The Ottawa Senators are struggling with injuries right now, and are a shell of what we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. If not for the stellar play of goalie Craig Anderson, who is 7-4-2 with a 1.61 Goals-Against-Average (GAA) and .948 save percentage, Ottawa’s head would not be above water. He also has two shutouts, which is second in the league only to Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators, who has three.
The biggest and most talked about injury is to arguably the best fantasy rearguard in the game, D Erik Karlsson. He had his leg sliced in a game last week against the Penguins, and he is out for at least six months following surgery to repair a lacerated Achilles tendon. If you’re in a non-keeper league, Karlsson should be dropped immediately. It’s a hard pill to swallow. Veteran D Sergei Gonchar is likely to see more responsibilities, but it remains to be seen if he can elevate his game to the level of years past. He has tailed off significantly since ’07-’08, when he had 66 points. Over the past two seasons, he only managed a combined 64 points, and only 12 goals.
Some options to think about if you need to fill the void on your fantasy roster include: Carolina Hurricanes D Jay Harrison, Columbus Blue Jackets D Jack Johnson and Fedor Tyutin, Dallas Stars D Stephane Robidas, Detroit Red Wings D Jonathan Ericsson and Pittsburgh Penguins D Simon Despres.
If you’re making late lineup changes, Senators W Milan Michalek (knee) will not play either Monday or Tuesday, which means he’d max out for two games in the upcoming week. If you’re in a cumulative league, keep him reserved. He might be worth a roll of the dice in those formats which average points per game in a scoring period, but even that’s a risky move.
Here is a team-by-team breakdown of the schedule for the upcoming week:
Team with five games (1): N.Y. Islanders
Teams with four games (15): Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg
Teams with three games (9): Buffalo, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, N.Y. Rangers, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis
Teams with two games (5): Anaheim, Boston, Dallas, Minnesota, Washington
MON: Nashville at Colorado (NHLN, 3:00pm ET), Carolina at Montreal (NHLN, 7:30pm ET)
TUE: San Jose at St. Louis (NBCSN, 8:00pm ET)
WED: Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (NBCSN, 7:30pm ET), St. Louis at Colorado (NBCSN, 10:00pm ET)
THU: Columbus at Detroit (NHLN, 7:30pm ET)
FRI: San Jose at Chicago (NHLN, 8:30pm ET)
SAT: New Jersey at Washington (NHLN, 12:00pm ET), Colorado at Los Angeles (NHLN, 4:00pm ET), N.Y. Rangers at Montreal (CBC, 7:00pm ET), Toronto at Ottawa (CBC, 7:00pm ET), Nashville at Detroit (NHLN, 7:00pm ET), Minnesota at Calgary (CBC, 10:00pm ET)
SUN: Boston at Florida (NHLN, 3:00pm ET), Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh (NBCSN, 7:30pm ET)
Carolina Hurricanes W Jeff Skinner (upper body) is battling the dreaded undisclosed upper body injury, and he did not practice Sunday or make the trip for Monday’s game in Montreal. If you’re a daily leaguer looking for a quick fix, or you play in leagues like DraftKings.com, check out W Andreas Nodl as a short-term solution.
Columbus Blue Jackets C Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) left Saturday’s game with what appeared to be a knee ailment. He has been showing some signs of life lately, piecing together a three-game point streak (1 G, 3 A) until going scoreless in the abbreviated appearance. It’s best to keep him reserved since there hasn’t been a lot of information coming out of Columbus about this injury.
Montreal Canadiens W Max Pacioretty (upper body) was injured by a skate Saturday against the Flyers, and he is a question mark for Monday’s game. The Habs are in line for four games, but it is a great idea to reserve him in all formats just to be on the safe side.
Nashville Predators W Patric Hornqvist (knee) might finally be ready to return after missing several weeks due to a knee injury, and the offense-starved Preds could really use his scoring ability. However, even though he returned to practice, he isn’t a certainty to play Monday. The Preds do have four games in the upcoming week, so if you like to roll the dice, he could pay huge dividends. But if he misses a game or two, he could really hurt fantasy owners. Therefore, it would be a good idea to let him prove his health in a full game or two first before plugging him back in.