Ugly Ducklings

Michael Finewax
Rotoworld
Corey Abbott examines some preseason injuries and rookies who could land key roster spots
Corey Abbott examines some preseason injuries and rookies who could land key roster spots

What do Jamie Benn, David Krejci, Max Pacioretty, Zach Parise and Tyler Toffoli have in common?

Well, they all had more goals (Benn nine, the rest seven) than all the Anaheim Ducks forwards combined. And James Neal, Adam Henrique, Patrick Kane. Vladimir Tarasenko, Boone Jenner and Jaromir Jagr all have six goals, tying them with the combined total of the Anaheim forwards.

These are not fun times in Anaheim right now but they do have a good team and should turn things around shortly. The big question is: Will it be in time to save Bruce Boudreau’s job.

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Now to The Week Ahead.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 2-8

4 Games – Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver

3 Games – Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Tampa Bay,  Washington, Winnipeg

2 Games - Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Minnesota, Nashville

Dallas and Philadelphia play all four games on the road.

Chicago, Montreal, San Jose and Toronto play three games at home.

Boston, Columbus, Florida, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay play three games on the road.

INJURIES

Jonas Hiller is day-to-day with a lower body injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

Note: A tired team is one that has played the day or night before and is going against a team that did not play the previous day or night. The reverse is true for a rested team.

ANAHEIM

Games this week

vs. Florida, vs. Columbus, @ San Jose

Rested Team: vs. Columbus (Friday)

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Sunday)

Notes

Anaheim plays three games in four nights so expect to see Anton Khudobin play once in place of Frederik Andersen. Ryan Getzlaf had his appendix removed and is out four-12 days. Huh, I’m surprised they didn’t say 96-288 hours. The Ducks have scored only 10 goals in 10 games. Carl Hagelin scored his first goal as a Duck on Tuesday and is finally adjusting to life as a Duck. Rikard Rakell and Cam Fowler are each minus-seven, worst on the Ducks. Mike Santorelli leads with two goals and three points and if he is leading your team in scoring, you know you’re in trouble. Andersen is 0-5-2 this season with a 2.05 GAA and a .932 save percentage. That doesn’t make sense.

ARIZONA

Games this week

vs. Colorado, vs. New York Rangers

Rested Team: vs. New York Rangers (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Mike Smith has come back down to earth as he has given up nine goals in his last two games to give him a record of 4-3-1 with a 2.97 GAA and a .908 save percentage. This is more like it for his stats rather than the great start he got off to as he won his first three starts, giving up two goals on 96 shots. No surprise here as Martin Hanzal missed Tuesday’s game with a lower body injury. He has 10 assists in nine games. Antoine Vermette saw his ironman streak end at 482 games with a lower body injury. He was second among active players to Andrew Cogliano of the Ducks until the injury forced him out of the lineup.

BOSTON

Games this week

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

Rested Team: vs. Dallas (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ New York Islanders (Sunday)

Notes

 The Bruins play four games this week including three games in four nights so expect to see Jonas Gustavsson play at least once for Tuukka Rask.  Rask has really been struggling, that is until he faced the Coyotes on Tuesday as he shut them out stopping 24 shots. David Krejci has seven goals and seven assists in eight games but do not expect him to be an offensive juggernaut as per Gus Katsaros’ Hockey Analytics column. Jimmy Hayes had a goal and two assists Tuesday and is finally getting comfortable as a Bruin. He has three goals and eight points in his last five games after going the first three games pointless.

BUFFALO

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Vancouver

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Tyler Ennis is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Zach Bogosian has yet to play this season as he suffered a lower body injury at training camp. He is getting close to starting to skate again according to coach Dan Bylsma. Chad Johnson has started eight of the Sabres 10 games this season as Robin Lehner suffered a high ankle sprain on opening night. He is still out another three-seven weeks. Jack Eichel has three goals in his first 10 games but is a minus-seven and has yet to garner an assist. Do not worry about Eichel as he is a special talent. Ryan O'Reilly has been a stud offensively as he has three goals and 10 points.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Pittsburgh

Rested Team: vs. Pittsburgh (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Karri Ramo is back in the NHL after being demoted less than a week ago as Jonas Hiller was injured with a lower body injury Wednesday. Look for Joni Ortio to get his first real shot in goal this season. T.J. Brodie returned to action for the first time this season after breaking his hand in pre-season. Sam Bennett broke out of his slump on Wednesday with a goal and an assist. Dougie Hamilton may have done likewise with his second goal of the season in the same game. He is a minus-10 however. David Jones it tied with Jiri Hudler and Mark Giordano for the Flames goal scoring lead at three.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Ottawa  

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. Ottawa (Saturday)

Notes

The Hurricanes only play twice this week so bench your Carolina players in weekly transaction pools if there are better options available to you. Ron Hainsey is hot as the defenseman has two goals in his last two games. It appears that the Hurricanes will burn a year of Noah Hanifin’s entry level contract as he is set to hit and surpass the 10 game mark. He was a healthy scratch on Tuesday but it was not because he was already at the eight game mark, it was just to give him some rest. Justin Faulk and Eric Staal lead the Hurricanes with six points. 

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, vs. St. Louis, @ New Jersey, vs. Edmonton

Rested Team: vs. St. Louis (Wednesday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Blackhawks play four times this week including three contests in four nights so look for Scott Darling to get at least one start in place of Corey Crawford. Teuvo Teravainen was scratched from Thursday’s game against Winnipeg and replaced by Bryan Bickell. Teravainen had only two goals and three points in nine games after being one of the sleepers to take in drafts and was playing as a bottom-six forward before he went to the press box. Patrick Kane has a five game points streak and is fourth in the NHL with 13 points. A lot of poolies were afraid to gamble on Kane at the draft because of his off-season troubles but he has been a force for the Blackhawks in the early going.

COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Arizona, vs. New York Rangers

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: vs. New York Rangers (Friday)

Notes

The Avalanche play three games in four nights so expect to see Reto Berra get one start with Semyon Varlamov getting the remainder.  Nathan MacKinnon owners have been rewarded early on as he has nine points in nine games this season after a 38 point effort in 64 sophomore games last year. He is a stud and should hit the 70 point mark for the first time in his young career. Alex Tanguay was back on MacKinnon and Jarome Iginla’s line Thursday after a one-game demotion and responded with his first of the season as well as an assist in a 2-1 win. Matt Duchene continues to slump with one goal and two points in nine games.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Anaheim (Friday)

Notes

The Blue Jackets are in California this week where they play three games in four nights. Sergei Bobrovsky should get at least a couple of start but Curtis McElhinney could get one. Ryan Johansen has missed the last two games with an illness but is expected to play on Friday alongside Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson. Brandon Saad will sit it out with an illness. Scott Hartnell had a goal and an assist Tuesday. Ryan Murray has four points in nine games but the second overall choice in the 2012 Draft has three in his last two games as he seems to be thriving under new coach John Tortorella. He is owned in only five percent of Yahoo pools so he could be worth considering if you need a blueliner in a deeper league.   

DALLAS

Games this week

@ Toronto. @ Boston, @ Carolina, @ Detroit

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Boston (Tuesday)

Notes

The Stars play all four games on the road this week. Look for Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen to split the net. Jamie Benn leads the NHL is scoring once again with nine goals and 17 points. John Klingberg has nine points in 10 games this season but coach Lindy Ruff is looking for better play defensively from his rearguard. Poolies should hope that it doesn’t take away from his offensive prowess. Antoine Roussel's first of the season was the game winner Tuesday. Patrick Sharp has three goals in his last two games after none in his first eight as a Dallas Star.

DETROIT

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Toronto, vs. Dallas

Rested Team: None 

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Red Wings have placed Dylan Larkin back on the Henrik Zetterberg line where he shone in the early going of the NHL season. Larkin has two goals and five assists in nine games, not too shabby for the rookie. He replaces Gustav Nyquist on the top unit. Mike Green (upper body) and Kyle Quincey (concussion) are out of the Detroit lineup with injuries so Alexey Marchenko is getting his chance on the blueline. Pavel Datsyuk is practicing with the Red Wings and is expected to return by mid-November. Brad Richards is out with a back injury. The Red Wings certainly are hurting.

EDMONTON

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Chicago

Rested Team: vs. Philadelphia (Tuesday)  

Tired Team: None

Notes    

The duo of Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid are flying for the Oilers as Hall has four goals and 10 points this season in 11 games while McDavid is on a seven game scoring streak and has 12 points overall including 11 points during the streak. Nail Yakupov is also on a seven game scoring streak and now has two goals and 10 points in 11 games. He is also a plus-three after going minus-33 and minus-35 in the previous two seasons. The Oilers recalled Leon Draisaitl Wednesday and the third overall pick in the 2014 Draft promptly scored twice Thursday. He is worth picking up, especially in keeper leagues.

FLORIDA

Games this week

@ Anaheim, @ San Jose, @ Los Angeles

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ San Jose (Thursday)

Notes

The Panthers are in California this week and they play three games in four nights so look for Roberto Luongo to play twice with Al Montoya getting one start. Vincent Trocheck is off to a great start with four goals and nine points in nine games. Jaromir Jagr leads the way with 10 points including six goals in nine games. He is suffering from a lower body injury but hopes to miss no time. He missed part of Tuesday’s game and was replaced by Jussi Jokinen on a line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad.  Dylan Olsen was been sent to the minors. The Panthers are happy with Erik Gudbranson who is part of the Panthers shut down defense along with veteran Willie Mitchell.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

@ Chicago, @ St. Louis, vs. Columbus, vs. Florida

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ St. Louis (Tuesday)

Notes

The Kings play four games including three games in four nights so look for Jhonas Enroth to get the start once with Jonathan Quick playing in the remainder. Quick has a 2.00 GAA and a .928 save percentage and has won his last five games. Tyler Toffoli has seven goals and an assist this season. Drew Doughty has six assists in nine games. Former King Slava Voynov has inked a three-year deal with SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL. I don’t think we will ever see him again in the NHL. Milan Lucic has five points in his last four games as he has settled in on the second line.  

MINNESOTA

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Tampa Bay

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Devan Dubnyk is not playing as well as he did last season but who really expected him to? The netminder has a 2.37 GAA (21st in the NHL) which is good but his .905 save percentage (30th) leaves a lot to be desired. He is 6-2 however and has some inflammation in his knee but can play. Ryan Suter scored a couple of goals on Tuesday (his first two of the season) and that has to help his fantasy owners. Thomas Vanek is off to a pretty good start with four goals and eight points in nine games. He is owned in 67 percent of Yahoo pools and should be worth considering if he is available in your pool.

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Boston

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Canadian west coast has not been kind to Montreal this week as they came over looking to tie an NHL record by winning their 10th straight to start the season and now have lost two in a row. The record set by the 1993-94 Maple Leafs and the 2006-07 Sabres is still safe. The top line of Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec have been flying for Montreal as Pacioretty and Plekanec each have 11 points in 11 games while Gallagher has 10. Defensemen P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov also have 11 points apiece. Alexander Semin was a healthy scratch Thursday and is the only Hab to be a minus at minus-one.

 NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ Minnesota, vs. St. Louis

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Cody Hodgson continues to be a fantasy zero as he has yet to have a point in nine games thus far. He was terrible last season for Buffalo with only six goals and 13 points in 72 games to go with a minus-28 rating after a 20 goal, 44 point effort the season before. James Neal is off to a hot start with six goals and nine points in nine games. He has formed a nice duo with Filip Forsberg. Shea Weber is off to a bit of a slow start with a goal and four points in nine games. Pekka Rinne continues to be the show in Nashville as he is 6-1-1 this season with a 1.74 GAA and a .934 save percentage.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, vs. Chicago, vs. Vancouver

Rested Team: vs. Vancouver (Sunday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Devils play the back half of a home-and-home series against the Islanders so look for

Jordin Tootoo, Bobby Farnham and possibly Stephen Gionta (who leads the team with 19 PIMs) to add to their penalty minute totals. Mike Cammalleri is starting the season off right with three goals and 11 points in 10 games. Travis Zajac is starting to produce for fantasy owners with four goals and seven points in nine games after being a non-factor the last five seasons. Cory Schneider is 5-2-1 for the surprising Devils with a 2.22 GAA and a .919 save percentage.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Montreal. vs. Boston

Rested Team: None  

Tired Team: vs. Boston (Sunday)

Notes

While the Devils play the Islanders in a home-and-home series, New York has the Sabres in between on Sunday. Nevertheless, Matt Martin should be in the middle of everything if there are any fisticuffs. John Tavares is leading or tied for the team lead in goals, assists, obviously points and surprisingly penalty minutes this season. He has sat 18 minutes in the sin bin thus far this season. Jaroslav Halak is 4-3-1 with a 1.76 GAA and a .940 save percentage, giving the Islanders very good goaltending since his return from an upper body injury  Nikolay Kulemin has seen some action with Tavares and Josh Bailey of late.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

vs. Washington, @ Colorado, @ Arizona

Rested Team: @ Colorado (Friday)

Tired Team: @ Arizona (Saturday)

 

Notes

After scoring four goals in his first three games, Oscar Lindberg went scoreless in six before scoring once again on Sunday. He leads the Rangers in scoring with five goals and seven points. Rick Nash continues to struggle with only a goal and three points. Perhaps it’s time to try and trade for him from some disgruntled owner. Keith Yandle is now in second place in consecutive games played by an active player. He leads all Rangers defensemen with six points. Henrik Lundqvist is off to a great start with a 4-2-2 mark to go with a 1.98 GAA and a .941 save percentage. Antti Raanta has given the Rangers great goaltending when Lundqvist is rested as he is 2-0 with a 0.50 GAA and a .978 save percentage.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. Winnipeg, @ Carolina  

Rested Team: vs. Winnipeg (Thursday), @ Carolina (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Senators play three games this week and are the rested team twice. Marc Methot is back on the Sens blueline after missing three games with a concussion. He fits in perfectly with Erik Karlsson and his defensive acumen helps the offensively talented Karlsson to play with a little less caution. Mike Hoffman is out with a lower body injury but could return on the weekend. His spot on the top line has been taken by Shaun Prince but that should end shortly. Craig Anderson has been adequate in goal for fantasy owners as he is 4-2-1 with a 2.78 GAA and a .914 save percentage. That’s still a lot better than last season sensation Andrew Hammond who is 1-0-1 with a 3.69 GAA and a .875 save percentage.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary, @ Winnipeg

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Edmonton (Tuesday)

Notes

The Flyers are in Western Canada for all four games this week including playing three games in four nights so Steve Mason should play three times and if Michal Neuvirth is healthy he will play once. Luke Schenn is becoming a scoring machine. He is on a three game scoring streak after being a healthy scratch four times in his last seven games. He has a goal and three helpers during his streak. Brother Brayden Schenn has also been hot with four goals and six points in eight games including three points in his last two contests. Vincent Lecavalier finally saw action Thursday in his first game of the season. He is not fantasy-worthy as he only saw action as a bottom-six forward.  

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

@ Vancouver, @ Edmonton, @ Calgary  

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ Calgary (Saturday)

Notes

The Penguins play three games in four nights this week. It’s likely that Jeff Zatkoff will get a start with Marc-Andre Fleury seeing action in the other two contests as the Penguins are in Western Canada for all three. Fleury is only 5-4 this season but his peripherals are sensational with a 1.90 GAA and a .937 save percentage. Sidney Crosby had two assists Thursday but still has only a goal and four assists in 10 games. Phil Kessel seems to have found his spot alongside Evgeni Malkin. Sergei Plotnikov was a fantasy sleeper pick at drafts this season but he is off to a slow start and the Penguins have been scratching him of late.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

vs. Los Angeles, @ Chicago, @ Nashville

Rested Team: vs. Los Angeles (Tuesday)

Tired Team: @ Chicago (Wednesday)

Notes

The Blues have been splitting the net between Brian Elliott and Jake Allen this season as both have started five games. Vladimir Tarasenko broke a three game pointless streak Thursday with a goal but still has six goals and 10 points in 10 games. Colton Parayko has been a revelation on the blueline with four goals and seven points to lead everyone. His offensive prowess has made the loss of Kevin Shattenkirk palpable. Speaking of Shattenkirk, he is practicing and getting close after missing the last seven games with a lower body injury. With the numerous injuries up front (Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund) the Blues are giving professional tryouts to Dainius Zubrus and Martin Havlat.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

vs. Columbus, vs. Florida, vs. Anaheim

Rested Team: vs. Florida (Thursday), vs. Anaheim (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

The Sharks play three games this week and are home for all three. They are the rested team twice and that will not hurt their chances. The Sharks got Joonas Donskoi back from a lower body injury that forced him to miss five games. He is playing alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski and that will not hurt his fantasy value. He has only one goal in four games but look for Donskoi to do better in the future if he remains on the top line. Joel Ward leads the Sharks in goals with five and is tied for the lead in points with eight. Tomas Hertl has two goals and four points in nine games. He is highly regarded and could break out at any time.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Buffalo, @ Minnesota

Rested team: None

Tired Team: None

Notes

Jonathan Drouin missed Thursday’s game with a lower body injury. He has six points in 10 games. Look for Andrei Vasilevskiy to rejoin the Lightning this week. He should battle for the top job in net with Ben Bishop and is worth picking up at this time if you are able to stash him. Bishop is 5-4-1 with a 2.40 GAA and a .913 save percentage and Vasilevskiy, coming off vascular surgery, has been highly regarded for a couple of seasons as the best young goalie in the game. Victor Hedman has 10 assists and leads the Lightning in points. Stephen Stamkos leads the Lightning with five goals but has only two helpers. Tyler Johnson has still not found the back of the net. He has five assists.  

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Detroit, @ Washington

Rested team:  None

Tired Team: @ Washington (Saturday)

Notes

The Maple Leafs play four times including three in four nights. Jonathan Bernier should get at least two starts with James Reimer likely to play at least once. Mark Arcobello was put on waivers Thursday after he was unable to pick up a point in seven games. The Leafs inked Richard Clune to a contract and he will add some energy to the fourth line if he can stick with the big club. Morgan Rielly certainly looks like the one Maple Leafs who is capable of having an All-Star career. Most of the Maple Leafs talent is in the minors but coach Mike Babcock is putting in a system of play that will allow the Leafs to be competitive most nights this season. Jake Gardiner has looked better this season but was placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury.  

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Buffalo, @ New Jersey

Rested Team: None

Tired Team: @ New Jersey (Sunday)

Notes

 Richard Bachman has yet to appear in a game as Ryan Miller has been the sole netminder for the Canucks. It’s likely that when a back up is needed, Jacob Markstrom (hamstring) will be used and not Bachman. Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks with eight points while rookie Jared McCann leads in goals with four. Brendan Gaunce made his NHL debut Thursday and was a minus-one in 10:47 of action. He was drafted in the first round (26th overall) in 2012 but his fantasy value will be limited as he probably will be a solid third line player. Jake Virtanen picked up his first career point on Tuesday but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was sent back to junior hockey.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

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

Rested team: vs. Toronto (Saturday)

Tired Team: None

Notes

Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the Capitals in points with 12 and is a surprising second in penalty minutes with 10. Alex Ovechkin is not even in second place in points as he is one behind John Carlson who has 10. Kuznetsov was the NHL’s player of the week with three goals and nine points in three games. Philipp Grubauer finally received a start in goal on October 23rd and was not happy giving up four goals on 23 shots despite getting the win. Braden Holtby has been very good as the starter with a 5-2 record to go with a 2.03 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Toronto, @ Ottawa, vs. Philadelphia

Rested team: None

Tired Team: @ Ottawa (Thursday)

Notes

The Jets play three games in four nights so expect to see Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson get one start each with the hotter goalie getting the third start. Hutchinson is certainly looking better than Pavelec in the early going as Hutchinson is 4-0 this season with a 1.75 GAA and a .949 save percentage while Pavelec is 2-3-1/2.69/.918. Blake Wheeler is off to a great start with 12 points in his first 10 games as is Bryan Little who has nine points thus far. Drew Stafford is tied with Wheeler for the team lead in goals at five. Nikolaj Ehlers continues to impress with his outstanding offensive skills.

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