Week 19 (Feb. 8-14)
Teams playing four games: Anaheim, Colorado, Edmonton, Nashville, New Jersey, N.Y. Islanders, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Jose, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver
Teams playing three games: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, N.Y. Rangers, Pittsburgh, Washington
Teams playing two games: Toronto
(Editor's note: Week 19 is the final scoring period before the Olympic break. The following scoring period -- Week 20 -- technically begins on Feb. 15 and runs through March 7, but the first game isn't until March 1 at 9 p.m.)
New Jersey Devils: The big news of the week for New Jersey has been the arrival of Ilya Kovalchuk, who was picked up in a Thursday trade with Atlanta. Kovalchuk has been skating mostly on the second line and has two assists in his first two games with the Devils. Unfortunately, since his arrival top-line left winger Zach Parise has no points in over 40 minutes of ice time ... Kovalchuk's arrival overshadowed the return of Patrik Elias, who jumped back into the lineup on Saturday against the Rangers after missing 10 games with a concussion. He managed an assist while playing on his off wing on a line with Kovalchuk and Dainius Zubrus, who has three goals and three assists in his last five games ... Jamie Langenbrunner, who is back on the top line with Parise and Travis Zajac, has just one goal in his last 17 games after getting a hat trick on Jan. 2 against the Wild.
N.Y. Islanders: Center Josh Bailey will be out until after the Olympic break with an upper-body injury. He is not expected to be sidelined any longer than that period... Goalie Martin Biron returned to the Islanders on Sunday after a one-game conditioning stint in the minors on Friday. He stopped 39 shots for Bridgeport (AHL). New York could look to move the veteran netminder since he is third on the depth chart behind Rick DiPietro and Dwayne Roloson.
N.Y. Rangers: Olli Jokinen arrived in New York via a trade last Monday from Calgary. He has one goal and one assist in three games with the Rangers. Brandon Prust was also part of the deal that sent Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins, two players that came to New York in the offseason, to Calgary ... After scoring once in his previous 11 games, Marian Gaborik has six goals in his last five games.
Philadelphia Flyers: Goalie Ray Emery is back out of action, but this time he is dealing with hip tightness. He will be re-evaluated on Monday and might receive a synvisc injection to loosen up the joint. Still, there is risk involved with starting Emery in Week 19. We expect Michael Leighton to start, if Emery isn't ready by Monday against New Jersey ... Philadelphia picked up struggling forward Ville Leino from the Red Wings on Saturday in exchange for defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a draft pick. This could be a very interesting move for Leino, who couldn't hit his stride in Detroit. But he is a scorer that is headed to an offensive system. It might just be what he needs to have his breakout run in the NHL. Leino's arrival could spell bad news for Arron Asham, who has three goals and 11 points in his last 17 games ... Simon Gagne has one goal in his last 17 games, Danny Briere has two in his last 14 and Scott Hartnell has three in his last 19.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Chris Kunitz returned to the lineup on Sunday against the Capitals after missing 15 games with an abdominal injury. He played with Sidney Crosby and Bill Guerin on the top line ... Jordan Staal has been playing the last few games on a line with Evgeni Malkin. Staal always seems to do his best work on a line with Malkin, but the two never stick together because Staal is too valuable in other areas, such as the penalty kill and in the faceoff circle.
Favorable matchup: Pittsburgh (NYI, NYR, NSH). Pittsburgh doesn't have to leave Mellon Arena in Week 19, which is great news since the Penguins are third in home GFG (3.46). Pittsburgh is also averaging 3.67 or more goals per game against both New York opponents.
Unfavorable matchup: Philadelphia (NJ, @NJ, MON, @MON). The Flyers have home-and-home series against the Devils and Canadiens in Week 19. Too bad Philadelphia has scored only four goals in its first three February games and average no more than 3.00 goals against either of its upcoming opponents.
|1.||Jussi Jokinen, LW, Hurricanes||17|
|2.||Antero Niittymaki, G, Lightning||15|
|3.||Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G, Maple Leafs||14|
|4.||Tom Poti, D, Capitals||13|
|5.||Keith Yandle, D, Coyotes||8|
|6.||Mark Giordano, D, Flames||8|
|7.||Jack Johnson, D, Kings||8|
|8.||Sami Salo, D, Canucks||8|
|9.||Brandon Yip, RW, Avalanche||8|
|10.||Dainius Zubrus, C, Devils||8|
Boston Bruins: Backup goalie Tuukka Rask is 0-4-2 since his last win Dec. 30 over Atlanta, and his record has dropped to 10-7-4 ... Marc Savard has five assists in his first five games back since missing eight because of a knee injury, but he hasn't scored a goal in his last 12 games ... There are rumors swirling that Boston could be looking to trade struggling winger Michael Ryder, who has 13 goals and 22 points in 56 games ... Olympian Patrice Bergeron has one goal in his last 11 games and had his first point in six games on Saturday against the Canucks.
Buffalo Sabres: Goalie Ryan Miller has allowed 12 goals and has a .874 save percentage during a three-game losing skid. Patrick Lalime couldn't stop the bleeding during a 4-0 loss to Columbus on Saturday, however, the team is preparing Lalime for March when Buffalo has a season-high 16 games. They will need him to give Miller some time off, especially after Miller is likely to do most of the heavy lifting for Team USA in the Olympics.
Montreal Canadiens: Mike Cammalleri will not need surgery on his injured knee, but he is expected to miss 6-8 weeks ... Montreal placed Marc-Andre Bergeron (lower body) and Benoit Pouliot (upper body) on injured reserve Saturday. Bergeron might return during Week 19, but Pouliot is expected out until after the Olympic break ... Mathieu Darche has two goals, five points and a plus-4 rating in nine games since his recall from the minors. Both goals have been game winners, and Darche has even seen top-line and power-play time due to a rash of injuries ... Tomas Plekanec has five goals and seven assists in his last 11 games.
Ottawa Senators: Rookie defenseman Erik Karlsson won't be back until after the Olympic break because of a shoulder injury ... Goalie Brian Elliott had his winning streak end at nine games on Saturday against Toronto. He was eventually replaced by Pascal Leclaire, who made his first appearance since Jan. 12 because of a concussion and Elliott's recent hot streak. Now might be the chance for Leclaire to regain his starting role ... Jason Spezza also had his eight-game goal streak end on Saturday. He had nine goals in that span.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Thanks to some personnel losses, the Maple Leafs have a new look among its center rotation. Manning the top line is Tyler Bozak, on the second line is Rickard Wallin and the third line boasts Christian Hanson. None of them are household names in Fantasy, but Wallin and Bozak have both managed three-game point streaks since Matt Stajan was traded to Calgary.
Favorable matchup: Ottawa (CGY, WAS, @DET, @NYI). The Senators are averaging 3.08 goals per game in 12 games against Western Conference opponents and 3.00 goals in two games against Washington. Ottawa also faces an Islanders team that has allowed three or more goals in six of their last nine games.
Unfavorable matchup: Boston (@BUF, @TB, @FLA). Although Toronto has only two games in Week 19, there is still a good chance they might outscore Boston, who is on the road for three games. Boston is dead last in road scoring (2.30 GFG). The Bruins are also averaging 2.50 or fewer goals per game against each Week 19 opponent.
|1.||Jussi Jokinen, LW, Carolina||53|
|2.||Alex Goligoski, D, Penguins||60|
|3.||Antero Niittymaki, G, Lightning||26|
|4.||Tomas Fleischmann, C, Capitals||60|
|5.||Alexander Steen, C, Blues||8|
|6.||Jordan Staal, C, Penguins||47|
|7.||Tom Poti, D, Capitals||26|
|8.||Kyle Quincey, D, Avalanche||52|
|9.||Mike Fisher, C, Senators||63|
|10.||Kris Versteeg, RW, Blackhawks||39|
Atlanta Thrashers: It does appear Kari Lehtonen is the odd man out in Atlanta, meaning the Thrashers intend to finish the season with Johan Hedberg and Ondrej Pavelec in net, if they can find a taker for Lehtonen ... Atlanta picked up NHL-ready players in Johnny Oduya and Niclas Bergfors as part of the Ilya Kovalchuk trade with New Jersey. Bergfors scored his first goal with Atlanta on Saturday against the Panthers. Atlanta is also looking for Bryan Little and Evander Kane as potential options to help make up for the loss of Kovalchuk ... Nik Antropov might feel Kovalchuk's departure the most, but he didn't show it on Saturday as he totaled three assists in his second game without the All-Star winger.
Carolina Hurricanes: Goalie Cam Ward is expected to see a back specialist on Monday, putting his status for Week 19 in jeopardy. Manny Legace should do most of the leg work in Ward's absence, but Justin Peters might also sneak in a start after winning Saturday against the Islanders ... Defenseman Joe Corvo is back in the lineup after being sidelined since Nov. 30 with a leg laceration ... Eric Staal had his career-high point streak end at 11 games on Saturday. Staal had 10 goals and seven assists during the streak ... Jussi Jokinen broke 20 goals for the first time in his career after scoring on Saturday. He has scored in five of his last six games.
Florida Panthers: Center Stephen Weiss is day to day with a lower-body injury. Coach Peter DeBoer calls it a nagging issue, one that kept Weiss out a few weeks ago. He remains questionable for Tuesday against the Hurricanes ... Defenseman Bryan McCabe has one point in his last 15 games.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos is on a career-high point streak that has reached nine games. He has seven goals and seven assists in that span. He also hasn't been below even (plus-6). The streak has allowed Stamkos to break 100 career points and put together his first 30-goal campaign ... Goalie Antero Niittymaki is 6-0-1 in his past six starts. He hasn't allowed more than two goals in any game during that stretch. On home ice, Niittymaki is 8-3-3 with a 1.86 goals-against-average and .941 save percentage. He has become the better start in Fantasy over Mike Smith ... Martin St. Louis had a five-game goal streak end on Saturday against Calgary. However, he has been a much better scorer since the calendar hit 2010. St. Louis has 10 goals in his last 17 games after scoring eight times in his first 40 contests.
Washington Capitals: Mike Green is back in the lineup after serving a three-game suspension for elbowing Michael Frolik in the face ... Nicklas Backstrom was able to play on Sunday against Pittsburgh after leaving Friday's game against the Thrashers early due to an illness. Keep him active for Week 19 ... Two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin has had three months this season with 20 or more points.
Favorable matchup: Washington (@MON, @OTT, @STL). It has been tough to cool down the Capitals, who have won 14 straight games. Washington might be on the road for three games in Week 19, but it is averaging 3.00 or more goals per game against Montreal and Ottawa. Washington is also averaging 3.23 goals against Western Conference opponents.
Unfavorable matchup: Florida (@CAR, VAN, BOS). The Panthers have scored three goals in three February games and haven't scored more than two goals in 10 straight games. We aren't sure it gets much easier in Week 19. Both Vancouver (2.42 GAA) and Boston (2.45 GAA) are in the top 10 for defense.
Chicago Blackhawks: Keep tabs on Kris Versteeg, Patrick Sharp and Cam Barker. Their names have come up the most in trade rumors ... Dave Bolland has returned from back surgery that kept him out since early November. Unfortunately, he has no points in his first three games back despite logging second-line time with Marian Hossa ... Goalie Antti Niemi is also back in the lineup after not playing for three games with the flu.
Columbus Blue Jackets: It seems the coaching change has benefited struggling goalie Steve Mason the most. In two games -- both wins -- under interim coach Claude Noel, Mason has allowed one goal on 51 shots. Mason could regain his high-end Fantasy status down the stretch ... Rick Nash netted his 25th goal on Saturday against Buffalo, reaching that plateau for a sixth straight season.
Detroit Red Wings: Defenseman Niklas Kronwall (knee, ankle) is shooting to play on Tuesday against the Blues ... The trade of Ville Leino likely means Johan Franzen will return on Tuesday for the first time since tearing his ACL in October ... Tomas Holmstrom is iffy for Tuesday after sustaining a bruised knee on Saturday against Los Angeles ... Henrik Zetterberg has scored four times in his last five games and might finally become a steady scoring option for Detroit.
Nashville Predators: Defenseman Cody Franson is out until after the Olympic break with a broken rib ... Forward J.P. Dumont responded to some criticism from coach Barry Trotz by scoring twice on Saturday against the Sharks. It was his first goals in nine games ... Joel Ward has three goals and four points in his last four games.
St. Louis Blues: Defenseman Erik Johnson hasn't scored in 31 games and has cooled off dramatically after posting 18 points in his first 25 games. But he is getting lauded for his play by coach Davis Payne, who appreciates Johnson for his strong defensive play and worrying about his own zone before heading up ice. Fantasy owners aren't as appreciative since they look to Johnson as a high-end option ... Alexander Steen has scored 11 of his 14 goals on home ice.
Favorable matchup: Chicago (DAL, ATL, @CLB). The Blackhawks are averaging 3.50 or more goals per game against Dallas and Columbus. They are also averaging 3.00 goals per game in 13 contests against Eastern Conference foes.
Unfavorable matchup: Columbus (SJ, VAN, CHI). The coaching change might have given Columbus a second lease on life, but Week 19 will be no walk in the park. All three of Columbus' opponents are in the top five for defense, allowing 2.42 or fewer goals per game. The Blue Jackets are also averaging 2.67 or fewer goals against San Jose and Chicago, as well as sporting a 2.43 GFG against Western Conference opponents and on home ice.
Calgary Flames: Rene Bourque left Saturday's game against the Lightning with an undisclosed injury. He missed time earlier this season with an undisclosed injury and is now an injury-risk start for Week 19 ... Half of Mark Giordano's career-high 10 goals have come on the power play.
Colorado Avalanche: The slumping Wojtek Wolski moved down the second line with Brandon Yip and Matt Duchene on Saturday against the Oilers and responded with the game-winning goal after scoring once in his previous 19 games. T.J. Galiardi moved off the "Kid Line" to join Paul Stastny and Chris Stewart on the top line ... Yip continues to skate hard since his recall from the minors. He has three goals in his last three games and 16 points in 21 games during his rookie season.
Edmonton Oilers: Defenseman Sheldon Souray is out 5-6 weeks following hand surgery on Tuesday. Despite being injured, he gave general manager Steve Tambellini a list of six teams he would waive his no-trade clause for in the event Edmonton wants to move the veteran blueliner. Souray lists Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia and the N.Y. Rangers as potential suitors ... Marc Pouliot, who has scored twice in his last four games, was elevated to the top line on Saturday against the Avalanche. Coach Pat Quinn is recognizing Pouliot's recent hard work and intends to give the former first-round pick, who has been pretty much a bust, more playing time ... Top-line center Sam Gagner left Saturday's game with a sore knee and is an injury-risk start for the upcoming scoring period.
Minnesota Wild: Goalie Niklas Backstrom hopes to play on Wednesday against the Coyotes after having an undisclosed medical procedure performed Thursday for an undisclosed ailment. He is a low-risk start for Week 19. Backup netminder Josh Harding remains day to day with a hip injury ... Eric Belanger has 13 points (five goals) in his last 17 games and is on pace to have his first 40-point campaign of his career.
Vancouver Canucks: Henrik Sedin has fallen out of the NHL scoring lead after being shutout for a third straight game on Saturday against Boston. It is a rare slump for Sedin, who stands at 78 points ... Steve Bernier's career continues to be a huge disappointment after being selected in the first round of the 2003 NHL draft. He was a healthy scratch Saturday and has lost some of his physical presence after dropping 20 pounds in the offseason.
Favorable matchup: Colorado (STL, ATL, PHO, @LA). The Avalanche is 14th in home GFG (2.96) and is averaging 4.00 goals against both St. Louis and Phoenix. Atlanta is also 27th in defense (3.14 GAA).
Unfavorable matchup: Edmonton (@PHO, @ANA, @LA, ANA). The Oilers are dead last in road GFG (2.04), so it doesn't look good as they wrap up a five-game road trip in Week 19. It doesn't help Phoenix is also eighth in defense (2.47 GAA), the Ducks have allowed more than two goals just twice in their last six games and the Oilers are averaging 1.50 goals against Los Angeles.
Anaheim Ducks: Joffrey Lupul (back) still holds out hope he will return this season. Although, with the recent acquisition of Jason Blake, Lupul might not see steady top-six minutes upon his return ... Recently acquired goalie Vesa Toskala finally got his immigration issues resolved and joined the team on Saturday. Justin Pogge was reassigned to the minors.
Dallas Stars: Center Mike Ribeiro (throat) is on track to play Tuesday against the Blackhawks. He is a low-risk start for Week 19 ... The return of Ribeiro could spell bad news for rookie Jamie Benn, who has done well since moving to center. He has four goals and five points in his last five games and has adjusted well to life as a pivot despite never playing there before in his career ... Competition from Alex Auld has done wonders for Marty Turco, who has stopped 98 of 101 shots in his last three games. He has a 1.01 GAA in that span. Although, the recent streak still might not save Turco from being traded.
Los Angeles Kings: Center Michal Handzus has four goals and four assists in his last five games. He is up to a career-best six game winners in 2009-10 ... Goalie Jonathan Quick has won a franchise-record nine straight games. He is 14-3 in his last 17 outings and has become an elite Fantasy goalie ... Ryan Smyth has five goals and nine points in his last 10 games ... Anze Kopitar had an eight-game point streak end Saturday against Detroit. He had seven goals and eight assists in that span.
Phoenix Coyotes: Shane Doan has gone scoreless in his last three games after collection five goals and 15 points over an eight-game span. He seems to really be missing the presence of Scottie Upshall, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
San Jose Sharks: Defenseman Dan Boyle was finally back in action on Saturday against Nashville after missing six games with an upper-body injury. It's safe to activate him for Week 19 ... Dany Heatley has three goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak.
Favorable matchup: San Jose (@TOR, @CLB, @DET, @BUF). San Jose is a strong scoring team away from home, as it is second in road GFG (3.26). The Sharks are also averaging 4.00 or more goals against Columbus and Buffalo, as well as a league-leading 4.15 goals against Eastern Conference opponents.
Unfavorable matchup: Dallas (@CHI, @CGY, @PHO). The Stars are scoring 2.55 goals per game on the road (16th). Chicago, Calgary and Phoenix are all in the top 10 for defense, allowing 2.47 goals or less per game.
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