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William Nylander
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The Week Ahead

Will Willie Sign?

by Michael Finewax

The William Nylander saga is almost over. It has to be as the deadline for Nylander, a restricted free agent, will not be allowed to play in the NHL if he is unsigned as of Saturday at 5:00 pm ET. There are plenty of rumors going around, some saying he will sign, some saying he will be traded but at least the drama should be over tomorrow.

 

GM Kyle Dubas apparently asked some teams to prepare an offer for Nylander’s services but I for one do not think he will be dealt.

 

One good thing for Toronto, should Nylander sign, is that his cap hit will be extremely high this season, a year the Maple Leafs can afford it. It may be the Maple Leafs were delaying signing Nylander on purpose to save cap room in the years to follow as Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner become RFA’s in the off-season.

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

 

WEEK OF DECEMBER 3-9

 

4 Games – Boston, Calgary, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Vegas

 

3 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Buffalo, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Carolina

 

1 Game- New York Rangers

 

Boston, Colorado, Minnesota and Washington play three games on the road.

 

Anaheim, Florida, Los Angeles, Ottawa and Vegas play three games at home.

 

INJURIES

 

Dustin Byfuglien is day-to-day with a concussion. (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. Chicago, vs. Carolina, vs. New Jersey

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Marcus Pettersson has an assist in each of his last four games. Hampus Lindholm (lower body) is getting close to a return as he has been out of action since November 16. He has been skating with the team. Ondrej Kase has three goals and five points in his last six games. Ryan Kesler has only four goals and five points in 24 games with a minus-10 rating. He appears to have lost all of his fantasy value. Rickard Rakell has only four goals this season in 27 games. No wonder coach Randy Carlyle said that the defense will have to win games if the Ducks are to be successful. After 27 games, the leading goal scorers on the Ducks are Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique and Pontus Aberg, all with six.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, vs. Washington, vs. San Jose

 

Rested Team: vs. San Jose (Saturday)

 

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Coyotes picked up Nick Schmaltz in a trade from Chicago but the ask price was high as Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini were sent packing. I don’t understand how the Coyotes gave up on Strome so quickly. Schmaltz is playing with Clayton Keller and Alex Galchenyuk. Arizona picked up some goaltending depth when they claimed Calvin Pickard off waivers from Philadelphia. The goaltending of the Coyotes is up in the air as Antti Raanta was hurt again Tuesday. Since his return, he has given up 14 goals on 85 shots in three games. Darcy Kuemper is still out with a lower body injury suffered on November 21. Keller and Brad Richardson lead the Coyotes in goals with seven.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Toronto, @ Ottawa

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins play four games this week including three in four nights. Look for Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak to split the net. The Bruins defense is hurting as Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo are out and they have been joined by Kevan Miller who will miss at least a month after taking a puck to his throat and injuring his larynx. Ryan Donato has returned to the Bruins after a stint in the minors where he had five goals and nine points in 10 games. He celebrated by scoring the shootout winner Thursday. Anders Bjork was sent to the minors.  Colby Cave is seeing time on the top line with David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand as Patrice Bergeron is still out of action.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Toronto, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Toronto (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The hottest team in the NHL finally lost on Thursday as the Sabres saw their ten-game winning streak come to an end. Sam Reinhart is coming into his own as the former second overall pick has 20 points in 27 games. The Sabres are led offensively by Jack Eichel who has only five goals in 26 games but has 25 helpers. The addition of Jeff Skinner from Carolina has been great as he is tied for second in the NHL in goals with 19. The Sabres need to re-sign the pending UFA. Rasmus Dahlin should be rostered somewhere in your fantasy pool as the first overall pick in 2018 has two goals and 14 points and is only going to get better. Buffalo contines to get strong goaltending as Carter Hutton is 12-7-1 while backup Linus Ullmark is 5-0-1.

 

CALGARY

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Minnesota, vs. Nashville, @ Edmonton

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Flames play four games this week with three coming in four nights. Mike Smith has lost the crease to David Rittich but the duo will likely share the net this week. Michael Frolik will miss his fifth straight game on Friday with a lower-body injury but could return this week. He has seven goals in 20 games. The Flames sent Dillon Dube to the minors which is the right decision as the 20-year-old need to play more than 10 minutes per game. Mark Giordano is having a renaissance year as he has 24 points this campaign after only 39 and 38 points respectively in his last two seasons. The Flames dealt away the disappointing Morgan Klimchuk to Toronto for promising defenseman Andrew Nielsen. Nielsen is thrilled to be returning to Alberta as the Red Deer native grew up a Flames fan.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes complete their six-game road trip this week. Carolina signed Scott Darling to a four-year/$16.6 million contract in the summer of 2017 as they figured the former Chicago netminder would be their goalie of the future. That idea did not last long and they placed him on waivers Thursday. Carolina will use Curtis McElhinney and Petr Mrazek as their goaltending duo for now with McElhinney the top gun as he has 7-2-0 record with a 2.12 GAA and a .930 save percentage. That is outstanding. Jake Bean made his NHL debut Tuesday and is hoping that he is in the league to stay after being drafted 13th overall in 2016. Teuvo Teravainen has quietly put up nice numbers this season with five goals and 18 points in 24 games.

 

CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Vegas, vs. Montreal

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Vegas (Thursday)

 

Notes

The Blackhawks made a very good deal with Arizona as they gave up Nick Schmaltz and received Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini in return. Strome was an outstanding junior, leading the OHL in points and was selected third overall in a great 2015 draft. He has struggled a professional but will be reunited with his Erie Otter linemate Alex DeBrincat in Chicago. Throw in Patrick Kane on the other side and you can see Strome thriving in the Windy City. He has taken Schmaltz’s spot on the first power play as well. Strome was strong in his Chicago debut as he scored once and added an assist. Perlini is playing alongside Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. Corey Crawford has a four-game losing streak and has given up 12 goals on 63 shots in his last two games.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay  

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The most prolific line in the NHL right now is the Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog trio. Rantanen and MacKinnon are one-two in scoring with 42 and 41 points respectively while Landeskog has 28 points. Keep an eye on Samuel Girard as the 20-year-old defenseman, who was the centerpiece in the trade that sent Matt Duchene packing, has three points in his last two games to give him 12 points this season. Tyson Barrie has been a horrible plus/minus fantasy player the last few seasons but he has turned that around this year as he is a plus-13.  He has missed the last two games because of a lower body injury.

 

COLUMBUS       

 

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Philadelphia, vs. Washington

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Artemi Panarin had gone 12 games without a goal before he potted one on Monday. He has seven goals and 27 points in 24 games. Cam Atkinson has been great this season with 16 goals in 24 games and the surprising Josh Anderson has 11. Pierre-Luc Dubois has 12 goals and 24 points in 25 games and gives the Blue Jackets the number one center they have lacked since dealing Ryan Johansen to Nashville. Riley Nash scored his first goal as a member of the Blue Jackets Thursday. It took him 24 games to do so. Sergei Bobrovsky has won three in a row and seven of his last eight games. Oliver Bjorkstrand was a healthy scratch for four games in a row before he returned to the lineup Thursday.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. San Jose, @ Vegas

 

Rested Team: @ Vegas (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Ben Bishop is healthy again after missing the last 10 days with a lower-body injury and was taken off the injured reserve list. He will start in place of his backup Anton Khudobin who was 2-2-1 in Bishop’s absence, giving up 16 goals on 149 shots. John Klingberg has missed the last 10 games and looks to be out another three weeks at least and most likely more, with a broken hand. The third overall pick from the 2017 Draft, Miro Heiskanen, has taken over nicely in his absence and has four goals and 11 points in 26 games. He has two goals and an assist in his last four contests. Martin Hanzal has yet to play this season after undergoing off-season spinal fusion surgery but could be back in a couple of weeks.

 

DETROIT

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Toronto, vs. New York Islanders

 

Rested Team: vs. Tampa Bay (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The rumor mill is going on Jimmy Howard as the St. Louis Blues are apparently interested in the veteran according to Darren Dreger of TSN. Howard is a pending UFA so a trade is not out of the question. Anthony Mantha had just one goal in his first 10 games but has turned that around lately as he has six goals in his last nine contests. Throw in three assists and the youngster is up to 14 points including nine goals in 25 games. Frans Nielsen has yet to score in 21 games but does have 14 assists. Mike Green has been strong offensively since his return from injury as he has two goals and 13 points in 16 games with a surprisingly good plus-nine rating. Niklas Kronwall has only three assists in 22 games and has lost all his value as a fantasy defenseman.

 

EDMONTON

 

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ St. Louis, vs. Minnesota, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: vs. Minnesota (Friday), vs. Calgary (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes   

The Oilers have played well under new head coach Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock insisted that he wanted Jesse Puljujarvi back with the big club and his wish was granted. Puljujarvi started this week on the fourth line but was on the second unit with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Drake Caggiula on Wednesday and scored. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals but they all count and this could be the confidence builder the Finn needs.  Ryan Spooner has been a non-factor since his trade from the Rangers and is now on the fourth line. He was given a chance with Connor McDavid on the top line but that failed. That is not a great return on Jordan Eberle. Mikko Kostinen should be the number one goalie as he is 7-2-1 with a 2.26 GAA and a .924 save percentage while Cam Talbot is 5-9-1 with a 3.29 GAA and a .889 save percentage.

 

FLORIDA

 

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. Colorado vs. New York Rangers

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The problem with a 39-year-old goaltender is that they are 39 and prone to getting hurt a lot. That’s the case with Roberto Luongo who has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury. He is expected back this week if not sooner but has played in only nine games this season. Aaron Ekblad had only two assists in his first 14 games but has five goals and eight points in his last nine contests. Jared McCann will get another shot on the second line with Vincent Trocheck out of action for months with a fractured ankle. He will play alongside Frank Vatrano and Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau leads the team with 24 points but also has a team-worst minus-11 rating.

 

LOS ANGELES

 

Games this week

vs. Arizona, vs. New Jersey, vs. Vegas 

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Jonathan Quick returned to the Kings lineup Thursday as he missed 15 games with a knee injury. The Kings have run through four goalies this season and have to be happy with the play of rookie Cal Petersen. He has played so well that the Kings sent Peter Budaj to the minors rather than Petersen when Quick was activated. The biggest disappointment this season has been the play of Ilya Kovalchuk who signed a big contract after spending the last six seasons in the KHL.  He is pointless in his last 11 games and saw only 6:20 of ice time Sunday. Anze Kopitar is heating up with a goal and eight points in his last four games. He started the season with six points in his first 17 games but has played quite well under new coach Willie Desjardins.

  

MINNESOTA

 

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team:  @ Edmonton (Friday)

 

Notes

The Wild visit Western Canada this week and play three games in four nights. Alex Stalock should get one start with Devan Dubnyk picking up two games. Zach Parise had only 24 points in an injury-plagued 42 games last season and already has 22 points this season in only 24 games. He is on a six-game points streak which includes five goals.  Nino Niederreiter is seeing time on a line with Parise and Mikko Koivu. Eric Staal has nine goals and 18 points this season, including four goals and a couple of helpers in his last seven games. Marcus Foligno leads the Wild with 23 penalty minutes. Koivu is the top forward on the power play with eight points including seven assists.

 

MONTREAL

               

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ Ottawa, @ Chicago

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canadiens play a home-and-home series against Ottawa this week so look for Andrew Shaw to add to his penalty minute total if there is any rough stuff. Shea Weber finally returned to action this week and had an assist. The Canadiens have missed him. Max Domi continues to lead the Habs in points with 26 points and Jonathan Drouin is second with 20. Montreal sent Victor Mete to the minors. Karl Alzner was also sent to the minors and that was a surprise as the Canadiens signed him to a five-year contract in the 2017 off-season worth $23.75 million. Carey Price has struggled of late and is now 7-7-4 with a 3.11 GAA and a .897 save percentage.

 

 NASHVILLE

 

vs. Buffalo, @ Vancouver, @ Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Predators have a solid lineup with few if any weaknesses. Pekka Rinne has been terrific all season as he is 10-4-1 with a 1.85 GAA and a .935 save percentage while Juuse Saros is 4-0-1 but his 3.29 GAA and .891 save percentage could use improving. Austin Watson has four goals and six points in eight games including a hat trick Sunday. It doesn’t hurt that he is playing with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg. Kyle Turris is out with an undisclosed injury. He has only five goals and 16 points in 23 games. Nick Bonino and Colton Sissons have combined for 21 points and are a plus-25. Ryan Ellis has only one goal this season in 26 games.

  

NEW JERSEY

 

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Joey Anderson will be out for a while after undergoing surgery for a broken ankle. He has only a goal and an assist in 11 games so he won’t be missed in fantasy leagues.         We are less than one month away from Cory Schneider going a full calendar year without a regular season win in the NHL. He struggled once again on Sunday as he gave up five goals on 35 shots to Tampa Bay. He is 0-5-0 this season with a 4.28 GAA and a .863 save percentage. You are in big trouble if he is still on your fantasy roster. If you are in need of penalty minutes, look at Miles Wood as he has 25 in 23 games and is capable of scoring double digit goals. Jesper Bratt has two goals and seven points in 10 games.

 

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Pittsburgh, @ Detroit

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Thomas Greiss is having a very good season with an 8-4-1 record to go with a 2.45 GAA and a .925 save percentage. The Islanders have to be thrilled with Greiss after his mediocre season of 2017-18 when he had a 3.82 GAA and a .892 save percentage. Casey Cizikas has returned after a two-week absence with a lower-body injury. Mathew Barzal has three goals and 21 points in 24 games this season after an 85-point rookie campaign. Anders Lee had 74 goals over the previous two seasons including 40 last year but has only eight in 24 games this year. He misses John Tavares. Andrew Ladd is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

 

Games this week

@ Florida

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

 Notes

Mats Zuccarello thinks he will be traded at some point this season as the veteran Ranger can become a UFA at the end of the year. He currently is out of action with a groin injury. Vladislav Namestnikov is out of action with a suspected concussion as he is in concussion protocol. He is not travelling with the Rangers on their current road trip. Kevin Shattenkirk has only a goal and eight points in 25 games and he has been overtaken by Neal Pionk as the Rangers top offensive blueliner. He has four goals and 15 points this season. Chris Kreider leads the Rangers with 13 goals and Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey are tied for second with eight apiece.

 

OTTAWA            

 

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. Montreal, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Boston

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Senators play three games in four nights as part of a four-game week. Look for Craig Anderson to get the net three times with Mike McKenna playing once. They also play the Canadiens twice this week and look for Mark Borowiecki to add to his penalty minute count if any rough stuff occurs. Well he will if he is back from the injured reserved list. If not, look for Brady Thachuk to be involved. Matt Duchene has been everything the Senators thought he would be when they traded for him last season. It is happening for Duchene this season as he has 33 points in only 26 games. Mark Stone is also having a strong season with 28 points this season. Chris Tierney has 18 points in 26 games. He came over as part of the Erik Karlsson deal to San Jose.

 

PHILADELPHIA

 

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Boston, @ Winnipeg

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Winnipeg (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Flyers play three games in four nights this week so look for Anthony Stolarz to get a couple of starts with Alex Lyon getting one. Michal Neuvirth is close to returning from a lower-body injury that has kept him sidelined since October 27, but Brian Elliott has suffered a setback and is still a while away from returning to action.  The Flyers fired their GM Ron Hextall this past week as his vision of the team did not coincide with team president Paul Holmgren. Chuck Fletcher is the apparent front-runner for Hextall’s old job. There could be some changes in Philadelphia. They started off by putting Calvin Pickard on waivers. He was claimed by Arizona. Sean Couturier has been pointless in his last two games but had six goals and 13 points in his previous eight games.

 

PITTSBURGH

 

Games this week

 vs. Colorado, vs. New York Islanders, @ Ottawa

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Phil Kessel had his nine-game points streak come to a halt on Wednesday. The winger has 10 goals and 28 points in 24 games and is two points in arrears of Evgeni Malkin for the team lead in points. Casey DeSmith is 6-3-3 with the 2.41 GAA and a .924 save percentage. He will be the beneficiary of Matt Murray’s injury that will keep him out long-term. Jamie Oleksiak is having a strong fantasy season with four goals and 10 points in 22 games with a plus-six rating and 23 penalty minutes. The Penguins have to be disappointed with the offensive output of Bryan Rust who has only a goal and five points in 24 games. Not doing a lot better is Riley Sheahan who has a  couple of goals and only one assist in 23 contests.

 

ST. LOUIS

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Winnipeg, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Alexander Steen returned to the St. Louis lineup on Wednesday after missing a couple of weeks with an upper-body injury. Vladimir Tarasenko halted a 10-game goalless drought on Saturday and now has goals in back-to-back games. He had three straight seasons of 70-plus points before his 66-point campaign last season and four straight seasons with over 30 goals but needs to pick things up if he hopes to reach those marks this season. The Blues waived Nikita Soshnikov and will likely send him to the minors if and when he passes through. Alex Pietrangelo has a three-game points streak in which he has four points. Colton Parayko has only three goals and six points this season.

 

SAN JOSE

 

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ Dallas, @ Arizona

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Arizona (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Sharks play three games in four nights this week so expect to see Martin Jones twice and Aaron Dell once in the San Jose net. Timo Meier missed Wednesday’s game with an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. Joe Pavelski has 16 goals this season including nine goals in his last nine games. He only has four helpers in 26 games after three straight seasons with at least 39. Erik Karlsson looked to be snapping out of his season-long slump as he had two goals and eight points in five games but has gone the last three games without a point. Evander Kane had 26 penalty minutes Sunday and has 53 minutes in the sin bin with seven goals and 16 points in 26 games.     

 

TAMPA BAY

 

Games this week

@ New Jersey, @ Detroit, vs. Boston, vs. Colorado

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Tuesday)

 

Notes

The Lightning play three games in four nights as part of a four-game week. Louis Domingue should get three starts in goal with Edward Pasquele getting the crease once. Pasquele was sent to the minor on Thursday but I see him getting some playing time on the weekend and returning to play on Tuesday in Detroit. If not, Connor Ingram should get the start. Brayden Point was taken 79th overall in the 2014 Draft but if there was a re-draft, he would be a definite top-three pick. He has 18 goals and 33 points in only 26 games after a 66-point sophomore season last year. Nikita Kucherov is on an eight-game points streak in which he has three goals and 17 points. He is up to 10 goals and 35 points this season. Ryan McDonagh left Thursday’s game with an undisclosed injury.

 

TORONTO

 

Games this week

@ Buffalo, vs. Detroit, @ Boston   

 

Rested team:  @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Maple Leafs welcomed Auston Matthews back on Wednesday after missing 14 games. He had two goals and an assist in his return and has           12 goals and 19 points in only 12 games. Mitch Marner has been amazing this season and he is in line for a huge contract in the off-season as he could command as much as $10 million per season. He has six goals and 36 points in 26 games and both he and Matthews are in the final year of their entry-level contracts. They should get about $22 million per season and that will be a big strain on the Leafs salary cap. The Maple Leafs have plenty of talent and if both sign long-term then the future remains bright. The streaky Nazem Kadri has not scored in eight games and has only two assists in that time frame.

 

VANCOUVER

 

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Washington, @ St. Louis

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Canucks got Brock Boeser back on Tuesday after he missed 11 games with a groin injury. He did not score Tuesday against the Kings but potted a couple of goals Thursday against the Golden Knights. Darren Archibald was sent to the minors. Ben Hutton leads the Canuck blueliners in goals and points with four and 10 but is also a team-worst and league-worst minus-14. Elias Pettersson has 13 goals including three in his last seven games. The rookie has been slumping a bit after an amazing start to his career but he is getting it back on track. He has 22 points in 22 games. Bo Horvat is getting a bit lost with Pettersson and Boeser getting most of the attention but he quietly has a team-leading 24 points in 28 games.

 

VEGAS

 

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. Chicago, @ Los Angeles, vs. Dallas

 

Rested Team: vs. Chicago (Thursday)

Tired Team: vs. Vegas (Sunday)

 

Notes

The Golden Knights play four games this week including three games in four nights. Marc-Andre Fleury should get three starts with Malcolm Subban getting the net once. The Golden Knights have won five in a row to move into a tie for second place in the Pacific Division with 29 points but are only one point away from not being in a playoff spot. Max Pacioretty was off to a terrible start with only two goals and four points in his first 16 games. He has eight goals and 11 points in his last seven and is a must-start at this time. Pacioretty has five 30-goal seasons in his career and is back on track for his sixth. William Karlsson has goals in each of his last three games to give him eight in 27 games this season.

 

WASHINGTON

 

Games this week

@ Vegas, @ Arizona, @ Columbus

 

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

After missing the last six games, Evgeny Kuzetsov (upper-body) will return to the Washington lineup on Friday. He has six goals and 21 points in 18 games. T.J. Oshie is still out with a suspected concussion suffered a couple of weeks ago. There is no update at this time as to his return. Tom Wilson has been amazing offensively since his return from a suspension on November 13. He has six goals and 12 points in only eight games and has a six-game points streak at this time. Alex Ovechkin has seven goals and 11 points on the power play and has 18 goals and 28 points this season. A lot was expected from Andre Burakovsky this season but he has only three goals and six points in 24 games.

 

WINNIPEG

 

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. St. Louis, vs. Philadelphia

 

Rested team: vs. Philadelphia (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Dustin Byfuglien has a concussion, the result of a hit on Tuesday from Jamie Oleksiak of the Penguins. It was thought that he was fine but he started getting symptoms on Wednesday and will miss at least a week of action. Nikolaj Ehlers had only one goal in his first 13 games this season but has seven in his last 11 games including a hat trick on Thursday. Patrik Laine was the first star of the week and a five-goal game never hurts. He has a leading 21 goals but only three assists. Kyle Connor has 10 goals and 24 points and has been scoring no matter which line he plays on. Jacob Trouba has two goals and 12 points and is on the second power play. Sami Niku played in his first game of the season Thursday and was on the second power play.

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.