Score Strip

  1. League: NHL
  2. Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers
    12:00 PM
    3 PHI
    2 NYR
  3. Detroit vs. Boston
    3:00 PM
    4 DET
    1 BOS
  4. Tampa Bay vs. Montreal
    7:00 PM
    2 TB
    3 MON
  5. Los Angeles vs. San Jose
    10:00 PM
    3 LA
    2 SJ
  6. View All

A look at blueliners

Rotoworld
Dose: Hedman headed up
.

View photo

Tuesday's Dose takes a look at some breakthrough seasons for defensemen such as Victor Hedman and …

A look at the leading scorers among defensemen shows that Erik Karlsson is the only rearguard averaging a point a game as he has 26 in 26 games.

Duncan Keith is second with 22 points with only one finding the back of the net while P.K. Subban and Dustin Byfuglien are tied for third, one point behind Keith.

A couple of surprises dot the top thirty with Victor Hedman finally coming into his own with 15 points including six goals, and the return of Jay Bouwmeester to fantasy relevance as he has 19 points.

Rookie Torey Krug leads all first year defensemen with 15 points while Ryan Suter has the same 15 points but still has yet to score.

It’s still not too late to join a Yahoo! pool.

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

 

Now to The Week Ahead.

WEEK OF DECEMBER 2-8

4 Games - Chicago, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Toronto

3 Games – Anaheim, Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

2 Games - Buffalo, Columbus

San Jose plays all four games on the road.

Chicago, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, the New York Rangers and Toronto play three games at home.

Colorado, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Saturday's NHL games. It's just $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Saturday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

INJURIES

Rookie Sean Monahan is week-to-week with a hairline fracture of his foot. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Chicago, @ St. Louis

Notes

The Ducks play three times this week and are the rested team twice and the tired team once. They are rested on Tuesday against the Kings as Los Angeles is home to St. Louis Monday. The Ducks are rested once again on Friday in Chicago as the Blackhawks face the Wild in Minnesota but are tired Saturday in St. Louis. Cam Fowler has finally grown into a respectable blueliner in his own end and that bodes well for the future as he was always able to play with offensive flair. He has 13 points in 27 games. Saku Koivu has been allowed to participate in contact drills for the first time since his head injury on October 27. Emerson Etem was sent to the minors on Wednesday despite scoring his six goal of the season on Tuesday. He is still worth owning in keeper pools.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Toronto

Notes

Boston plays three games in four nights so Chad Johnson should play once in place of Tuukka Rask. The Bruins are the rested team on Thursday when in Montreal with the Canadiens taking on New Jersey Wednesday. Dennis Seidenberg returned to action on Friday after missing four games with a lower body injury. Kevan Miller was returned to the minors. Reilly Smith continues to be a pleasant surprise this season as he has 17 points this season with three goals and six points in his last six games. He is third in points on the Bruins, one point behind David Krejci and Milan Lucic. While it looks like Jarome Iginla is having a mediocre fantasy season with five goals and 14 points in 25 games, he is plus-10 and has 25 penalty minutes.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, @ Montreal

Notes

The Sabres only play twice this week so bench your Buffalo players in pools that use the weekly transaction format. The Sabres picked up Matt D'Agostini off waivers from the Penguins on Wednesday and he is slated to center the second line with Steve Ott and Ville Leino. Look for Mikhail Grigorenko to be a healthy scratch. Matt Moulson has 10 points in 13 games since being dealt from the Islanders. Drew Stafford has only two goals and nine points this season and has not found the back of the net in his last nine games. Tyler Myers has two goals and six points with 39 penalty minutes but his fantasy value takes a big hit when you factor in his minus-11 rating.

CALGARY

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, vs. Colorado, @ Edmonton

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights so expect to see Karri Ramo in goal once in place of the current number one Reto Berra. The Flames are rested on Wednesday when they face the Coyotes as Phoenix is in Edmonton Tuesday. The Avalanche will be tired on Friday when they play in Calgary after playing the Oilers Thursday but the Flames will be the tired team on Saturday in Edmonton. Sean Monahan was placed on the injured reserve list with a hairline fracture in his foot. Mikael Backlund could pick up extra minutes moving up the depth chart for Monahan who is week-to-week at this time. Good news for Mark Giordano fantasy owners as he could return later this week as he has missed the last 16 games with a broken ankle. He had eight points in nine games before the injury.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Nashville, vs. San Jose

Notes

The Hurricanes play three games in four nights so expect to see Justin Peters once instead of Cam Ward. Tuomo Ruutu has been playing well of late as he has three goals in his last five games. Eric Staal has also been picking up the pace lately as he is on a seven game points streak. Andrej Sekera will miss Friday’s game with an upper body injury and that’s a shame as he had five points in his previous four games while leading the Hurricanes power play. Justin Faulk was considered the Hurricanes top fantasy defenseman heading into the season by many but he finally potted his first of the season on Wednesday. Cam Ward is 2-0-1 in his last three games, allowing only seven goals on 96 shots.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ Minnesota, vs. Anaheim, vs. Florida

Notes

The Chicago Blackhawks play four times including three in four nights so look for Antti Raanta to place once in place of Corey Crawford. Chicago will be tired on Friday when they take on the Ducks after playing in Minnesota on Thursday but will be the rested team on Sunday when hosting the Panthers as Florida take on the Red Wings in Detroit Saturday. Raanta got his first start in his NHL career on Wednesday and picked up the win, turning aside 20 of 22 shots in a 3-2 win over Calgary. Patrick Kane has a 12 game scoring streak and has 28 points including 15 goals in 26 games. Niklas Hjalmarsson continues to be a good option offensively in deep leagues as he has 12 points in 26 games with a plus-eight rating. He has three assists in his last three games.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Calgary, @ Vancouver

Notes

The Avalanche play three games in four nights this week so look for Jean-Sebastien Giguere to play once in place of Semyon Varlamov. They play all three games in Western Canada and will be the tired team on Friday in Calgary after playing in Edmonton Thursday. Coach Patrick Roy is not happy with the play of Jamie McGinn and dropped him to the fourth line as he has only four goals and eight points this season in 20 games. Cody McLeod could see time on the first line as he played there in practice alongside Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly. Paul Stastny sat out Wednesday’s game with back spasms. Roy has been impressed with the play of Tyson Barrie since his recall from the minors. He has two assists and eight shots on goal in addition to a plus-three rating in his last three contests.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Minnesota

Notes

The Blue Jackets only play twice this week so bench all your Columbus players if weekly transaction pools. The Blue Jackets will be rested on Friday when hosting Minnesota as the Wild are home to Chicago Thursday. Brandon Dubinsky could return from a foot injury for the Columbus game as he has been out of the lineup since November 20. Columbus sent Tim Erixon back to the minors as he only played in one game since his recall two weeks previous. They claimed Corey Tropp from Buffalo this week as GM Jarmo Kekalainen has liked him since his draft year in 2007. James Wisniewski leads the Blue Jackets in points with 18 in 25 games but keep an eye on Ryan Johansen who tied him for the lead with a goal and an assist Friday. Johansen was drafted fourth overall in the 2010 Draft and at age 21 is coming into his own.

DALLAS

Games this week

@ Chicago, @ Toronto, vs. Philadelphia

Notes

The Stars fourth line consisting of Antoine Roussel, Ryan Garbutt and Vernon Fiddler were great last game with Roussel scoring twice, Garbutt picking up a goal and two assists and Fiddler chipping in with two helpers. Garbutt led the Stars on November 21 with seven shots on goal and I’ve stated before how much I like the fantasy value of Roussel who now has four goals and eight points in 23 games with 63 penalty minutes which is seventh best in the NHL. He has three goals and five points in his last six games. Ray Whitney returned to action on Tuesday after missing 17 days with a groin injury. Kari Lehtonen is 10-5-2 this season with a 2.28 GAA and a .924 save percentage.

DETROIT

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ New Jersey, vs. Florida

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights and right now it looks like Jonas Gustavsson has the net with Jimmy Howard as the backup so do not be surprised if Howard gets only one game in net. The Red Wings are the tired team on Saturday when they are home to Florida after playing in New Jersey Saturday. Todd Bertuzzi has missed the last three games and will miss November 29 with a shoulder injury. He could be back this week. Pavel Datsyuk is out of action with a head injury. Gustav Nyquist is taking advantage of the injury problems in Detroit and has three goals and four points in four games as he is now playing on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen.  The Red Wings inked defenseman Jonathan Ericsson to a six-year/$25.5 million extension.

EDMONTON

Games this week

vs. Phoenix, vs. Colorado. vs. Calgary

Notes

The Oilers are the rested team Saturday at home to Calgary as the Flames take on Colorado at home Friday.  Ilya Bryzgalov made his Edmonton debut on Thursday and shutout the Nashville Predators 3-0 as he stopped all 33 shots directed at him. The Oilers are getting hot but it may be too little, too late as they are still last in the Western Conference with an 8-16-2 mark despite winning four of their last five. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 20 points in 24 games but is minus-11. David Perron has played well offensively this season as he has 18 points including eight goals in 22 games. He is tied with Nail Yakupov for the team lead with four power play goals. Yakupov has yet to score an even strength goal.

FLORIDA

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Winnipeg, @ Detroit, @ Chicago

Notes

The Panthers play four games this week, including three games in four nights so look for Scott Clemmensen to play once in place of Tim Thomas. Thomas has played the last 10 games in a row and is now 6-8-1 this season with a 2.75 GAA and a .909 save percentage for the struggling Panthers. Florida will be the rested team on Saturday when they face the Red Wings as Detroit plays in New Jersey Friday but will be the tired team on Sunday in Chicago after travelling from Detroit Saturday. Dmitry Kulikov has struggled this season and is eligible to become a restricted free agent. Although he is obviously talented enough to play in the NHL, do not be surprised if he is in the KHL next season. Ed Jovanovski is getting close to a return. He has yet to play this season because of hip surgery earlier in the year.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

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

Notes

The Kings are the tired team on Tuesday when they travel the 28 miles from the Staples Center to Anaheim as they take on St. Louis Monday. The Kings have been hot of late as they have not lost in regulation in 11 games and are 7-0-4 in that span. Ben Scrivens continues to shine as he is 6-1-4 this season with a 1.48 GAA and a .947 save percentage. Jeff Carter returned this past week from a foot injury that caused him to miss 10 games. Put him back in your lineup if you have not done so yet. Matt Frattin has missed the last three games with a lower body injury.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Chicago, @ Columbus, vs. San Jose

Notes

The Wild play four times this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom to split the net. They are the tired team on Friday in Columbus as the Wild are home to Chicago Thursday. Zach Parise was slated to miss two-three weeks with a foot injury but he could be back as early as November 29. Mikael Granlund is out of action with a head injury and is expected to miss at least a week as he was placed on injured reserve. The Wild have been experimenting with Justin Fontaine in the middle between Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville. Dany Heatley has four goals and five points in his last six games despite a minus-three rating.

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ New Jersey, vs. Boston, vs. Buffalo

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once as Carey Price gets a night off. The Habs will be tired on Thursday when they host the Bruins after playing in New Jersey Wednesday. Speaking of the Devils, Montreal plays a home-and-home series against New Jersey so look for Brandon Prust, P.K. Subban and possibly George Parros, if he plays, to pick up some penalty minutes if there are any fisticuffs. Andrei Markov loves playing with Subban, especially on the power play. David Desharnais has two goals and five points in his last four games. Rene Bourque has been cleared to play after sitting out three games with a lower body injury.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Carolina, @ Washington  

Notes

Shea Weber was injured Thursday when he took a puck to his mouth but expect him to play this week. Seth Jones has gone pointless in his last four games. Marek Mazanec has continued to be terrific as he has now played in seven straight games without allowing more than two goals. He is 5-4-0 with a 2.01 GAA and a .934 save percentage and is worth picking up in deeper leagues as Pekka Rinne is not due back until Christmas at the earliest. Ryan Ellis has moved up the depth chart and is now part of the Predators second unit defensively, alongside Kevin Klein. He has a lot of offensive upside but with Weber and Jones in front of him, the best he can hope for is second power play time barring an injury.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

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

Notes

New Jersey plays three games in four nights so look for Cory Schneider to play at least once in place of Martin Brodeur. They play a home-and-home series with Montreal so tempers may flare. If they do, look for Cam Janssen to be involved and raise his penalty minute total. The Devils will be the tired team Saturday when they are in New York to play the Rangers after playing at home to Detroit Friday.  Schneider is having a hard time with being a backup goaltender again as he backed up Roberto Luongo in Vancouver and despite the Devils giving up the ninth overall pick in 2013 for Schneider, he continues to back up veteran Brodeur. Michael Ryder has only one assist in his last nine games.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, @ St. Louis, @ Los Angeles

Notes

It looks like Frans Nielsen has come back to earth. While his 22 points in 25 games still looks good, he has only one point in his last seven games. Kevin Poulin was a hot goalie for a while and it looked like he would take the netminding job from the injured Evgeni Nabokov and run with it but it has not been a good last three weeks for the Islander goaltender as he is 2-7 with a .872 save percentage and a 4.21 GAA. Matt Donovan had a chance to play the power play earlier in the season with Lubomir Visnovsky out of action but he couldn’t do the job and has now been sent to the minors. Visnovsky will see a neurologist this week as he tries to return from a concussion. He is hoping to resume skating and if he is allowed to do so, he return could be imminent.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

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

Notes

The Rangers play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Cameron Talbot to play at least once in place of Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers will be the rested team on Saturday when they host New Jersey as the Devils are home to Detroit Friday. Michael Del Zotto has been scratched the last two games as he is having a difficult time staying on the ice. Derek Dorsett is currently out with a sore wrist. Mats Zuccarello has been a bit of a surprise with 14 points in 25 games. He has a bit of value in deeper leagues. Rick Nash has three goals in five games and should be in someone’s fantasy lineup at this time. Ryan McDonagh has six goals to lead the Rangers blueliners and is only one off the team lead held by Brad Richards.  

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Toronto

Notes

Mika Zibanejad has seven goals and 10 points in 18 games this season and has three points in his last three games. He is worth looking at in deeper leagues and should be on someone’s roster in keeper pools. The goaltending controversy is on again in Ottawa after Craig Anderson gave up four goals on 15 shots in 30 minutes of action Thursday. Robin Lehner is the Senators goalie of the future and the future could be now. Clarke MacArthur has seven goals and 19 points this season. Bobby Ryan is having a great fantasy season with 13 goals and 25 points in 26 games to go with a plus-eight rating. He has five power play goals this season after scoring only two in Anaheim last year.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Detroit, @ Dallas

Notes

Sean Couturier scored only his second goal of the season on Friday. Claude Giroux’s six game scoring streak was snapped on Friday as he looks to have recovered from a slow start and an off-season tendon injury that required surgery. Mark Streit had a goal and five points in his last nine games before Friday’s action and is plus-five in that timeframe. Steve Mason finally got to the .500 mark Friday as he is now 8-8-2 with great peripherals as he has a 2.10 GAA and a .933 save percentage which is 10th and ninth best in the NHL respectively.  Giroux leads the Flyers in points with 17, two ahead of Brayden Schenn.

PHOENIX

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Calgary, @ Vancouver

Notes

The Coyotes play all three games in Western Canada this week and they do so in four nights so look for Thomas Greiss to play once in place of Mike Smith. The Coyotes are the tired team on Wednesday when they are in Calgary after facing the Oilers in Edmonton Tuesday. The Coyotes have been terrific in front of their home crowd with a 9-12 record. The Coyotes recalled Rostislav Klesla from the minors a few days after waiving him. Mikkel Boedker has 15 points in 25 games and is worth owning in deeper pools. Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal lead the Coyotes with 21 points apiece, one ahead of Shane Doan and four ahead of Mike Ribeiro, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

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

Notes

Paul Martin will be out for the next four-six weeks after fracturing his tibia. Evgeni Malkin is white-hot of late and the return of James Neal has not hurt him. Malkin has three goals and 13 points in his last seven games and trails only teammate Sidney Crosby in the scoring race as Crosby had 36 points, five ahead of Malkin. Crosby passed the 700 point career mark on Friday and he did it in only 497 games, 81 games faster than Alex Ovechkin. Pascal Dupuis has only 13 points in 27 games this season. Kris Letang has a goal and three assists in his last two games after going the previous nine games with only one goal.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Anaheim

Notes

The Blues will be the rested team on Saturday when they host the Ducks as Anaheim will be in Chicago Friday. Brian Elliott got only his second start in six games on Friday but lasted only one period as he gave up four goals on 12 shots. It was his first loss of the season as his record is now 4-1-1 and his save percentage went from .932 to .914 while his GAA jumped to 2.31 from 1.79. David Backes continues his outstanding fantasy season as he has 12 goals and 25 points in 25 games with a plus-11 rating and 52 penalty minutes. Ryan Reaves suffered a broken hand and will miss at least six weeks.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Pittsburgh, @ Carolina, @ Minnesota

Notes

The Sharks play three games in four nights as part of a four game week on the road, so expect to see Alex Stalock once in place of Antti Niemi. If you are able to use Brent Burns as a defenseman in your pool (which you can in Yahoo! pools), then you have a gem despite his missing almost five weeks of action with an upper body injury. Burns has eight goals and 14 points in just 12 games with a plus-13 rating. The Sharks reassigned Matthew Nieto to the minors on Tuesday. Tommy Wingels is playing with Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture. Justin Braun is second in the NHL in plus/minus at plus-17 and when you add in two goals and eight points in 25 games, then he has some nice fantasy value.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Ottawa, vs. Winnipeg

Notes

Ryan Malone is on the injured reserve list for what seems the umpteenth time in his NHL career. This time it’s a lower body injury that’s believed to be a chipped ankle bone. The Lightning love young defenseman Andrej Sustr who was signed in March, 2013 as a college free agent. Sustr is six foot eight and according to coach Jon Cooper, he needs to spend a year or two in the weight room. He has played 19 games this season garnering six assists to go with a plus-four rating. Radko Gudas could return this week from an upper body injury. Ben Bishop is 14-4-1 this season with a 2.08 GAA and a .931 save percentage and is being looked at as a possible United States goaltender in the Olympics.

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Dallas, @ Ottawa, vs. Boston

Notes

The Maple Leafs play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so look for Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer to split the net. Joffrey Lupul is back on the injured reserve list with a groin injury. He should return around the middle of December. Jake Gardiner was a healthy scratch on Wednesday and came back to play on Friday and garner an assist. Morgan Rielly was the odd man out on Friday. A must read is Rotoworld contributor and McKeen’s Hockey Pro Scouting Director Gus Katsaros’ column on the Maple Leafs defensive system and play. Click here to read his in depth analysis. The Leafs inked first round pick Frederik Gauthier to a three-year/entry level deal. Toronto did not get a shot on goal in the third period Wednesday as the Penguins outshot them 17-0.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Phoenix, vs. Colorado

Notes

David Booth finally had a fantasy worthy game on Thursday with a goal and an assist in the Canucks 5-2 win. Henrik Sedin leads the Canucks in points with 27, three ahead of his twin Daniel. Tom Sestito leads the way in penalty minutes with 67, 24 better than Zack Kassian. Kassian only played 4:10 minutes on Saturday as coach John Tortorella benched him for most of the game. Roberto Luongo is 11-7-5 this season with a 2.32 GAA and a save percentage of .915. A lot of people think he should start for Team Canada at Sochi. Alexander Edler continues to struggle as he only has three goals and eight points in 24 games. It’s his minus-12 rating that really hurts fantasy owners.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Nashville, @  New York Rangers

Notes

Michal Neuvirth suffered a lower body injury when he stepped on the puck as he came out for the pre-game warmup on Friday and he day-to-day for now. Since he was unable to back up Braden Holtby Friday, the Capitals went with their video coach Brett Leonhardt as the second goalie. It wasn’t the first time this has happened to Leonhardt as he backed up Brent Johnson on December 12, 2008 when Jose Theodore suffered an injury. Jay Beagle was in the Washington lineup on Friday for the first time since October 16. John Carlson has taken over the point on the first power play from Mike Green who was relegated to second unit duty.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

Notes

Evander Kane suffered a lower body injury Friday in the first period and did not return. Consider him day-to-day for now. Mark Scheifele scored his second goal of the season Monday as he now has nine points in 28 games. He is going to be a good center fantasy wise but is certainly not there yet. Jacob Trouba returned to action on Monday following a 17 game absence due to a neck injury. He has been held scoreless in three games and has a goal and two points in 11 games this season. Dustin Byfuglien is still hot with 21 points this season, third in the NHL behind Erik Karlsson with 26 and Duncan Keith who has 22. 

View Comments