Atlantic Division would have been awesome

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Michael Finewax
·27 min read
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Last season the Metropolitan Division was the best in the NHL but would have been the Atlantic this season if the divisions remained the same. Unfortunately for the Division (or maybe fortunately), Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay have been separated into three different divisions and all three are easily on top of their standings as Boston is 9-1-2, Tampa Bay is 9-2-1 and Toronto is 11-2-1. Add in second place Florida at 8-1-2 and Montreal who are 8-4-2 and you can see why the Division would have been so good.

It has been a shame that only one team could get out of the Atlantic Division in previous years but this season, all three leaders could wind up in the Stanley Cup semi-finals.

As usual, there were plenty of players entering COVID protocol, including the first one in the North during the regular season (outside of players quarantining when they came from the United States or Europe) as Jesse Puljujarvi was put on the list Thursday.

WEEK OF FEBRUARY 15-21

4 Games – Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

3 Games – Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Columbus, Los Angeles, Minnesota,

New Jersey, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis, Tampa Bay

2 Games –Boston, Colorado, Montreal, Philadelphia, Vegas

Carolina, Dallas, Detroit and Edmonton play four games at home.

Chicago, Florida, Nashville, the New York Islanders and Winnipeg play four games on the road.

Calgary, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey and Ottawa play three games on the road.

Arizona, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington play three games at home.

Any crossed off games have been postponed due to the coronavirus and are expected to be replayed at a later date.

INJURIES

There are 18 New Jersey Devils still on the COVID protocol list. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ San Jose, vs. Minnesota, vs. Minnesota

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Ducks have been competitive this season as Thursday’s 1-0 win over Vegas evened their record at 6-6-3...The Ducks have played the most games in the West, so the fact that they are in a playoff spot means little at this time, but they are hanging in there...John Gibson continues to have great stats with a 5-4-3 record with a 2.26 GAA and a .923 save percentage...The problem continues to be their lack of scoring, with only 29 goals in 15 games...Help may be shortly on its way as their first round pick from 2019, and ninth overall Trevor Zegras, was named the AHL player of the week as he had two goals and five points in two contests...He should be in the NHL soon and will be one of the few offensive bright spots for the Ducks this season.

ARIZONA

Games this week

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

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Coyotes released assistant GM Steve Sullivan on Thursday...Christian Dvorak is off to the best start of his NHL career with 13 points in 12 games and is tied with Conor Garland for the team lead in points...Phil Kessel had four goals in his first four games but has not scored in his last eight games. He does have four assists in his last five contests...Oliver Ekman-Larsson (lower body) has been out of action for the last 10 games but could be ready to go as early as February 12. He had three assists in two games and you have to wonder if his return will lessen the value of fellow blueliner Jakob Chychrun...Christian Fischer (upper body) could also return on February 12...Antti Raanta could be back as he has been out with a minor injury. He has played only twice while starter Darcy Kuemper has started 10. The Coyotes need both to be healthy and rested the rest of the way, if they are to contend for a playoff spot.

BOSTON

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, vs. Philadelphia

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

David Pastrnak was the first star of the week as he scored five times and added a pair of assists in only three games...It didn’t take Pastrnak too long to get into playing shape after off-season hip surgery as he missed the first seven games and has eight points in five games after his four-game points streak ended Wednesday...Matt Grzelcyk returned to action Wednesday and promptly got hurt for the third time this season. He has a lower-body injury and is day-to-day after missing practice Thursday...David Krejci has yet to score in 12 games but does have nine assists...Jake DeBrusk returned to the Bruins lineup on Wednesday and picked up an assist after missing five games with a lower-body injury...Jack Studnicka was sent to the AHL to get in some playing time as he has recovered from an upper-body injury that has kept him out of action the last seven contests.

BUFFALO

Games this week

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

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Sabres play three games in four nights as part of their four-game week...Expect to see Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark share the net...It was nice to see the Sabres back on the ice Tuesday for the first time in over a week due to COVID...By the time Monday comes about, Buffalo will have had six postponed games over the last two weeks...The Sabres still have nine players on the COVID protocol list including Taylor Hall, Rasmus Ristolainen and Rasmus Dahlin...Jack Eichel is taking this time off and subsequent return to action seriously and wants to lead the team and take on a bigger role, especially with so many players out...Arttu Ruotsalainen scored his first professional goal this past week as the highly touted undrafted free agent found the back of the net for Rochester...He could be with the Sabres at some point this season.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ Vancouver, vs. Vancouver, @ Edmonton, @ Edmonton

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Flames play four games this week including three games in four nights...Jacob Markstrom, who has been great this season, should get three starts with David Rittich picking up one assignment...Markstrom won again on Thursday and is 7-3-1 with a 2.36 GAA and a .921 save percentage...The Flames have won three in a row to climb into fifth in the North...The good news is that they have played only 13 games, tied with Winnipeg for the lowest in the division...Sam Bennett is back as a top-six forward after he apparently asked for a trade and was then a healthy scratch...Playing with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau will either make him happy or increase his trade value...Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm lead the Flames with 14 points in 13 games.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Florida, vs. Chicago, vs. Chicago

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Hurricanes play all four games at home this week including three in four nights...James Reimer is now the number one goaltender as Petr Mrazek is out of action after breaking his right thumb, and should get three starts with Alex Nedeljkovic picking up one start...Mrazek was on the ice Thursday at the end of practice taking some skating drills and then faced a few shots without a stick. There is no timetable for his return...Jordan Staal is having a great start to the season despite missing two games with the coronavirus. He has 11 points in nine games, tied with Vincent Trocheck, Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov for the team lead...Brett Pesce has been a pleasant surprise offensively with a goal and seven points in 11 games.

CHICAGO

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Detroit, @ Carolina, @ Carolina

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blackhawks continue to get fine goaltending from Kevin Lankinen and that will help as they play four games this week on the road including three games in four nights...Lankinen should get the crease three times with Malcolm Subban playing once...Lankinen couldn’t hold the fort in the third period Thursday, giving up four goals on 17 shots in a 6-5 loss to Columbus...Still, he is 5-2-3 with a 2.55 GAA and a .924 save percentage...Alex DeBrincat is putting his tough 2019-20 season behind him as the winger has seven goals and 15 points in only 11 games this year...He had only 18 goals and 45 points in 70 games last season...Dominik Kubalik has 10 of his 12 points on the power play, the second most in the NHL, despite being on the Blackhawks second power play unit.

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COLORADO

Games this week

@ Vegas, vs. Vegas

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Avalanche are hoping to return to action on Valentine’s Day in Vegas...They have had their last five games postponed due to the coronavirus...The good news is that Nathan MacKinnon (lower body), Devon Toews (lower body) and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (lower body) haven’t missed a lot of action as MacKinnon has sat out only one game while Toews and Bellemare have missed three apiece...All three were back at practice Thursday...Only three Avalanche players are on the COVID list, including Samuel Girard, Gabriel Landeskog and Tyson Jost...MacKinnon continues to lead the Avs in points with 14 with Mikko Rantanen leading in goals with 7.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

@ Carolina, vs. Nashville, vs. Nashville

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

Well, it didn’t take long for John Tortorella to bench Patrik Laine...Laine yelled at one of the assistant coaches during Tuesday’s game and did not play the final 26-plus minutes as Tortorella did not take kindly to that...Cam Atkinson had a four-point night on Thursday to give him 10 points in 15 games...It is unlikely that he ever reaches the 41-goal mark as he did two seasons ago, but he does have some fantasy value...Oliver Bjorkstrand leads the Blue Jackets in points with 12 and penalty minutes with 23...His four goals are tied for the team lead but look for Laine to take that spot over shortly as he has three goals in five games...Elvis Merzlikins should be back in action as he was the backup Thursday after being taken off the injured reserve list.

DALLAS

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Nashville, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Tampa Bay

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Stars play all four games at home this week, including three games in four nights...Anton Khudobin should get the start in net three times with Jake Oettinger playing once...Oettinger picked up two straight starts as Khudobin was disciplined for being late for practice last Saturday but all has been forgiven for now...Khudobin got off to a great start, winning his first three games while giving up only three goals on 72 shots...His last four contests have not been so good as he is 0-3-1, giving up 15 goals on just 112 shots...Alexander Radulov is still day-to-day with a lower-body injury and has missed the last three games...Andrej Sekera was finally back in the Dallas lineup Thursday after missing close to two weeks due to COVID protocol...Roope Hintz has nine points in nine games...Miro Heiskanen has yet to find the back of the net in 11 games but does have eight assists.

DETROIT

Games this week

vs. Chicago, vs. Chicago, vs. Florida, vs. Florida

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Red Wings play all four games at home with three coming in four nights...They could split the net between Thomas Greiss and Jonathan Bernier...Anthony Mantha was a healthy scratch on Sunday but has played in each of the Red Wings two games this week, picking up one assist...Bobby Ryan has not found the back of the net in his last 11 games after scoring four times in his first three games in a Detroit uniform...Tyler Bertuzzi has not been skating since he suffered an upper-body injury on January 30. He has five goals and seven points in nine games and the Red Wings really miss his presence in the lineup...Filip Hronek has yet to score in 15 games but the defenseman has seven helpers including three on the power play which he quarterbacks.

EDMONTON

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Calgary, vs. Calgary

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Oilers play three games in four nights this week as part of a four-game home schedule...Mike Smith finally played in his first game of the season this week, giving up only one goal and then he shut out Montreal Thursday, stopping all 38 shots that came his way...It looks like the Oilers could have the goaltending they need to challenge for a playoff spot...Jesse Puljujarvi is in COVID-19 protocol and goaltender Mikko Koskinen did not dress Thursday as he was deemed a high-risk contact with the Finnish forward...Darnell Nurse is having a great offensive season as the blueliner has six goals and 12 points in 16 games...The Oilers have won six of their last seven games...Connor McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 28 points, two ahead of teammate Leon Draisaitl.

FLORIDA

Games this week

@ Tampa Bay, @ Carolina, @ Detroit, @ Detroit

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Panthers are on the road for all four games, including three games in four nights...Sergei Bobrovsky should start at least two games and possibly three with Chris Driedger picking up the remainder of the starts...Bobrovsky is finally showing some good form as he has given up only three goals on 53 shots in his last two games, defeating Detroit (no surprise) and Tampa Bay (big surprise). He has a 5-0-1 mark with a 2.90 GAA and a .899 save percentage...Aaron Ekblad has four goals and nine points in 11 games, only one goal shy of his mark last season...Jonathan Huberdeau leads the Panthers with 15 points in 11 games, three better than Aleksander Barkov and four more than the surprising Patric Hornqvist...Carter Verhaeghe has seven goals and 10 points, all at even strength...Anthony Duclair has yet to score in 10 games.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, @ Arizona, @ Arizona

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Kings are starting to use Cal Petersen in net more than Jonathan Quick as Petersen has seven starts and Quick six...The results have been in Petersen’s favor despite Quick having a better record at 2-2-2 to Petersen’s 2-4-1...The difference is in the peripherals as Petersen has a 2.49 GAA with a .926 save percentage compared to the aging Quick who has a 4.05 GAA and a .867 save percentage...Anze Kopitar has 17 points in 13 games while fellow veteran Dustin Brown leads the Kings with six goals...Another veteran, defenseman Drew Doughty had a three assist night Thursday to give him 11 points this season...Adrian Kempe is on a four-game points streak...Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored his first NHL goal Sunday and then followed it up Thursday with another goal plus an assist.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim, @ Anaheim

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Wild will have had their last six games postponed once they are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday...Marcus Foligno has been taken off the COVID protocol list but Minnesota still has 10 players still on the list, including Cam Talbot, Jonas Brodin, Victor Rask, Carson Soucy, Brad Hunt, Ian Cole, Nico Sturm, Nick Bonino, Nick Bjugstad and Joel Eriksson Ek...There are five blueliners on the list so the Wild added defenseman Calen Addison to their taxi squad...Jordan Greenway leads the Wild in points with 10 in 11 games, one better than rookie Kirill Kaprizov and Eriksson Ek...No word on when Mats Zuccarello will be available. He has been out all year after undergoing arm surgery and has been placed on the long-term injured reserve list.

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. Toronto, @ Ottawa

Tired: @ Ottawa (Sunday)

Rested: None

Notes

The Canadiens get the regular week off and play a pair on the weekend...They have been slumping of late losing three of their last four and have scored only six goals in that span after starting the season with 44 in their first 10 games...Josh Anderson is off to a great start in his first year as a Montreal Canadien as he has nine goals in 14 games. Anderson was acquired from Columbus for Max Domi in the off-season after scoring only once and adding three assists in 26 games last season before being shut down in December and undergoing shoulder surgery in March...Jonathan Drouin has only one goal in 14 games but does have 10 assists...Carey Price has struggled this season as he is 4-2-2 with a 2.84 GAA and a .896 save percentage...Jake Allen has outplayed him in the short term and the Habs need Price to be at his best if they are to do anything this season.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ Dallas, @ Dallas, @ Columbus, @ Columbus

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Predators play all four games on the road this week including three in four nights...Juuse Saros should get the call in net at least twice while Pekka Rinne will get the crease the remainder of the week...The Predators are sitting in seventh place in the Central at 6-8-0...Roman Josi has eight points in 14 games with a goal and six assists coming in the last seven games after last season’s Norris Trophy winner had only a goal in his first seven contests...Erik Haula has yet to score in 13 games...Ryan Johansen is now week-to-week with an upper-body injury. He has missed the last four games and had not scored in 10 games before his injury...Matt Duchene is now centering Calle Jarnkrok and Mikael Granlund on the second line with Luke Kunin in the middle between Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson on the first unit.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ Boston, @ Buffalo

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Devils have had seven games in a row postponed, including Monday’s game against Boston...The hope to play Tuesday in New York against the Rangers...As of Friday morning, there are still 18 Devils on the COVID list so you have to wonder if Tuesday’s game is a pipedream...There is not a lot of news out of New Jersey with most of the team unable to go...Their farm club in Binghamton signed the Devils third-round pick and 80th overall in the 2019 Draft, Graeme Clarke, to a one-year contract. Clarke had an assist in six Slovak League games this season and had 17 points in 16 contests with the Ottawa 67s of the OHL last season.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

@ Buffalo, @ Buffalo, @ Pittsburgh, @ Pittsburgh

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Islanders are on the road for all four games this week, including three games in four nights...Semyon Varlamov is off to a great start and should get three starts with Ilya Sorokin picking up one...Varlamov stopped 32 shots in a 4-3 shootout loss to Pittsburgh Thursday and is 5-2-2 with a 1.98 GAA and a .929 save percentage this season and is the first goalie in Islanders history to shutout the Rangers twice in one season...Mathew Barzal leads the Islanders with five goals and 13 points in 12 games and his 24 penalty minutes is tops on the team as well...Anthony Beauvillier is still out of action with a lower-body injury suffered on January 24. He has been skating by himself but is still day-to-day.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ Washington, @ Washington

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Rangers play three games in four nights this week...Alexandar Georgiev should get one start with Igor Shesterkin playing twice...Shesterkin is back on track as he 3-3-1 with a 2.31 GAA and a .916 save percentage...Artemi Panarin suffered a lower-body injury Wednesday and is currently day-to-day...His loss will hurt the Rangers as he is by far their best players with 15 points in 12 games, seven better than the second-place Pavel Buchnevich...Kevin Rooney leads the team with a plus-six rating and has points in four of his last five games...Filip Chytil has been placed on the COVID protocol list...Alexis Lafreniere is back on the third line and has played there the last three games...The first overall pick in 2020, Lafreniere has been having trouble offensively in his first NHL campaign with only one goal and no assists in 12 games.

OTTAWA

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Toronto, @ Toronto, vs. Montreal

Tired: None

Rested: vs. Montreal (Sunday)

Notes

The Senators complete a five-game road trip as they play three games in four nights as part of a four-game week...Matt Murray will likely play three games with Marcus Hogberg getting one start...Murray suffered an undisclosed injury Thursday night and did not come out for the third period and the Senators may recall Joey Daccord and give him a start or two if Murray is unable to go...Artem Anisimov was placed on waivers Wednesday and cleared Thursday...Erik Brannstrom should play at some point this week after he was injured Monday and was declared to be out 7-10 days. He has looked a lot better this season and could be ready to be a fantasy asset...Derek Stepan would love a trade back to the United States to be closer to his family and the Senators are trying to oblige him...Nick Paul is the only regular with a positive plus/minus as he is a plus-three.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ Boston

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Flyers have five players on the COVID protocol list including Travis Sanheim, Claude Giroux, Justin Braun, Jakub Voracek and Morgan Frost...Frost is out indefinitely as well with a shoulder injury that required surgery so he will be recovered from the coronavirus well before he is able to return from his surgery...The Flyers have had their last two games postponed as well as their next two games due to COVID...You have to feel bad for James van Riemsdyk who is on a seven-game points streak with four goals and 13 points in the seven games. He is off to the best start in his career and has seven goals (five on the power play) and 18 points in 13 games...Shayne Gostisbehere has only one assist in seven games.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

vs. Washington, vs. New York Islanders, vs. New York Islanders

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Penguins have a new GM as Ron Hextall was hired this week, along with Brian Burke who will be the President of hockey operations with the Penguins...Bryan Rust and Sidney Crosby lead the Penguins in points with 10 in 12 games...Zach Aston-Reese played his first game Thursday after missing the first month with off-season shoulder surgery that occurred in August...He potted his first of the season...Jared McCann is week-to-week with a lower-body injury suffered on Saturday...Evgeny Malkin finally scored an even-strength goal Saturday and then followed it up Thursday with his second of the season...He has three goals as his first of the season was on the power play, and seven points in 12 games...Defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph scored his first career NHL goal Saturday.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

vs Anaheim, @ St. Louis, @ St. Louis

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Sharks have goaltending problems...Martin Jones is 5-3-0 but has a 4.09 GAA and a .865 save percentage while Devan Dubnyk has good peripherals with a 2.71 GAA and a .917 save percentage but is 0-3-1...Dubnyk is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and Alexei Melnichuk is currently backing up Jones...Melnichuk made his NHL debut Thursday after Jones gave up six goals on 26 shots and was perfect on five shots in 9:11 of action...Tomas Hertl had both goals Thursday and has five goals and nine points in 12 games...Timo Meier has only two goals and six points this season as his slump from last season and spilled over to this season...Erik Karlsson still has yet to score in 12 games...Patrick Marleau took over third place all-time in NHL games played, passing Jaromir Jagr. He is 21 behind Mark Messier and 32 in arrears of the great Gordie Howe and could overtake both near the end of the season barring injury.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

@ Arizona, vs. San Jose, vs. San Jose

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Blues have lost defenseman Scott Perunovich for the rest of the season as he will undergo shoulder surgery on February 12...Sammy Blais is out with an upper-body injury...Robert Thomas is out of action for the next four-six weeks with a broken thumb...He was replaced on the third line by Oskar Sundqvist who will play between Mike Hoffman and Zach Sanford...Ivan Barbashev saw action with Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron Monday...Perron leads the Blues with 13 points...Jordan Kyrou has 12 points thus far but has not had a point in his last three games...Justin Faulk has three goals and five points in 13 games and a team-leading plus-12 rating, one better than Torey Krug.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

vs. Florida, @ Dallas, @ Dallas

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Lightning missed Steven Stamkos Thursday as he was out with a lower-body injury and it didn’t get any better during the game as Anthony Cirelli left early in the third period with an upper-body injury...The Lightning suffered a rare loss Thursday as Florida upended them 5-2...Curtis McElhinney finally returned to action this week, giving Andrei Vasilevskiy his only night off, and beat Nashville Monday, stopping 23-of-24 shots...Brayden Point leads the Lightning with 16 points while Stamkos and defenseman Victor Hedman are second with 14 as the Lightning have played just 12 games...Barclay Goodrow had both of his goals a week ago against Detroit and has six points with a plus-seven rating with 11 penalty minutes.

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. Ottawa, vs. Ottawa, @ Montreal

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Maple Leafs play four games this week including three games in four nights and the Maple Leafs will finally have to use Michael Hutchinson in net...Frederik Andersen has played every minute since back up Jack Campbell was injured on January 24...Ilya Mikheyev scored for the first time this season and it was his first NHL goal since December 27, 2019...Wayne Simmonds was having a great comeback season with five goals in 12 games but a broken wrist will force him out of the lineup for the next six weeks...Auston Matthews saw his eight-game scoring streak end on Wednesday but he does have an 11-game points streak and is averaging close to 22 minutes a game...Mitch Marner is third in the NHL in scoring with 21 points in 14 games, trailing only Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Calgary, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Winnipeg

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Canucks are in big trouble as they have dropped six in a row and are sitting in sixth spot in the North with a 6-11-0 record, five points out of the fourth playoff spot while playing four less games than Winnipeg...It looks like it really doesn’t matter who the Canucks play in net as Braden Holtby is 3-5-0 with a 3.75 GAA and a .885 save percentage while Thatcher Demko is 3-6-0 with a 3.74 GAA and a .896 save percentage...The one thing the Canucks are doing well is picking up penalty minutes as Tyler Myers has 33, Antoine Roussel 29 and Tanner Pearson 20...Brock Boeser has 10 goals and 16 points and trails Quinn Hughes by one point for the Canucks lead...Travis Hamonic has resumed skating but isn’t ready to return from an upper-body injury suffered on January 20.

VEGAS

Games this week

vs. Colorado, @ Colorado

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Golden Knights are still on top in the West with an 8-2-1 record despite dropping a 1-0 decision to the Ducks Thursday...It was the first loss of the season for Marc-Andre Fleury but you couldn’t blame him as he turned aside 27 shots...He is now 5-1-0 with a 1.68 GAA and a .929 save percentage and has played much better than Robin Lehner who is 3-1-1 with a 2.96 GAA and a .890 save percentage...Lehner sat out Thursday’s game after he was the probable starter, with an undisclosed injury...Jonathan Marchessault is having a fine season in traditional pools as he has three goals and nine points in 11 games with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating. Strangely he has not had a power play point all season...Alex Pietrangelo returned to the Vegas lineup Thursday after missing three games on the COVID list. He played 26:28 in the loss to the Ducks and you can get him back in your lineup.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, vs. Buffalo, vs. New York Rangers, vs. New York Rangers

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Capitals had two games postponed this past week as both Philadelphia and Buffalo have had COVID issues...The Capitals also had COVID problems earlier but were never forced to have a game postponed...Ilya Samsonov and Evgeny Kuznetsov could return on Valentine’s Day after being out since January 19...Jakub Vrana has been taken off the COVID list and should be ready to go this week...Justin Schultz (upper body) has been practicing and could return this week...Nicklas Backstrom is off to a great start with 17 points in 12 games, five better than Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson...John Carlson has 11 points in 12 games but has a team-worst minus-eight rating, tied with Richard Panik.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Edmonton, @ Edmonton, @ Vancouver, @ Vancouver

Tired: None

Rested: None

Notes

The Jets play all four games on the road this week but they do play every other day so Connor Hellebuyck should get three games of playing time with Laurent Brossoit playing once...Coach Paul Maurice was not at all happy with the Jets performance Thursday in a 5-1 win over Ottawa as Hellebuyck saved the day, stopping 41 shots...Nikolaj Ehlers has been one of the best surprises this season as he has nine goals and 16 points with a plus-11 rating in just 13 games...He has seen a lot of time in the past as a middle-six forward but now with Patrik Laine gone to Columbus, he is seeing first line time with Mark Scheifele and Andrew Copp...Pierre-Luc Dubois made his Winnipeg debut Tuesday, playing 13:10 minutes and played Thursday between Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler. He is pointless in two games with the Jets.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Boston
-118-1.5O 5.5
NY Islanders
+100+1.5U 5.5