NHL starts the Bye Week – The Week Ahead


The NHL starts its mandated five day bye week this week and 13 teams play only once. In weekly transaction pools you get a huge advantage as Calgary, Carolina, Chicago and Minnesota all play four games while five other teams play three times.

 

The Florida-Boston game was postponed due to a snowstorm on Thursday and will have to be made up at a later date. Keep tuned.

 

There is plenty of information and good chatter always on the Rotoworld Hockey Podcast. Listen here.

 

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.

 

WEEK OF JANUARY 8-14

  

4 Games – Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Minnesota

 

3 Games –Columbus, Edmonton, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

 

2 Games – Arizona, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto

 

1 Game – Anaheim, Boston, Colorado, Dallas, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Jose, Vegas

 

Calgary plays all four games on the road.

 

Chicago and Minnesota play three games at home.

 

Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

 

Filip Forsberg is out four-six weeks with an upper 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

@ Los Angeles

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

After a rough first game in which he was a minus-three, Ryan Kesler is starting to get his hockey legs back and has a goal and two assists in his last three games. Grab him now if available. Corey Perry is closing in on a return from a knee injury that has forced him to sit out the last 11 games. Ryan Getzlaf had a couple of goals and 16 points in 10 games before he was held off the scoresheet on Thursday. He has 23 points in 18 games this season as he missed a lot of action with a fractured zygomatic bone. Ondrej Kase has missed the last two games with the flu but should be fine for the lone game this week. Kevin Bieksa leads the Ducks with 61 penalty minutes.

 

ARIZONA

 

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ San Jose

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Saturday)

 

Notes

The Coyotes claimed Freddie Hamilton off waivers from Calgary this week. Anthony Duclair has reportedly asked for a trade from Arizona as he thinks he needs a change of scenery. Duclair had a great rookie season in which he had 20 goals and 44 points in 2015-16 but the last two seasons have been a struggle. Brad Richardson had an excellent (for him) start to the 2016-17 season with five goals and nine points in 16 games before fracturing his fibula and tibia, causing him to miss the rest of the season. A lot of pundits thought he could pick up where he left off but that is not the case as he has only a goal and six points in 36 games with a minus-17 rating. Clayton Keller saw his eight game points streak end on Thursday.

 

BOSTON

 

Games this week

@ Montreal

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Bruins are one hot team. They are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and tied for second in the Atlantic with 50 points.  They also have four games in hand on the Toronto Maple Leafs whom they are tied with. The Bruins were high on Anders Bjork out of training camp but he has struggled and was benched for a couple of game in the last week before being sent to the minors. I continue to be impressed with the play of rookie Danton Heinen who has 10 goals and 28 points in 34 games. The fourth round pick in 2014 has yet to score on the power play but has seven assists. David Pastrnak has not scored in his last 10 games but does have seven helpers in that span. David Backes was the third star of the week after picking up three goals and three assists in six games.

 

BUFFALO

 

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Columbus

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

After going 16 games without a goal, including the entire month of December, Sam Reinhart has scored in back-to-back games. He should be available in your league for a pickup. Rasmus Ristolainen failed to score in his first 28 games before scoring in back-to-back games this past week. The Sabres have scored only 15 goals on the power play with Ryan O’Reilly leading the way with four. Evander Kane and Jack Eichel lead the Sabres with 35 points apiece. Look for Kane to get dealt by the February 26 trade deadline as he can become a UFA on July 1. Chad Johnson is 1-6-3 with a 3.68 GAA and a .884 save percentage this season. The Sabres need a lot better from their backup netminder.

 

CALGARY

 

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ Carolina

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Florida (Friday)

 

Notes

The Flames play four games this week including three in four nights as they hit the road. David Rittich will likely play once with Mike Smith getting the other three starts. There is supposed to be an announcement on the status of Jaromir Jagr who did not play Thursday. You have to wonder if the Flames are getting ready to release him at the age of 45. Kris Versteeg who had hip surgery on December 4, is no longer on crutches. The Flames lost Freddie Hamilton on waivers and you have to wonder if it will affect his brother, defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Mark Giordano has seven goals to lead the Flames blueliners, as well as 18 points which ties him with T.J. Brodie. Matthew Tkachuk has 10 goals and 25 points in 38 games including four goals and nine points on the power play.

 

CAROLINA

 

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Washington, vs. Washington, vs. Calgary

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team:  None

 

Notes

The Hurricanes play four times this week including three games in four nights. Cam Ward should play three times with Scott Darling playing once. They play the Capitals twice this week and played them once last week so there could be some fisticuffs playing one team three times in 10 days. It looks like former Capital Justin Williams may be their toughest player. Cam Ward is playing great now that he is back as the starter. The netminder is 11-2-2 with a 2.52 GAA and a .915 save percentage after shutting out the Penguins on Thursday. Derek Ryan saw his three game points streak end on Thursday. Sebastian Aho did not score a goal in his first 15 games of the season but has 13 in his last 25 contests.

 

 CHICAGO

 

Games this week

@ Ottawa, vs. Minnesota, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Detroit

 

Rested Team: vs. Detroit (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Blackhawks play three games in four nights as part of their four game week. Jeff Glass has taken over from the injured Corey Crawford and could see action in three games with Anton Forsberg getting one start. Glass has been quite the revelation as the 32-year-old rookie played his first NHL game on December 29 and is 2-0-1 for the Blackhawks, all on the road. Duncan Keith has yet to score this season but does have 19 assists. Patrick Sharp had the game winner on Wednesday but it was only his fourth goal of the season and first since November 27. Vinnie Hinostroza is playing top-six minutes alongside Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. Defenseman Jordan Oesterle has a three game points streak with two goals and two assists.

 

COLORADO

 

Games this week

@ Dallas

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

The Avalanche are hoping that Semyon Varlamov is ready to go against the Stars. He has a minor muscle injury and will not be in the starting lineup until then at the earliest. The Avs recalled Andrew Hammond to back up Jonathan Bernier in the interim. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen are having great seasons and are the future of Colorado. MacKinnon has 17 goals and 49 points in 40 games while the sophomore Rantanen has 14 goals and 38 points. Gabriel Landeskog has bounced back from a horrible 2016-17 season when he had 33 points in 72 games with a minus-25 rating as he already has 16 goals and 31 points in 36 contests with a plus-12 rating. Nikita Zadorov continues to see first power play time in the absence of the injured Tyson Barrie.

 

COLUMBUS

 

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Buffalo, vs. Vancouver

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Toronto (Monday), vs. Vancouver (Friday)

 

Notes

 Ryan Murray (upper body) has missed the last 18 games and while still not practicing, he was doing some off-ice conditioning. The second overall pick in the 2012 Draft could be trade bait at some point as the Blue Jackets have a strong blueline without him in the lineup. Sergei Bobrovsky has not won back-to-back games since December 8 and 9 and is 3-5-2 in the 10 games, giving up 33 goals on 311 shots. That is very un-Vezina-like for the reigning Trophy holder. Artemi Panarin got off to a tough start in Columbus but turned things on in December as he tied a pair of club records including picking up 13 assists and 18 points. Nick Foligno is having a poor fantasy season with only seven goals and 14 points in 42 games.

 

DALLAS

 

Games this week

vs. Colorado

 

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

 

Notes

Alexander Radulov has six points in his last four games to give him 35 this season in 42 games. The signing of Martin Hanzal has not been a good one to start the season as he has been injury-prone (like he has been most of his career). The big center has three goals and seven points in 27 games with a minus-10 rating. Ben Bishop has been okay overall for the Stars with an 18-11-2 mark to go with a 2.55 GAA but he is 3-1 in his last four giving up only seven goals on 131 shots. He has started the last nine games in a row for Dallas. John Klingberg leads the Stars in power play points with 14, 13 coming via the assist category. Esa Lindell has four goals and 16 points and the blueliner is a plus-14.  



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