#1 Give 'em a Look
Next week is the final week of the regular and fantasy season for most poolies so it's time to finish with a bang... take a look at Erik Karlsson, the rookie dman from the Senators, he's seen his ice time really pick up since the Olympic break and the production has followed as he has 1+7=8, five PPP, eight PIMs and 11 shots in his last five games. At this time of year we're typically only looking at guys that are playing four games over the next week but we'll make an exception for Karlsson as the Sens finish with Carolina on Thursday, the Islanders Saturday and then a pretty easy FLA-TB-BUF three game week to close out the season. The rest of the guys below all play four games during the final week.
Others worth a look: Derek Roy (Buf – C), Milan Hejduk (Col - W), Tom Gilbert (Edm – D) and Chris Mason (StL – G)#2 Give 'em the Boot
Matt Stajan is a guy that the Flames brought in to be their #1 Cman and to hopefully get Jarome Iginla going... well, Jarome only has one goal in his last 11 games and Stajan only has 3+10=13 in 22 games with the Flames. He has proven to be ineffective on the PP, with only one PPA, and doesn't really chip in anywhere else (only two PIMs and 24 shots with the Flames). We don't think you'll need him next week as the Flames only play three times including SJ & Vancouver.
Others worth a boot: Mike Richards (Phi – C), Martin Erat (Nsh – W), Sami Salo (Van – D) and Tomas Vokoun (Fla – G)#3 Injury Concerns
Joe Thornton took a nasty & awkward spill into the boards on Saturday night and could have hurt his face, shoulder, knee or ankle... yes, it was that awkward. The official word is a lower-body injury but the rumour is that it's an ankle injury. It doesn't appear to be that serious as he's only listed as day-to-day but he hasn't skated with the team since. Look for the Sharks to take it slow and make sure that Thornton is well rested heading into the playoffs.#4 Crease Conflicts
Not really a conflict but it's intriguing nonetheless... Jonathan Quick has been struggling lately in LA (2-5-1, 3.00 gaa & .898 sv% over his last nine games) but back-up Erik Ersberg is not really the guy to be pushing him, so in a stroke of fate, Ersberg comes down with a bad back and the call goes out to uber-prospect Jonathan Bernier, who's been tearing up the AHL this year (2.07 gaa & .936 sv%). Bernier stepped in Tuesday and shutout the Predators in Nashville and is now expected to get a second straight start on Thursday vs Vancouver. Keep an eye on this as Bernier has the ability to go on a run that would make it impossible for the Kings to remove him from the net.#5 Hit the Links
This blog from NHL.com that provides a behind the scenes look at how the NHL's Central Scouting comes up with their final draft rankings. It's interesting... but could have been a lot more interesting if they actually shared some of the debates or dirt that was discussed... but this is an article from NHL.com, so you take what you can get.
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