Week 16 (Jan. 18-24)
Teams playing four games: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, New Jersey, N.Y. Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, San Jose, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto
Teams playing three games: Anaheim, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, N.Y. Rangers, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Washington
Teams playing two games: Calgary
(Editor's note: Lineups lock early on Monday as the first game begins at 1:00 p.m. because of the national holiday)
New Jersey Devils: Patrik Elias had a CT scan on Saturday after being knocked out of a game against the Avalanche. Everything came back fine, but Elias refused to talk with the media. He is an injury-risk start for Week 16 ... David Clarkson (leg) and Paul Martin (arm) are still a few weeks away from returning.
N.Y. Islanders: Goalie Rick DiPietro had his first win since Dec. 26, 2008 on Saturday against the Sabres. It was only his second appearance since coming off injured reserve ... Rookie forward John Tavares tied Matt Moulson for the team lead in goals with 17 when he scored for just the second time in 17 games.
N.Y. Rangers: Ales Kotalik is back in coach John Tortorella's doghouse. He was a healthy scratch on Saturday against the Blues after being demoted to the team's fourth line upon Vaclav Prospal's return to action. Kotalik has three goals in his last 30 games after totaling five goals and 12 points in 14 October contests ... Marian Gaborik is mired in a season-high five-game scoreless streak and has scored twice in his last 11 contests.
Philadelphia Flyers: Brian Boucher has been the odd man out in the Flyers' goalie rotation. The team is looking to resolve their three-goalie situation, which includes the streaking Michael Leighton and Ray Emery, shortly, but Leighton's outstanding run is making it tough to outright cut him. However, Boucher's agent has reassured his client that the Flyers are not interested in trading or placing Boucher on waivers ... Scott Hartnell returned to the lineup on Sunday against the Capitals after missing one game with a stomach virus. He is a low-risk start for Week 16.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Flyers are not the only team with a goalie mess on their hands. The Penguins were cruising along until late last week when Marc-Andre Fleury fractured his finger in a win over Edmonton and Brent Johnson went on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Pittsburgh had to recall John Curry from the AHL and sign junior goalie Alexander Pechurski to a one-game amateur tryout on Saturday. Fleury practiced on Saturday but felt discomfort grabbing shots with his glove. He isn't expected back until late in Week 16 at the earliest. That means Curry will likely carry the workload in net until Fleury is healthy, and Pittsburgh needs to find a backup since Pechurski's temporary contract expired ... Evgeni Malkin snapped an 11-game goal drought with a score Saturday against Vancouver.
Favorable matchup: Philadelphia (CLB, NYR, CAR, PIT). The Flyers don't have to leave the comfort of the Wachovia Center, where they average 3.22 goals per game (seventh in home GFG). Philadelphia is also averaging 3.33 or more goals against the Rangers, Hurricanes and Penguins.
Unfavorable matchup: N.Y. Islanders (NJ, @PIT, FLA, NJ). The thought of facing Martin Brodeur twice in one week would send chills down any opponent's spine. The Islanders have scored only twice in two games against New Jersey this season. They are also averaging 2.50 goals in two games against Florida and averaging 2.59 goals at home (23rd).
|1.||Guillaume Latendresse, LW, MIN||29|
|2.||Patric Hornqvist, RW, NSH||21|
|3.||Josh Bailey, C, NYI||15|
|4.||Mike Brodeur, G, OTT||13|
|5.||Steve Downie, RW, TB||8|
|6.||Joni Pitkanen, D, CAR||7|
|7.||Rob Schremp, C, NYI||7|
|8.||Pavol Demitra, RW, VAN||5|
|9.||Dan Ellis, G, NSH||5|
|10.||Jeff Schultz, D, WAS||5|
Boston Bruins: Center Patrice Bergeron hopes to get an update on his injured thumb Monday and expects to play during Week 16. He can be considered a low-risk start ... Both defenseman Dennis Wideman (illness) and forward Marco Sturm (leg) are day to day. However, Wideman seems the less risky of the two for Week 16 ... Blake Wheeler has four multi-point games in his last seven appearances. He had all of two multi-point games in his first 40 appearances ... Defenseman Johnny Boychuk has five assists in his last six games, including a pair of two-assist performances.
Buffalo Sabres: Center Tim Connolly extended his career-high 11-game point streak on Saturday against the Islanders. It is currently the longest streak in the NHL. Connolly has five goals and 11 assists in that span.
Montreal Canadiens: The line of Benoit Pouliot, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta has produced 12 goals and 14 assists in the last nine games ... Tomas Plekanec scored on Saturday against the Senators to end a five-game point drought.
Ottawa Senators: Goalie Pascal Leclaire is out at least a week with a concussion. Brian Elliott would usually start in his absence, however, he has been ill and Mike Brodeur has won his first two starts since his recall from the minors. Brodeur will likely stay in net as long as he has the hot hand ... Daniel Alfredsson returned from a separated shoulder on Saturday against the Canadiens to total three points and a plus-3 rating. It's safe to activate him for Week 16.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Goalie Vesa Toskala hasn't won consecutive games since Dec. 14 and fellow netminder Jonas Gustavsson hasn't accomplished the same feat since Nov. 27 ... Phil Kessel has five assists during a four-game point streak, but he has still yet to score in eight January contests ... Defenseman Jeff Finger has been a healthy scratch in two straight games and hasn't tallied a point in 11 contests.
Favorable matchup: Toronto (@NSH, @ATL, @TB, @FLA). We don't get many chances to highlight the Maple Leafs, so we will take them when we can get them. Toronto is on the road for four games in Week 16, but it actually rank sixth in road GFG (2.84). The Maple Leafs are also averaging 4.50 or more goals per game against Atlanta and Tampa Bay, while Florida ranks 22nd in defense (2.98 GAA).
Unfavorable matchup: Buffalo (@PHO, @ANA, @LA, @SJ). The Sabres continue a long seven-game road trip in Week 16. But unlike the Maple Leafs, the Sabres struggle to score on the road. They rank 21st in road GFG (2.45). Buffalo also has to contend with the fact it faces only one defense -- Anaheim (3.04 GAA) -- outside the top 12.
|1.||Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW, Maple Leafs||42|
|2.||Matt Carle, D, Flyers||66|
|3.||Devin Setoguchi, RW, Sharks||55|
|4.||Chris Stewart, RW, Avalanche||32|
|5.||Chris Mason, G, Blues||50|
|6.||Michael Frolik, LW, Panthers||41|
|7.||Sami Salo, D, Canucks||17|
|8.||Rostislav Olesz, LW, Panthers||6|
|9.||T.J. Oshie, C, Blues||20|
|10.||Denis Grebeshkov, D, Oilers||20|
Atlanta Thrashers: Defenseman Zach Bogosian scored a goal on Saturday against Carolina, ending a 29-game goal drought. Bogosian has said he battled a wrist injury for the past month, but he is finally 100 percent ... Fellow blueliner Tobias Enstrom hasn't battled any injuries or really inconsistency in what is turning out to be a career campaign. He has four goals and 31 points in his last 37 games and has become an elite Fantasy blueliner ... Goalie Kari Lehtonen (back) continues to make positive progress and is nearing a return to the lineup. Still, there is no date for his expected return.
Carolina Hurricanes: Carolina has recalled rookie Drayson Bowman from Albany of the AHL. He made his NHL debut on Saturday against Atlanta on a line with Rod Brind'Amour and Tom Kostopoulus. The Hurricanes have said Bowman will stay with the team as long as they keep telling him to suit up. He is a great long-term keeper as he is considered the Hurricanes' best goal-scoring prospect ... Ray Whitney has five goals and seven points in seven January games.
Florida Panthers: Center Stephen Weiss played less than six minutes on Saturday against the Lightning because of a nagging lower-body injury. The Panthers believe Weiss will be available on Monday against the Thrashers, but there is still some risk to starting him in Fantasy since he is not 100 percent ... Rostislav Olesz has scored six times in seven January games, which includes a pair of two-goal performances. Coach Peter DeBoer said these are "baby steps" for Olesz, who has moved up to a scoring line with Cory Stillman and Steve Reinprecht ... In eight games since returning from a knee injury, Stillman has three goals and five assists. He has eight goals and 16 points in his last 16 games.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Goalie Mike Smith is out with a neck strain until Tampa Bay returns from a three-game road trip on Thursday against the Maple Leafs. Antero Niittymaki and rookie Dustin Tokarski, who made his NHL debut in relief on Saturday against Florida, will play in Smith's absence ... Center Vincent Lecavalier has points in six of his last seven games and has five goals and 13 assists in his last 14 appearances. He doesn't seem bothered by the talk of trade rumors.
Washington Capitals: Defenseman Mike Green has three goals and seven assists during a seven-game point streak. He also has nine goals in his last 20 games after scoring just three times in his first 26 contests ... Defenseman Tom Poti has two goals and five assists in seven January games. He is also at plus-8 ... Mike Knuble has a pair of two-goal games in his last five appearances and five goals total.
Favorable matchup: Florida (ATL, @NJ, @NYI, TOR). The Panthers have totaled 15 goals in their last four games and have scored at least three goals in each outing. They could keep the good times rolling in Week 16. Florida is averaging 3.00 goals against New Jersey, New York and Toronto. New Jersey is the only team not in the bottom 10 for defense.
Unfavorable matchup: Washington (DET, @PIT, PHO). It's tough to go against one of the top-scoring teams in the NHL, especially since Washington has 28 goals in its last six games. However, the Capitals face a pair of top 10 defenses -- Detroit (2.47 GAA) and Phoenix (2.41) -- so they could have an off week by their standards.
Chicago Blackhawks: Defenseman Cam Barker returned to the lineup on Saturday against the Blue Jackets after missing five games with an upper-body injury ... Patrick Kane had three assists against Columbus, increasing his point total to 55 in 48 games. The last Chicago player to reach that mark in 48 games was Jeremy Roenick, who had 58 points in 48 games during the 1992-93 season. He finished with 107 points in 84 games. Kane is on pace for 92 points in 81 games.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Rick Nash ended an 11-game goal drought with two scores on Saturday against the Blackhawks. It was his longest goal drought since his rookie campaign, 2002-03 ... Kristian Huselius has found his scoring touch again after an awful December. He has four goals and 10 points in eight January games ... Antoine Vermette, who centered a line Saturday with Rick Nash and R.J. Umberger, has three goals and eight points in eight January games.
Detroit Red Wings: Defenseman Brian Rafalski had a goal on Saturday against the Stars. It was his first goal since Nov. 14, ending a 25-game goal drought ... Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has begun his second-half surge with one goal and nine assists in his last 10 games.
Nashville Predators: Center Jason Arnott remains day to day with an upper-body injury. There is some risk to starting him in Week 16 ... Goalie Dan Ellis has won three of his last four starts, which included a shutout of Calgary on Friday. He has allowed five goals in that span ... Marcel Goc has one goal, one assist and a minus-1 rating in seven January games after totaling six goals, 13 points and a plus-10 rating in 15 December games. We figured his hot streak wouldn't last.
St. Louis Blues: Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and right wing Alexander Steen, who were both acquired last season in a trade with Toronto, have been vital to the Blues' power play as of late. Playing the two point positions, Colaiacovo and Steen have been on the ice for eight of the team's last 10 power-play goals. Steen had a power-play score on Saturday against the Islanders. He has eight goals in his last nine home games ... Goalie Chris Mason has reeled off a four-game winning streak and has allowed only two goals in his last three starts. He could be setting up for another big-second half run.
Favorable matchup: St. Louis (@CLB, @MON, @OTT, ANA). The Blues have scored four goals in three of their last four games and are starting to settle into an offensive groove under interim coach Davis Payne. St. Louis is a decent team scoring on the road, averaging 2.67 goals per game (12th). The Blues also get to face three teams in the bottom 10 for defense -- Columbus (3.18 GAA), Ottawa (2.98) and Anaheim (3.04). They are also averaging 3.00 or more goals against Columbus and Anaheim.
Unfavorable matchup: Columbus (STL, @PHI, @BOS, @MIN). The Blue Jackets don't face a team in Week 16 allowing more than 2.94 goals per game.
Calgary Flames: Jarome Iginla has gone seven games without a score and six games without a point. He has only five points (one goal) in his last 11 games ... Olli Jokinen hasn't been a scoring force at home, recording only nine points in 24 games.
Colorado Avalanche: Milan Hejduk is sidelined 2-4 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. He has already missed six games due to knee problems ... Chris Stewart has goals in four of his last six games. Stewart has totaled 13 goals and 19 points in his last 20 games and has become a nice Fantasy start.
Edmonton Oilers: Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin had back surgery and is doubtful to play again in 2009-10. Edmonton will use the tandem of Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk the rest of the season ... Patrick O'Sullivan has two goals and six points in his last five games and is trying to emerge from a first-half slump.
Minnesota Wild: Petr Sykora has been a healthy scratch for six straight games. Coach Todd Richards is choosing not to break up his current line formations and will only play Sykora among his top-six forwards since he sees it's useless to have him log lower-line minutes ... Guillaume Latendresse had his first career hat trick on Saturday against the Coyotes. He has 13 goals and 19 points in 24 games since being acquired in a trade from Montreal. Latendresse came down with an illness on Sunday, but he is a low-risk start for Week 16 ... Defenseman Brent Burns passed a neuro-psyche baseline test and it is believed to be the final step toward the veteran getting medical clearance to return. He is still not a recommended start for Week 16.
Vancouver Canucks: Pavol Demitra finally made his debut on Saturday against the Penguins, eight months after having the first of two shoulder surgeries. Since coach Alain Vigneault didn't want to break up his top two lines, Demitra played on the third line ... Mikael Samuelsson continues to play well since getting left off the Swedish Olympic roster. He has six goals and 10 points in 10 games since the late-December snub ... Mason Raymond has gone nine games without a goal since a hat trick on Dec. 27 against the Flames ... Alex Burrows has 11 goals and two assists during an eight-game point streak.
Favorable matchup: Colorado (EDM, NSH, DAL). We haven't had many chances to highlight the Avalanche since fading after a hot start. They are at home for three games in Week 16, where they average 2.95 goals (15th). Colorado is also averaging 3.33 or more goals against Edmonton and Dallas.
Unfavorable matchup: Calgary (@SJ, CHI). Calgary is the only team with two games in Week 16 and the NHL did it no favors by scheduling two of the league's best defenses -- San Jose (2.39 GAA) and Chicago (2.15).
Anaheim Ducks: It was a tough week for the Ducks. They not only lost Teemu Selanne for 2-6 weeks with a broken jaw, but lost fellow Fin Saku Koivu for about 1-2 weeks with a sprained knee. More bad news came on Friday when Joffrey Lupul, who was already out following back surgery, developed an infection and is now out indefinitely ... Defenseman Scott Niedermayer is tied for a team-worst minus-15 rating. He has been a minus-player for the last three seasons after being better than even for nine straight years.
Dallas Stars: Brenden Morrow is day to day with an upper-body injury and is an injury-risk start for Week 16 ... Brad Richards has 22 points (seven goals) in his last 20 games ... Loui Eriksson has 34 points (14 goals) in his last 34 games ... Dallas should consider throwing Alex Auld more starts at home. He is 3-0-0 in four home appearances with a 2.62 GAA.
Los Angeles Kings: Dustin Brown has three goals in his last four games after scoring three times in his previous 27 contests ... Anze Kopitar is beginning to round into form again after being mired in a slump from mid-November through December. He has three goals and seven points in seven January games ... Brad Richardson continues his strong play with 10 points in his last 13 games. He is also plus-8 in that span.
Phoenix Coyotes: Coach Dave Tippett switched up his lines on Saturday against the Wild and it resulted in a 6-4 win. Shane Doan was paired with Vernon Fiddler and Daniel Winnik. The trio produced two goals and six points. Tippett did leave the line of Petr Prucha, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata together. That line recorded three goals ... Defenseman Ed Jovanovski played on Saturday after missing two games because of a NHL-imposed suspension. It's safe to play him for Week 16.
San Jose Sharks: Devin Setoguchi resulted to a little superstition to break a nine-game goal-less streak. He shaved his head, a trick he used as a junior hockey player to snap a scoring slump, and scored twice on Saturday against Edmonton. Setoguchi said he also scored twice when he shaved his head as a junior player. Perhaps this is the type of spark that will get Setoguchi back on track because he has high-end Fantasy potential.
Favorable matchup: San Jose (CGY, @LA, ANA, BUF). San Jose plays three times on home ice, where it is averaging 3.08 goals per game (10th). The Sharks are also averaging 4.00 goals in four games against Anaheim.
Unfavorable matchup: Los Angeles (SJ, BUF, @DET). All three of the Kings' opponents sit in the top 10 for defense, averaging 2.47 or fewer goals per game. Los Angeles also lost to San Jose last Monday at home 2-1 and fell to Detroit on Jan. 7, 2-1. Los Angeles has scored only three times in two games against Detroit..
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