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Horton doesn't hear a boo

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Michael Finewax reports that Nathan Horton is a star in Columbus as they are on an eight game winning …

This is the second last week of action before the Olympic break and there is plenty of action with the most notable exception being on Super Bowl Sunday as there is only two afternoon games being played, allowing all fans to get home early enough to catch the Seattle-Denver game.

This is the second straight year that the Columbus Blue Jackets got off to a slow start and then turned it on like wildfire as they attempt to make the playoffs. The Blue Jackets are currently in third place in the Metropolitan division and are on an eight game winning streak.

 

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 JANUARY 27-FEBRUARY 2

4 Games- Boston, Buffalo, Columbus, Los Angeles, Montreal, San Jose, Washington

3 Games– Anaheim, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado,  Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Winnipeg

2 Games - New York Rangers

Anaheim, Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Columbus, Montreal, Phoenix and Toronto play three games at home.

Buffalo, Chicago, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington play three games on the road.


INJURIES

Jimmy Howard is out with a knee injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Dallas

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The streak is over.  The Ducks were 20-0-2 at home before losing in regulation for the first time Tuesday as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Jets. Jonas Hiller has lost his last two starts after winning 14 games in a row. Anaheim sent Sami Vatanen to the minors. He has a lot of offensive upside so do not forget about him next season. Ryan Getzlaf has already tied his career high in goals with 25 and has 59 points in 49 games. Nick Bonino continues to excel this season with 16 goals and 39 points in 53 games. He has 19 power play points as well, making him fantasy-worthy in most pools.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. Florida, vs. Montreal, vs. Edmonton

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Florida (Tuesday)

Notes

The Bruins play three games in four nights as part of their four game week so look for Chad Johnson to get at least one start this week in place of Tuukka Rask. Torey Krug is having an outstanding rookie season as the defenseman has 11 goals and 25 points.  Dougie Hamilton is hoping to resume practicing shortly as he has been out since January 11th with a concussion. Brad Marchand is red hot of late with six goals and seven points in his last four games. He now has 16 goals and 28 points in 49 games with a plus-16 rating and 46 points but does not have a power play point this season.

BUFFALO

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Washington, @ Phoenix, @ Colorado

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Washington (Tuesday)

Notes

The Sabres play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Jhonas Enroth to play once this week with Ryan Miller playing the other three games. Enroth has a 2.63 GAA and a .910 save percentage which are not bad peripherals, but he has had no luck with a 1-10-4 record. Tyler Ennis is on a six game scoring streak with three goals and four assists. Drew Stafford has only seven goals and 17 points this season but has been hot of late with three goals and five points in his last two games. Phil Varone picked up an assist in his NHL debut on Thursday.

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. San Jose, vs. Minnesota

Rested team: vs. San Jose (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Karri Ramo seems to have taken over the number one job in Calgary as Reto Berra languishes on the bench. Ramo is 1-1-1 in his last three games and has given up seven goals on 92 shots. The Flames signed Matt Stajan to a four-year/$12.5 million extension. Kris Russell returned to the lineup this past week after sitting out 13 games with a knee injury.  David Jones returned on Monday as well after missing eight games with an eye injury. Lee Stempniak is a team worst minus-21, one more than the injured Michael Cammalleri.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Montreal, vs. St. Louis

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Montreal (Tuesday)

Notes

Alexander Semin has six goals in his last four games and was named to the Russian Olympic team as he will replace the injured Sergei Soin. Anton Khudobin has played in seven of the Hurricanes last eight games. He is 4-3 and has allowed 15 goals on 188 shots as he has taken over from Justin Peters and the injured Cam Ward. John-Michael Liles has a goal and an assist since his trade from Toronto on New Year's Day but has been an outstanding plus-nine. Jeff Skinner leads the Hurricanes with nine power play goals while Andrej Sekera and Semin are next with three. Eric Staal has scored only once this season with the man-advantage.

CHICAGO

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Vancouver, @ San Jose

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Wednesday)

Notes

Patrick Kane halted a 12 game goal scoring drought on Thursday with his 24th goal of the season. Linemate Patrick Sharp had his first goal in eight games on Wednesday. Corey Crawford is now 19-7-8 this season with a 2.48 GAA and a .910 save percentage, a far cry from last season's 19-5-5 mark with a 1.94 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Duncan Keith sat out his first game on Thursday as he is suffering from an illness but is expected to be back on January 26th. Brent Seabrook is having a quiet but excellent fantasy season with six goals, 33 points, a plus-24 rating and nine power play points.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Dallas, vs. Minnesota, vs. Buffalo

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Alex Tanguay (hip/knee) is slated to return on January 24th and was practicing on a line with Paul Stastny and Gabriel Landeskog. He is worth looking at in deeper pools as he is owned in only six percent of Yahoo! pools. Semyon Varlamov had his 16 game streak without a regulation loss stopped on Tuesday as he gave up three goals on only 10 shots in a 5-2 loss to Toronto. Erik Johnson is minus-four in his last two games but he has been suffering from back issues. He has seven goals and 20 points in 49 games this season after picking up only four assists in 31 games in 2012-13. P. A. Parenteau had an assist in his return to action on Tuesday after missing 10 games with a knee injury.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

@ Carolina, vs. Ottawa, vs. Washington, vs. Florida

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Ottawa (Tuesday)

Notes

The Blue Jackets play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Curtis McElhinney to play once in place of Sergei Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets are the hottest team in the NHL as they are on an eight game winning streak that coincides with the return of Nathan Horton to the lineup. Horton has four goals and seven points in 10 games as the Blue Jackets have jumped into third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 9-1 record since Horton's return from off-season shoulder surgery. Bobrovsky has returned to last season's form that saw him win the Vezina Trophy as he has won his last nine starts, giving up 16 goals on 265 shots, dating back to November 29th. He missed a month of action in that time frame with a groin injury.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. New Jersey, @ Anaheim

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Stars made Valeri Nichushkin a healthy scratch for two games before reinserting him into the lineup on Tuesday. While he was held scoreless in his first game back, he exploded for a couple of goals and an assist against Toronto Thursday. Cody Eakin has settled in as the Stars second line center between Ryan Garbutt and Antoine Roussel and has 12 goals and 26 points in 51 games with six points on the power play. Not great numbers for a second liner but he does have some value in deep leagues. After winning only one game in three weeks, Kari Lehtonen has won his last two outings.

DETROIT

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, vs. Washington, @ Washington

Rested team: vs. Washington (Friday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Red Wings play a home-and-home series against the Capitals so look for Kyle Quincey to get involved if there is any rough stuff. After going five games without a point, Gustav Nyquist has two goals and four points in his last three games. Henrik Zetterberg has been even better with six points in his last three games. Pavel Datsyuk is still out of action as he has missed the last eight games with a groin injury. The good news is that he has started skating again but might not play for the Red Wings until after the Olympic break. He still is sure that he will play for Russia at the Olympics.

EDMONTON

Games this week

@ Vancouver, vs. San Jose, @ Boston

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None  

Notes

Ben Scrivens has lost both games since being traded to the Oilers as he has allowed six goals on 60 shots. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 37 points in 50 games but his liability fantasy-wise is his minus-15 rating and a lack of penalty minutes as he has only 10. Coach Dallas Eakins has an interesting perspective on what is ailing the Oilers. He says that the Oilers have had five different coaches in the last six seasons and the lack of continuity has hurt the young Oilers. Philip Larsen has been out of action for over a month with an illness but is finally skating again.

FLORIDA

Games this week

@ Boston, @ Toronto, @ Columbus  

Rested team: @ Boston (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Mike Weaver has only three assists and a minus-nine rating in 49 games but he had a dream fantasy game on Monday as he had an assist and a plus-five rating. Aleksander Barkov suffered a lower body injury on Tuesday but he could be back as early as January 24th. The rookie has been showing glimpses of greatness but has seven goals and 23 points this season. Last season's Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau finally snapped a 16 game goal scoring drought as he found the back of the net on Monday. He has only eight goals and 21 points in 48 games this season and has been a big disappointment to his fantasy owners.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Phoenix, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Philadelphia

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Phoenix (Tuesday)

Notes

The Kings play four games this week including three in four nights so expect to see Martin Jones play once in place of Jonathan Quick. The Kings made a couple of moves this week as they recalled Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Schultz while sending Tanner Pearson and Linden Vey to the minors. Mike Richards had five points in three games before being held off the scoresheet on Thursday. In another show of how tough hockey players are, Drew Doughty accidently cut his toe before Monday's game and still played 28:22 minutes despite requiring stitches to close the gash.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Colorado, @ Calgary

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Darcy Kuemper has played in six straight games with Josh Harding on the shelf and Niklas Backstrom suffering from a nagging lower body injury but well enough to back up. Kuemper is 4-2-0 in that stretch and has given up only 11 goals in 181 shots. Zach Parise finally returned to the Minnesota lineup after sitting out 14 games with a foot injury and was held pointless. Defenseman Nate Prosser scored the game winner in back-to-back games this past week and has five points in 27 games while being a healthy scratch in 26 others.

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ Boston, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Winnipeg

Rested team: vs. Carolina (Tuesday)

Tired Team: vs. Winnipeg (Sunday)

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once for Carey Price. It was quite a game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday as Budaj replaced Price in a 5-1 loss. Fights broke out with a little more than five minutes to go in the game and Budaj wanted to tussle with Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The two were ready to go until the referees got between them. Alex Galchenyuk is skating but is not expected to return from a broken hand until after the Olympics. P.K. Subban leads the Habs with 35 points, five ahead of Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

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

Rested team: vs. New Jersey (Friday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Predators picked up Michael Del Zotto in a deal that sent solid defensive defenseman Kevin Klein to the Rangers. Del Zotto will eventually see time on the second power play as Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Seth Jones are ahead of him at this time, but he did not get any power play time in his Nashville debut Thursday as Ryan Ellis played on the second unit. Nashville will miss Klein's steadying influence on the blueline and during the penalty kill. Carter Hutton looks to be the starter despite the Predators dealing for Devan Dubnyk. Hutton has played in four of the last five games, winning all of them while allowing seven goals on 124 shots. Ellis has had a couple of two point efforts in his last five games.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

@ St. Louis, @ Dallas, @ Nashville

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Nashville (Friday)

Notes

The Devils play three games in four nights so it appears that Martin Brodeur will play once in place of Cory Schneider. Adam Larsson will remain in the minors for a while longer. The fourth overall pick in the 2011 Draft has four assists in six games since being sent to the AHL after a lower body injury on November 23rd kept him sidelined until January 9th. Eric Gelinas is heating up again with two goals and five points in his last five games. Damien Brunner had a triumphant return from a 14 game absence due to a knee injury as he had a goal and three points on Tuesday.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

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

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Islanders play a home-and-home series versus the Rangers and it is also the third time in 10 days that the two teams meet so look for Matt Martin and Matt Carkner to add to their penalty minute totals as there is likely to be some fisticuffs at some point in the series.  In an interesting twist, Thomas Vanek says that he could sign with the Islanders in the off-season even if he is traded as New York gave up a lot to get him and the team is currently 14th in the Eastern Conference standings and seven points out of a playoff spot. The Islanders should get a lot of offers near the trade deadline for the goal scorer. Evgeni Nabokov should be ready to return to action this week as he is recovering from a leg injury.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. New York Islanders

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

As mentioned above, the Rangers and Islanders meet three times in 10 days so expect to see Daniel Carcillo battle and get some penalty minutes. As mentioned in the Predators piece, the Rangers received Kevin Klein from Nashville and he should help in the defensive end of the ice. Rick Nash has been finding the back of the net with great regularity since he was named to the Canadian Olympic team. The veteran winger has 10 goals in his last 10 games and now has 17 goals in 36 games. Chris Kreider has points in only one game in his last six but it was a three point effort against the Islanders.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Toronto

Rested team: @ Columbus (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Craig Anderson is 7-1-3 in his last 11 games as Robin Lehner has started only twice in the Senators last 15 matches. Anderson has allowed 27 goals on 327 shots in that span including 12 in his last four. Still, he has regained the top job in Ottawa. Chris Neil is noted for his penalty minute totals but he scored his 100th career goal Thursday. Jason Spezza has only 13 goals and 35 points in 46 games this season and his fantasy value has taken a big hit with his minus-19 rating. He has been passed fantasy-wise by Kyle Turris who has 15 goals and 38 points in 51 games but has a plus-17 rating.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

vs. Detroit, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Mark Streit had a poor start to the season as he had only nine assists in his first 32 games but since then he has six goals and 15 points in 20 games. Most will look at his whole season but look for the defenseman to still get to the 40 point mark this season, making him a worthwhile pickup in most pools. Vincent Lecavalier scored on Thursday but it was only his second goal in his past 20 games. Scott Hartnell has only 12 goals and 30 points in 48 games but does have two goals and eight points in his last nine. Jakub Voracek suffered a finger injury on Monday but managed to play both games since. He is having trouble holding the stick so fantasy owners may want to find an alternative in the short term.

PHOENIX

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Buffalo, vs. Pittsburgh

Rested team: vs. Los Angeles

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Coyotes are starting to lose contact with the Western Conference playoff teams and they need to go on a winning streak to get back to the pack. Phoenix did not have any shorthanded goals until two games ago and now have two as Antoine Vermette has one in each of his last two games. Martin Hanzal has 14 goals and 34 points in 45 games but has missed the last two games with a lower body injury. He is only one point away from his career high set as a 20-year-old. Keith Yandle has six assists in a five game scoring streak but he is minus-13 in his last eight games.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, @ Los Angeles, @ Phoenix

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Kudos to you if you selected Jussi Jokinen late in a deep draft as he has 15 goals and 36 points in 51 games this season. He also has 11 power play points with a plus-five rating. Sidney Crosby has 72 points this season and has a nine point lead in the scoring race over the Islanders John Tavares. Tomas Vokoun started skating for the first time this season as he is finally off blood thinners for a blood clot in his pelvis. It is unknown if he will be able to play this season. Paul Martin returned to action this past week first the first time since November 25th as he was out with a fractured tibia. Matt Niskanen has taken full advantage of the injuries to Martin as well as Kris Letang and has seven goals and 30 points in 51 games. He is also a plus-29, which is the best in the NHL.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Carolina, vs. Nashville

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Derek Roy was a healthy scratch on Thursday as he had only one assist in his last six games and had not scored since December 12. Alexander Steen left Thursday's game with a lower body injury. Vladimir Tarasenko returned to action on Thursday after missing a couple of games with the flu. He has 15 goals and 29 points in 48 games. Look for bigger things from him next season. Chris Stewart has one assist in his last seven games with a minus-two rating. Barret Jackman has only three goals and 12 points this season but had goals in back-to-back games over the last week.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary, vs. Chicago

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Calgary (Thursday)

Notes

The Sharks play four times including three games in four nights so look for Alex Stalock to get at least one start in place of Antti Niemi. Stalock has shutouts in back-to-back games and that has to be good for the organization as they can feel confident in games that Antti Niemi does not play. Stalock is working on a shutout streak of 140:59 minutes. The Sharks have been staying out of the penalty box as they have been shorthanded only 125 times, the least in the league. Logan Couture is looking to start practicing in the next week or two. He had hand surgery in early January and hopes to return before the Olympic break.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Ottawa, @ Montreal

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Lightning play all three games in Eastern Canada this week. Victor Hedman had three assists on Thursday and is now up to 29 points including 10 goals in 44 games. He is still not owned in 24 percent of fantasy pools so grab him if he is available in your pool. Steve Stamkos is getting ever so closer to returning to action as he participated in all practice drills on Thursday. It's hard to believe that he is not owned in two percent of all Yahoo! pools so grab him if you can. He may return this week. Martin St. Louis was the first star of the  week and is riding a nine game scoring streak with eight goals and 13 points.  

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay. vs. Florida, vs. Ottawa

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Phil Kessel had his seven game scoring streak end on Thursday, but he was hot while it lasted as he had six goals and 14 points during the streak. David Clarkson is on the injured reserve list with an elbow injury and is likely to miss action this week. Tyler Bozak has 14 points in 13 games. Tim Gleason has been a great help on the blueline with his defensive awareness and the Maple Leafs won six in a row until dropping a 7-1 decision to the Stars Thursday. Paul Ranger and Mark Fraser have been healthy scratches in nine of the last 10 games. Morgan Rielly is a minus-13 in 44 games this season but he is worth picking up in all keeper pools.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Chicago, @ Winnipeg

Rested team: vs. Chicago (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Roberto Luongo is having an outstanding season despite his 18-11-6 record as his peripherals are the second best in his NHL career. He has a 2.18 GAA and a .924 save percentage. He will battle with Carey Price for the number one job in Sochi for Team Canada. Jordan Schroeder has been out of action since October 19th as he underwent surgery on his injured ankle. He has been sent to Utica of the AHL on a conditioning stint. It was an eventful NHL debut for Kellan Lain as he picked up 15 minutes in penalties Saturday, playing only two seconds. It put him on a pace for 27,000 penalty minutes per 60 minutes played. He lowered that number significantly playing his next two games without a penalty, as he also managed to score his first NHL goal Tuesday against the Oilers.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Columbus, @ Detroit, vs. Detroit

Rested team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Detroit (Friday)

Notes

The Capitals sent down Philipp Grubauer to the minors so look for Michal Neuvirth to play at least once in place of Braden Holtby as Washington plays four times this week including three games in four nights. They play a home-and-home series with the Red Wings and expect to see Tom Wilson and Troy Brouwer add to their penalty minute totals if there are any fisticuffs. Alex Ovechkin is out with a lower body injury as he has not practiced since missing Tuesday's game. Nicklas Backstrom has only one assist in his last six games. Mike Green continues to frustrate his fantasy owners as he has five goals and 26 points in 47 games with a minus-13 rating. He does have 59 penalty minutes with 13 power play points.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Vancouver, @ Montreal

Rested team: @ Montreal (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Look for Evander Kane to blossom under new head coach Paul Maurice. He is already seeing first line power play time and should be a fantasy asset the rest of the way. I like him to be even better next season. Ondrej Pavelec has been outstanding under Maurice as he is 4-0-1, allowing eight goals on 137 shots. Bryan Little had his five game scoring streak halted on Thursday but he managed to score two goals and eight points during the streak. Blake Wheeler has 39 points in 52 games. Dustin Byfuglien has been playing well up front but Maurice still has yet to decide whether he will leave him there or put him back on the blueline.  

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