his great start to the season with his fourth on Wednesday. We touted him before the season and he has been everything we thought and more thus far. Jack Eichel had a four-point game Wednesday and has seven points in the Sabres four contests. Connor Sheary is out week-to-week with an upper-body injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Evan Rodrigues.

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Detroit, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

Tired: @ Anaheim (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Flames play four times this week including three games in four nights. It is early in the season so Calgary could split the net this week with David Rittich and Cam Talbot each starting twice. They head out to California for the second time this season and it’s only October. David Rittich got the win Thursday in a shootout for the first time in his career as he had lost the first four shootouts. Michael Stone replace Oliver Kylington on the third defense pairing Thursday. Johnny Gaudreau had the shootout winner Thursday and leads the Flames in points with six. Milan Lucic has yet to pick up a point in four games but has 26 penalty minutes.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ San Jose, @ Anaheim

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Hurricanes are in California this week and play three games in four nights. Petr Mrazek should get a couple of starts with James Reimer getting the net once. Reimer had a triumphant return to Florida as he stopped 47 shots for the win. Jordan Martinook is out six-eight weeks after undergoing surgery Friday to repair a core muscle injury. The Hurricanes are a perfect 4-0 after beating the Panthers in Florida 6-3. Sebastian Aho picked up his first point of the season. Andrei Svechnikov has six assists including two in each of his last three games. Half the assists have come on the power play and he leads the Hurricanes in points. Erik Haula leads with three goals.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Columbus, vs. Washington

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks are in the middle of a seven game homestand. They are off to a slow start, losing both contests thus far, including a 5-4 loss to previously winless San Jose. Andrew Shaw returned home to Chicago after three seasons with Montreal and scored twice in front of the home crowd Thursday. It’s been a big of a surprise but Brendan Perlini has been a healthy scratch so far this season. After a career year last season in which he picked up 81 points, Jonathan Toews is pointless early on. Corey Crawford has played both games for the Blackhawks and has given up nine goals on 72 shots. Perhaps it is time to give last season’s William Jennings Trophy winner Robin Lehner the crease.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Pittsburgh, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

Tired: @ Tampa Bay (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Avalanche are on the road for all four games this including three games in four nights. Philipp Grubauer should get three starts with Pavel Francouz picking him up once. The Avalanche are a perfect 3-0 this season after a nice comeback win over Boston Thursday. Grubauer has started and won all three with a 2.31 GAA and a .931 save percentage. Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen all have five points in the three contests while rookie of the year candidate Cale Makar has three helpers. Nazem Kadri has yet to pick up a point centering the second line but Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, a free-agent acquisition from Vegas has two goals.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Dallas. @ Chicago, vs New York Islanders

Tired: vs. New York Islanders (Saturday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Blue Jackets play three games in four nights. Joonas Korpisalo is likely to get a couple of starts with Elvis Merzlikins playing once. It was a tough NHL debut for Merzlikins who gave up seven goals including some weak ones, to Pittsburgh, on 40 shots. Hopefully he will redeem himself quickly. Josh Anderson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Sonny Milano took his spot in the lineup. Columbus won their first of the season Monday with a 4-3 overtime victory over Buffalo. Korpisalo managed to stop only 15 shots as Columbus outshot Buffalo 44-18. Alexandre Texier had the winner and it was his first of the season.

DALLAS

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Columbus, @ Pittsburgh, @ Philadelphia

Tired: @ Philadelphia (Saturday)

Rested: None  

Notes

The Stars are on the road for all four games this week including three in four nights. Ben Bishop will likely get the call three times with Anton Khudobin starting once. The Stars are off to a slow start at 1-3-1. Jamie Benn scored his first of the season Thursday in a 3-2 shootout loss to Calgary. Roope Hintz lead the Stars with five points but their top three players, Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov, have combined for only four goals and seven points so far. John Klingberg is also off to a very slow start offensively with only one assist in five games.  Joe Pavelski was the big off-season signing and he has yet to find the back of the net and has set up only one goal. Bishop has played well, giving up 10 goals on 110 shots in four games. 

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.