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The Final Week

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The Final Week
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Michael Finewax looks at the final week of the schedule including the surprisingly good season from veteran …

It's the final week of the season and I want to take this time to thank a few people including all our writers including Brian Rosenbaum, Ryan Dadoun, Corey Abbott, Kevin Brown, James O'Brien, Marty York, Jimmy Hascup, Mitch Goldenberg, Antti Makinen and Gus Katsaros on a great season.

In addition, thanks go out to Brett Vandermark, Aaron Solomon, Ed Williams, David Wilburn, Greg Friedman, Steven Howard and Stephen Hildebrand whose work and help at Rotoworld is always appreciated.

Finally, I'd like to thank all the readers for checking in, whether it was numerous times per day or just on occasion.

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

 

While you're at it, please also read Rotoworld writers @RyanDadoun, @CoreAbbott, @cyclelikesedins@kbrownroto and @katshockey for the latest news.

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

WEEK OF APRIL 7-13

4 Games- Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington

3 Games–Chicago, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto, Winnipeg

Colorado plays all four games on the road.

Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Vancouver play three games at home.

Boston, Carolina, Columbus, Detroit, the New York Islanders, Philadelphia and Toronto play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Jonathan Toews is out for the remainder of the regular season with an upper body injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Vancouver, vs. San Jose, @ Los Angeles, vs. Colorado

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Monday), vs. Colorado (Sunday)

Notes

The Ducks are one of seven teams who do not play three games in four nights but they still manage to play four times this week so it appears that Fredrik Andersen should get at least one start instead of Jonas Hiller. Andersen has started the last three games so Hiller owners could be concerned. Ryan Getzlaf is second in scoring with 84 points in 72 games, trailing only Sidney Crosby. Mathieu Perreault had his nine game scoring streak come to an end on Wednesday. Patrick Maroon saw his five game point streak end in the same game.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Winnipeg, vs. Buffalo, @ New Jersey

Rested team: @ Minnesota (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Sunday)

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights as part of a four game week.  Chad Johnson is expected to play at least once in place of Tuukka Rask. After a long winning streak, the Bruins have only one point in their last two games. Jarome Iginla was named the NHL's first star for the month of March with 13 goals and 17 points in 17 games. Iginla inked a one-year contract in the summer and the Bruins would love to re-sign him. Patrice Bergeron was the second star of the week with five goals and six points in four games. Defenseman Zdeno Chara has 17 goals this season with 10 on the power play. He has played a lot in front of the net during the pp and that has certainly helped in the goal scoring department.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Detroit, @ New York Rangers, @ Boston, vs. New York Islanders

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. New York Islanders (Sunday)

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. They are still missing Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth to injury so they are relying on Nathan Lieuwen and Matthew Hackett to tend to the net. The Sabres signed Jake McCabe to a three year entry level contract and the defenseman made his NHL debut on Thursday as he played 16:20 minutes with one hit. Ville Leino still has yet to score in 53 games. He had the shootout winner on Tuesday but his time in the NHL may be drawing to a close. Tyler Ennis could be the only Sabre with 20 goals as Cody Hodgson is second with 18.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Winnipeg, @ Vancouver

Rested team: vs. Winnipeg (Friday), @ Vancouver (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Flames play four times this week so look for Joey MacDonald to play once with Karri Ramo playing in three. Mark Giordano has been named the Flames nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy. He is second on the Flames in points, trailing only Jiri Hudler. Matt Stajan has been playing very well since returning to action as he has three goals and eight points in his last seven games. Bryce Van Brabant made his NHL debut on Tuesday after signing a two-year/two-way contract and had a minor penalty in the contest.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Washington, @ Detroit, @ Philadelphia

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Philadelphia (Sunday)

Notes

The Hurricanes play four times this week including three games in four nights. Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward should split the net this week. Jiri Tlusty has only 14 goals and 26 points in 65 games this season after a 23 goal season in 2013 when the NHL played a shortened 48 game schedule. With Andrej Sekera also out with an injury, the Hurricanes are limping towards the finish line. Rookie Elias Lindholm has a bright future in the NHL and had a couple of goals for the first time in his NHL career on Sunday.     

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Montreal, @ Washington, @ Nashville

Rested team: @ Washington (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Saturday)

Notes

The Blackhawks play three times in four nights so look for Antti Raanta to play once in place of Corey Crawford. Jonathan Toews suffered an upper body injury and is gone for the remainder of the regular season. The Blackhawks hope to get both him and Patrick Kane (lower body) back for the start of the playoffs and they could be in trouble if both remain out. Teuvo Teravainen is highly regarded but Chicago will move him in and out of the lineup during the last 10 days of the regular season as part of his learning process. Do not forget about him next season, especially in keeper leagues.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Vancouver, @ San Jose, @ Anaheim

Rested team: @ Anaheim (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Avalanche play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Jean-Sebastien Giguere to play once in place of Semyon Varlamov. Defensemen Tyson Barrie and Andre Benoit have been pleasant surprises offensively for the Avs as Barrie has 11 goals and 34 points in only 59 games while Benoit has seven goals and 28 points in 73 games. Both see lots of time on the power play. Matt Duchene will be lost to the Avs for another two-three weeks with a knee injury that will likely force him to miss the first round of the playoffs. Cody McLeod has a leg injury after he crashed awkwardly into the boards when hit on Thursday. There is no word at this time as to the severity of the injury.       

           

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ Dallas, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

Rested team: @ Florida (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Columbus Blue Jackets play four times this week including three in four nights. Sergei Bobrovsky should play three times with Curtis McElhinney seeing action in one game. Nathan Horton is day-to-day with a lower body injury. He should be a lot better next season as it's tough for a player to miss all of training camp in addition to half the season and then expect him to come back and play a good second half. Everyone tends to struggle and Horton is no exception. R.J. Umberger continues to be shuffled in and out of the lineup as he was a healthy scratch on Tuesday for the fourth time in the last month but he played 13:17 minutes Thursday in a 2-0 win.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Columbus, vs. St. Louis, @ Phoenix

Rested team: vs. St. Louis (Friday), @ Phoenix (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Stars play four games including three times in four nights so expect to see Tim Thomas at least once in goal for Kari Lehtonen. The Stars have been on fire of late, at least until lowly Carolina knocked them off their perch on Thursday. They are tied for the last playoff spot with Phoenix and have one game in hand with 10 days left in the regular season. Radek Faksa, the Stars first round pick in 2013, will play the rest of the season for the Texas Stars of the AHL after his OHL season ended. He had only 21 goals and 46 points in 59 games.

DETROIT

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Carolina, @ St. Louis

Rested team: vs. Carolina (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Pittsburgh (Wednesday)

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights so look for Jimmy Howard to play at least twice with Jonas Gustavsson tending the net at least once this week. The Red Wings continue to amaze as they are missing so many regulars in their lineup and continue to win. Gustav Nyquist has been a huge boon to the Red Wings as he has 28 goals and 46 points in 51 games including 12 goals and 18 points in 15 games in March as he was named the NHL's second star of the month. Pavel Datsyuk hopes to return on April 4 but the news is not as good for Henrik Zetterberg who underwent back surgery and will need the Red Wings to make a nice playoff run before he is able to return to the lineup.

EDMONTON

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Vancouver

Rested team: vs. Los Angeles (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is not having a very good offensive season by the standards that were set for him when he was named the number one pick in the 2011 Draft but he has three goals and nine points in his last eight games to give him 18 goals and 53 points this season, albeit, with a minus-14 rating. Taylor Hall said that the 2013-14 season has been the toughest yet of his NHL career as the Oilers were expected to contend for a playoff spot but instead are contending for the number one overall pick yet again. Hall has 26 goals and 73 points in 70 games to rank as one of the top scorers in the NHL but as with RNH, his plus/minus of minus-17 really hurts his fantasy value.

FLORIDA

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Toronto, vs. Columbus

Rested team: vs. Columbus (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Roberto Luongo is expected to return on April 4 after missing a week of action with a neck injury. The Panthers certainly need help offensively and should be able to get one player in the Draft as they will pick in the top three. Three players lead the team with 35 points including Nick Bjudstad, Scottie Upshall and Brian Campbell with Brad Boyes one behind. Aleksander Barkov is the future of the franchise along with Jonathan Huberdeau but the Panthers will need a lot more than that just to contend. Look for Huberdeau to bounce back next season as he has only eight goals and 27 points after being named the Calder Trophy winner last season.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, vs. Anaheim

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Thursday)

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights so expect to see Martin Jones in net once in place of Jonathan Quick. Everyone knows how good Quick is but Jones has had a surprisingly good season as he is 11-6-0 record with a .932 save percentage and a 1.91 GAA. That's a great handcuff for Quick in pools. Watch out for Marian Gaborik in a playoff pool. If the Kings go far, he will likely be one of their best scorers (if he can remain healthy) and is worth looking at if you think the Kings are going to make a playoff run. Drew Doughty is out with an upper body injury.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Boston, vs. St; Louis, @ Nashville

Rested Team: @ Nashville (Sunday)

Tired Team: vs. Boston (Tuesday)

Notes

The Wild play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Darcy Kuemper play at least once with Ilya Bryzgalov getting the remainder of the starts. Bryzgalov has taken over as the Wild's number one netminder. Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) practiced with the Wild on Wednesday and could be ready at some point in the playoffs if the Wild go fairly deep. Dany Heatley returned to the Minnesota lineup on Thursday after being a healthy scratch for the previous two games. Nino Niederreiter is out with an upper body injury, allowing Heatley to get back in the lineup.

MONTREAL

Games this week

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

 Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. New York Islanders (Thursday)

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Petr Budaj to play once in place of Carey Price. Doug Murray was suspended for three games for his illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay's Mike Kostka. Thomas Vanek has six goals and 10 points in his last eight games as he has really settled in with the Habs. P.K. Subban played only 17:48 minutes on Tuesday, only the second time this season that he has been below the 20 minute mark. Hopefully, the reason is that the Canadiens are just giving him more time off as the playoffs near.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ Dallas, vs. Phoenix, vs. Chicago, vs. Minnesota

Rested team: vs. Chicago (Saturday)

Tired Team: vs. Minnesota (Sunday)

Notes

The Predators play four times this week including three games in four nights. Carter Hutton should see action in one game with Pekka Rinne playing the rest. Rinne is only 3-6-1 since returning from a hip infection that kept him out of action from October 24-March 4. Seth Jones practiced with the Predators this week for the first time since suffering concussion-like symptoms on March 23. He is likely to return to action on April 4 and has a bright future despite some setbacks this season. Shea Weber has to be considered for the Norris Trophy despite the Predators poor record as he has 21 goals and 50 points this season.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Ottawa, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Boston

Rested team: vs. Boston (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Devils play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Cory Schneider and Martin Brodeur to split the net. Schneider has played very well despite his 14-14-11 record as he has a .916 save percentage and a 2.07 GAA. The Devils have lost all 11 shootouts this season and that will cost them a spot in the playoffs. Ryane Clowe is out once again with a possible concussion. He suffered a concussion earlier in the season that forced him to miss over two months. Jaromir Jagr leads the Devils in assists (40), points (64) and plus/minus at plus-13. Adam Henrique has one more goal than Jagr with 25.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ Montreal, @ New Jersey, @ Buffalo

Rested team: @ Montreal (Wednesday), @ Buffalo (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Islanders play four games this week including three games in four so look for Anders Nilsson to play at least once for Evgeni Nabokov. Good news on the John Tavares front as his recovery from knee surgery is going quite well. While he will not return this season, he should be able to participate in his regular summer workouts and be ready for training camp in September. Ryan Strome is coming into his own as he has a goal and six points in his last five games. The loss of Tavares has been bad for the Islanders but his absence has given Strome and Anders Lee the opportunity to play more and in all situations. 

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Buffalo, @ Montreal

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Ryan McDonagh suffered a shoulder injury on Tuesday but is confident he will be able to return for the start of the playoffs. Martin St. Louis finally scored a goal for the Rangers in his 15th contest with the team. He has only a goal and three assists in 16 games with New York after getting 29 goals and 61 points in 63 games with Tampa Bay before the trade. J.T. Miller was sent to the minors. He has only three goals and six points in 30 games this season. Derek Dorsett has been injured for a lot of the season and has four goals and eight points to go with 107 penalty minutes.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. New Jersey, vs. Toronto, @ Pittsburgh

Rested team: None

Tired Team:  None

Notes

The Senators play four games this week including three in four nights so expect to see Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner to split the net. Jason Spezza suffered a lower body injury but could return as early as April 5. Mika Zibanejad played in Spezza's spot between Ales Hemsky and Milan Michalek and scored the lone goal on Monday. He has 14 goals and 29 points this season and deserves to be looked at in keeper pools next season. Erik Karlsson is not happy with the way this season has gone as he is not still 100 percent from his Achilles tendon injury suffered last season. He leads all NHL defensemen with 70 points including 20 goals. Ales Hemsky has four assists in his last four games.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Carolina

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Carolina (Sunday)

Notes

The Flyers play four times this week so look for Ray Emery to play once for Steve Mason. Claude Giroux was the NHL's third star of the month as he had six goals and 21 points in 14 games in March. Scott Hartnell is having a good all-round fantasy season with 20 goals and 49 points to go with a plus-11 rating and 87 penalty minutes. Wayne Simmonds has been just as good with 25 goals and 55 points and 106 penalty minutes although his minus-four rating certainly doesn't help. Steve Mason has had a bounce back season as he is 31-17-7 this season with a 2.53 GAA and a .916 save percentage.

PHOENIX

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Nashville, vs. San Jose, vs. Dallas

Rested team: vs. San Jose (Saturday)

Tired Team: vs. Dallas (Sunday)        

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights as part of a four game week and they are hoping that Mike Smith is ready to return from injury. If so, he could play all four games but if he cannot suit up then look for Thomas Greiss to play with Mark Visentin backing him up. Greiss has lost his last three starts and the Coyotes are now in danger of missing the post-season. The Coyotes need to get off to a good start as they are only 7-16-8 when the opposition gets off to a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Keith Yandle leads the Coyotes in points with 51, two ahead of Radim Vrbata and three ahead of Mikkel Boedker.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

vs. Detroit, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Ottawa

Rested team: vs. Detroit (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Sidney Crosby became the first player to hit the 100 point mark this season and will be the only one as Ryan Getzlaf will be hard pressed to get to 90 points. Evgeni Malkin would have likely finished second in scoring if not for his injuries as he has 72 points in only 60 games. Paul Martin finally returned to action on Thursday for the first time in almost two months and he had an assist. Kris Letang did some penalty killing work in Thursday's practice as he tries to come back after suffering a stroke in January. Lee Stempniak had an assist on Thursday and now has three goals and 10 points in 16 games since his trade from Calgary.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Minnesota, @ Dallas, vs. Detroit

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Dallas (Friday)

Notes

The Blues play three games in four nights including a three game in four night stretch, so expect to see Brian Elliott play once in place of Ryan Miller. Alexander Steen missed Thursday's game with an upper body injury. Vladimir Tarasenko is still recovering from surgery to repair of a broken hand but has begun skating to at least keep in shape. T.J. Oshie was the third star of the week as he had four goals and six points in three games. Vladimir Sobotka is having a nice season with eight goals and 30 points in 56 games with a plus-17 and 66 penalty minutes. Try to grab him next year in deep pools.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

@ Anaheim, vs. Colorado, @ Phoenix

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Phoenix (Saturday)

Notes

The Sharks play three games in four nights to end their regular season so look for Alex Stalock to play once and give Antti Niemi a rest before the playoffs. Tomas Hertl practiced on Wednesday for the first time since his knee injury on December 19 and subsequent surgery. He could return at some point in the playoffs if the Sharks go deep. Dan Boyle has goals in three straight games and points in his last five to give him 11 goals and 32 points including 16 on the power play. This is good for prospective Boyle owners in the playoffs. Joe Pavelski continued his fine play this season and now has 38 goals and 75 points in 77 games.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

vs. Toronto, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Columbus, @ Washington

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Columbus (Friday)

Notes

The Lightning play three games in four nights to end their season so look for Anders Lindback to play once for Ben Bishop. It was quite an accomplishment for Tyler Johnson as he became just the second rookie to get five shorthanded goals and five power play goals in one season. The only other rookie to do so was Dennis Maruk of the California Golden Seals who did it in the 1975-76 season. Another rookie, Ondrej Palat has 20 goals and 54 points with a plus-28 rating and has to garner some Calder consideration at the end of the season. Steve Stamkos has 23 goals and 36 points in 32 games this season.

TORONTO

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ Ottawa

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Maple Leafs have won two in a row but their playoff chances may have taken another hit when Jonathan Bernier seemed to re-injure his groin on Thursday. He had an MRI on Friday but the details were not released at the time of this writing. James van Riemsdyk hit the 30 goal mark for the first time in his career on Thursday. So many people keep saying that the Leafs need a number one center, but Tyler Bozak fulfills that spot. Phil Kessel loves to handle the puck and any number one center that Toronto brings in would also be a puck handler. It would greatly limit Kessel’s effectiveness and thusly the Leafs should look elsewhere to improve their talent level as Bozak and Kessel have chemistry on the ice.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Colorado, @ Edmonton, vs. Calgary

Rested team: vs. Anaheim (Monday)

Tired Team: vs. Calgary (Sunday)

Notes

The Canucks will finish the season by playing four games including three games in four nights so look for Jacob Markstrom to play at least once if the Canucks are out of the playoff picture, in place of Eddie Lack. Alexander Edler is having a horrible fantasy season with six goals and 19 points in 58 games to go with a minus-33 rating. He is one of many Canucks going through a career worst season as the Sedin twins and Alex Burrows are doing the same. Jannik Hansen has scored only once in his last 15 games. Shawn Matthias is getting some time on the second line in Vancouver after being a fourth liner for the lowly Florida Panthers.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Carolina, vs. Chicago, vs. Tampa Bay

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Chicago (Friday)

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights as part of a four game week, so Braden Holtby could see some action, especially if the Capitals are eventually eliminated from playoff contention as they could rest Jaroslav Halak. The Capitals have been switching up their line combinations and Mikhail Grabovski is now on the top line with Jay Beagle and Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin has gone 16 games without an even strength goal but still leads the NHL with 48 goals. He has an NHL worst minus-36 rating. Nicklas Backstrom has 42 power play points including 37 assists. Only Sidney Crosby has as many as 37 power play points this season.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Boston, @ Calgary

Rested team: None

Tired Team:  @ Calgary (Friday)

Notes

Heading down the stretch, the Jets have been struggling as they are 4-8-4 in their last 16 to put them out of playoff contention. Mark Scheifele could start skating in the next few days after spraining his MCL a month ago. He likely will not return this season. Devin Setoguchi was a healthy scratch on Thursday for the fourth time in the last five games. The Jets continue to play Ondrej Pavelec over Al Montoya in net despite Montoya’s stats being much better than Pavelec’s. Montoya has been hurt the last few days but that does not excuse the team from not playing him more the rest of the season.  

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