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Week 1 schedule analysis

Rotowire.com
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We now return to your regularly scheduled programming of the Schedule Analysis. After an abbreviated campaign last season and an eternity of a summer, the landscape of the NHL has changed. Set aside last season's stats that are skewed and hard to analyze. Set aside all the normal variables, such as players with new sweaters, new lines, new coaches and the always useless trends of preseason standings.

This summer's realignment brings the most mysterious of obstacles. We won't profess to know how this is going to play out, but we're all in this together. With that out of the way, let's get back to basics and go from there.

Three of a Kind: Nine of the 30 NHL teams have three tilts on the docket this week. Of those 27 games in total, 18 will be on the road. Not one team playing three games this week will be exclusively from home.

Anaheim (@COL, @MIN, @WPG) started off last season's campaign with a bang. Teemu Selanne (two assists) and Daniel Winnnik each netted a pair of goals in the opening game versus Vancouver. The Canucks (@SJ, EDM, @CAL), Buffalo (@DET, OTT, @PIT), Calgary (@WAS, @CLS, VAN), Detroit (BUF, @CAR, @BOS), Philadelphia (TOR, @MON, @CAR) and Toronto (@MTL, @PHI, OTT) will all spend the week in road jerseys.

Washington (@CHI*, CAL, @DAL) and Winnipeg (@EDM, LA, ANH) have the most interestingly consistent schedules, lacing up nearly every other day. While it's feasible Braden Holtby and Ondrej Pavelec COULD play all three this week, percentages suggest even number one goalies will be eased into the new season like your star closer.

Two for 20: Aside from the Rangers one (nine game road trip to start the year) game this week, the rest of the NHL will play two tilts this week.

After the stabilizing Phoenix (NYR, @SJ) franchise hosts the aforementioned Rangers, six of their next seven will be on the road. Carolina (DET, PHI) starts with two, but ends up one of the busiest NHL franchises, contesting nine games in the first 15 days. Ottawa (@BUF, @TOR) begins a six-game road trip against Atlantic (pfft, weird) division rivals.

Back-to-Back: While the slow week allows you to gear up and shake the rust, 11 teams are playing on back-to-back days. This not only means your goalie management will need to be in mid-season form, but you could see a few number one goalies dethroned. Let's give you an idea of what we mean.

Both Anaheim and Los Angeles will play in Minnesota and Winnipeg on consecutive nights. Calgary plays back-to-back games on the road in Washington and Columbus to begin the season Thursday. Nashville will play in St. Louis and Colorado on consecutive nights. Buffalo will host Ottawa on Friday then travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Detroit, who hosts Buffalo on Wednesday, visits Carolina and Boston on Friday and Saturday night. Columbus will host Calgary on Friday then travel to play the Islanders on Saturday night. Vancouver will host Edmonton then visit Calgary. Toronto spends opening night in Montreal, followed up by travelling to Philadelphia. Philadelphia will be in Montreal, then Carolina the next night. Ottawa is in Buffalo, then Toronto the next night. New Jersey will travel to Pittsburgh, and then host Isles in Jersey. The Isles then head home for Columbus on the following night.

Low Percentage: Although, 5-1 (22 GF, 15 GA) the preseason record looks pretty nifty, Tampa (@BOS, @CHI) travels to play last year's Stanley Cup runner up and winner in the same week.

High Percentage: First of all, we usually exclude Devan Dubnyk from any good fantasy news out of Edmonton, but his combined career stats (7-4-3, 2.88 GAA in 15 starts) against this week's opponents are not too shabby.

Based solely on preseason efforts, we like the schedules of Dallas (FLA, WAS) and Edmonton (WPG, @VAN) for the most offensive punch of the opening week. After the offseason/preseason these two teams have had, look for the youngest legs and most creative coaches to come out of the gate running. But if I were you, I wouldn't count on either team playing any defense.

TV Time

The season begins on a slow, six-day week beginning Tuesday. For your viewing pleasure, the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks will host the Capitals on NBCSports Network.

TUE OCT. 1, Caps @ Blackhawks NBCS

WED OCT. 2, Sabres @ Red Wings NBCS

SAT OCT. 5, Red Wings @ Bruins NHLN

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

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Player News
Mike Fisher
Preds' Fisher Notches Two Points In Loss
Mike Fisher, C, NSH
12:57 PM
News: Mike Fisher factored into all the Nashville offense Thursday, picking up a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss to the Wild.
Analysis: Mike Fisher's been a scoresheet regular of late, with seven points in his last eight games, but that's nothing new -- he's been producing offense at a terrifically steady rate since returning from the Achilles' heel injury that kept him out of action in the season's early months.

Erik Haula
Wild's Haula Snaps Slump
Erik Haula, LW, MIN
12:54 PM
News: Erik Haula finished with a goal, an assist and a plus-2 rating in Thursday's win over the Preds.
Analysis: The Finnish forward had gone five games without a point and had just a lonely goal in his last 15 games. He's got little to no fantasy value right now, but Erik Haula has been a successful scorer at the University of Minnesota and AHL Iowa, so he does have long-term upside.

Kyle Brodziak
Wild's Brodziak Picks Up Two Points
Kyle Brodziak, C, MIN
12:50 PM
News: Kyle Brodziak notched a goal, an assist and a plus-3 rating Thursday in a win over the Predators.
Analysis: Kyle Brodziak had managed all of three points in his prior 17 games, so this qualifies as an outlier. His middling PIM and hit totals give him some value in super-deep leagues, but that's about it.

Claude Giroux
Flyers' Giroux Grabs Two Points
Claude Giroux, C, PHI
1:28 AM
News: Claude Giroux put up a power-play goal, a power-play assist and two penalty minutes Thursday in a 3-2 loss to Toronto.
Analysis: After a slump in which he managed just a single point in six games, Claude Giroux's now turned out two-point performances in two of his last three outings. Slumps happen, but he's still one of the best players in fantasy.

Rob Zepp
Flyers' Zepp Stumbles As Mason Returns
Rob Zepp, G, PHI
1:26 AM
News: Rob Zepp was pulled after allowing two goals on eight shots Thursday in a loss to Toronto.
Analysis: Steve Mason came on and stopped eight of nine, which ended up getting him the loss instead of Rob Zepp. WIth Mason back now, Zepp's starts will dry up, and he could be sent back to AHL Adirondack, although the Flyers could also try to demote or cut Ray Emery.

Steve Mason
Flyers' Mason Makes Relief Appearance
Steve Mason, G, PHI
1:22 AM
News: Steve Mason (knee) came on for Rob Zepp in the second period Thursday against Toronto, giving up one goal on nine shots in the loss.
Analysis: Steve Mason was the one who ended up stuck with the loss, unfortunately. Still, he looked decent as he made his return to the Flyers' net following a multi-week absence due to a knee injury. The Flyers will almost certainly turn back to Mason when they host the Rangers on Saturday.

Danny DeKeyser
Wings' DeKeyser Snaps Slump
Danny DeKeyser, D, DET
1:18 AM
News: Danny DeKeyser ended a five-game pointless skid Thursday with a pair of third-period assists and a plus-2 rating in a win over the Sharks.
Analysis: Going back further, Danny DeKeyser had just two points in the last 13 games entering play Thursday. Still, he's earned praise from the coaching staff this year, and at age 24, he still has room to develop his offensive game.

Antti Niemi
Niemi, Sharks Go Down In Third Period
Antti Niemi, G, SJ
1:15 AM
News: Antti Niemi allowed three goals on 35 shots Thursday in a loss to the Red Wings.
Analysis: He had a 2-1 lead deep into the third period, but Antti Niemi ended up allowing a pair of goals to flip the script and take the loss. At least he provided decent rate stats while taking his sixth loss in his last eight starts.

Jimmy Howard
Wings' Howard Gets Back In Win Column
Jimmy Howard, G, DET
1:13 AM
News: Jimmy Howard stopped 20 of 22 shots Thursday in a 3-2 win over the Sharks.
Analysis: Jimmy Howard played well, but still needed a third-period surge by the Wings to come back from 2-1 and end up with the victory. Times have been tough for Quick lately, as he lost a month to injury and has won just two times in six starts since returning.

Jonathan Quick
Kings' Quick Allows Just One, But Loses
Jonathan Quick, G, LA
1:09 AM
News: Jonathan Quick stopped 27 of 28 shots Thursday against the Senators, but was outdueled by rookie goalie Andrew Hammond, who pitched a shutout.
Analysis: So ends Jonathan Quick's eight-game winning streak. A tough one for the 29-year-old goalie, but it's certainly no fault of his own, as he gave up one or zero goals for the fourth consecutive game.

 
 
 
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