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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
Gabriel Landeskog
Avs' Landeskog Picks Up 10 PIM In Loss
Gabriel Landeskog, LW, COL
12:38 PM
News: Gabriel Landeskog was held pointless Saturday, but he picked up 10 PIM in a loss to the Wild.
Analysis: Gabriel Landeskog, who has recorded six goals in his last nine games, also fired three shots on goal in Saturday's loss. Landeskog is impressing right now and considering the top-line forward has racked up 65 PIM on the season, he makes for a good all-around fantasy option.

Cody McLeod
Avs' McLeod Tagged For 17 PIM In Loss
Cody McLeod, LW, COL
12:35 PM
News: Cody McLeod was dinged for 17 PIM in Saturday's loss to the Wild.
Analysis: A spirited outing from Cody McLeod, who now has a whopping 167 PIM this season -- second-most in the NHL. While he's only produced nine points in 63 games, the 30-year-old piles up the PIM, making him worth owning in deep specialty leagues.

Justin Fontaine
WIld's Fontaine Pots Game-Winner Vs. Avs
Justin Fontaine, RW, MIN
12:28 PM
News: Justin Fontaine scored the game-winning goal Saturday against Colorado.
Analysis: Justin Fontaine has been productive of late, compiling three goals and nine points in his last eight games. He's now got eight goals, 22 points and a plus-11 rating in 52 games on the season. He can be trusted in some very deep leagues, but considering he averages just 11:32 of ice time, the bottom-six forward doesn't hold much fantasy value.

Erik Haula
Wild's Haula Records Multi-Point Game
Erik Haula, LW, MIN
12:21 PM
News: Erik Haula recorded his second straight multi-point game Saturday, scoring his seventh goal of the season and picking up an assist in a win over Colorado.
Analysis: While he's been hot these past two game, Erik Haula had recorded just one point in his previous 15 games. Considering he skates on the fourth line and has just 12 points in 55 games on the season, the 23-year-old currently only has fantasy value in the deepest of leagues.

Semyon Varlamov
Avs' Varlamov Gives Up Three Goals In Loss
Semyon Varlamov, G, COL
12:14 PM
News: Semyon Varlamov gave up three goals on 32 shots in Saturday's loss to the Wild.
Analysis: Semyon Varlamov has now given up at least three goals in each of his last four games. The 26-year-old owns a 19-17-7 record on the season with a .917 save percentage and 2.69 GAA. He may be struggling a little right now, but he's played in a whopping 43 games and is the go-to-guy in Colorado. He'll rebound soon.

Devan Dubnyk
Dubnyk Leads Wild Past Avs
Devan Dubnyk, G, MIN
12:10 PM
News: Devan Dubnyk was outstanding once again Saturday, stopping 33 of 34 shots in a win over Colorado.
Analysis: Devan Dubnyk has won five of his last six games, allowing two goals or less in each of those contests. He's also suffered just two regulation losses in his last 16 games played. Simply remarkable. He's an automatic roll every game.

Mark Stone
Sens' Stone Scores 15th Goal In Win
Mark Stone, RW, OTT
2:29 AM
News: Mark Stone potted his 15th goal of the season and had an assist in Saturday's win over the Sharks.
Analysis: Mark Stone has recorded two goals and six points in his last five games, giving him 39 points and a plus-11 rating in 58 games on the season. Skating on a line with Kyle Turris, the 22-year-old is an emerging fantasy threat and is worth adding while the Senators are hot.

Mike Hoffman
Sens' Hoffman Records Three Points In Win
Mike Hoffman, LW, OTT
2:24 AM
News: Mike Hoffman scored twice and added a helper in Saturday's win over San Jose.
Analysis: Mike Hoffman has recorded at least one point in all but two of his last 13 games and has scored six goals in his last eight games. He's simply on fire right now. With an impressive-plus 23 rating and 23 goals in 57 games, the 25-year-old has been one of the best fantasy surprises this season. He's become an automatic roll every game.

Kyle Turris
Sens' Turris Contributes Two Assists In Win
Kyle Turris, C, OTT
2:17 AM
News: Kyle Turris collected two assists in Saturday's win over San Jose.
Analysis: Another strong game from Kyle Turris, who has racked up five goals and 11 points in his last eight games. The second-line center is coming up huge for the surging Senators and now has 43 points in 60 games on the season. Now that he's caught fire, Turris is worth adding off the waiver wire if he's available.

Erik Karlsson
Sens' Karlsson Strike On PP In Win
Erik Karlsson, D, OTT
2:05 AM
News: Erik Karlsson scored a goal and added an assist -- both on the power play -- in Saturday's win over the Sharks.
Analysis: Erik Karlsson has been dazzling of late, with five of his last eight outings being multi-point games. He now has 15 goals and 47 points in 60 games on the season. Karlsson has been a key part of Ottawa's recent surge, as they now stand just five points out of a playoff spot. With a whopping 215 shots on goal and 21 power-play points, the 24-year-old is an automatic roll every game.

 
 
 
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