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Grab the Lightning this week

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Dose: Rangers for Real?
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A ton of observations in Friday's Hockey Dose, including compelling evidence that the Rangers are …

If you are in a pool that only allows weekly transactions, that is quite a disparity as even a fourth liner on Tampa Bay will get more minutes this week than Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. While I can't tell you to sit Crosby or Malkin this week, it makes sense that if your two options are a Lightning player or Crosby, it may be wise to take the Tampa Bay player, especially if they are a top six forward.

It was a big week for hockey as most Olympic teams were announced. The guessing is now over and the debate over who was named and more importantly, who was not, was rampant.

Here is a listing of all the Olympic teams.

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 and comments.

 
 

WEEK OF JANUARY 13-19

5 Games- Tampa Bay

4 Games- Calgary, New York Rangers, Phoenix, Vancouver, Washington

3 Games– Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Jose, Toronto, Winnipeg

2 Games - Detroit

1 Game - Pittsburgh

Carolina, Chicago, Minnesota, the New York Rangers and St. Louis play three games at home.

Calgary, Edmonton, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Washington play three games on the road.

 

INJURIES

Logan Couture had surgery on his wrist and will miss three-four weeks. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ Chicago, @ St. Louis

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Saturday)

Notes

The Ducks play three games in four nights so look for Frederik Andersen to play at least once for Jonas Hiller.  Hiller has won his last 12 starts in a row and is 21-4-4 this season. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season but the Ducks could let him go as they have Andersen and Viktor Fasth waiting. Nick Bonino has surpassed his career highs in goal and points with 13 and 32 respectively. Saku Koivu felt he was not fit enough to play in the Olympics and as a result will not suit up for Finland.

BOSTON

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Dallas, @ Chicago

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Loui Eriksson has not played since December 7 as he suffered his second concussion of the season but he has been cleared to practice with contact and it appears that his return to the lineup is imminent. Daniel Paille has four goals and five points in seven games since returning from a concussion that kept him out of action for seven games.  Shawn Thornton will return to the lineup on January 11 after finishing his 15 game suspension.  Reilly Smith continues to impress as he leads the Bruins in goals with 15 and is second to David Krejci with 32 points. He also has nine power play points.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ Toronto, vs. Columbus

Rested team: vs. Columbus (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Sabres finally have a new General Manager as Tim Murray has taken the job. Drew Stafford has been out since January 2 and has been placed on the injured reserve list with an upper body injury. The Buffalo-Carolina game on January 7 was postponed due to snow and will be played on February 25. Tyler Myers will now return from his three game suspension Wednesday against the Maple Leafs. Cody Hodgson is practicing with the Sabres and he could return this week from his wrist/thumb injury that has kept him out of the lineup since December 19.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ Nashville, vs. Winnipeg, @ Vancouver

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Tuesday)

Notes

The Flames play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Reto Berra and Karri Ramo to split the net this week. It was a surprise that Jiri Hudler did not make the Czech Republic Olympic team as he has 12 goals and 35 points in 42 games this season. Joe Colborne scored and had an assist on Monday but has only 11 points in 40 games. David Jones is out of action with an eye injury. Kris Russell (knee sprain) is skating on his own and should return to the lineup in late January or early February.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Florida, vs. Tampa Bay

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Jeff Skinner has taken over the spot of the injured Eric Staal on the top line, playing with Tuomo Ruutu and Alexander Semin. Semin was not named to the Russian Olympic team  and the same fate occurred with Eric Staal and Team Canada. Skinner was the first star of the week with six goals and nine points in four games and continued his fine play with a goal and an assist Thursday against Toronto. He has 17 goals in his last 17 games. Elias Lindholm won a silver medal at the World U20 Championships with Sweden at he had two goals and nine points in six games. He had a goal and two assists in his first game back Thursday against the Maple Leafs.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. Anaheim, vs. Boston

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Nikolai Khabibulin is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff. Antti Raanta will back up Corey Crawford for the remainder of the season. Duncan Keith has to be considered the favorite at this time for the Norris Trophy. The defenseman has 18 points in his last 14 games and now has three goals and 40 assists in 46 games this season with a plus-17 rating. He also has 16 power play points.  Marcus Kruger is now seeing some action on the second line between Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg as he has replaced Michal Handzus on the line.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Chicago, vs. New Jersey, @ Nashville

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Semyon Varlamov is having an outstanding season with a 20-8-4 record to go with a 2.37 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Paul Stastny has eight points in his last three games. Ryan O'Reilly picked up a weird injury as he suffered a shoulder injury during a goal celebration Monday. He missed Wednesday's game. Alex Tanguay has started skating again as he is looking to avoid season-ending hip surgery. Matt Duchene leads the Avalanche in goals and points with 16 and 38 respectively. He was named to the Canadian Olympic team on Tuesday.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Washington, @ Buffalo

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Saturday)

Notes

Sergei Bobrovsky was named to the Russian Olympic team while Marian Gaborik was named to the Slovakian team. Gaborik is currently out of action with a broken collarbone but hopes to be ready for the Olympics. It is not surprising that Nathan Horton is having some conditioning issues since returning to action on January 2 after missing the first half of the season with a shoulder injury that required off-season surgery. He has a goal and an assist in three games but do not expect him to score at that pace. Derek MacKenzie is due to return from a three game suspension on January 11.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Boston, @ Minnesota

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Tyler Seguin has gone three straight games without a point. The Stars leading point getter was not named to the Canadian Olympic team but his linemate Jamie Benn was, while his other linemate Valeri Nichushkin, made the Russian squad as an 18-year-old. Sergei Gonchar missed six games with a concussion before returning to the lineup this week. He has 12 assists in 37 games without a goal. Alex Chiasson had a great start to his NHL career but has fallen off as he has eight goals and 22 points in 41 games with a horrible minus-15 rating.

DETROIT

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Los Angeles

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Red Wings play only twice this week so I would recommend going with players on Tampa Bay or a team that plays four times if you have weekly transactions but would not sit Henrik Zetterberg or Pavel Datsyuk (if healthy). Datsyuk has missed the last two games with a groin injury. Johan Franzen has missed the last nine games with a concussion but has been cleared to start practicing. He could be ready to go for the Los Angeles game. Datsyuk (15), Zetterberg (14) and Daniel Alfredsson (11) are the only Red Wings with double digit goals as the NHL has passed the halfway mark of the season.

EDMONTON

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ Minnesota, @ Winnipeg

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None  

Notes

Nail Yakupov has three goals in his last four games. Taylor Hall has 16 goals and 41 points in 39 games but did not make the Team Canada roster. Sam Gagner has only 17 points in 33 games as he missed the start of the season with a broken jaw but he has four assists in his last four games and could have a very good second half of the season. His name is being bandied about in trade rumors so do not be surprised if he leaves the Oilers. Ales Hemsky suffered a possible head injury on Tuesday and could be out  of action for some time.

FLORIDA

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. San Jose, @ Carolina  

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Tim Thomas has been quite good this season as he sat out all of last year. The 39-year-old is 11-11-2 with a 2.60 GAA and a .914 save percentage this season. Last season's Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau has not scored in his last 12 games. Aleksander Barkov has made the Finnish Olympic team as an 18-year-old. Erik Gudbranson missed five games with a broken orbital bone that required surgery. Brad Boyes leads the team with 12 goals while Sean Bergenheim is second with 10.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ St. Louis, @ Detroit

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None  

Notes

Jonathan Quick returned to action on the weekend and that forced the Kings to return rookie sensation Martin Jones to the minors. They dealt Daniel Carcillo to the Rangers and brought up Tanner Pearson with the open spot. Dustin Brown is starting to score again as he has two goals in his last three games. Jeff Carter (along with teammate Drew Doughty) was named to the Canadian Olympic team. Carter has been hot of late with seven goals and 10 points in his last 10 games. Justin Williams had only one assist in his previous six games but had a goal and an assist Thursday.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Edmonton, vs. Dallas

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Justin Fontaine has 11 goals after potting his first NHL hat trick Thursday. Josh Harding is on the injured reserve list and has played only two of the Wild's last ten games as it is believed he is out to correct his medication for multiple sclerosis. He has been sensational this season with a 18-7-3 record to go with a 1.65 GAA and a .933 save percentage. Mikko Koivu made the Finnish Olympic team but is out for at least a month after undergoing ankle surgery. As expected, the Wild returned defenseman Mathew Dumba back to junior hockey.  

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Ottawa, @ Toronto

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

David Desharnais has 14 points in his last 18 games after a very slow start to the season. George Parros is close to returning to action as he has been cleared for contact after suffering his second concussion of the season on December 14. He is without a point in nine games this season but does have 42 penalty minutes. Carey Price was named to Team Canada and deservedly so as he is 20-11-4 this season with a 2.22 GAA and a .928 save percentage. Brian Gionta has two goals and three points in his last three games after going 13 consecutive games without a goal. He has seven goals and 23 points in 44 games this season.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Philadelphia, vs. Colorado

Rested team: vs. Calgary (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Predators have to be pleased with Filip Forsberg who was named the MVP of the World Junior U20 Championships. He should be part of their lineup this week and while we cannot recommend him the remainder of this season, he should be snapped up in all keeper leagues. After going on a five game point scoring streak, Patric Hornqvist suffered a lower body and sat out Thursday's game. Shea Weber had a goal and six assists in four games before going minus-two without a point Thursday. Pekka Rinne is still out with a hip injury and there is no timetable for his return.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

@  Montreal, @ Colorado, @ Phoenix

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Adam Larsson has not played since November 23 with a lower body injury so he was sent to the minors Thursday on a conditioning stint. Eric Gelinas was sent to the minors on the weekend but was quickly recalled on Monday. Ryane Clowe has yet to score this season, albeit in only 13 games as he returned on December 27 from a concussion. Jacob Josefson is on the injured reserve list with a virus. Jaromir Jagr was named to the Czech Olympic team, The 41-year-old is having a great season with 13 goals and 35 points in 45 games.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ Philadelphia

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Thomas Vanek is on a 10 game scoring streak and has five goals and 15 points during the streak. He wants to remain with the Islanders for the rest of the season as he thinks the team has plenty of potential.  Evgeni Nabokov is out for a couple of weeks with what is believed to be a quad injury and Kevin Poulin will take over the net with Anders Nilsson backing up. Ryan Strome scored the first NHL goal of his career Monday. John Tavares was named to Team Canada and has been very hot of late with seven goals and 15 points in his last six games.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Detroit, @ Ottawa, vs. Washington

Rested team: vs. Tampa Bay (Tuesday)

Tired Team: vs. Washington (Sunday)

Notes

The Rangers play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Cameron Talbot to play at least once to replace the slumping Henrik Lundqvist. After being a healthy scratch for yet another two games, Michael Del Zotto returned with a vengeance and had assists in each of his last three games. Chris Kreider is definitely in the mix for the Calder Trophy and is enjoying playing for new head coach Alain Vigneault. Rick Nash has nine goals and 18 points in 28 games including two goals this week against Columbus.  Carl Hagelin has two goals and five points in his last three games.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. Montreal, vs. New York Rangers

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Jason Spezza returned to action on Wednesday after missing four games with a hip flexor injury. Kyle Turris has surpassed the 30 point mark for the first time in his career and now has 11 goals and 33 points in 45 games. Clarke MacArthur is having a very good season as well as he also has 33 points in 44 games including 15 goals. Erik Karlsson is second among defensemen in scoring to Duncan Keith as he has 41 points in 45 games. Craig Anderson is getting hot again as he has played in the last five games and six of the last seven. He is 5-0-1 in the six games giving up 14 goals on 189 shots.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ Buffalo, vs. Nashville, vs. New York Islanders

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Matt Read is out of action with a concussion while enforcer Zac Rinaldo will miss six weeks with a high-ankle sprain. The good news is that two-and-a-half weeks will be the Olympic break and he should be ready to go after that. He had his first goal of the season on Wednesday before getting hurt. It was a surprise that Claude Giroux was not named to Canada's Olympic team as he seemed to be a lock at the start of the season, a bubble player at best when he got off to a poor start and a lock again after he scored six goals and 17 points in nine games through the end of 2013. Steve Mason continues to impress with an 18-10-4 record to go with a 2.34 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

PHOENIX

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, @ St. Louis, vs. Vancouver, vs. New Jersey

Rested team: vs. Vancouver (Thursday)

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Tuesday)

Notes

The Coyotes play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Thomas Greiss to play at least once in place of Mike Smith. Oliver Ekman-Larsson returned to action on Thursday after missing a couple of games with an upper body injury, courtesy of a hit from behind by Derek MacKenzie. Smith is 1-5-3 since December 12 and has allowed 28 goals on 286 shots in that span. He was still named to Canada's Olympic team, although it is likely he will be the third goalie barring injuries.  Gilbert Brule had his contract terminated by the Coyotes and it appears that he has retired. He was selected sixth overall in the 2005 draft.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

vs. Washington

Rested team: vs. Washington (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Penguins only play once this week so if you play in weekly transaction pools and have to decide between a Penguin and any Lightning player, bench your Penguin. Pittsburgh welcomed back Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin on January 5 and that had to please his fantasy owners. Malkin has three goals, four points and a plus-five rating in the two games since coming back.  Jussi Jokinen has been hot of late with six points in his last three games including three goals. James Neal and Letang were not named to Team Canada but Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz were picked.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, vs. Los Angeles, vs. Anaheim

Rested team: vs. Phoenix (Tuesday) vs. Anaheim (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Vladimir Tarasenko has been hot of late with four goals and 11 points in his last seven games. The Blues are home for all three games this week. Jaroslav Halak played on Thursday for the first time since December 28 and had a shutout, stopping all 33 shots to improve his record to 18-6-3 with a 2.31 GAA and a .911 save percentage. Brian Elliot won six straight starts after the Christmas break and gave up only 11 goals on 144 shots. Alexander Steen has missed the last eight games with a concussion but he could be close to a return as he has started skating.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Tommy Wingels returned from a five game absence due to an upper body injury on Thursday and mixed it up with the Red Wings Todd Bertuzzi. Tyler Kennedy also returned after missing four games with the flu and had seven penalty minutes. Joe Pavelski has 21 goals to lead the Sharks in goals. Logan Couture is out three-four weeks after undergoing hand surgery. Matt Irwin sat out Thursday's game with an upper body injury. Joe Thornton, who was not named to the Canadian Olympic team, leads the NHL with 45 assists in 45 games. He has only five goals.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ New York Rangers, vs. New York Islanders, vs. San Jose, @ Carolina

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Tuesday)

Notes

The Lightning play a rare five game week (Boston has one in March) so look for Anders Lindback to play at least once with Ben Bishop (if healthy) seeing the rest of the action. Bishop is currently out with a sprained wrist and could return as early as the Rangers game but if he is unable to go, then Lindback and Cedrick Desjardins will split the net. Ondrej Palat has been red hot of late with 10 points during an eight game scoring streak. Valtteri Filppula has 17 goals and 34 points in 44 games and has five goals and 11 points in his last 10 contests. A couple of noteworthy omissions from the Olympics were Victor Hedman with Sweden and Martin St. Louis of Canada.

TORONTO

Games this week

@ Boston, vs. Buffalo, vs. Montreal

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Maple Leafs are slumping and have given up 18 goals in their last three games while scoring only five times. Tyler Bozak had a seven game point scoring streak end on Thursday. Peter Holland was sent down to the minors as the Maple Leafs did not think it was fair that he play on the fourth line with a couple of enforcers and recalled Carter Ashton.  Phil Kessel has three goals and six points in his last 11 games. James van Riemsdyk is minus-six in his last 10 games. Jake Gardiner was a healthy scratch on Thursday as Carl Gunnarsson returned to the lineup after missing a game with a wrist injury.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim, @ Phoenix, vs. Calgary

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Phoenix (Thursday)

Notes

The Canucks play four times this week including three games  in four nights so look for Roberto Luongo  (if healthy) to play a couple of games with Eddie Lack playing the remainder. If Luongo is unable to go then Lack will get the majority of the starts with Joacim Eriksson playing once. Tom Sestito is second in the NHL with 103 penalty minutes but has been used on the power play of late and has three points including two goals in his last five games. He is worth looking at in deeper pools that use penalty minutes as a category.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ Pittsburgh, @ Columbus, @ New York Rangers

Rested team: vs. New York Rangers (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Pittsburgh (Wednesday)

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights so look for  Philipp Grubauer to play twice as he has taken over the net from Braden Holtby, with Holtby getting one start. Eric Fehr is starting to pick up some fantasy value as he has four goals and seven points in his past 10 games. Martin Erat was in the press box as a healthy scratch on Thursday for the first time in 17 games and that ought to make him want out of Washington again. The Capitals mixed up their line combinations this week with Brooks Laich skating alongside Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer with Alex Ovechkin playing with Fehr and Mikhail Grabovski. Marcus Johansson was bumped down to the third line.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, @ Calgary, vs. Edmonton

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Jets put Dustin Byfuglien at forward in practice on Thursday and that will help his fantasy value if you can use him as a defenseman in your pool. Devin Setoguchi was benched on Tuesday as he played just 5:35 minutes. Coach Claude Noel has not been pleased with his play of late as he has not scored in his last 17 games. Mark Scheifele has played well of late with one goal and eight points in his last10 games. He has been playing alongside Evander Kane of late and that will help both players. Bryan Little and Byfuglien lead the Jets in points with 34, one ahead of Blake Wheeler.

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