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The Stadium Series

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The Stadium Series
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Michael Finewax looks at the Stadium series which begins on January 25 in The Week Ahead

The Stadium Series begins this weekend as the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils play at Yankee Stadium (pictured right) on Sunday with the Los Angeles Kings hosting the Anaheim Ducks Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

This is the first two of the five game series that the NHL has scheduled after the ultra-successful Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs on New Year's Day at The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Yankee Stadium (see the time lapse video of the rink being put together here) will also host the Islanders and the Rangers on January 29.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will play at Soldier Field in Chicago on March 1 as they face the Blackhawks while the Ottawa Senators will play at BC Place in Vancouver in the Heritage Classic the following day.

I want to wish my brother Larry a Happy Birthday this Sunday!

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 20-26

4 Games- Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, St. Louis, Toronto, Winnipeg

3 Games– Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Edmonton,  Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Ottawa, San Jose, Washington

2 Games - Boston, Tampa Bay

Detroit plays all four games at home this week.

St. Louis and Toronto play all four games on the road.

Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, New Jersey, the New York Islanders and San Jose play three games at home.

Florida, Los Angeles, Nashville, Ottawa, Phoenix and Winnipeg play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Michael Cammalleri is out with a concussion. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Los Angeles, @ Los Angeles

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Ducks play the Kings in back-to-back games including the first game of the Stadium series on Saturday so there may be fisticuffs. If tempers flare, look for Tim Jackman and Patrick Maroon to add to their penalty minute totals. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are fourth and fifth in NHL scoring with 55 and 53 points respectively and are plus-22 and 23 as well which is 10th and seventh in the league. Not too shabby.  Don't expect to see John Gibson in goal many times if at all this season as the Ducks recalled and played Frederik Andersen when Jonas Hiller was too ill to play on Wednesday. Teemu Selanne had a couple of power play goals on Wednesday in a 9-1 shellacking of Vancouver. Sheldon Souray is out for the rest of the season.

BOSTON

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Philadelphia

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Los Angeles (Monday)

Notes

Zdeno Chara will carry the flag for Slovakia at the Winter Olympics in Sochi so he will miss two games as the opening ceremonies are on February 7. Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist on Thursday as he broke a four game pointless streak.  Aw, the pitfalls of owning a top goalie. Tuukka Rask was at the top of his game for most of the season but he has been mediocre of late as he has allowed 21 goals in his last seven games. He is now 22-12-2 this season with a still great 2.11 GAA and an equally terrific .928 save percentage. Dougie Hamilton has missed the last two games with a concussion and there is currently no timetable for his return.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Carolina, @  Columbus

Rested team: vs. Florida (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Marcus Foligno (undisclosed) and Matt D'Agostini (upper body) were injured this week and are currently out of the lineup. Matt Moulson scored his 15th of the season on Wednesday. Ryan Miller is only 12-18-2 this season with a 2.59 GAA but his save percentage is outstanding at .927. Steve Ott has lost a lot of fantasy value with only five goals and 14 points in 46 games to go with 45 penalty minutes as his minus-18 rating really hurts fantasy players. Christian Ehrhoff has only two goals and 18 points in 45 games this season.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ San Jose, vs. Phoenix, vs. Nashville

Rested team: vs. Nashville (Friday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Flames continue to spiral downwards as they have won only two of their last 10 games. Michael Cammalleri is out with a concussion. Jiri Hudler is disappointed that he was not selected to the Czech Republic team for the Olympics despite leading all Czech-born players in the NHL in points with 39. Reto Berra continues to struggle as he is 5-14-2 this season with a 3.13 GAA and a .894 save percentage while his netminding partner Karri Ramo is 8-9-3 with a 2.80 GAA and a .903 save percentage. Coach Bob Hartley thinks that Mikael Backlund has been his best player of late.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Buffalo, vs. Ottawa

Rested team: @ Philadelphia (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Hurricanes play three games in four nights so look for Anton Khudobin to play twice with Justin Peters going once, as Cam Ward is still sidelined with a lower body injury. Alexander Semin is pointless in his last three games and has only six goals and 18 points in 34 games this season. Jiri Tlusty returned to action this past Monday from an appendectomy in his first game in three weeks. Jeff Skinner returned to the wing as Eric Staal returned on Monday after a three game absence with a lower body injury. Brett Sutter and Zach Boychuk were sent back to the minors.

CHICAGO

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Minnesota, vs. Winnipeg

Rested team: vs. Winnipeg (Sunday)

Tired Team: @ Minnesota (Thursday)

Notes

Coach Joel Quenneville is pleased with his new second line consisting of Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane. Corey Crawford is 17-7-7 this season with a 2.46 GAA and a .911 save percentage but has not won in his last seven outings.  Kris Versteeg has not scored and has picked up only one assist in his last nine games while going minus-three. Jonathan Toews had a six game scoring streak end on Tuesday and has 47 points in 49 games. Bryan Bickell is in a bad slump and has had his playing time reduced as a result. He has only one assist in his last 10 games and played only 6:34 minutes on Tuesday.

COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Florida, @ Tampa Bay

Rested team: vs. Toronto (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Tampa Bay (Saturday)

Notes

Semyon Varlamov got off to a great start, slumped a bit after the first month of the season when his troubles with the law occurred and has been sensational of late as he is 10-0-5 in his last 15 games. Varlamov has a 2.29 GAA and a .929 save percentage this season. Look for Paul Stastny (leg) to return to the Avs lineup on January 18 while Alex Tanguay who has been out since November 2 and has missed the last 34 games with a hip/knee injury, is close to returning.  P. A. Parenteau was slated to miss six weeks with a sprained ACL but he could be back by the end of January, which would make it only five weeks.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Buffalo

Rested team: vs. Los Angeles (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Fedor Tyutin is out of action with an illness and Dalton Prout, who was sent to the minors on Tuesday, was recalled. Nathan Horton said he was dealing with conditioning issues last week and that was no surprise as he returned from off season shoulder surgery and was not in game condition. He has four points in six games thus far. Jack Johnson has only 12 points this season in 45 games. Cam Atkinson had goals in three straight games before being held off the scoresheet on Monday. James Wisniewski has yet to score on the power play but has 11 assists and has three goals and 26 points in 39 games this season.

DALLAS

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Minnesota, vs. Toronto, vs. Pittsburgh

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Minnesota (Tuesday)

Notes

The Stars play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Dan Ellis to play once in place of Kari Lehtonen.  Coach Lindy Ruff is worried about Valeri Nichushkin as the rookie is hurting a bit and seems to be hitting a wall as far as the schedule is concerned. Nichushkin is being allowed to play through it but has gone the five games without a point. Tyler Seguin has three assists in his last two games after going the previous five games without a point. He has 21 goals and 44 points in 45 games. Ryan Garbutt has two goals and five points in his last four games with a plus-three rating.

DETROIT

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, vs. Chicago, vs. Montreal, vs. Florida

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Red Wings play all four at home as they finish a five game home stand. Henrik Zetterberg has gone four straight games without a point. Jimmy Howard stopped 38 of 39 shots on Thursday but it wasn't enough as the Red Wings dropped a 1-0 decision to the Rangers. He missed Sunday's game with a hip flexor injury. Johan Franzen is practicing after missing the last 12 games with a concussion. Daniel Alfredsson has missed the last three games with a back injury. The Red Wings injury woes continue as Pavel Datsyuk has been out five games with a groin injury.

EDMONTON

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Phoenix, vs. Nashville

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None  

Notes

Nail Yakupov was injured on Thursday when the Wild's Matt Cooke ran roughshod over him and it appears that the second-year Russian suffered a head injury. The Oilers did some wheeling and dealing this past week as they sent Devan Dubnyk to the Predators for bottom six forward Matt Hendricks and then picked up Kings backup goalie Ben Scrivens for a third round pick. Scrivens will be given every opportunity to take over the job from Ilya Bryzgalov. The Oilers could be in trouble next season as both Scrivens and Bryzgalov will become UFA's at the end of the season if not re-signed. Justin Schultz has five goals and 20 points in 45 games with a minus-18 rating and had his three game point streak end on Thursday.

FLORIDA

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Buffalo, vs. Colorado, @ Detroit  

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Buffalo (Tuesday)

Notes

Tomas Fleischmann is in a huge slump with only two goals in his last 33 games. He has five goals and 21 points in 46 games after a 12 goal, 35 point effort in 48 games last season and 27 goals and 61 points the year before. Jonathan Huberdeau was benched on Tuesday and played only 9:12 minutes and didn't see much more action on Thursday as he saw only 11:03 minutes of action. Last year's Calder Trophy winner is going through the proverbial 'sophomore jinx' as he has only seven goals and 17 points in 45 games. Tim Thomas has kept the Panthers in most games while in net as he is 12-12-3 with a 2.56 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

@ Boston, @ Columbus, @ Anaheim, vs. Anaheim

Rested team: @ Boston (Monday)

Tired Team: @ Columbus (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. They face the Ducks in a home-and-home series and there could be a fight or two so if you are looking for penalty minutes we suggest Kyle Clifford or Dustin Brown.  The Kings sent Tyler Toffoli back to the minors as he was on an 11 game pointless drought and needs to get back his confidence on offense. Los Angeles recalled goaltender Martin Jones to back up Jonathan Quick after dealing Ben Scrivens to the Oilers for a third round pick.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

@ Dallas, vs. Chicago, @ San Jose

Rested team: @ Dallas (Tuesday) vs. Chicago (Thursday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Wild play Dallas in the back end of a home-and-home series so look for Clayton Stoner to get into a fight if the situation arises. The offense of the Wild has been damaged of late with Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise injured but Jason Pominville picked up the slack on Thursday with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over Edmonton. Darcy Kuemper has started the last three games as he has taken over from Niklas Backstrom. Kuemper has given up only four goals on 76 shots in the three games (two wins and a loss) as the Wild's top goalie Josh Harding is out of action with the effects of multiple sclerosis. It's not worth rostering Backstrom at this time.

MONTREAL

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ Detroit, vs. Washington

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Canadiens play three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once for Carey Price. Tomas Plekanec is up to 16 goals for the Habs as he is having an outstanding season. Max Pacioretty scored on the power play Thursday and it was the Canadiens first in 18 chances of late. David Desharnais was back on his regular line with Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher on Thursday after missing Tuesday's game with the flu. Lars Eller took his spot on Tuesday. He has only two goals and three points in his last 19 games. Andrei Markov wants to sign an extension with Montreal.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ Vancouver, @Calgary, @ Edmonton

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Calgary (Friday)

Notes

The Predators play four times this week including three games in four nights. They picked up goaltender Devan Dubnyk in a trade from the Oilers and you have to think that he will be between the pipes when the Predators take on Edmonton on Sunday. The Predators will send either Carter Hutton or Marek Mazanec to the minors. GM David Poile believes that Pekka Rinne will return to action this season. He has been out since October 22 with hip problems which necessitated the Dubnyk deal. Craig Smith has 12 points in his last 15 games. Mike Fisher is contemplating retirement once his current contract expires after the 2014-15 season.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, vs. Washington, vs. New York Rangers

Rested team: vs. St. Louis (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

It's hard to believe that Corey Schneider is only 7-9-7 this season as he has a 1.96 GAA and a .921 save percentage. Damien Brunner is now skating as he has been out of action since December 20 with a knee injury. Patrik Elias finally returned to action on Thursday after missing seven games with total body soreness. The Devils could use his scoring touch as the team has scored only 113 goals fourth worst in the NHL. They are even worse during the shootout as they have lost all eight games while scoring only once in 25 opportunities. Eric Gelinas has a goal and an assist in five games since his recall from the minors.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ New York Rangers, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. St. Louis

Rested team: vs. Pittsburgh, (Thursday)

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Tuesday)

Notes

The Islanders play three games in four nights as part of their four game week so look for Evgeni Nabokov (if healthy) and Kevin Poulin to split the net. Nabokov is skating after suffering a quad injury on January 6 and is expected to return this week. The Islanders play Philadelphia in the back end of a home-and-home series so look for Matt Carkner or Matt Martin to pick up some penalty minutes. John Tavares was the first star of the week with four goals and 10 points in four games. Thomas Vanek's agent has had preliminary contact about a new contract with the Islanders but no deal is imminent.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

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

Rested team: vs. New York Islanders (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

It certainly appears that Henrik Lundqvist has found his game again and that is great news for his fantasy owners, especially the ones who dealt for him when he was struggling.  Lundqvist is 6-2-1 in the Rangers last 10 games and he has allowed only 19 goals on 293 shots in that span which includes one stinker against the Penguins in which he gave up five goals on only 28 shots.  Cameron Talbot is now firmly established as his backup. Rick Nash has four goals in his last six games. Michael Del Zotto is a lot more comfortable as a left defenseman as the Rangers tried to convert him earlier in the season to the right side.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Tampa Bay, @ Carolina

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Senators play three times in four nights so look for Robin Lehner to play once in place of Craig Anderson. Chris Neil is still out of action with a hamstring injury as he has sat out the last six games. Clarke MacArthur has six goals in his last seven games and now has 17 this season. Erik Karlsson has a goal and eight points in his last five games and once again leads all defensemen in points with 46, two ahead of Duncan Keith. Robin Lehner is back on track with a shutout on Tuesday after giving up 10 goals in his previous two starts. Craig Anderson is still the number one goalie in Ottawa at this time.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. Carolina, @ Columbus, vs. Boston

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Carolina (Tuesday)

Notes

The Flyers play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Ray Emery to play at least once in place of Steve Mason. Wayne Simmonds continues to be hot as he has 20 points and 18 penalty minutes in his last 15 games. It was thought that Scott Hartnell would miss Thursday's game against Nashville after he was injured blocking a shot against Buffalo Tuesday but he played and picked up an assist to give him 15 points in his last 15 games. Vincent Lecavalier potted his first goal since November 28 on Tuesday but to be fair, he did miss nine games during that stretch with a back injury.

PHOENIX

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

It's a Canadian week for the Coyotes as they host Toronto before playing three games in Western Canada. Mike Smith shut out the Canucks on Thursday and it was his first win since December 21.  Rostislav Klesla was placed on waivers when the Coyotes activated Zbynek Michalek from the injured reserve list Thursday. Antoine Vermette went 11 consecutive games without a goal before scoring Thursday in the 1-0 win over Vancouver. Radim Vrbata has 34 points and is two points clear of Martin Hanzal and Mike Ribeiro.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

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

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Islanders (Thursday)

Notes

The Penguins play three contests in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Jeff Zatkoff in goal once this week in place of Marc-Andre Fleury.  Sidney Crosby is having a healthy season and has opened up a 12 point lead in the scoring race heading into action on Thursday as he has 68 points. Evgeni Malkin has 47 points and the two have combined for 115 points, seven ahead of the Ducks duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Kris Letang has not had a good season according to his fantasy owners but the defenseman has nine goals in only 29 games. Paul Martin (fractured tibia) has been cleared for contact and should return shortly.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ New Jersey, @ New York Rangers, @ New York Islanders

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Tuesday)

Notes

The Blues are on the road for all four games this week. Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak will likely split the net.  Jaden Schwartz is quietly having a very good fantasy season with 15 goals and 32 points in 44 games as well as a plus-22 rating despite going minus-three Thursday. Alexander Steen is still out with a concussion but is practicing with the Blues. He suffered the injury on December 21. David Backes has a goal and five points in six games since his return from an upper body injury. He has 17 goals and 35 points in 41 games with 74 penalty minutes and seven power play goals. T.J. Oshie has 11 goals and 40 points in 46 games and has seven goals and 10 points in his last nine.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Minnesota

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Alex Stalock got a rare start on Thursday and picked up his first NHL shutout. He has been great in a limited role behind Antti Niemi as Stalock is 6-2-0 with a 1.80 GAA and a .938 save percentage. Look for Stalock to see more action leading up to the Olympics as Niemi will play for Finland and coach Todd McLellan doesn't want to overplay the Finnish netminder. The Sharks are 8-5 in the shootout and a large part of that has been the outstanding netminding of Niemi who has given up only 12 goals on 53 attempts. Joe Thornton scored a rare goal on Thursday as it was his sixth of the season to go with 45 assists.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Colorado

Rested team: vs. Colorado (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

After playing five games last week, the Lightning play only twice this week so we recommend benching most of your Tampa Bay players in weekly transaction pools with the exception of Martin St. Louis if you have better options. Steve Stamkos participated in Thursday's morning skate as it appears that he is getting close to returning to action from a broken leg. Victor Hedman is having a breakout offensive season as he has 10 goals and 26 points in 42 games. He has already tied his career high in points and easily surpassed his previous best five goal effort two seasons ago.

TORONTO

Games this week

@ Phoenix, @ Colorado, @ Dallas, @ Winnipeg

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Colorado (Tuesday)

Notes

The Maple Leafs play all four on the road and that includes three games in four nights so James Reimer will play at least once for Jonathan Bernier.  Good news for Maple Leaf fans in that Dave Bolland, who suffered a sliced ankle tendon on November 2, skated in full equipment on Wednesday and should return just before or after the Olympics. Phil Kessel is happy with the return of his regular center Tyler Bozak as he has four goals and 11 points in nine games while Bozak has five goals and 11 points in the nine games since his return. After struggling in the shootout since it began in the 2005-06 season, the Maple Leafs are finally good at it as they are 9-4 this season. Joffrey Lupul has scored on six of seven attempts.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

@ Edmonton, vs. Nashville, vs. Phoenix

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Roberto Luongo could return this weekend to the lineup as he has been out with an ankle injury for the last six games. The Canucks are having trouble scoring and have found the back of the net only once in the last three games. Alexander Edler missed 16 games with a knee injury before returning on Monday.  Alex Burrows is expected to return on January 18. He has been a huge bust fantasy-wise with only three assists this season in 17 games. He could be worth a flier as he is available in 89 percent of Yahoo! pools. Zac Dalpe is back on the fourth line after seeing some time on the top line with the Sedin twins. Ryan Kesler is back on the top line.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ New Jersey, @ Montreal

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

While Alex Ovechkin has 34 goals and leads Corey Perry by eight, he has only 14 helpers this season. The Capitals goaltending situation is up in the air as Michal Neuvirth has started twice in the last four games after not seeing any action since November 22. Braden Holtby, the starter for most of the season, has started only once in the Capitals last 11 games with Philipp Grubauer taking over as the starter with eight starts in the Caps last 11. Brooks Laich scored a shorthanded goal on Wednesday and it was his first goal since November 27.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ San Jose, vs. Toronto, @ Chicago

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Chicago (Sunday)

Notes

Winnipeg fired head coach Claude Noel on Sunday and replaced him with veteran bench boss Paul Maurice. Maurice has juggled the lines and has won both games by a combined score of 10-2. The Jets play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Al Montoya to play at least once for Ondrej Pavelec. Mark Scheifele has eight goals and 26 points in 49 games but has really been coming on of late with two goals and eight points in his last nine games. He is seeing time with Blake Wheeler and Chris Thorburn. Michael Frolik is meshing well with Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd on the top line as he has a goal and an assist in two games.

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