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Wow! Bracken Kearns!

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Wow! Bracken Kearns!
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It's not often that a 32-year-old is called up from the minors and has fantasy value but that has …

The story of Bracken Kearns is a happy one this week.

The 32-year-old had played only seven NHL games in his career before being recalled by the San Jose Sharks after the Christmas break. He had played once this season for the Sharks and had five goals, 18 points and 57 penalty minutes with Worcester of the AHL this season.

Well, look who has scored a goal in each of his last three games. Why it's Bracken Kearns! No other player named Bracken had ever scored in the NHL although Curt Brackenbury had nine in the late 70's and early 80's with the Nordiques and Oilers, but was more known for his fists than his hands.

He became the second Kearns to score in the NHL as Dennis, a Vancouver defenseman in the 1970's and early 80's, had 31 in 677 games.

**Note: I have just been informed by Mike Clay that Bracken is the son of Dennis. I did not know that!

But now back to Bracken Kearns. The veteran minor leaguer has more NHL goals since December 29 than everyone in the league save for Jeff Skinner and Max Pacioretty,. That's more goals than Crosby and Ovechkin, more than Patrick Kane and Corey Perry. Fantasy value can go up and down but this week (and likely the only week of his NHL career) Bracken Kearns had fantasy relevance.

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 JANUARY 6-12

4 Games- Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Toronto

3 Games–Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton,  Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Washington

2 Games - Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg

Nashville plays all four games at home.

Colorado, Los Angeles, New Jersey, the New York Rangers and Phoenix play three games at home.

Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Minnesota, the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh and St. Louis play three games on the road.


INJURIES

P. A. Parenteau will miss six weeks with a knee injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Boston, @ Nashville, @ Phoenix, vs. Detroit

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Ducks play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for Frederik Andersen to play at least once for Jonas Hiller. Hiller has been hot of late as he has won his last nine games. Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch for the second time on Tuesday and was replaced on the top line by Jakob Silfverberg who gets a boost in his fantasy value playing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Cam Fowler was named to the U.S. Olympic team. Andrew Cogliano became only the fifth NHLer to begin his career by playing 500 consecutive games.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles, @ San Jose

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Niklas Svedberg made his NHL debut on Thursday as he stopped 32 of 34 shots in a 3-2 Boston win in overtime. Loui Eriksson participated in some drills this week but still is unable to play with contact. He has been out with a concussion since December 7. Chris Kelly was also injured in the same game and he is hoping to start skating soon as he broke his ankle. Reilly Smith continues to be a stud on the second line and Eriksson could have tough time getting the spot back.   Shawn Thornton decided not to appeal his 15 game suspension to an independent arbitrator and is now eligible to return for the San Jose game this week.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Carolina, vs. Florida, @ Washington

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Ryan Miller was named to the American Olympic team and he will try to backstop the United States to another medal. He has been terrific this season despite a 10-17-1 record and a 2.69 GAA. His save percentage is .927. Cody Hodgson is on the injured reserve list with a thumb/wrist injury. He leads the Sabres with 19 points. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov paced the Russians with a couple of power play goals as they defeated the United States in the quarter-finals of the World U20 championships. He was drafted 16th overall in the 2013 draft. The Sabres added some toughness to their lineup when they claimed Zenon Konopka off waivers from Minnesota.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Phoenix, vs. St. Louis, vs. Pittsburgh

Rested team: vs. Pittsburgh (Saturday)

Tired Team: @ Phoenix (Tuesday)

Notes

The Flames play four games this week including three games in four nights so look for Reto Berra and Karri Ramo to split the net this week. Lee Stempniak is in a big slump as he has gone 11 consecutive games without a point. Dennis Wideman is due back on January 3 as he has been out of action since November 27  after suffering a broken hand. Kevin Westgarth was acquired by the Flames from Carolina and he will give the Flames some much needed toughness up front.

CAROLINA

Games this week

@ Buffalo, vs. Toronto, @ Columbus

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Columbus (Friday)

Notes

The Hurricanes play three games in four nights and Anton Khudobin is back in the picture so he and Justin Peters could share the net with Cam Ward’s status unknown at this time. Ward will miss at least one more game with a lower body injury. Jeff Skinner led the way on Thursday with a hat trick and is now up to 19 goals in 30 games. The Hurricanes made a couple of trades this week as they acquired Greg Nemisz from the Flames and then picked up John-Michael Liles and a middling prospect from Toronto for Tim Gleason. The Hurricanes need a defenseman who can make a good first pass and Liles could be an ideal match for Carolina.

CHICAGO

Games this week

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

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Edmonton (Sunday)

Notes

Duncan Keith has three goals and 39 points in 43 games as he is approaching his career best season that he set in 2009-10 when he had 14 goals and 69 points with a plus-21 rating, on his way to winning the Norris Trophy. Patrick Kane easily made the American Olympic team and is expected to be one of their leaders. Corey Crawford has returned and Antti Raanta, who was terrific in Crawford's absence, will be his backup. Jason LaBarbera will remain on the team for insurance but expect him to be sent down to the minors shortly

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COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Ottawa, vs. New York Islanders, @ Minnesota

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Minnesota (Saturday)

Notes

The Avalanche play three games in four nights so look for Jean-Sebastien Giguere to play once in place of Semyon Varlamov. Paul Stastny was named to the American team for the Sochi Olympics and it has a lot to do with his play in International Hockey as he has not been a force this season with only 11 goals and 25 points in 37 games. P. A. Parenteau will be out of action for the next six weeks with a knee injury. Nathan MacKinnon will see time on the second line with Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Stastny while Jamie McGinn has moved up to the top line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly. Tyson Barrie has two goals and five points in his last nine games.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Carolina, @ Winnipeg

Rested team: vs. Carolina (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Winnipeg (Saturday)

Notes

Nathan Horton made his Columbus debut on Thursday and celebrated by scoring on the power play. He signed a long-term deal in the off-season but required shoulder surgery that kept him out until January 2. Sergei Bobrovsky also returned on Thursday from a groin injury but backed up Curtis McElhinney. Ryan Johansen has 32 points in 41 games and has surpassed his career totals this season as he had only 14 goals and 33 points in 107 previous games in the NHL. Nick Foligno and Artem Anisimov are tied for second in goals on the Blue Jackets with 11, five behind Johansen.

DALLAS

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ New Jersey, @ New York Rangers, vs. New York Islanders

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ New York Rangers (Friday)

Notes

The Stars play four times this week including three in four nights so expect to see Dan Ellis play once in place of Kari Lehtonen. They also play the Islanders twice this week so if some hard feelings carry over, look for Antoine Roussel and Brenden Dillon to add to their penalty minute totals. The Stars switched up their lines and moved Alex Chiasson to the top line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn with Valeri Nichushkin moving down to the third line. Shawn Horcoff is out with the flu. Stephane Robidas was at the Stars practice facility Monday. He is out another three-five months with a broken leg.

DETROIT

Games this week

@ San Jose. @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Red Wings are in California this week and play three games in four nights. Jonas Gustavsson should get one start while Jimmy Howard should get a couple. Patrick Eaves suffered an upper body injury Wednesday in the Winter Classic when he was cross-checked by Joffrey Lupul. Lupul will find out on Friday if he will be suspended for his misdeed. Daniel Alfredsson missed a game after suffering a back injury warming up on Monday. He returned for the Winter Classic and opened the scoring on a deflection.

EDMONTON

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Chicago

Rested team: @ Chicago (Sunday)

Tired Team: None  

Notes

Nail Yakupov is getting a chance to play alongside Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner on Thursday after being a healthy scratch yet again on Tuesday. He potted a goal on Thursday. The Oilers still are not getting the goaltending they need as Ilya Bryzgalov has given up 15 goals in his last four games on 136 shots while Devan Dubnyk has played twice in the span, getting a 27 shutout against the Flames on December 27th but giving up five goals on 36 shots Thursday. Roman Horak made his Edmonton debut Tuesday and was sent to the minors Wednesday.

FLORIDA

Games this week

@ Montreal, @ Buffalo, @ New Jersey  

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Aleksander Barkov is on a four game points streak and the rookie now has 19 points in 41 games. Brad Boyes has two goals and an assist in his last two games after going scoreless in his previous four. Sean Bergenheim has been a scoring machine of late with four goals in three games before being held off the scoresheet on New Year's Eve. Tim Thomas returned this past week after missing eight games with a groin injury and gave up one goal on 32 shots in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Boston, vs. Detroit

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None  

Notes

Jonathan Quick was supposed to be headed to Manchester of the AHL for a conditioning stint this weekend but the snowy weather in the East forced him to return to Los Angeles. He should play for the Kings this week and Los Angeles will have to decide on whether Ben Scrivens or Martin Jones will be his backup at this time. Jeff Carter has been hot of late with six goals and 11 points in his last 11 games. Dustin Brown was one of two Kings named to the American Olympic team (Jonathan Quick being the other) but it wasn't because of his offensive numbers this season as he has only 13 points in 41 games.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Phoenix, vs. Colorado, @ Nashville

Rested team: vs. Colorado (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Wild play four times this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Niklas Backstrom play once instead of Josh Harding. Zenon Konopka was placed on waivers Thursday and was picked up on Friday by the Sabres. The Wild switched up their line combinations and Dany Heatley found himself back on the top line in practice Wednesday with Jason Pominville and Mikko Koivu. Zach Parise will return to the role upon returning from a stress fracture in his leg. He was named to the U.S. Olympic team with Ryan Suter.

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ Philadelphia, vs. Chicago

Rested team: @ Philadelphia (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Lars Eller has goals in his last two games after going the previous 11 games without a goal and only picking up one assist. Max Pacioretty was named to the United States Olympic team. P.K. Subban continues to have an outstanding season with seven goals, 33 points and a plus-13 rating in only 42 games. He also has 15 power play points in addition to 41 penalty minutes. Daniel Briere fantasy owners have to be disappointed in his season as he has only 10 points in 29 games and has been a healthy scratch the last two games.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

vs. San Jose, vs. Anaheim, vs. Ottawa, vs. Minnesota

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Predators play three games in four nights as part of a four game week so expect to see Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec to split the net. All four games are at home. Mike Fisher has been on fire lately with three goals and eight points in his last three games and he says that getting less ice time is helping as he is staying fresher. Seth Jones has benefitted from some tough love by coach Barry Trotz in December as he also saw less ice time. He has four assists in his last three games with a plus-four rating. A one game benching seems to have helped Colin Wilson as well as the center has two goals, five points and a plus-four rating in the six games since being a healthy scratch.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Dallas, vs. Florida, @ Toronto

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Toronto (Sunday)

Notes

The Devils play four games this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider split the cage. Adam Larsson has been out of the lineup since November 23 with a lower body injury but hopes to play this week. Adam Henrique has scored in each of the Devils last three games after not finding the back of the net in the previous 12 games. Patrik Elias has an upper body injury and a lower body injury. Jaromir Jagr is not surprised that he is still playing in the NHL at age 41 and do not expect him to retire soon as he has 34 points in 41 games.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

vs. Dallas, @ Toronto, @ Colorado, @ Dallas

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Toronto (Tuesday)

Notes

The Islanders play the Dallas Stars twice this week so there could be fisticuffs. If there is, look for Matt Carkner and Matt Martin to join in the battle. There are still no updates on the status of Lubomir Visnovsky who has been out of action since October 21 with a concussion.  Evgeni Nabokov has taken over the net for the Islanders since returning from his injury nine games ago. He is 4-2-2 since then, allowing 17 goals in eight games on 240 shots, giving the Islanders the goaltending they have needed all season. John Tavares has three goals and six points in his last three games after getting only a goal and two helpers in his previous six.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

vs. Columbus, @ Chicago, vs. Dallas, vs. Philadelphia

Rested team: vs. Dallas (Friday) vs. Philadelphia (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Callahan have made the American Olympic team. Callahan is due back on January 3 after being sidelined since December 10 with a knee injury. Brad Richards has not scored in his last 11 games. Michael Del Zotto has been a healthy scratch eight times this season and while the Rangers may be looking to deal him, it could be hard to get the top-four blueliner they desire as other teams see the Rangers not using Del Zotto. After sitting the previous three games, Henrik Lundqvist has two wins in a row, giving up four goals on 62 shots.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Nashville

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Chris Neil is out weeks with a lower body injury that is thought to be a leg injury. He was hurt on Monday. Clarke MacArthur potted an empty net goal on New Year's Eve and it was his first goal in 11 games. Jason Spezza is practicing with his injured hip but has missed the last three games. Chris Phillips missed a couple of games with a foot injury but returned on Thursday. He has a goal and 12 points in 40 games with his goal and seven assists occurring on the power play. Craig Anderson is making a concerted effort to regain the net. He has won his last four starts and has played in three straight games. He has allowed seven goals in the four games on 129 shots.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ New Jersey, vs. Montreal, vs. Tampa Bay, @ New York Rangers

Rested team: None

Tired Team: vs. Montreal (Wednesday) @ New York Rangers (Sunday)

Notes

There are not too many hockey players hotter than Wayne Simmonds at this time as he has eight goals and 12 points in his last eight games. Vincent Lecavalier has only one assist in six games since his return from a back injury but look for him to start getting hot soon. Mark Streit is also heating up with four goals and seven points in his last nine games. Claude Giroux has 37 points in 41 games and is finally in the plus column at plus-one. He has six goals and 10 assists in his last 10 games despite being held off the scoreboard the last two games. In addition, he is plus-11 in his last 10.

PHOENIX

Games this week

vs. Calgary, vs. Minnesota, vs. Anaheim

Rested team: vs. Calgary (Tuesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Coyotes play all three of their games at home for the second week in a row. Oliver Ekman-Larsson suffered an upper body injury on Thursday when he was smacked into the glass face first by Derek MacKenzie. He did not return and consider the outstanding defenseman day-to-day for now. It was a bit of a surprise that Keith Yandle did not make the American Olympic squad. Mike Smith had a bit of a bounce back game on Thursday as he stopped 29 of 31 shots in a 2-0 loss to Columbus. Smith has not won since December 21 and only once since December 12.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Calgary (Saturday)

Notes

The Penguins are in Western Canada for all three games this week and they play them in four nights so look for Jeff Zatkoff to play once with Marc-Andre Fleury getting the start in the other two matches. Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin were named to the United States Olympic team and Martin, who is recovering from a fractured tibia, plans to be ready and able to go for the Sochi games. He missed the Vancouver games with an injury and wants to finally play in the Olympics. Evgeni Malkin is skating but has not been given clearance to play as he has been out since December 14 with a lower body injury.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Calgary, @ Vancouver

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Vancouver (Friday)

Notes

The Blues are in Western Canada as well this week for all three games in four nights so look for Jaroslav Halak to play once with Brian Elliott getting two starts. Elliott looks like he has taken over as the number one netminder as he has played in five of the last six games and has won them all, giving up only five goals on 127 shots. David Backes and Kevin Shattenkirk were named to the American Olympic team. Enforcer Ryan Reaves returned to action on Thursday for the first time since breaking his hand on November 23. He is worth looking at if you need penalty minutes. T.J. Oshie, was also named to the American team and has four goals and an assist in his last three games.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

@ Nashville, vs. Detroit, vs. Boston

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

It does not look good for the return of Tomas Hertl this season as a best case scenario is three months while the prevailing opinion is six-nine months according to one NHL trainer. The rookie suffered a knee injury and had surgery this past week. Bracken Kearns has as many goals this week, three, as Martin Havlat has all year. Logan Couture broke an 11 game goalless streak on December 29 and now has scored in each of his last three games to match Kearns. Tommy Wingels has missed the last two games with an upper body injury.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Washington, @ Philadelphia

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Good news for Steve Stamkos owners as he wore full equipment when skating Thursday for the first time since breaking his leg on November 11. He will get his leg x-rayed next week and a determination may then be made as to how close he is to returning to action. Ben Bishop has been outstanding this season and was very disappointed that he was not named to the American team. It must have been disappointing to Sami Salo as he had to sit out Wednesday's game against his former Vancouver teammates. Ryan Malone returned to action on Wednesday after missing over a month of action with a fractured ankle. He was minus-two.

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, @ Carolina, @ Washington, vs. New Jersey

Rested team: vs. New York Islanders (Tuesday), vs. New Jersey (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Maple Leafs play four times this week including three games in four nights so look for James Reimer to get another start with Jonathan Bernier likely to get the net in the other three games as it looks like he has claimed the net fulltime. He is only 13-11-4 this season but with a 2.40 GAA and a .931 save percentage. Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk were named to the U.S. Olympic team and will likely form two-thirds of a line as they have great chemistry together.  Tyler Bozak returned to action after missing 12 games and has a goal and four points in two games. The Leafs traded John-Michael Liles to Carolina and picked up a solid defensive defenseman in Tim Gleason who will help in the Leaf end.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. Pittsburgh, vs. St. Louis

Rested team: vs. St. Louis (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Ryan Kesler was named to the United States Olympic team. Henrik Sedin has cooled off and has only six goals and 15 points in his last 24 games. Roberto Luongo is ready to return to the lineup after missing the last three games with a lower body injury. Alexander Edler has started skating for the first time since suffering a knee injury on December 3. Andrew Alberts may be out with a concussion after missing the last two games. Alex Burrows is getting close to returning after missing 13 games with a broken jaw. He has only three assists and a minus-seven rating in 17 games.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, vs. Toronto, vs. Buffalo

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights so look for  Philipp Grubauer to play twice as he has taken over the net from Braden Holtby, with Holtby getting one start. Grabauer has had the last 10 of 13 starts but has lost his last three games and it could be time to give the net back to Holtby. Michal Neuvirth has been shoved to the third spot on the depth charts and his agent wants a trade. The United States will have John Carlson on its blueline at the Sochi Olympics. The move of Alex Ovechkin to the second line alongside Eric Fehr and Mikhail Grabovski seemed to stir things up a bit.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Columbus

Rested team: vs. Columbus (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Blake Wheeler was named to the U.S. Olympic team. The Jets have given Al Montoya the start in goal the last three games after Ondrej Pavelec was pulled just seven minutes into the Minnesota game after giving up three goals on six shots. Montoya has given up just six goals in 236 minutes on 113 shots and is 3-1, boosting his record to 8-3-1 for the Jets this season.  Olli Jokinen has 26 points in 43 games this season after picking up only 14 in 45 games in 2012-13. Dustin Byfuglien scored once and assisted on another Thursday after not being named to the American squad.

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