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Michael Finewax looks at Jamie Benn, P.K. Subban and Ryan O'Reilly the three restricted free agents who …

Three very good players held out at the beginning of the season as restricted free agents, Jamie Benn, P.K. Subban and Ryan O'Reilly.

O'Reilly is the most recent to sign and he has only one assist in three games. But Subban and Benn have been outstanding since signing as Subban has six goals and nine assists in 18 games with four goals and seven assists coming on the power play.

Jamie Benn has six goals and 16 points in 18 games so it seems that the effects of signing after the season starts have been negligible at least this season.

I would think that O'Reilly is capable of getting 15 points in the last half of the season and if this will help your fantasy team, grab him now.

I will be on Google+Hangout Thursday with NHL.com's Matt Cubeta, Chris Foster, Pete Jensen, Brian Metzer and Matthew Sitkoff for our regular fantasy chat. You can watch archives of the chat by clicking here.

Don’t forget to purchase Rotoworld's Season Pass if you haven't done so already.

Now to The Week Ahead.

WEEK OF MARCH 11-17

5 Games - Boston

4 Games–Los Angeles, Nashville, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Washington, Winnipeg

3 Games – Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Jose , Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver

2 Games - Chicago, Montreal, New York Islanders, Philadelphia

Nashville plays all four games on the road.

Anaheim, Boston, Detroit and the New York Rangers play three games on the road this week.

Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, Pittsburgh and St. Louis play three games at home.

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INJURIES

Cam Ward is out six-eight weeks with a knee injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ Dallas, @ St. Louis

Notes

Coach Bruce Boudreau loves to mix up his lines and Bobby Ryan is the latest beneficiary of playing on the top unit alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. We shall see how long that lasts. Getzlaf has been very hot of late with six goals and 18 points in his last 11 games. Jonas Hiller has played in three of the last four games and is 2-0-1 with a GAA of 1.95 and a .933 save percentage as it appears that Boudreau, for now, is leaning towards Hiller over Viktor Fasth. After picking up 34 penalty minutes in a three game span in early-to-mid February, enforcer Brad Staubitz has played in only one of ten games since. Francois Beauchemin leads the team in blocked shots with 49.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Ottawa, @ Pittsburgh, vs. Florida, vs. Washington, @ Pittsburgh

Notes

The Bruins play five times this week so expect to see Anton Khudobin play at least once this week in place of Tuukka Rask. Boston will be tired on Tuesday when they travel to Pittsburgh as the Bruins are in Ottawa Monday. The Bruins play the Penguins twice this week and it is safe to put Shawn Thornton back in your lineup as he had a fight this past week for the first time since suffering a concussion on January 31. You can also add Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara to the list of players who should add to their penalty minute totals this week. Dougie Hamilton has a four game point scoring streak heading into action on Thursday. Dennis Seidenberg leads the Bruins in blocked shots with 48.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. New York Rangers, vs. Ottawa, @ Washington

Notes

Tyler Ennis has five points in eight games since Ron Rolston took over from Lindy Ruff including a goal and two assists on the only three power play goals. Thomas Vanek has only a goal and five points in his last ten games after an amazing start to the season where he led the league in scoring with 23 points in 12 games. Jordan Leopold has missed the last eight games with an upper body injury. Patrick Kaleta was suspended five games for his hit on Brad Richards. Defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Andrej Sekera have 45 blocked shots to lead the Sabres.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, vs. Detroit, vs. Nashville

Notes

The Flames are rested Friday when they take on the Predators who are in Vancouver on Thursday.  Jarome Iginla has six goals and nine points in his last seven games. Sven Baertschi has only one assist in six games since he returned from a hip injury. Miikka Kiprusoff returned to action on Wednesday after missing a month of action and stopped 32 of 33 shots in a 4-1 win. Dennis Wideman has 45 blocked shots to lead the Flames. The Flames picked up Brian McGrattan because they have little toughness in their lineup as Mark Giordano leads the team with 18 penalty minutes while Matthew Stajan has 16. The duo aren't exactly the Broad Street Bullies.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Washington, vs. Washington, @ Tampa Bay

Notes

Cam Ward suffered a knee injury on the weekend and is out six-eight weeks so look for Dan Ellis to get the majority of the starts with Justin Peters backing him up. Peters got into a couple of games this past week with Ellis sidelined with an illness. The Hurricanes play a home-and-home series against Washington so look for Tim Gleason and Jay Harrison to add to their penalty minute totals if there are any fisticuffs. Harrison leads the team in blocked shots with 52. Alexander Semin has two goals and nine points in his last five games. Jussi Jokinen has three goals and five points in his last four games. It does not hurt to be on the top line with Eric Staal and Semin.

CHICAGO

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Dallas

Notes
The Blackhawks have only two games this week but they are so hot, I can't really recommend benching your Chicago players. The Blackhawks are 21-0-3 this season as they hit the halfway point of the season. Brent Seabrook leads in blocked shots with 57 but the Blackhawks also have Niklas Hjalmarsson with 55 and Johnny Oduya with 50.  It appears that Patrick Sharp will be out of action for two-three weeks with a shoulder injury. Ray Emery became the first goalie in NHL history to start a season 10-0. Patrick Kane is having an outstanding season with 12 goals, 27 points and a plus-10 rating. His two penalty minutes hurt in traditional pools but his five goals and four assists on the power play help out.

COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Minnesota, vs. Minnesota

Notes

The Avalanche play a home-and-home series with the Wild so expect to see Cody McLeod, Patrick Bordeleau and Ryan O'Byrne to add to their minute totals as tempers should flare. John Mitchell has been a nice surprise with seven goals in 21 games, putting him third on the Avs in goals behind P. A. Parenteau and Matt Duchene. Ryan O'Reilly got on the scoresheet in his third game of the season as he drew an assist Wednesday. Erik Johnson (concussion) and Ryan Wilson (ankle) have been out of the lineup for most of the season but the defensemen should return by the start of the week and  help anchor the blueline. Greg Zanon leads with 66 blocked shots.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, vs. Chicago, vs. Phoenix

Notes

The Blue Jackets are home for all three games this week. Jack Johnson leads the team in blocked shots with 34. Brandon Dubinsky has been out since Feb. 16 with a knee injury and should return this week. New GM Jarmo Kekalainen has been impressed with former first round pick Ryan Johansen. It's hard to believe but Vaclav Prospal's 14 points this season leads the Blue Jackets. Columbus has four players with a minus-10 rating or worse, including Johansen, Matt Calvert, Derek Dorsett and Adrian Aucoin.  Jared Boll has been good with 74 penalty minutes and a plus-three rating. He also has a goal and four points this season, giving him some fantasy value.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Anaheim, vs. Chicago

Notes

Stephane Robidas leads the Stars with 40 blocked shots. Ray Whitney (foot) could return by the end of the week but the week of March 13th is likelier. Derek Roy is heating up with five points in his last three games. Jaromir Jagr leads the Stars in points with 17 one ahead of Jamie Benn.  Jagr has four power play goals while only Cody Eakin (2) has more than one. Alex Goligoski has 12 assists this season without a goal and seven of his helpers have come on the power play. Kari Lehtonen is back from a groin injury and is 9-3-1 this season with a 2.24 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

DETROIT

Games this week

@ Calgary, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights so expect to see Jonas Gustavsson play once  in place of Jimmy Howard as Detroit makes the trip through Western Canada. The Red Wings will be the tired team Saturday when they are in Vancouver after visiting Edmonton Friday. Niklas Kronwall has 38 blocked shots. Ian White has been a healthy scratch the last five games and will have trouble getting back in the lineup as the Red Wings have only given up 11 goals in their last seven games. Todd Bertuzzi (back) has been out almost a month and is not close to returning. First year player Damien Brunner leads the Red Wings in goals with 10.

EDMONTON

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Detroit, vs. Nashville

Notes

Ladislav Smid leads the Oilers with 66 blocked shots and 69 hits. Boy is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins slumping. He has only one goal this season and has only two assists since the beginning of February, a span of 15 games. Jordan Eberle has only one goal in his last 10 games but does have five assists in his last six. With all the fine talent the Oilers have up front, they finally picked up a player who can protect them as Mike Brown, with his 70 penalty minutes was dealt from the Maple Leafs. He fought in his second game with the Oilers Thursday. Nick Schultz is a team worse minus-13 with Nail Yakupov right behind at minus-12.

 FLORIDA

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Boston, vs. New York Islanders

Notes

Stephen Weiss is gone for the season after undergoing wrist surgery. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the season but would like to re-sign with the Panthers. Mike Weaver is tops on the Panthers with 38 blocked shots. Jonathan Huberdeau has scored on two penalty shots this season and leads the Panthers in goals with 11. Jose Theodore is out five-six weeks with a groin injury and it looks like Jacob Markstrom may finally get his chance for a long-term shot in the net although he allowed two goals on two shots Thursday before getting pulled only 3:10 minutes into the first period. Tomas Fleischmann has 17 points this season, one ahead of Brian Campbell who has six goals.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Phoenix, @ San Jose, vs. San Jose

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights this week. Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier have split the net evenly over the last 12 games so look for more of the same this week. The Kings are tired Tuesday when they play the Coyotes in Glendale as they host Calgary Monday. They play the Sharks in back-to-back games so expect to see Keaton Ellerby and Jordan Nolan to find their way to the penalty box. Justin Williams has only two goals and 12 points this season but is a plus-nine. Drew Doughty has yet to find the back of the net while fellow blueliner Slava Voynov has four goals and 13 points. Doughty is tops on the Kings with a measly 25 blocked shots.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Colorado, @ Colorado

Notes

Good news on Cal Clutterbuck front as he finally practiced for the first time since he suffered a thigh contusion when Taylor Hall hit him on Feb. 21, a hit that earned Hall a two game suspension. Josh Harding is feeling a lot better after suffering from his multiple sclerosis. He has been out since Feb. 14 and the doctors have told him not to practice as of yet. GM Chuck Fletcher is happy with his signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter as he loves their work ethic. He thinks they will continue to improve as both are only 28. Suter leads the team with 33 blocked shots, one ahead of Tom Gilbert.

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, @ New Jersey

Notes

The Canadiens will be rested on Saturday when they play the Devils who are in Philadelphia the night before. The Habs only play twice this week and I suggest benching your Montreal players in weekly transaction pools with the exception of P.K. Subban and the hot Max Pacioretty. Josh Gorges leads the team in blocked shots with 60. Subban has been outstanding on the power play since he re-signed as he has four goals and 11 points in 18 games. Tomas Kaberle is starting to become a healthy scratch and could find himself being one of Montreal's off-season's buyouts. Pacioretty was the first star of the week as he had four goals and seven points last week.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ Vancouver, @ Calgary, @ Edmonton

Notes

The Predators play three games in four nights this week so look for Chris Mason to get a start in place of Pekka Rinne. The Predators will be tired Friday when they travel to Calgary after playing the Canucks in Vancouver Thursday. Nashville starts a five game road trip this week. Kevin Klein leads the Predators with 47 blocked shots. Nashville is a low scoring team and that really comes into play when the opposition scores first as they are 1-9 when that happens. They claimed both Bobby Butler and Zach Boychuk off waivers this past week.  Sergei Kostitsyn replaced Roman Josi on the power play point early in the week.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ Philadelphia, vs. Montreal

Notes

Martin Brodeur is still out with a bad back and if he is unable to go this week, look for Johan Hedberg to play twice with Keith Kinkaid getting the other start. New Jersey will be the tired team on Saturday against the Canadiens after playing in Philadelphia Saturday.  They play the Flyers twice this week so look for Krys Barch and David Clarkson to lead the parade to the penalty box. Bryce Salvador leads the Devils with 53 blocked shots. Adam Larsson was a healthy scratch on Thursday after the Devils had dropped six in a row. He has three assists in 18 games this season and is a plus-four. He was drafted fourth overall last season and it is taking him longer to shine as originally thought but he has plenty of talent so do not forget about him next season in your fantasy pool.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

Notes

Andrew MacDonald is the Islanders leader in blocked shots with 63. The Islanders play only twice this week so I recommend benching all your Isles with the exception of John Tavares and possibly Matt Moulson, if you have weekly transactions. New York has six players with a minus-seven rating or worse including Tavares, Moulson, Travis Hamonic, Brad Boyes, Mark Streit and MacDonald. Lubomir Visnovsky left the team again for personal reasons, this time heading back to Slovakia for the funeral of a close friend's 13-year-old son. He should be back this week. Brad Boyes has made a nice comeback offensively this season with five goals and 18 points in 23 games including a goal and seven assists on the power play.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

 @ Buffalo, @ Winnipeg, @ Pittsburgh

Notes

Daniel Girardi has 58 blocked shots to lead the Rangers. Brad Richards suffered a neck and back injury when he was knocked head first into the boards by Patrick Kaleta on Sunday. Consider him day-to-day for now. In more bad news for the Rangers, Marc Staal was hit by an errant puck near his eye and is out of action although the news has been good with regards to a recovery. New York claimed defenseman Roman Hamrlik off waivers from the Capitals. Rick Nash was out four games with an undisclosed injury but has been outstanding since his return with four goals and seven points in four games. He now has 20 points in 18 games.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Montreal, @ Buffalo, vs. Winnipeg

Notes

It is still hard to believe that injured defenseman Erik Karlsson (Achilles tendon) is leading the Senators in goals with six despite being out of the lineup for the past three weeks. Daniel Alfredsson is one behind after scoring his fifth of the season Wednesday to tie him with Jim O'Brien. Marc Methot and Chris Phillips are tied for the team lead in blocked shots with 42 apiece. Jason Spezza is out another month after he underwent back surgery on Feb. 1. Milan Michalek returned to action from a knee surgery Wednesday after missing 10 games and had an assist.  Craig Anderson continues to recover slowly from an ankle injury and his return is unknown at this time.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. New Jersey

Notes

The Flyers only play twice this week and both are against the Devils so it is likely that there could be a fight or two. With this in mind, don't be afraid to put Zac Rinaldo, Wayne Simmonds or Braydon Coburn in your lineup even though the Flyers play only twice. Keep Jakub Voracek in your lineup as he is one of, if not the hottest, players in the NHL with 12 goals and 29 points thus far. Nicklas Grossmann leads the Flyers and the NHL in blocked shots with 73. Matt Read was supposed to be out four-six weeks with a rib injury but returned on Thursday after only missing two weeks. Ilya Bryzgalov struggled this past week, allowing eight goals in 94 minutes of action and stopping only 28 shots.

PHOENIX

Games this week

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

Notes

The Coyotes are rested Tuesday when they are home to the Kings as Los Angeles hosts Calgary Monday. Zbynek Michalek has 60 blocked shots, 32 ahead of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Derek Morris. Radim Vrbata has missed nine straight games with a lower body injury but is close to returning to action. Martin Hanzal returned to action on Monday and had an assist in three games this past week. He is tied for the Coyotes goal scoring lead along with Shane Doan with seven despite playing only 15 games to Doan's 24. Kyle Chipchura has a lot of value in traditional pools with four goals, six assists and 41 penalty minutes this season. He is also plus-three despite going minus-four Thursday.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

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

Notes

The Penguins play three games in four nights so look for Tomas Vokoun to get at least one start, taking the place of Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins are rested on Tuesday when they play Boston who are in Ottawa Monday. Brooks Orpik has 69 blocked shots to lead the Penguins. They play the Bruins twice this week so expect Tanner Glass and Deryk Engelland to engage in fisticuffs with the feisty Bruins. Chris Kunitz is having an outstanding season playing alongside Sidney Crosby as he has 14 goals and 31 points good for sixth and fourth respectively in the NHL. Beau Bennett is worth looking at as the former first round pick is currently playing alongside Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Phoenix, vs. Anaheim

Notes

Alex Pietrangelo does a lot for the Blues including leading them in blocked shots with 46. What a difference a year makes. Last season Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott were the best duo in the NHL bar none. This season is a different story. Halak is 5-2-1 with a 2.31 GAA but a weak .884 save percentage while Elliott is 3-6-1 with a 3.65 GAA and a .851 save percentage. Their struggles forced St. Louis to recall Jake Allen from the minors despite both Halak and Elliott being healthy. A decision on whether or not to sign Jason Arnott to a contract will be made by March 10. Chris Stewart has two goals and six points in his last two games and now has nine goals and 20 points in 23 games this season. He has come back from last season's horrible year in which he had only 15 goals and 30 points all season.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

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

Notes

The Sharks play the Kings in a back-to-back, home-and-home series this week so expect to see Ryane Clowe protect his teammates. It has been a big fall for Clowe who has yet to score this season and does not have a point in his last eight. Brad Stuart has 43 blocked shots, one ahead of Doug Murray.  Martin Havlat has missed the last two games with a lower body injury. Tim Kennedy is getting a look on the second line alongside Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski and is worth a look see in fantasy pools if he is able to keep the assignment.  Brent Burns has played only six games this season and is minus-five without a point this season.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Florida, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Carolina

Notes

Young Victor Hedman is the team leader in blocked shots with 51. The Lightning have two scorers in the top three of the NHL in Steve Stamkos and Martin St. Louis. Vincent Lecavalier has only two goals and nine points in 16 games since he took a puck off his foot on Feb. 2. Cory Conacher continues to lead rookie scorers with 20 points in 24 games but fellow rookie Alex Killorn has four goals and eight points in 14 games and is likely below the radar if poolies are looking for a waiver wire pickup in deep pools. He is owned in only one percent of Yahoo! pools. B.J. Crombeen has 57 penalty minutes and has a goal and four points to go with a plus-three rating. Not bad if you are looking for some PIMs.

TORONTO

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Winnipeg

Notes

The Maple Leafs play the Jets twice this week so expect to see Frazer McLaren, Colton Orr and Mark Fraser add their penalty minute totals. First year player Mike Kostka leads the Maple Leafs in blocked shots as he has 47. Nazem Kadri has been outstanding all season and especially so lately as he has 11 goals, 25 points and a plus-12 rating this season with six goals and 11 points coming in the last seven games. Believe it or not but he is owned in only 72 percent of Yahoo! pools. Matt Frattin is close to returning from minor knee surgery. James Reimer is definitely having a bounce back season as he is 9-3-0 with a 2.56 GAA and a .921 save percentage.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Nashville, vs. Detroit

Notes

The Canucks are rested Saturday when they host the Red Wings who are in Edmonton Friday. Alexander Edler has 44 blocked shots. Mason Raymond is having a fairly good season with six goals and 12 points in 23 games of which four goals have come on the power play. Cory Schneider is starting to get more starts than Roberto Luongo as Schneider has started four of the last five games, going 1-1-2 with a 2.18 GAA and giving up nine goals in 108 shots. Luongo has played only once since giving up eight goals to Detroit on Feb. 24. despite better numbers than Schneider overall. Kevin Bieksa has missed five of the last six games with a groin injury.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

vs. Carolina, @ Carolina, @ Boston, vs. Buffalo

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights this week so expect to see Michal Neuvirth play once in place of Braden Holtby. They take on Carolina twice this week so look for Matt Henricks and the recently acquired Aaron Volpatti to spend some time in the sin bin. John Carlson has 59 blocked shots to lead Washington. Mike Ribeiro continues to amaze as he now has 28 points in 22 games, numbers that you would think would come from Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin has been hot of late with four goals and 10 points in his last six games, giving him a respectable 20 points in 22 games. Nicklas Backstrom has only two goals this season but does have 18 assists and has also been playing better of late with a goal and 12 points in the last 10 games.

 WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Toronto, vs. New York Rangers, @ Toronto, @ Ottawa

Notes

The Jets play three games in four nights this week so look for  Al Montoya to take at least one start away from Ondrej Pavelec.  Ron Hainsey has 60 blocked shots to lead the Jets. Winnipeg plays Toronto twice this week so it is likely that Chris Thorburn will be sent on the ice when the Maple Leafs send their tough fourth liners out as the Leafs fourth unit is known as the 'Blue Bombers' with Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren born in Manitoba. Al Montoya is now 3-0 this season and has better numbers than starter Ondrej Pavelec who is 8-11-1 with 2.93 GAA and a .897 save percentage compared to Montoya's 2.33 GAA and .909 save percentage. Olli Jokinen has only five goals and seven points this season with a minus-12 rating and has not picked up a point in his last four games.

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