Varlamov in hot water

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Varlamov in hot water
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Michael Finewax reports on the violence in hockey off the ice with Semyon Varlamov in The Week Ahead

While the usual talk in hockey is the violence on the ice, it takes a back seat to the violence off the ice this week, namely the allegations against Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

It's a shame what is going on in Denver as Varlamov turned himself into police on Wednesday evening and he spent the night in jail after not being granted bail.

Varlamov had a domestic dispute with his girlfriend and I'm not going to go into the details but if you are interested, here is the arrest warrant and affidavit, courtesy of The Denver Post.  

The Russian news media has entered the fray, stating that the charges are untrue and it is a plot to keep Varlamov out of the Olympics.

In any case, stay tuned as this story is far from over.

By the way, Varlamov is an outstanding 7-1-0 with a 1.74 GAA and a .945 save percentage. While it’s impossible to keep up these numbers, it will be interesting to see how far he drops with a likely impending court case in his future.

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Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

Now to The Week Ahead.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 4-10

4 Games - Anaheim, Edmonton, Florida, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg

3 Games–Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Jose

2 Games – Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto

Edmonton, the New York Islanders and Vancouver play all four games on the road.

Buffalo, Calgary, Florida and Nashville play three games on the road.

Anaheim, Boston, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, the New York Rangers and Winnipeg play three games at home.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $3,000 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Friday). It's just $10 to join and first prize is $600. Starts at 7pm ET. Here's the link.

INJURIES

Tyler Bozak is out day-to-day with a lower body injury. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

 ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Phoenix, vs. Buffalo, vs. Vancouver

Notes

It's a real anomaly this week as the Ducks will be the rested team three times. They are rested Wednesday when they host Phoenix who are home to Vancouver on Tuesday and are rested Friday and Sunday against Buffalo and Vancouver respectively who play the Kings in Los Angeles on the previous night. The Ducks have lost Teemu Selanne for a couple of weeks as he needed dental surgery for some lost teeth and needed 40 stitches. In addition to Selanne, the Ducks are missing Saku Koivu and Jakob Silfverberg.  Expect to see Kyle Palmieri get a shot on the second line. Viktor Fasth is still out of action so Frederik Andersen is backing up Jonas Hiller.

BOSTON

Games this week

vs. Dallas, vs. Florida, vs. Toronto

Notes

The Bruins are rested on Saturday when they are home to the Toronto Maple Leafs who are home to New Jersey Friday. Milan Lucic is off to a great start with six goals and 12 points in his first 12 games. He also has 14 penalty minutes. Jarome Iginla has goals in his each of his last three games. David Krejci has picked up where he left off in the playoffs as he has two goals and 12 points in 12 games after leading the playoffs in scoring in 2013. Loui Eriksson, the valued player the Bruins received from Dallas in exchange for Tyler Seguin, is out with a concussion. Jordan Caron is seeing extra playing time with Eriksson out.

BUFFALO

Games this week

@ St. Jose, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

Notes

The Sabres continue their California trip with all three games in the Golden State this week. They are the tired team Friday in Anaheim after playing in Los Angles Thursday. John Scott received seven games for his hit to the head on Loui Eriksson. It was a hefty suspension for a first time offender but well deserved. The Sabres dealt Thomas Vanek, a player they were not going to be able to re-sign as he was in the last year of his contract, and picked up Matt Moulson, a first rounder in 2014 that is protected for the first ten picks (otherwise it’s a first rounder in 2015) and a second round pick in 2015. They will likely deal Moulson near the trade deadline and will likely be able to get a very good prospect or more draft picks. Moulson will play with Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ Minnesota, @ St. Louis, @ Colorado

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights so look for Karri Ramo and Joey MacDonald to get one start each with the better goalkeeper getting the other start. The Flames are the tired team Friday in Colorado after playing the Blues in St. Louis Thursday. Mikael Backlund was a healthy scratch on Wednesday for the first time this season. The Flames have some injury problems with captain Mark Giordano out of action for six-eight weeks with a broken ankle and Lee Stempniak indefinitely with a broken foot. Coach Bob Hartley thinks a lot of T.J. Brodie and wants him to expect more from himself. Hartley thinks that Brodie has the capability to be one of the best defensemen in the NHL.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, vs. New York Islanders, vs. Minnesota

Notes

Jeff Skinner and Radek Dvorak were placed on the injured reserve list Thursday and join Cam Ward who will miss two-four weeks with a lower body injury. A good news story in that Manny Malhotra, who lost some vision in one eye when struck by a puck a few years ago, was signed to a one-year, two-way contract by the Hurricanes. He will definitely help in the face off dot. Anton Khudobin is still not ready to play so the Hurricanes are relying on Justin Peters between the pipes.  Skinner still leads the team in points with nine, one ahead of Eric Staal. Jordan Staal has been a big disappointment offensively with a goal and three points in 12 games.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Dallas vs. Edmonton

Notes

The Chicago Blackhawks had a great backup last season in Ray Emery but he moved on to Philadelphia and they inked Nikolai Khabibulin to a one-year deal. Well it certainly has not worked out this season as Khabibulin is 1-0-1 with a 4.74 GAA and a .818 save percentage. By the way, Emery was 17-1-0 with a 1.94 GAA and a .922 save percentage last season. Patrick Sharp has only two goals in 13 games but does have six assists. Brandon Pirri has moved up to the second line with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad and responded with two assists Monday. Marian Hossa has five goals and 10 points after a one goal, two assist effort on Tuesday but has only one assist on the power play.

COLORADO

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. Calgary, vs. Washington

Notes

The Avalanche play two games this week in which they are the rested team. It starts on Friday as they face the Flames who are in St. Louis Thursday night. The Avs take on the tired Capitals Sunday as they are in Phoenix Saturday. The big news of the week is the arrest of goaltender Semyon Varlamov for kidnapping and assault.  He was released from jail Thursday morning and will be allowed to travel with the team as the district attorney is deciding whether or not to lay charges. You have to wonder how this is going to affect him. Jean-Sebastien Giguere should pick up more fantasy value as a result. The Avalanche then dealt Steve Downie to the Flyers in exchange for Maxime Talbot. Talbot will be good for the young Avs as he brings a veteran presence and a winning presence to the club. Matt Duchene is tied for third in the NHL in goals with nine.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Ottawa, vs. New York Rangers, vs. New York Islanders

Notes

The Blue Jackets will be rested on Thursday when they face the Rangers in Columbus as New York are home to Pittsburgh Wednesday. Boone Jenner will be out double digit days with a leg injury. Marian Gaborik leads the Blue Jackets in goals and points with five and 10 respectively. Columbus has not had a captain since they dealt Rick Nash to the Rangers in the summer of 2012. Brandon Dubinsky has been a fantasy gem in the last five games with two goals, five points, 28 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating and that includes a power play goal. Both of Jack Johnson's goals this season have come on the power play.

DALLAS

Games this week

@ Boston, @ Detroit, vs. Chicago

Notes

Sergei Gonchar has only one point in 12 games thus far. It certainly was not what they paid $10 million over two years for as they thought he could quarterback their power play. Ryan Garbutt is eligible to return on November 3 from his five game suspension for his hit on Dustin Penner. Tyler Seguin has five goals and 12 points in 12 games while Antoine Roussel leads the Stars and is third in the NHL in penalty minutes with 50. He has two assists in 12 games but expect 20-25 points this season from him. He averages 11:35 minutes per game so the Stars are playing him a lot in all situations.

DETROIT

Games this week

@ Winnipeg, vs. Dallas, vs. Tampa Bay

Notes

The Red Wings finish their Western Canada swing on Monday in Winnipeg before returning home for a couple of games. Coach Mike Babcock is showing a lot of faith in rookie defenseman Dan DeKeyser as he has him playing on the top defensive pairing alongside Niklas Kronwall. DeKeyser played 26:42 minutes on Wednesday and the game did not go into overtime.  Daniel Alfredsson is fitting in nicely on the Red Wings as he has 11 points in 13 games. Johan Franzen has not had a good start with two goals and five points in 12 games. The duo of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were back together after being split up last week.

EDMONTON

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ Philadelphia, @ Chicago

Notes

The Oilers play all four games on the road this week and also play three games in four nights so look for the netminding to be split. Right now Devan Dubnyk is out with a minor ankle sprain so the Oilers recalled Richard Bachman from the minors on an emergency basis. He has been their best goalie thus far in only two games but Edmonton could recall him once they send him down so Jason LaBarbera's job could be in jeopardy. The Oilers welcomed Sam Gagner back this past week after he had missed the first 13 games with a broken jaw. Nail Yakupov finally scored and has three points in his past six games. While it doesn't seem like much, Yakupov went his first six games without a point before being a healthy scratch for a couple of games.

FLORIDA

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Boston, @ Ottawa, @ New York Rangers

Notes

The Panthers play three games in four nights this week so look for Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen to split the net if Tim Thomas remains on the shelf with an ankle injury. They are the tired team on Sunday against the Rangers in New York as they are in Ottawa Saturday. Ed Jovanovski practiced on Thursday and could be ready to return after playing in only six games last season and none thus far this year due to a wonky hip.  Jonathan Huberdeau thinks he should have more than five points in 12 games as he is getting plenty of chances to score. He won the Calder Trophy last season so he could be worth picking up in most pools.

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Vancouver

Notes

After a good start to the season, Dustin Brown has gone 10 games without finding the back of the net. He should get on a hot streak soon. Justin Williams on the other hand, got off to a slow start but has three goals and five assists in his last six games. Drew Doughty already has four goals in 14 games after scoring only six times in 48 games last season. Jonathan Quick is one of the best goalies in the NHL but his save percentage over the last two seasons is nothing to write home about as he finished with a .903 save percentage in October and had a .902 all last season. Anze Kopitar has two goals in his last four games after going 27 games, dating back to last season, without getting one past a goalkeeper.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

vs. Calgary, @ Washington, @ Carolina

Notes

Jonas Brodin suffered a broken jaw on October 22 but is now practicing and could be back in the Wild lineup this week. Coach Mike Yeo split up Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu for the first time since Parise signed as an unrestricted free agent during the 2012 off-season. The lines could be Parise, Charlie Coyle (coming back after missing 11 games) and Dany Heatley with Koivu centering Kyle Brodziak and Nino Niederreiter but as you should be aware, lines change from shift-to-shift nevermind game-to-game. The Wild are still considering whether or not to keep Mathew Dumba who has played in nine games thus far. One more game this season burns up one year of his entry level deal so they could keep him in the press box for a bit before deciding whether or not to keep him or send him back to the WHL.

MONTREAL

Games this week

vs. St. Louis, @ Ottawa, vs. New York Islanders

Notes

The Canadiens will be rested on Sunday when they host the Islanders as New York will be in Columbus Saturday. George Parros is slated to return on November from a concussion that has kept him out of the lineup since opening night. Max Pacioretty is also due to comeback on the weekend as he has missed the last seven games with a hamstring injury. Alexei Emelin has missed all season recovering from off-season knee surgery but is a couple of weeks ahead of schedule and could return shortly. He signed a four-year/$16.4 million contract so the Canadiens should soon start to negotiate with their top blueliner P.K. Subban who should command a lot more money than that after settling for a two-year bridge contract 10 months ago. The Habs lead the NHL in blocked shots with 243.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ Colorado, @ Winnipeg, @ New Jersey

Notes

Apparently the hip infection suffered by Pekka Rinne was very serious and it looks like he will be out at least one month trying to recover. Carter Hutton will now get the first crack at starting with Magnus Hellberg as his backup. Viktor Stalberg returned to the Nashville lineup on Thursday after being a healthy scratch the previous two games but the Predators prized off-season pick up is still pointless this season. Roman Josi played for the first time since suffering a concussion on October 4 but lost his spot alongside Shea Weber as Josi played with Kevin Klein while Weber teamed up with rookie sensation Seth Jones. Filip Forsberg has a goal and four points in nine games, all on the power play. He was a healthy scratch Thursday.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

@ Philadelphia, @ Toronto, vs. Nashville

Notes

New Jersey will be tired Friday in Toronto as they face a rested Maple Leafs squad after playing the Flyers in Philadelphia Thursday. They play three games in four nights but with the status of Cory Schneider still up in the air due to a lower body injury, look for Martin Brodeur to get one or two starts while Schneider will hopefully be ready to go. If not, Keith Kinkaid will back up Brodeur. It was thought that Jaromir Jagr had set an NHL record with his 119th game winning goal but a further check back into the record books determined that Gordie Howe had 121. The discrepancy occurred due to the fact that the NHL's records for game-winning goals only date back to 1967-68 while Howe, whose career ended in the 1979-80 season, started his NHL career in 1946. Bryce Salvador suffered a none-displaced fracture in his foot and is expected to miss another week.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

@ Washington, @ Carolina, @ Columbus, @ Montreal

Notes

The Islanders play four road games this week including three games in four nights so look for Kevin Poulin to play at least once in favor of Evgeni Nabokov. The Islanders will be the tired team on Sunday when they in Montreal after taking on the Blue Jackets in Columbus Saturday. The Islanders pulled off a major deal this week when they picked up Thomas Vanek from the Sabres. The price was high as they gave up Matt Moulson (who apparently they were not interested in signing long-term), a first round pick this season that is protected for the first ten selections and a second rounder in 2015. Vanek is a goal scorer and will be teamed with John Tavares on the top line. Frans Nielsen had a four game scoring streak halted on Tuesday after he scored four goals and eight points in those four contests.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Columbus, vs. Florida

Notes

The Rangers play three games in four nights this week so look for Cameron Talbot to play once for Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers will be the tired team on Sunday against the rested Panthers as New York will take on the Blue Jackets in Columbus Saturday. There is still nothing new to report on Rick Nash who has been out since October 8 with a concussion. It certainly seems like a serious one given that there is no news. The Rangers defense and goaltending has come around as New York has given up only 12 goals in their last seven games. Brad Richards continues to lead the Rangers in points with nine in 12 games while Michael Del Zotto has picked up points in each of his last two games after starting the season pointless in his first eight games.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

@ Columbus, vs. Montreal, vs. Florida

Notes

The Senators sent Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the minors after deeming him good enough to make the team out of training camp. He only had one goal however in the regular season but should be back at some point this season. The highly-regarded Mika Zibanejad has three points in four games and was moved up to the second line alongside Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur. Erik Karlsson feels that the expectations piled upon him are unrealistic after his outstanding 2011-12 season in which he led all NHL defensemen with 78 points including 59 assists. He does have three goals and 11 points in 12 games so he is close to that pace. Craig Anderson is in a bit of a slump as he has allowed 13 goals in his last three games. Robin Lehner will get the start on November 1 with Anderson starting once again on the weekend.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ Carolina, vs. New Jersey, vs. Edmonton

Notes

The Flyers traded Maxime Talbot on Thursday to the Colorado Avalanche and picked up agitator Steve Downie in return. Downie was originally Philadelphia property as the Flyers drafted him in the first round in 2005. He will get plenty of penalty minutes and has a chance at 50 points if he is on the top line alongside Claude Giroux. Giroux has yet to score a goal this season but after going pointless in his first six games, he has six assists in his last six games. The Flyers are 3-8-0 this season and have been terrible in the third period as they have been outscored 14-5. Steve Mason has been a very pleasant surprise as he is only 3-6-0 but has a 2.25 GAA and a .928 save percentage.

PHOENIX

Games this week

vs. Vancouver, @ Anaheim, vs. Washington

Notes

The Coyotes will be the tired team on Wednesday in Anaheim after hosting the Canucks Tuesday. Brandon Gormley is set to make his NHL debut after being drafted 13th overall in the 2010 Draft. The defenseman had five assists in seven AHL games. I like him but rookie defensemen usually struggle at first so leave him on the waiver wire in deeper leagues.  Shane Doan has four goals and eight points in 13 games. Radim Vrbata leads the Coyotes in points with 12 but Martin Hanzal has been their best fantasy player up front with 11 points and 19 penalty minutes. Although his 2.97 GAA leaves a lot to be desired, Mike Smith is 7-2-2 with a .912 save percentage.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, @ St. Louis

Notes

The Penguins play only twice this week but do not reserve Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang in weekly transaction leagues. Beau Bennett has been skating on his own and his return from a lower body injury cannot be too far off. Matt D'Agostini is getting second line time alongside Malkin but that will change once James Neal returns to the lineup. Neal has been out since the first game of the season but is starting to work out and could be back in the Pittsburgh lineup in three weeks barring a setback. Robert Scuderi has been a huge part of the defense with his play in his own end but is gone indefinitely with a broken ankle. Chuck Kobasew, who started the season off with two goals in his first two games, is out three-four weeks with a lower body injury.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

@ Montreal, vs. Calgary, vs. Pittsburgh

Notes

Alexander Steen leads the NHL in goals with 11. Magnus Paajarvi has been a disappointment thus far as the Blues gave up David Perron to acquire him. Paajarvi has been a healthy scratch frequently in the early going and now is on the injured reserve list as he has an upper body injury. He has no points in four games. Jordan Leopold is without a point in his first 10 games this season. He had 13 goals and 35 points in 2010-11 so I'm sure he was selected in deeper pools. Maxim Lapierre finished his five game suspension on Tuesday and will be in the lineup this week. Brenden Morrow is out of action with a rib injury and will be re-evaluated on Monday.  

SAN JOSE

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Vancouver, @ Winnipeg

Notes

Marc-Edouard Vlasic has been a gem fantasy-wise early on with three goals and 10 points in 13 games. The defenseman had only three goals and seven points last season in 48 games. Martin Havlat is back after missing the start of the season as he had off-season pelvic surgery. He currently is not a top-six forward and after an 18 point season in 2013, I recommend waiting on taking him in your fantasy pool. Dan Boyle could return this week as he has started practicing with the team after suffering an upper body injury when hit by Maxim Lapierre. Brent Burns is still out of action but is skating. He has four goals and eight points in eight games with a plus-nine rating and if he is defenseman-eligible in your fantasy pool, he is a huge asset.    

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, @ Detroit

Notes

The Lightning play only twice this week so consider benching everyone with the exception of Steve Stamkos and Martin St. Louis in weekly transaction pools. Stamkos was the player of the week with three goals and seven points in three games. Sami Salo is considering one more season as the 39-year-old has been relatively healthy in the last two seasons. The Lightning recalled former first round pick Brett Connolly. He was selected sixth overall in 2010 so he should be worth looking at in deep pools. Radko Gudas had a game misconduct rescinded by the NHL on Sunday. He is second in penalty minutes with 55 and has a goal and four points as well. Ben Bishop is 7-2-0 this season with a 2.41 GAA and a .914 save percentage and is miles ahead of his backup Anders Lindback who is 1-2-0 with a 3.48 GAA and a .864 save percentage.

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, @ Boston

Notes

The Maple Leafs play twice this week and are the rested team on Friday when they host New Jersey who take on the Flyers in Philadelphia the previous night. The tables are turned on Saturday as the tired Leafs take on a rested Bruins team in Boston. Phil Kessel had five goals and an assist in three games to earn the second star of the week. The Maple Leafs are a surprising 10-4 when you take into account that they have been outshot in 12 of the 14 games they have played. Tremendous goaltending by Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer have been the big reason why they are so good. James van Riemsdyk is on a five game scoring streak and has two goals and seven points in that time. If Kessel finishes in the top-ten in scoring this season he will be the first Maple Leaf to do so for three straight years since Darryl Sittler in the late 70's. If he can finish in the top seven, he will be the first Toronto player to do so for three years in a row since Frank Mahovlich in the early 1960's.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

 @ Phoenix, @ San Jose, @ Los Angeles, @ Anaheim

Notes

The Canucks play all four on the road including three games in four nights so Eddie Lack should get the net once in place of Roberto Luongo. The Canucks will be the tired team on Sunday in Anaheim after playing the Kings in Los Angeles Saturday. John Tortorella is playing the heck out of his top line of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler as the trio saw more ice time in their last game than top defenseman in minutes, Alexander Edler. David Booth is out of action for a week or two with a lower body injury while Dale Weise is out three-four weeks with the same dreaded lower body injury.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

vs. New York Islanders, vs. Minnesota, @ Phoenix, @ Colorado

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights so look for Michal Neuvirth to get one start in place of Braden Holtby. Washington will be the tired team on Sunday in Colorado after taking on the Coyotes in Phoenix Saturday. Alex Ovechkin is currently out of action with an upper body injury. Eric Fehr will take over his spot on the first power play while Ovechkin heals. Coach Adam Oates has split up his top blueline pairing of Mike Green and John Carlson and will have Karl Alzner partner with Carlson. Mikhail Grabovski is on a four game point streak. He is the only Washington forward with a plus rating as he is plus-two. Steve Oleksy is the only other regular Capital on the plus side of the ledger at plus-one. Michael Latta was recalled by the Capitals and he may be of fantasy use if you need help in the penalty minute category.

WINNIPEG

Games this week

vs. Detroit, @ Chicago, vs. Nashville, vs. San Jose

Notes

Rookie Jacob Trouba has not started skating since injuring his neck two weeks ago. There is no timetable for his return. Tobias Enstrom shocked many by stating that he does not want to play for Sweden in the Olympics, stating that he wants to devote his time to helping the Jets make the playoffs by resting his body during the 17 day break in February. Dustin Byfuglien has yet to score a goal this season in 14 games but does have nine assists and 20 penalty minutes. Paul Postma was placed on the injured reserve list with blood clots and is unlikely to play for at least a few months. Rookie Mark Scheifele has only a goal and three points in 14 games with a minus-two rating and no penalty minutes. His ice time has gone down considerably from a high of over 22 minutes at the start of the season, to just 10:31 Tuesday and 7:39 Saturday. Blake Wheeler scored on the power play Tuesday and it was the Jets first goal in their last 27 chances with the man-advantage.

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