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: Marching into the stretch run

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

The rollercoaster ride known that is the NHL schedule throttles on into March. This week we have 55 total games on tap before drumming back down to 47 next week. Obviously Bettman and company were rushed when creating this season's three month schedule. With a minimum of four games on every night this week, there's a ton of room for creating a trend and gaming these weird matchups to your advantage.

Let's Play Back-To-Back, Twice

New Jersey (@TOR,TB, BUF,@CAR,WPG) who is the second team in three weeks to have a five-game slate in seven days lost 4-3 in a shootout to listless Buffalo on Saturday. However, Adam Henrique snapped a nine-game goalless streak to end February in the process. Andrei Loktionov has three goals and two assists during his current five game point streak. GOALIE IDEAS: With Martin Brodeur's (back) injury issues, despite losing to the aforementioned Sabres, Johan Hedberg is ripe for the taking this week. Also, Keith Kinkaid has been called up from Albany of the AHL. Kinkaid is 17-11-1-5 with a 2.69 GAA at the AHL level. 

As we've mentioned in previous weeks, not even Henrique is happier than San Jose (@ VAN, @CAL, STL, @COL) is to see February (2-6-4) come to an end. For Logan Couture, he didn't wait till the end of the month. Couture has two goals and two assists in the Sharks last three games, in which they've gone 2-0-1. GOALIE IDEAS: Thomas Greiss owners everywhere are rejoicing as he is likely to get two starts this week.  However, Niemi has been great against of all of this week's opponents, so this will have to be closely monitored with two back-to-back occurrences this week. Perhaps it's noteworthy that Niemi is 4-1-1 (2.10 GAA) on Tuesday's, but has yet to play on a Wednesday this season. Also, the Fin backstop is 0-1-2 (1.27 GAA) on Saturday's and 2-0 on Sunday's.

Between The Back-To-Back Twines

Ottawa (@TOR, @NYR) and Dallas (@LA, @PHX) will not be one of the 21 teams playing at least four games this week. With just two games on the docket for the Sens and Stars, find other options than their players. With that out of the way, let's examine the schedule of some of the teams playing four games and at least one back-to-back occurrence this week.

Starting with those who likely to have a good week

Phoenix (ANH, @ANH, STL, DAL) won the first of three straight with Anaheim (home/road/home) to start the month. Lauri Korpikoski had two goals against Anaheim and Steve Sullivan even awakened Saturday. Oliver Ekman-Larsson - six assists and plus-11 in his last six games- is paying dividends as well. Forwards Chris Brown and Rob Klinkhammer have been called up as reserves with Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Radim Vrbata (lower body) out currently. Unlike Anaheim, the 'Yotes will play in back-to-back games when they leave Anaheim Wednesday to head home and host St. Louis on Thursday. GOALIE IDEAS: Mike Smith is probably the most overworked number one in the league, but he may get two games off this week, starting with one of the Ducks games. Based on career numbers, expect Jason LaBarbera to start against Anaheim Wednesday and Smith back in net against the Blues.

Things are looking good for the slow start Kings who have won six of their last 8 games. Los Angeles (NAS, STL, DAL, CAL), who has 17 games in the month of March play every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for the next three weeks. Defenseman Alec Martinez (upper body) should be back up and running this week. GOALIE IDEAS: Your decision comes quick (intended pun) as L.A. plays their back-to-back occurrence starting Monday. Jonathan Bernier (4-1-0, 1.64 GAA) is heating up this goalie situation while Jonathan Quick has found himself in head coach Darryl Sutter's doghouse lately. Regardless, Bernier was terrific in his February 11th start against the Blues, so look for Quick to start against Nashville. From there, it's anybody's guess and both the Stars and Flames should be easy wins with the Kings who are seemingly clicking.

Something has got to get Tampa Bay (@PIT, @NJ, WPG, MON) going. The woes certainly begin with their play on the road (3-7-1) and on Saturday they took steps towards resolving that issue with a quick two goal lead on Conference leader Boston. But their penalty kill took a hit and the Bruins scored three unanswered goals to win. The road trip continues and doesn't get any easier with games in white against Pittsburgh and New Jersey. GOALIE IDEAS: Mathieu Garon has been much better than his 2-7 record suggests. Meanwhile Anders Lindback (7-4-1) has been pulled from two of his last six starts, including the Lightning's 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh last week. Though Lindback didn't fare much better against the Devils in a previous February match up, it's more likely he gets a shot at redemption against them than the Penguins.

Although Blake Wheeler's (leg) status is in question, winners in five of their last seven games, Winnipeg's (@FLA, @TB, @ FLA, @NJ) offense is starting to take shape. Though they are a combined 1-2 versus their divisional opponents this week and all four games are on the road (6-4-1), the Panthers are seemingly everyone's prey these days and Tampa Bay failed to stop the Jets' power-play (2-for-4) in their 8-3 rout of the Winnipeg early in the season. Their early staying power and consistently will truly be gauged in Sunday's match up with the Devils. GOALIE IDEAS: Look for Ondrej Pavelec to start three games this week, including Wednesday's big match-up with the Lightning. Al Montoya has been activated off the IR and will most likely play Friday in Miami.

Pittsburgh (TB, @PHI, @TOR, NYI)'s Kris Letang got off to a great start for March with four assists in the Pens 7-6 win over Montreal Saturday. Matt Cooke, Chris Kunitz and Brandon Sutter each had two goals with Tomas Vokoun in goal. GOALIE IDEAS: Problem is Voukon let up six goals of his own, though we're not so sure the Islanders are even capable of such a feat. The Pens will most likely roll with Vokoun in Saturday's matchup with Toronto as Marc-Andre Fleury didn't perform well against the Buds earlier this season, leaving Fleury for the game against the Islanders at home on Sunday.

With Raphael Diaz (concussion) out, Montreal (@NYI, @CAR, @TB, @FLA)'s Tomas Kaberle had two assists in the loss to Pittsburgh. Montreal is certainly looking good (13-4-4) this season but gets lost in the pack due to an almost impeccable Bruins squad in the way. Today (Sunday March 3rd), the two square off as the Canadiens begin a five-game road trip. GOALIE IDEAS: Carey Price gave up seven goals to the Pens, luckily they won't be visiting Pittsburgh this week. Instead their back-to-back occurrence falls on their second Florida swing in a month. Look for Montreal to start Peter Budaj likely against Florida on Sunday.

AlthoughEdmonton (@CLS, @DET, @NAS, @CHI) is currently ranked 12th in the conference standings, the mediocre Oilers are a mere three wins away from being at the top of the pack. With two of their four games in Columbus and Nashville, we think Edmonton's rostered talent alone should get them at least two of those wins. GOALIE IDEAS: With Nikolai Khabibulin (groin) out, the team has recalled Yann Danis to be back up. We're usually the last ones to support Devan Dubnyk, but March is typically his best career month. Look for Dubnyk against the Red Wings and Dannis against the Predators in their back-to-back occurrence.

After a February where Florida's (WPG, @WAS, WPG, MON) Drew Shore had 10 points in 13 games, he was pointless in Saturday 6-2 loss to Carolina. Don't expect Shore to remain cold for too long, he appears to have the every other game trend down pat already. Especially since the 10th ranked Panthers' power play face Winnipeg (30th) and Washington's (27th) penalty killing teams. GOALIE IDEAS: Most valuable to fantasy owners is the goalie situation as Jose Theodore went down in the first period of the loss to the 'Canes with another leg issue. Looks like Scott Clemmensen will go for most of the week, and look for Jacob Markstrom to be recalled, possibly starting in Washington or at home against the Jets. Has the beginning of the Markstrom era finally begun?

And some not lined up for a good week

Ryan Callahan has been a jack of all trades lately invigorating the Rangers (PHI, @NYI, OTT @WAS). With the exception of Henrik Lundqvist's usual standing on his head, Cally has single-handedly held the offensively-slumping Rangers out of the Eastern Conference cellar these past few games. The way the Rangers have been playing lately, they could easily go winless or unbeaten this week, but neither is likely. Three of the Rangers' four opponents this week have a top-10 ranked penalty kill. That won't help an already struggling NHL ranked 29th power play unit for the Rangers. GOALIE IDEAS: Though you can never tell with coach John Tortorella, Martin Biron is likely to the start when the Rangers visit the Long Island Thursday, yielding back to Lundqvist for their home game with Ottawa on Friday.

It's the perfect fresh start for all considered. Ryan O'Reilly signs with the team as they get back to .500 (8-8-3) hockey. O'Reilly will also wear a new jersey number (#90) and be inserted as a third line center with Milan Hejduk and John Mitchell immediately. From the looks of Colorado's (@DET, @CHI, CHI, SJ) schedule, they're going to need a fast return. After back-to-back road games in Detroit and Chicago, the Avs head home for two, including the second half of their back-to-back with the 'Hawks. GOALIE IDEAS: Neither goalie has a favorable record against Detroit, but back-up Jean-Sebastien Giguere's (6-13-1, 2.68 GAA) career record against the Red Wings is a bit more concerning. So look for Semyon Varlamov to start in the Motor City and Giguere in Chicago.

An improving Washington (BOS, FLA, @NYI, NYR) squad will begin a very busy March (16 games) with two at home. Under the radar, John Erskine is a plus-4 with a goal and an assist in his last two games while Mike Green (groin) missed Saturday's game against the Jets. After visiting the Islanders Saturday, the Caps head back home for NBC's 12:30 game of the week Sunday against the Rangers. GOALIE IDEAS: Head coach Adam Oates will most likely save Braden Holtby for the Rangers game as Michal Neuvirth has a favorable career record (5-0,1.83 GAA) against the Isles.

It might not always show in the standings, but The Islanders (MON, NYR, WAS, @PIT) have some young talent budding. Casey Cizikas and David Ullstrom have produced at times this season, but its players like Kyle Okposo (goal, two assists vs. TOR) who need to get going for the New York string together some wins. The Isles begin the week in midst of a four-game homestand. The end of the homestand comes with the Capitals before traveling to Pittsburgh on Sunday. GOALIE IDEAS: We highly doubt Kevin Poulin gets fed to a pack of Pens, so look for him to play against the Capitals Saturday and Evgeni Nabakov Sunday.

Everybody's talking about Nazem Kadri's natural hat trick. Additionally, Matt Frattin has been officially cleared for contact will practice Sunday. Toronto's (NJ, OTT, @BOS, PIT) strength of schedule resembles that of the Avalanche, with just a bit more promise. Toronto will play three of those four from home and they may have resolved - won three of last four at home - those pesky home woes,so the Leafs should actually hold up pretty tough. Just don't expect a momentum building perfect week. GOALIE IDEAS: James Reimer didn't exactly look sharp against the Islanders, but it was his first game in 17 days and he's now won his last four starts. Too little too late however, as we think Ben Scrivens is the new man in town. As long as Reimer stays healthy though, looks like Jussi Rynas will head back to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

Due to injuries to Andy McDonald (knee) and Vladimir Tarasenko (concussion), after a sub-par February, St. Louis (@LA, @PHX @SJ, @ANH) -is 2-2-1 in their last five games- is barely hanging on in a very tight Western Conference playoff hunt. However, add in Alexander Steen (shoulder) to the IR list and our once great small market hope appears to be folding. And with this week's schedule, is it already time for Ken Hitchcock to either explode or implode himself onto the situation? Luckily for the Blues, who play all four this week in white, they play very well (6-2-1) on the road, so there's still room for hope. Worth noting, Jaden Schwartz had a goal and an assist while skating with the team's top line Friday. Vladimir Sobotka also had a goal and assist in the win. GOALIE IDEAS: Brian Elliott is due to get his first start in 21 days this Sunday, how well he does could determine how many starts he gets this week. In the meantime, while Jaroslav Halak has better career numbers versus San Jose than Anaheim, Elliott gave up five goals to the Ducks in an OT-loss on the ninth of February.

TV TIME (all games in EST)

MON - MAR 4 - Lightning at Penguins 7:30 pm - NBCSports
MON - MAR 4 - Predators at Kings 10:30 pm - NHLNetwork
TUE - MAR 5 - Flyers at Rangers 7:30 pm - NBCSports
WED - MAR 6 - Avalanche at Blackhawks 8 pm - NBCSports
THU - MAR 7 - Penguins at Flyers 7 pm - NHLNetwork
FRI - MAR 8 - Blackhawks at Avalanche 9 pm - NHLNetwork
SAT - MAR 9 - Flyers at Bruins 1 pm - NHLNetwork
SAT - MAR 9 - Blues at Sharks 4 pm - NHLNetwork
SAT - MAR 9 - Penguins at Maple Leafs 7 pm - NHLNetwork
SUN - MAR 10 - Rangers at Capitals 12:30 pm - NBC
SUN - MAR  10 - Sabres at Flyers 7:30 pm - 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
Oscar Klefbom
Oilers' Klefbom Will Return Thursday
Oscar Klefbom, D, EDM
12:59 AM
News: Oscar Klefbom (foot) will return to the lineup Thursday against the Sharks, Jack Michaels of the Oilers Radio Network reports.
Analysis: Despite practicing Wednesday, Oscar Klefbom was expected to sit out Thursday's contest in an effort to provide him with more time to heal. However, after the injury didn't seem to compromise him during the morning skate, Klefbom was given the go-ahead to suit up following a two-game absence. He'll join Mark Fayne on Edmonton's second pairing.

Lee Stempniak
Rangers' Stempniak Undergoing Mumps Tests
Lee Stempniak, RW, NYR
12:55 AM
News: Lee Stempniak will undergo testing for the mumps virus and will be isolated from the Rangers for the next five days, Andrew Gross of The Record reports.
Analysis: Though Lee Stempniak hasn't been diagnosed with the virus, the Rangers aren't taking any chances after Tanner Glass and Derick Brassard both previously dealt with the mumps. Even if the tests don't reveal Stempniak's illness to be anything serious, the five-day timeline will force him to miss at least the Rangers' two games over the weekend. The Rangers could recall a forward from AHL Hartford to cover for Stempniak's absence.

Torrey Mitchell
Sabres Labeling Mitchell As Week-To- Week
Torrey Mitchell, C, BUF
12:50 AM
News: Torrey Mitchell's foot injury is considered to be a week-to-week concern, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports.
Analysis: With Torrey Mitchell yet to resume skating since leaving Monday's game with the foot injury, the Sabres aren't expecting him to return in the near future. He could be placed on injured reserve in the coming days as the Sabres look to add further depth at forward.

Cody McCormick
Sabres' McCormick Week-To-Week
Cody McCormick, C, BUF
12:47 AM
News: Cody McCormick (lower body) is considered week-to-week, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports.
Analysis: Cody McCormick has already missed the last three games with the injury and doesn't seem to be particularly close to a return. The Sabres could place him on injured reserve in the next few days to open up a roster spot for a healthy body at AHL Springfield.

Ben Scrivens
Desperate Oilers Stick With Scrivens Thursday
Ben Scrivens, G, EDM
12:17 AM
News: Ben Scrivens will man the net again Thursday against the Sharks.
Analysis: Ben Scrivens has turned in back-to-back credible outings for the Oilers against the Rangers and Coyotes, but he's been cruelly handed the loss on both occasions. If it's not Edmonton's horrid defense that lets him down, Scrivens has too often seen the Oilers' offense fail to provide him with much support. Simply put, the team is a disaster right now and could struggle mightily over the remainder of the season, making its goalie situation one to avoid whenever possible.

Derick Brassard
Rangers' Brassard To Skate Friday
Derick Brassard, C, NYR
12:12 AM
News: Derick Brassard (mumps) will resume practicing with the Rangers on Friday, Andrew Gross of The Record reports.
Analysis: The Rangers put Derick Brassard under a five-day isolation period after he was diagnosed with the mumps last Sunday, and it appears the virus is no longer wreaking havoc on his body. Though ostensibly healthy, Brassard is no sure bet to return to the lineup Saturday against the Hurricanes, as it will likely hinge on how he looks during Friday's skate. J.T. Miller has been absorbing most of Brassard's ice time over the last two games.

Stefan Noesen
Ducks' Noesen Resumes Skating
Stefan Noesen, RW, ANA
12:06 AM
News: Stefan Noesen (Achilles) posted on his personal Twitter account that he was able to resume skating Thursday.
Analysis: Stefan Noesen isn't projected to return until mid-to-late February due to the Achilles injury, so he still has significant hurdles to clear in the recovery process. He'll likely work out on his own for the next several weeks before the Ducks allow him to practice with AHL Norfolk.

Karri Ramo
Flames' Ramo Misses Practice With Illness
Karri Ramo, G, CGY
12:04 AM
News: Karri Ramo missed Thursday's practice with an illness.
Analysis: Coach Bob Hartley said that Karri Ramo called in sick prior to practice, but is expected to return to the ice for Friday's morning skate. He's slated to serve as the backup for Jonas Hiller later that evening against the Stars, but the Flames will bring a goalie up from the AHL ranks if Ramo fails to notice improvement with his condition by that time. Hartley said there's no indication at this time that Ramo is dealing with the mumps, but the Flames are taking precautions nonetheless, according to NHL.com's Aaron Vickers.

Jonas Hiller
Flames Rolling With Hiller On Friday
Jonas Hiller, G, CGY
12:00 AM
News: Jonas Hiller will receive the start in goal Friday against the Stars.
Analysis: With Karri Ramo absent from Thursday's practice due to an illness and uncertain to be availalbe Friday, it was an easy decision for coach Bob Hartley to tap Jonas Hiller for his third start in four games. While Hiller has been unable to snap a losing streak for the Flames that now sits at six games, he's at least outperformed the struggling Ramo recently, stopping a respectable 91.8 percent of the shots he's faced over his last four appearances. The Flames will play their second game of a back-to-back set Saturday, but if Ramo's not healthy by then, look for Hiller to get the call again.

Cam Ward
Ward, 'Canes Quiet Leafs
Cam Ward, G, CAR
12/18/2014
News: Cam Ward stopped 25 shots in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs.
Analysis: The Leafs came into the game sporting the NHL's best offense, so it's quite an accomplishment for Cam Ward and the Hurricanes to step up and silence that Toronto attack. Unfortunately, Ward hasn't been able to maintain such a high level of play consistently -- Thursday's victory ended a four-game losing streak in which he'd posted three save marks of .875 or worse. Ward remains an unreliable, though surprisingly not terribly blowup-prone fantasy option in net.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings