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Right on Schedule: Examining all angles for an edge

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

Yes, the trade deadline will pass on Monday and it's time to focus in on the six weeks remaining in the regular season. Though the deadline will take most of the attention on Monday, the only two games on the docket should not be a disappointment.

DAILY BREAKDOWN

CHI @ MIN - After the Sunday night showdown with Phoenix, Chicago heads to Minnesota for a hugely important match with Minnesota. The Wild are currently sixth (72 points) in the Western Conference while Chicago's, 70 points is good for ninth place. Corey Crawford and Niklas Backstrom, arguably two of the top five fantasy goalies in 2010-11 campaign, should put on a great show for the VERSUS broadcast. Chicago leads this season series 2-1.

DET @ L.A. - It may surprise you to read that the Kings (8-2 in GF/GA) are the only team to have given Detroit troubles thus far this season. The Red Wings may be without top-six winger Johan Franzen, who is due to head back to Detroit, where their first-born is expected to be delivered. Perhaps this is what Franzen (five assists in last 12 games) needs as he's been quiet since his explosive five-goal performance on the February 2. The Kings, who have a 8-1-3 February record, will put their three-game winning streak up against Detroit. Los Angeles leads this season series 2-0

No other action Monday,2.28.2011

CLB @ VAN - Scroll through the history of the Blue Jackets and you're hard-pressed to find a bigger game in their franchise history. Battered and bruised, Vancouver will host a Columbus team just three points (four spots) out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. One of just five straight road games against conference opponents, the Columbus Blue Jackets will sink or swim with their season starting in Vancouver on Tuesday. The Canucks are attempting to get healthy; last week they watched Sami Salo notch his first goal of the season. The simple fact of the matter is more than a few forwards are slumping currently. Ryan Kesler (two points in last seven games) is cold, and Alexandre Burrows, fresh off a 10-game point streak looks to be headed there as well. Though Mason Raymond has shown signs of awakening, the problem is consistency. Raymond, who had eight points in four February games that he managed a point. The other eight games he was just plain pointless. Did Columbus miss out on McCabe and upgrading their goalie situation? Vancouver leads this season series 1-0-1.

Other action Tuesday, 3.1.2011" |NYI@WAS|DAL@PHO|NAS@EDM|MON@ATL|CAL@STL|BUF@NYR|BOS@OTT|COL@SJ|FLA@CAR

CGY @ CHI - As mentioned before, Chicago is on the outside looking into the tight halls of the Western Conference. By the time the resurgent Flames come into town, their showdown with Minnesota will have already set in. Regardless of the outcome against the Wild, the Windy City's defending champs should take control of this game. Will the Blackhawks tie this season series and be permanently revived by the return of head coach Joel Quenville? A three-goal shutout of Nashville surely suggests such a movement. The Flames lead this season series 2-1.

Other action Wednesday, 3.2.2011: DET@ANH|TB@NJ|MIN @ NYI|PIT@TOR

STL @ WAS - With two squads capable of an offensive explosion and both with questionable goaltending situations currently, this should be a seesaw game. Despite a 2-3 record since last week's big trade, St. Louis has been carrying a much bigger stick. The three losses are more reflective of Ty Conklin's (see More Notes) performance as of late. Back-up rookie Ben Bishop stood in between the pipes against Edmonton and drew his first shutout (5-0) over the hapless Oilers. Todd Ford was called up from the AHL as Semyon Varlamov is currently day-to-day with a knee injury. The Caps look to Michal Neuvirth (19-10, 2.54 GAA) to take the goalie reigns from here on out. One streaky team meets another, as the Capitals (3-1 last week) will look to take hold of their playoff contention. Washington handily (4-1) took the only other meeting of this season series.

Other action on Thursday 3.3.2011: OTT@ATL|TB@BOS|BUF@CAR|MON@FLA|PHO@LA MIN@NYR|NAS@VAN|TOR@PHI|CLB@EDM| STL@WAS|DET@SJ

CLB @ CGY - Calgary was 13-3-5 heading into their Sunday night match up with St. Louis. Columbus, who has played Calgary tight (1-1-1) all season, is on a very important road-trip. There are very few distinct advantages to weigh out in this series, so perhaps basics, like face-offs (95-82 Columbus) will be the difference. Blue Jackets rookie left-winger Matt Calvert is showing signs of offensive spark (hat trick against Phoenix), having scored 13 points in 20 games since his call-up to the big show. The Flames have their own left-winger on a mission, as Niklas Hagman passed through waivers last week. He responded with this sweet move against the Sharks

Other action Friday, 3.4.2011: |CAR@CHI|NYR@OTT|PIT@NJ|DAL@ANH

DAL @ SJ - Flip the calendar back a month and it was San Jose near the cellar of the Pacific, waiting to arise from their simmer. Dallas had a steady hold of first place in the division, and only a Brad Richards drama to deal with. Since then, Dallas has lost 10 of their last 15 games, and traded away their future for the next few seasons. Sure, Alex Goligoski registered his first-goal in an important win against Nashville, but the Stars are just not as fluid without James Neal and the aforementioned concussed Richards in the lineup. San Jose went 11-2 in February and have won 14 of its last seventeen games since snapping their six-game losing streak in January. Thanks to early-season struggles, Antti Niemi's numbers (.919 SV%, 2.43 GAA) look fairly pedestrian. Don't be fooled, Niemi, who has been the definition of backbone, has started every Sharks game since January 15th. Going 14-2-1 in the last six weeks, with four games at home this week, it would behoove head coach Todd McLellan to grant Niemi a rest here soon. Don't be surprised if McLellan gives backup Carter Hutton his first NHL start this week. San Jose, is out-shooting Dallas this season 115-90 and leading the season series (1-0-2) with four points.

Other action Saturday, 3.5.2011: BUF@PHI|CHI@TOR|EDM@COL|DET@PHO|MON@TB|STL@NYI|VAN@LA|PIT@BOS|FLA@ATL

PHI @ NYR - NHL on NBC returns this week with a fine rivalry. Perhaps being spiteful of Al Montoya's success on Long Island, the Rangers picked up former Isles-legend-to-be-hopeful, defenseman Bryan McCabe. McCabe (30 points in 53 games with FLA) will gel the young-core of Rangers blue-liners suited to anchor the Broadway Blues for years to come. It's their forwards that are concerning all of a sudden, as Marian Gaborik (concussion) is day-to-day, and Ruslan Fedetenko is back to mending. Not even five minutes into his return (4:55 of TOI) against the Capitals, Fedetenko may have re-injured his shoulder. The Flyers will be a week separated from a 4-1 loss to Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators of all teams. The Flyers matched the Rangers, by adding defenseman Nick Boynton off of waivers from Chicago. Additionally, defenseman, Chris Pronger (24 points in 46 games) is still listed as day-to-day. Philadelphia takes a commanding 4-0 series lead into Manhattan.

Other action Sunday, 3.6.2011: BUF@MIN|WAS@FLA|NAS@CAL|VAN@ANH|NJ@NYI

TEAM(S) TO FOCUS ON

Detroit Red Wings: I hate to say it -Jimmy Howard on both of my fantasy teams- but I think Andrew Fiorentino may be right. Howard, though already a 30-win goalie this season, has shown (four of more goals allowed 15 times) signs of inefficiency this season. Luckily for my fantasy teams, the Red Wings are a mere $600,000 under the cap, and likely to not make any moves. Most position player gaps have been filled by return from injury like Mike Modano. Detroit heads out West for pretty big road trip.

Combined 6-4-1 record this week against: @L.A.,ANH, S.J., PHO

New York Islanders: As I hesitantly sneered on last week's column, Al Montoya has filled the gap left by oft-injured Rick DiPietro, further sparking an Isles team who won nine of 14 games for the month of February. Montoya, has been solid, despite a 3-2 loss to the Caps this past Saturday, in seven games played, Montoya has stopped 274 of 296 shots behind a very shaky defense on the Island. More interestingly, I picked up 2 PIM and an assist this week thanks to the American born goalie. Mark Streit has resumed non-contact practice and Travis Hamonic (owned by 20% of CBS owners) has been a big part of the Islanders resurgence in February. Hamonic has scored three goals, eight assists and 62 PIM in the last 14 games. As for The Islanders attendance issues, they apparently have an old-school resolution for that. Free tickets to the rematch with the Penguins!

Combined 2-4 record this week against: @ WAS, vs. MIN, STL, NJ

Columbus Blue Jackets

Playing an enormous schedule that could have an impact on team morale for the rest of the season, Columbus has its hands full. Their 3-3-2 combined record against their three opponents makes for a very nervous week in Ohio's state capital. Columbus did claim Buffalo waiver-wire drop defenseman, Craig Rivet, who had three points in 23 games with the Sabres. If the Jackets are to pick up a few wins this week, it will take a boost from the power play unit, who is 3-25 this season against these three Northwest division teams.

Combined 3-3-2 record this week against: @VAN, EDM, CAL

MORE NOTES

Nine teams will play four games in the next seven days ... Daily league-kids will look for goalie-points with back-ups in Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Detroit, Florida, Minnesota, New York (Islanders), New York (Rangers) and Vancouver ... Back-up goalie points from Ty Conklin (St. Louis), Pascal Leclaire (Ottawa) and Curtis McElhinney (Tampa Bay) will be hard to come by as all three were placed on waivers this past weekend. Droppers beware of who may claim ... The Capitals haven't won more than five games in a month since November. Washington has claimed Kings reject Marco Sturm perhaps in hopes that Ovechkin and Semin can awaken his skills one last time ... What's this? By the time this article publishes, John-Michael Liles may be donning a different sweater. Early this season, Liles (39 points) was the d-man every fantasy owner needed, on the scoreboard, every night. Since December 3rd, Liles has registered only 16 of his 39 points. Since the trade that Peter Stastny labeled an organization setback, more-importantly, since his minus-6 against Calgary, Liles has six points in the last five games. If Liles does get traded to the right team, you could see combustion. Either way, Liles plays before Mike Green ... Speaking of Green, weekly owners have a decision to make as he is headed to Calgary for a death in the family ... Looking for a right-winger? Aside from a resurrected Craig Anderson, Ottawa right-wingers are something of a hot commodity right now. Erik Condra scored his first NHL goal, while Bobby Butler (after scoring five goals in as many games) has gone two games without a goal.

NATIONALLY TELEVISED SCHEDULE IN EST

VERSUS Feb. 28 -- Chicago at Minnesota, 8:00
VERSUS Mar 1 -- Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7:00
VERSUS Mar 2 -- Pittsburgh at Toronto, 7:00
NBC Mar 6 -- Philadelphia@ NY Rangers, 12:30

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

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Player News
Rocco Grimaldi
Panthers Send Grimaldi Back To AHL
Rocco Grimaldi, C, FLA
12:58 AM
News: Updating an earlier report, Rocco Grimaldi was reassigned to the San Antonio Rampage on Sunday, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
Analysis: After scoring his first career goal Saturday, Rocco Grimaldi is being sent back because some of Florida's regulars are becoming healthy. The 21-year-old will be left down in the minors unless more injuries pop up, but knowing how Dale Tallon likes to take his time with his prospects, expect him to continue developing in the AHL.

Ondrej Pavelec
Jets' Pavelec In Net Sunday
Ondrej Pavelec, G, WPG
12:37 AM
News: Ondrej Pavelec will start between the pipes against the Blues on Sunday, Brian Munz of TSN reports.
Analysis: Ondrej Pavelec continues to see nearly all of the starts in net for the Jets despite allowing four goals on 27 shots Thursday against the Red Wings. He enters Sunday's matchup with a 7-7-2 record with a .919 save percentage and 2.25 GAA over 18 games.

Jake Allen
Blues' Allen Starting Sunday
Jake Allen, G, STL
12:29 AM
News: Jake Allen will start in net against the Jets on Sunday, Brian Munz of TSN reports.
Analysis: Jake Allen allowed four goals on 30 shots Thursday against Montreal, ending his four-game winning streak. He will get a chance to start a new streak Sunday, facing the Jets in Winnipeg.

Andrej Nestrasil
Nestrasil Nabs Goal In Carolina Debut
Andrej Nestrasil, RW, CAR
12:12 AM
News: Andrej Nestrasil tallied a goal on one of his four shots in his Hurricanes debut Saturday against the Avalanche.
Analysis: The young forward was claimed off waivers from the Red Wings a couple days earlier and immediately played a vital role for this new team, skating for 13:41 as a member of the team's second line. His score capped a three-goal first period for the Hurricanes, chasing opposing goalie Reto Berra from the game before the Avs rallied for the comeback win.

Brett Bellemore
Canes' Bellemore Suffers Injury Saturday
Brett Bellemore, D, CAR
12:09 AM
News: Brett Bellemore left Saturday's game in the first period after he was checked into the boards and didn't return, the Associated Press reports.
Analysis: At the very least, it sounds like Brett Bellemore is experiencing some body soreness, if not something more severe. The Hurricanes figure to provide an update on his condition once they resume practicing, putting his status for Wednesday's game against the Panthers in question for the time being.

Kyle Clifford
Kings' Clifford Picks Up Two Points
Kyle Clifford, LW, LA
12:06 AM
News: Kyle Clifford assisted on two scores in Saturday's loss to the Stars.
Analysis: The 23-year-old still has only five points in 21 games this season, making it tough to get excited about Saturday's showing. He's worth a look in specialty formats only for those fishing for hits and PIM help.

Brian Campbell
Panthers' Campbell Tallies An Assist In Loss
Brian Campbell, D, FLA
12:04 AM
News: Brian Campbell was able to notch an assist in Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Predators.
Analysis: The assist gives him seven points (1G,6A) in the first 18 games of the season. After only putting two assists on the board in the month of October, he has had a solid month of November collecting one goal and four assists. Averaging 23:53 minutes of ice time per game ranks him 23rd in the NHL this season. Brian Campbell will always produce the majority of his points on the power play which is good news for fantasy owners who are awarded extra points for special teams points. He is only owned in 17% of ESPN leagues, so if his play continues to improve don't be surprised to see him on someone else's roster instead of the waiver wire.

Jarret Stoll
Points Trickling In For Kings' Stoll
Jarret Stoll, C, LA
12:00 AM
News: Jarret Stoll set up two goals and attempted three shots in Saturday's loss to the Stars.
Analysis: After going without a point in the Kings' first 12 games, Jarret Stoll now has contributed two goals and four assists over the last nine contests. The minor scoring burst probably isn't worth getting to worked up about while Stoll remains outside of a top-six role, but it does at least indicate that he still has it in him to pitch in offensively for the Kings.

Anthony Duclair
Rangers' Duclair Back On Scorer's Sheet
Anthony Duclair, LW, NYR
11/23/2014
News: Anthony Duclair collected an assist in 13 minutes of ice time in Sunday's win over Montreal.
Analysis: It's the 19-year-old's first point since the organization decided against sending him back to juniors, a stretch of six games. Anthony Duclair, who logged nearly two minutes of power play time, also collected two penalty minutes after a scrum with Habs defenseman P.K. Subban. Currently, the rookie has more promise than points (7 points) and until something changes the status quo, will likely mire in bottom-six minutes.

Chris Kreider
Rangers' Kreider Adds Two Assists In Win
Chris Kreider, LW, NYR
11/23/2014
News: Chris Kreider dished out a pair of helpers in Sunday's 5-0 win over the Canadiens.
Analysis: Chris Kreider snapped a pair of six game droughts in the win, recording his first career points against Montreal and getting back on the scoresheet for the first time since Nov. 8. He tied a season-high by firing off seven shots, so if he keeps shooting the goals will come eventually. With 12 points through 20 games, he should top last year's total of 37.

 
 
 
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