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Right on Schedule: Eriksson's Star on the rise

by | Rotowire.com
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Of the four teams playing only twice this week, it seems Niklas Backstrom (3-2-2) and the Minnesota Wild (3-2-3) have the least favorable Fantasy setup, drawing only two games with Anaheim (4-2) and Detroit (5-1).

Tyler Seguin (3 goals, 6 assists, plus-7) has two goals and two assists in his last two games but Boston's week is compact. The Bruins' (3-5) week consists of a traditional home-and-home series with the Canadiens.

The NHL's only unbeaten team, Washington (7-0), plays only two games in Edmonton and Vancouver.

Meanwhile, division cellar-dwelling Calgary (2-4-1) has Colorado (6-2-0) and St. Louis (4-4-0).

The Grid

GP = Games Played
B2B = Back-to-Back games
H = Home
A = Away
GPNW = Games Played Next Week

NHL schedule

Play Like the Lotto (playing four games)

Florida (4-3) hits the road for the first three of four games this week. They announced this past Saturday that the personnel would be a bit different. Vancouver Canucks get: LW David Booth (A, minus-6), C Steve Reinprecht and a (2013) third-round draft pick. Florida Panthers get: Marco Sturm (0 points, minus-5) and Mikael Samuelsson (1 G, 2 A, plus-1). Later that night, Jose Theodore left the game (DTD) with a “cramping” issue and watched on as Jacob Markstrom earned his first NHL win, 4-2 over the Islanders. Is Kris Veesterg (4 G, 4 A, plus-2 ) available in your FA pool? He seems to be jostling himself of slumps quicker.

Columbus, the league's worst team (0-7-1), has arguably the hardest (vs. DET @BUF, CHI vs. ANH) four-game week ahead.

Ottawa, flip-flops (@CAR vs. FLA @NYR vs. TOR) during a four-game week.

Outside of Northeast-leading Toronto (5-1-1), Philadelphia enjoys a favorable schedule against Montreal (1-4-2), Winnipeg (2-4-1) and Carolina (3-3-2).

Anaheim heads to the heart of the country for four games (@CHI, MIN, NSH, CLS).

While Edmonton enjoys three games at home this week, all four Oilers' games (vs. VAN, WAS, @COL, vs. STL) look to be demanding on either goalie they may start. The NKOTB team of Hockey is fresh off a 2-0 win over travel team, the New York Rangers.

Call me a schmuck, but a draft oversight cost me Jack Johnson (3, 2, plus-4) in a deal for Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov (3-2, .936 save percentage) snagged me a shootout win (4 GA) in the goalie column Saturday. Then I called myself a schmuck as I watched Johnson break a tightly played scoreless game between the Stars and Kings. This kind of behavior could go on all season ... is there a Fantasy pill for buyer's remorse? Los Angeles (5-1-1) plays host to New Jersey, before three white jersey nights with Dallas, Phoenix, Colorado.

After a two-goal performance in Saturday's 5-4 loss to Toronto, Travis Moen (one assist) now has four goals on 12 shots in seven games. The third line nine-year veteran, entering his fourth season with the Habs is nearly halfway to breaking his career-best (11) for goals in a season. With Michael Cammalleri (two goals in five games) and the amazing Max Pacioretty (second in NHL SOG) ahead of Moen, he likely will not see an increase in ice time. Montreal will look to change their luck with three of their four at home, including the aforementioned home-and-home against Boston.

Reading Between the Lines (playing three games)

Can you imagine if James Neal (first in NHL SOG) and Jamie Benn (2 G, 5 A, plus-5) were still playing for the same team? Both Pittsburgh (@NYI vs. NYI @TOR) and Dallas (@PHO, vs. LA NJ) head into the week hoping to cement their positions as conference leaders. Although Los Angeles (5-1-1) snapped his five-game point streak, Stars leader Loui Eriksson (5 G, 2 A, plus-4) may be awakening. Mike Ribeiro (six points in 8 games) is starting off a lot like last year. Even back up, Andrew Raycroft looked good in the loss to Jonathan Quick (3 SO's in a row) and Anze Kopitar (4 G, 6 A, plus-5). If Kari Lehtonen's (6-0) back holds up for another full campaign, they may keep the steam until April.

Tobias Enstrom (G, 3 A) is officially out-producing Dustin Byfuglien (G, 2 A). Was someone saying something about switching Buff back to right-wing? Anything to get this high-draftee going. After beating (2-1) visitor Pittsburgh last week, a big risk and big reward situations is still awaiting for Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec has a difficult (vs. NYR @PHI, TB) schedule, as his under-whelming win-less Jets offense (0-3-1) is on the road. If anyone is going to take over for this Winnipeg squad, it needs to initiated by their goalie. Later that night Pavelec (two goals on five shots) was yanked in the first period of Saturday's game against Carolina. Would this be happening in Quebec? Chris Mason anyone?

Truly, it gives me a headache trying to gauge who on a team of young Blues will take the reins of leadership. I have already stashed T.J. Oshie (G, 3 A), Patrik Berglund (2 G, 2 A) and Alex Steen (3 G, 3 A) with late draft-picks and it's beginning to yield a few points. Alex Steen has a point in six of his eight games this season. But it was Matt D'Agostini (4 G, A, plus-7) who invaded the slot for an O.T. game-winner against Carolina this past Friday. Oshie scored his first goal of the season as St. Louis 4-2 in Philadelphia the following night. St. Louis endures a three-game road-trip against the mediocre Canucks, Flames and Oilers.

A goal, three assists and 11 shots on goal isn't exactly living up to the hype for Matt Duchene. But the Avs may have staying power nonetheless. Kyle Quincey (G, 3 A, 25 SOG) continues his productive way return to the lineup. The Avs have an interesting (@CGY, vs. EDM, LA) schedule ahead.

San Jose's Logan Couture scored his first goal in a 4-2 road win against Boston. Will Joe Pavelski, two goals, two assists, plus-4 in the last two games, continue his uptick on the road versus the Predators, Red Wings and Islanders?

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Player News
Chris Kelly
Bruins' Kelly Still Out
Chris Kelly, C, BOS
11:54 AM
News: Chris Kelly (back) will not play Sunday against the Red Wings, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports.
Analysis: With Daniel Paille also unavailable Sunday, Justin Florek and Jordan Caron are slated to remain in the Bruins' forward mix Sunday against Detroit.

Daniel Paille
Bruins' Paille Remains Out
Daniel Paille, LW, BOS
11:52 AM
News: Daniel Paille (undisclosed injury) will not play Sunday against the Red Wings, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports.
Analysis: Neither will fellow forward Chris Kelly, which paves the way for Justin Florek and Jordan Caron to remain in the Bruins' mix up front for Sunday's Game 2 against Detroit.

Brent Seabrook
Blackhawks' Seabrook Suspended Three Games
Brent Seabrook, D, CHI
11:36 AM
News: Brent Seabrook was handed a three-game suspension Sunday for his illegal hit on the Blues' David Backes during Saturday's Game 2, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Analysis: Brent Seabrook was immediately ejected following the hit, and with Blues coach Ken Hitchcock sounding pessimistic about Backes' chances of being available for Game 3, the league office moved quickly to keep Seabrook off the ice as well. It's a big loss for the Blackhawks, as Seabrook had provided two points in each of the first two games of the series. They'll now be without his services until Game 6 while they try to overcome a 2-0 series deficit.

Matt Bartkowski
Bruins' Bartkowski Out For Game 2
Matt Bartkowski, D, BOS
11:02 AM
News: Matt Bartkowski (illness) will not be in the lineup for Sunday's Game 2 against the Red Wings, CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty reports.
Analysis: Matt Bartkowski will now miss the first two games of the series with the illness, as Kevan Miller draws in on defense in his stead.

Nick Foligno
Blue Jackets' Foligno Skates Saturday
Nick Foligno, LW, CLB
10:19 AM
News: Nick Foligno (knee) was able to skate on his own after Saturday's morning session, Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Analysis: Coach Todd Richards said afterwards that he hopes to have Nick Foligno available for Monday's Game 3. He's missed the Blue Jackets' last seven games with the injury.

Brenden Dillon
Stars' Dillon Officially Out Monday
Brenden Dillon, D, DAL
10:14 AM
News: Brenden Dillon (lower body) will not rejoin the Stars' lineup for Monday's Game 3 against the Ducks, NHL.com's Mark Stepneski reports.
Analysis: Brenden Dillon was able to skate before Sunday's practice, but it still looks like he's going to need some more time to recover from the lower-body injury. With the Stars already in a 2-0 hole in the series, it's possible we may not see Dillon again this season if the Ducks are able to clinch over the final two games.

Marcel Goc
Pens' Goc Skates Sunday
Marcel Goc, C, PIT
10:12 AM
News: Marcel Goc (foot) skated with the healthy scratches of Saturday's Game 2 during Sunday's optional session.
Analysis: While the activity is encouraging, the fact that Marcel Goc has yet to partake in a full practice since sustaining the injury would suggest he won't be available for Monday's Game 3. He could be eyeing a return later in the series.

Brian Gibbons
Pens Call Gibbons Day-To-Day
Brian Gibbons, C, PIT
10:10 AM
News: Coach Dan Bylsma said Brian Gibbons (undisclosed) is being considered day-to-day.
Analysis: Bylsma didn't provide much illumination on the status of Brian Gibbons, who was removed from Saturday's Game 2 in the second period with the undisclosed ailment. His two first-period goals but the Penguins in control of the game early, but the team ultimately surrendered the lead in the third period before losing in double overtime.

Travis Moen
Habs' Moen Takes Part In Drills Sunday
Travis Moen, LW, MON
9:41 AM
News: Travis Moen (concussion) took part in puck battle drills during Sunday's morning skate, John Lu of TSN Montreal reports.
Analysis: It's another sign of progress for Travis Moen as he recovers from his concussion, creating the possibility that he may be able to return before the series with the Lighting comes to a close. Consider him questionable for Tuesday's Game 4.

Brandon Dubinsky
Jackets' Dubinsky Makes An Impact Saturday
Brandon Dubinsky, C, CLB
8:07 AM
News: Brandon Dubinsky was all over the score sheet Saturday, picking up an assist on Matt Calvert's game winner in the second OT period while recording nine shots, eight hits (both team highs) and four PIMs.
Analysis: He did this while being asked to blanket Sidney Crosby, a job he also did very well. Brandon Dubinsky has become the Blue Jackets' heart and soul, and if they pull off the first round upset and make any noise this postseason, he'll be at the center of the action.

 
 
 
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