Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Right on Schedule: Ups and downs of a short season

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

Not to beat a dead horse, but a lock-out shortened season can wreak havoc upon normalcy. A light week is behind us and we're begging for some "interleague" play that will never come. Get ready owners, it's time to pick apart 61 games and solidify your league lead.

Starting with the rare bird, the Halley's Comet of the NHL schedule ...

Playing five times in seven nights and eight times in 14 days will certainly provide the Islanders (PHI, @OTT, @MON, @BUF, CAR) with challenges. Though none of the five games are 'unwinnable', three straight of the five will be on the road against the Northeast Division. Last season, the Isles were 7-11-2 in such match-ups, thus far, 1-2-0. CAREER TRENDS: Evgeni Nabakov's 2.72 combined career GAA against those teams is encouraging, but can't play all five games. DiPietro (0-2-0, 4.60 GAA) has been less than pedestrian this season, losing his only two starts. However, DiPietro has a sub-3.00 career GAA against Montreal and Buffalo. Their back-to-back instances involve only Buffalo, so hang close to see how this plays out. Michael Grabner has 10 points in nine career games versus the Sabres. Matt Moulson's 25 points in 27 career games versus the Sabres and Canes is interesting as well considering his offensive prowess (goal, three assists) Saturday night.

Back-To-Back, Twice

Like the Islanders, Nashville (@COL, DET, VAN, @DET) will also play on back-to-back nights twice this week. Despite the fact that Patric Hornqvist (knee) is out, February has been pretty good for the Preds, posting a 5-2-1 record headed into last Sunday's action. This week will be their first meeting of the young season with any of the three teams. Though their combined record against them last season was 9-4-1, the absence of Hornqvist and departures of Ryan Suter and Anders Lindback leaves that stat skewed to a crisp under the circumstances. The Preds are 1-1 on the back-end of back-to-back thus far. CAREER TRENDS: Martin Erat has 84 points in 122 career games against this week's opponents. Neither Pekka Rinne nor Chris Mason are of concern to me, as Rinne is… well Rinne, and Mason has been solid in little action. I'd favor Rinne's career numbers (2.25 GAA) against Detroit, so look for Mason to possibly start against the Avs Monday and Canucks Friday.

Finding the Right Four

A depleted Red Wings squad is facing the Preds twice this week. Detroit (@NSH, CLS, NSH, VAN) can win every one of these games if they were healthy. Perhaps three at home will lift some spirits. Meanwhile, Johan Franzen's (hip) notepad update is day-to-day, Todd Bertuzzi (back) is out for again for a minimum injured reserve stay of three games. Jonas Gustavsson (groin) has been activated from the IR, so Petr Mrazek who was still slated to start against the Wild Sunday will head back to the AHL. Averaging just 12 minutes of ice time, Tomas Tatar has two goals and an assist over the last two games.

Despite their 5-1 loss to the Isles, New Jersey's (OTT, @WAS, @WAS, WPG) stingy defense has a good match up in our nation's capital, but be worried about the back end game, it could cause a kick-start to the Caps play. Marek Zidlicky, who has a goal and two assists in his last four games, has eight points in eight career games versus Washington. Look for Johan Hedberg to start at least once this week, possibly two.

After starting the week with back-to-back nights  against the Southeast, Toronto (@FLA, @TB, BUF, @OTT) will finish out the week against division rivals on regular (every other night) rest. Three on the road (6-2-0) suits the Buds just fine. Surprisingly, the biggest cog on paper is both active goalies' career record versus the Panthers. Toronto figures to start off with some bumps in the Florida games and finish out the week strong with two division rivalry matchups. Ben Scrivens is the biggest wild card, if he can keep up the good work, should be a good week for Leafs fans.

Avoiding the Wrong Four

Even after exploding for seven goals against Dallas last week, Calgary (@PHX, LA, MIN, PHX) is on our avoid list for the second week in a row. Mind you, the Stars were on the back end of a back-to-back road games and starting Richard Bachman. Not trying to hate, Michael Cammalleri (49% owned) has three goals, five assists heading into Sunday's action against the Stars. An option in some leagues, but we've all seen the technical hat trick from him before. Miikka Kiprusoff (sprained MCL) is expected to miss another two weeks at least. Things do not look good for Leland Irving (2-1-1. 3.33 GAA) as Danny Taylor has been called BACK UP from the AHL to assist recent waivers addition Joey MacDonald. MacDonald, who stopped 18 of 21 shots Saturday in the loss to St. Louis seems entrenched in the number one position until Kiprusoff returns.

Like a carcass awaiting the desert scavenger, the hopeless Columbus (@ANH, @DET, @STL, @CHI) ice hockey team could take one of the most brutal week long beatings we've seen in a long time. Their opponents combined schedule this week is 37-12-6. We went over Columbus' goalie situation last week and it's the same old song and dance this week. Still no time table on Artem Anisimov's foot/ankle, but he's just day-to-day for now. On Saturday, they had a few up and comers find twine, just don't expect too much consistency. Both Derek MacKenzie (two goals last three games) and Matt Calvert (goal, two assists last three games) contributed in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the scavenger Coyotes. If they can survive, starting next week, 10 of their next 12 games will be at home.

Things have not been good for Colorado, but the horizon is shining. Aaron Palushaj scored in his second game with the team. Matt Duchene has a three-game goal scoring streaking and five points total during that span. Jamie McGinn has a goal and three assists in his last two games. Also, Gabriel Landeskog has been skating in practice. As for the netminders, Semyon Varlamov took a beating (55 of 60) in Saturday's loss to the Oilers, but Jean-Seabastien Giguere is expected back from his personal leave on Sunday. That being said, I like Colorado's (NSH, STL, @LA, @ANH) chances at home, especially as inconsistent as the Blues have been. Though Jake Allen is no push over thus far, expect Jaroslav Halak to be back by then anyway, so could be a good game to watch. Obviously, Los Angeles doesn't scare you, but if Colorado doesn't get the momentum going early with a strong win over Nashville, the horizon could get gloomy quick.

Could go either way, but payroll-to-payroll (as always), Florida (TOR, @PHI, @PIT, BOS) has one of the toughest schedules this week. One bright spot in Miami is former first-rounder (2011) Jonathan Huberdeau has three goals in his last three games and has amassed six goals, three assists and a plus-1 in 14 games. The back-to-back road games with Philly and Pittsburgh are fairly straight up as Jose Theodore has a better career GAA against the Pens. So expect Scott Clemmensen to start against the Flyers.

Vancouver (@CHI, @DAL, @NSH, @DET) was a questionable call for this portion of our analysis. The fact that all four fairly quality opponents will be on the road pushed us off the fence. Already mired in the NHL's most talked about goalie controversy, Roberto Luongo is most likely to line up against unbeaten Chicago, then Dallas who scored four on Cory Schneider last Friday. Schneider most likely gets the start against the Preds, than back to Luongo in Detroit. No controversy at all, just a clear change in the guard. Ryan Kesler (minus-1) made his return last Friday as well, with an assist in 17 minutes of ice time.

March the Trend

Enjoy it now Edmonton (LA, MIN, PHX), your Oilers won't be home for a while. Starting next Monday, they begin a nine game road trip, including trips to the United Center TWICE. After visiting New Jersey, Ottawa (@NJ, NYI, NYR, TOR) enjoys three contests at home this week. Their home-stand ends with Montreal next Monday. At which point, the Sens will embark on a road trip that sees them play seven of their next eight games in a visitor capacity. The aforementioned Montreal (CAR, @NYR, NYI, NYR) team will embark on a very similar trip to start March. After spending the last six consecutive games on the road, the still winless (0-4-3) for February San Jose (@STL, @CHI, @DAL) ice hockey club will play three on the road this week, then three at the Shark tank next week before hitting the road again. Nine of their 15 March games will be on the road. Stretching into mid-March, Winnipeg (@BUF, @CAR, @PHI, @NJ) plays nine of their next 11 games on the road.

Little Action

Considering Washington's (NJ, NJ) struggles this season, then add in the strangest scheduled pair of consecutive home games against one of the NHL's stingiest teams. Though Braden Holtby has won three straight games, what this will most likely bring is the changing of goalie depth for Adam Oates. Using this series to decide which goalie he'll favor in running with the rest of the season would be brilliant. Same atmosphere, same team, within three days, so who ends up in front when the smoke clears, Holtby or Michal Neuvirth? Once again, that Mike Green guy is questionable for Sunday's game with a lower-body.

You think the Caps schedule is strange, wait till you see the Ducks schedule to start next month. After hosting the Wild from home March 1st, back-to-back-to-back games with the 'Yotes. As for this week, if there's ever been a team playing just twice in a week to bet on it should Anaheim's (CLS, COL) weak schedule. Bang for your buck is there considering Viktor Fasth has yet to lose an NHL start and of course his deeply (NHL ranked fifth) balanced scoring that features 11 players with at least five or more points. We wouldn't blame you if you chose Anaheim over, let's say…

Dallas (VAN, SJ) has certainly proved more comfortable (3-1-1 head into Sunday's action) working from home, but Vancouver and San Jose are no slouches. Especially with Kari Lehtonen's uncertain status, in the foreseeable future, Cristopher Nilstorp and Richard Bachman is the tandem in charge of nullifying two of hockey's biggest slumping giants. Regardless of how the Stars played last Friday in Vancouver, with the way the Stars defense is fading, these are not good match-ups.

Center Mikael Granlund has points in consecutive games. Josh Harding (illness) has officially been placed on IR, so Darcy Kuemper has been called to back up Niklas Backstrom. Justin Falk was also expected to miss Sunday's game with the Red Wings due to illness, stick close on this one. Of the four teams you weekly cats will want to exclude, Minnesota (@EDM, @CAL) will be the trickiest. Though both games will be on the road, neither is considered strong opponents. Either way, Backstrom will most likely start both games.

Tampa Bay's drought came to an end Saturday, albeit against their Florida competitors, the Panthers. Lightning can be the least of opponents' worries if this team explodes and they just got some confidence back. Boston (@TB, @FLA) was a combined 4-4-0 against the Southeast's Florida swing last season. Blue chip, blue-liner Dougie Hamilton (goal, five assists, minus-3) scored his first NHL goal Friday, but his first points in his six games. Second in team scoring, Milan Lucic (eight points) will be held out of Sunday's tilt with Winnipeg for personal reasons.

TV Time (all times in EST)

Tuesday, Feb. 19: Sharks at Blues NBCSports (8 p.m.) -- NBCSports
Wednesday, Feb. 20: Flyers at Penguins (7:30 p.m.) -- NBCSports
Wednesday, Feb. 20: Blues at Colorado (10 p.m.) -- NBCSports
Thursday, Feb. 21: Blue Jackets at Red Wings (7:30 p.m.) -- NHL Network
Friday, Feb. 22: Sharks at Blackhawks (8:30 p.m.) -- NHL Network
Saturday, Feb. 23: Devils at Capitals (Noon) -- NHL Network
Saturday, Feb. 23: Avalanche at Kings (4 p.m.) -- NHL Network
Saturday, Feb. 23: Predators at Red Wings (7 p.m.) -- NHL Network
Sunday, Feb. 24: Bruins at Panthers (3 p.m.) -- NHL Network
Sunday, Feb. 24: Lightning at Penguins (7:30 p.m.) -- NBCSports

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Raffi Torres
Sharks' Torres Undergoes Second ACL Repair
Raffi Torres, LW, SJ
12:55 AM
News: Raffi Torres (knee) underwent a successful procedure on the torn ACL in his right knee Wednesday, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports. GM Doug Wilson said the Sharks expect to have Torres fully healthy for the start of training camp in September.
Analysis: It's the second ACL repair job in less than two years for Raffi Torres, who first had his knee operated on following a Sept. 20, 2013 exhibition game. After rehabbing the injury, he ended up suiting up for 12 games in the second half of last season, but was shut down after he began to feel pain due to an infection. The Sharks initially planned to have Torres undergo another surgery to remove the ACL prior to this season, but elected to wait until the infection had cleared up. Now that he's formally been ruled out for the remainder of the season, Torres will attempt to win a roster spot in 2015-16, when he will be on the final year of his three-year, $6 million deal with the Sharks.

Ryan Murphy
Hurricanes' Murphy Suffers Slight Setback
Ryan Murphy, D, CAR
12:55 AM
News: Ryan Murphy (leg) recently suffered a slight setback in his injury rehab, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports.
Analysis: As a result, Ryan Murphy is not ready to rejoin practice, with no timetable for his potential return outlined at this stage.

Mark Giordano
Flames' Giordano Iffy For Friday
Mark Giordano, D, CGY
12:51 AM
News: The Flames didn't update the status of Mark Giordano (undisclosed injury) Thursday, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 reports.
Analysis: Per the report, Mark Giordano is still being evaluated and the Flames will likely recall a blueliner in advance of Friday's game against the Islanders. Giordano's availability could come down to a game-time call from coach Bob Hartley.

Eric Brewer
Brewer Returns To Lineup Wednesday For Ducks
Eric Brewer, D, ANA
12:48 AM
News: Eric Brewer played 19:09 against Ottawa on Wednesday night in Anahem.
Analysis: Eric Brewer was a healthy scratch Monday against the Wings, but was substituted for fellow blue-liner Ben Lovejoy (healthy) in Wednesday's game. Brewer has been a healthy scratch a number of times this season, and won't be able to gain any semblance of fantasy value until he can consistently get into the lineup.

Antti Niemi
Sharks' Niemi Projected To Start Thursday
Antti Niemi, G, SJ
12:47 AM
News: Antti Niemi was the first goalie off the ice at the Sharks' morning skate and is expected to start Thursday against the Red Wings, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Analysis: Antti Niemi has held the opposition to exactly two goals three of his last four times out, but he still seems to be stuck among the middle-tier of goalies. His 24-15-7 record for the season is nice, but a 2.60 GAA and .913 save percentage don't provide much assistance in the ratio categories. He's still a viable option in deeper formats and even as a second goalie in shallower leagues, though he's no longer the automatic play that he was as recently as a couple of years ago.

Karri Ramo
Flames Turn To Ramo On Friday
Karri Ramo, G, CGY
12:47 AM
News: Karri Ramo is slated to start Friday's game against the Islanders, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 reports.
Analysis: The start will be the third straight for Karri Ramo, who has been sharp in his last two turns, allowing just one goal in each of those contests, most recently in a 3-1 triumph over New Jersey on Wednesday.

Kyle Quincey
Red Wings' Quincey Skates, But Won't Play Thursday
Kyle Quincey, D, DET
12:37 AM
News: Kyle Quincey (ankle) participated in the Red Wings' morning skate, but won't play Thursday against the Sharks, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports.
Analysis: Kyle Quincey will sit out for a fourth straight game, but does at least look to be on his way toward a return. He received clearance to practice Wednesday, and with another positive day Friday, he might receive the go-ahead to play Saturday in Nashville.

Henrik Zetterberg
Red Wings' Zetterberg Not Expected Until Next Week
Henrik Zetterberg, LW, DET
12:34 AM
News: Henrik Zetterberg (upper body) isn't expected to return to the Red Wings lineup until next Wednesday's game against the Rangers.
Analysis: Henrik Zetterberg was able to skate a little bit on his own prior to Thursday's morning session, but it appears the team is preparing to be without him for the next two weeks. Though he hasn't been formally diagnosed with a concussion, Zetterberg said a couple days ago that he's exhibited symptoms similar to the head injury. The team believes that with a few more days of light activity, he'll be feeling fully healthy and ready to play. Continue to stash him on your bench until the Red Wings confirm he'll return to duty.

Jimmy Howard
Wings' Howard To Start Thursday
Jimmy Howard, G, DET
12:29 AM
News: Jimmy Howard will be between the pipes for Thursday's game against the Sharks, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports.
Analysis: Backup Jonas Gustavsson received the start in goal for the Red Wings' previous game against the Kings, so it's not surprising that coach Mike Babcock will go back to Jimmy Howard for Thursday's match. Over 13 career outings against the Sharks, Howard has had limited success, going 3-6-4 with a 2.79 GAA and .910 save percentage.

Andrew Hammond
Sens Lean On Hammond For Back-To-Back
Andrew Hammond, G, OTT
12:22 AM
News: Andrew Hammond will make the start in goal Thursday against the Kings.
Analysis: Andrew Hammond has been spectacular since succeeding the injured Robin Lehner (concussion) as the Sens' lead goaltender. He's won all three of his outings against possible playoff teams in the Canadiens, Panthers, and Ducks, allowing a total of three goals against the first two and shutting out the latter. He could be a bit fatigued from blanking the Ducks in Anaheim a night earlier, but with only the untested Chris Driedger behind him on the depth chart, the Senators will lean heavily on Hammond until Lehner or Craig Anderson (hand) is ready to return. Hammond's recent play has made him worth a speculative pickup in deeper formats, though those in daily leagues may not want to rely on him Thursday. The surging Kings have won eight games in a row behind the red-hot Jonathan Quick, who has yielded five combined goals over his last five turns.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings