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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
John Klingberg
Stars' Klingberg Sinks Canucks In OT
John Klingberg, D, DAL
12:52 PM
News: John Klingberg scored the overtime-winning goal Saturday against Vancouver.
Analysis: It was a perfect shot from the 22-year-old, who now has 11 goals and 38 points in 59 games. While his goal Saturday was his first in 22 games, the youngster has been logging heavy minutes for the Stars and has been steadily dishing out the assists. Playing on the top power-play unit with Tyler Seguin, John Klingberg has emerged as a lethal offensive defenseman who is playing a key role for a Stars team that has won five of their last six games.

Cody Eakin
Stars' Eakin Picks Up Two Assists
Cody Eakin, C, DAL
12:48 PM
News: Cody Eakin collected a pair of assist in Saturday's win over Vancouver.
Analysis: Skating on the second line, Cody Eakin has been producing steadily of late, racking up five goals and 11 points in his last 14 games. The 23-year-old has a career-high 17 goals this season and is a solid scorer for a Dallas team that has won five of their last six games.

Trevor Daley
Stars' Daley Assists Twice In Return
Trevor Daley, D, DAL
12:44 PM
News: Trevor Daley returned to the lineup Saturday, collecting two assists in 24:19 of ice time in Saturday's win over Vancouver.
Analysis: Trevor Daley had been out since March 3 with a knee injury, but returned in a big way Saturday, helping the Stars pick up their fifth win in six games. Daley now has 35 points in 62 games and appears back to full health. With 16 goals on the season, including six power-play tallies, Daley is worth adding if he's available.

Tyler Seguin
Stars' Seguin Pots 34th Goal
Tyler Seguin, C, DAL
12:38 PM
News: Tyler Seguin scored his 34th goal of the season and had an assist in Saturday's win over vancouver.
Analysis: Tyler Seguin is now up to 69 points in 66 games, with early-November marking the last time he went more than two games without recording a point. With 11 power-play tallies and 258 shots on goal, the 23-year-old fantasy stud is a must-start every game.

Eddie Lack
Canucks' Lack Gives Up Four Goals In OT Loss
Eddie Lack, G, VAN
12:14 PM
News: Eddie Lack gave up four goals on 40 shots in Saturday's overtime loss to the Stars.
Analysis: A decent outing for Eddie Lack, who has now lost two straight games, surrendering seven goals in that span. The 27-year-old falls to 14-11-4 on the season, but still owns an impressive .919 save percentage and 2.48 GAA. Ryan Miller (knee) appears to be out for the remainder of the regular season, so the Canucks playoff hopes will be riding on Lack. Keep him rolling, as everything is on the line and he should be at his best.

Kari Lehtonen
Stars' Lehtonen Makes 33 Saves In Win
Kari Lehtonen, G, DAL
12:07 PM
News: Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 of 36 shots in Saturday's win over the Canucks.
Analysis: While Kari Lehtonen has won eight of his last 10 games, he's allowed at least three goals in four straight outings. While his .907 save percentage and 2.84 GAA needs work, Lehtonen's 34-15-10 record makes him a reliable fantasy option. He starts almost every game and hasn't suffered back-to-back regulation losses since late-January.

Mathieu Perreault
Jets' Perreault (Lower Body) Will Be Available
Mathieu Perreault, C, WPG
10:18 AM
News: Mathieu Perreault (lower body) will be available for Sunday's game against the Blackhawks, Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
Analysis: Mathieu Perreault has not played in more than a month after suffering a lower body injury back in mid-February. After resuming skating Thursday, he's recovered to the point that coach Paul Maurice feels comfortable deploying him Sunday. At this point, it's unclear if Perreault will be limited by the injury or if he'll have his ice time capped at a certain total.

Antti Niemi
Sharks' Niemi Not Starting Sunday
Antti Niemi, G, SJ
10:14 AM
News: Antti Niemi will not start Sunday's game, though he did take part in morning skate, Kevin Kurz of CSN reports.
Analysis: Antti Niemi is still battling an illness, so Alex Stalock will make his second straight start in goal. Niemi has been solid for most of the season - 2.62 GAA, 91.4 save percentage - but he's allowed four goals in each of his last two outings.

Alex Stalock
Sharks' Stalock Will Start Sunday
Alex Stalock, G, SJ
10:12 AM
News: Alex Stalock will get the start in net Sunday, Kevin Kurz of CSN reports.
Analysis: Alex Stalock will start his second straight game as Antti Niemi is still feeling under the weather. In Saturday's win over the Flyers, Stalock saved 16 of 18 shots. On the season, he holds a 2.60 GAA and 90.2 save percentage.

Braden Holtby
Caps' Holtby To Start Sunday Against Rangers
Braden Holtby, G, WAS
10:12 AM
News: Braden Holtby will start between the pipes for Washington against the Rangers on Sunday, Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Braden Holtby was pulled early in Saturday's 4-3 loss to Nashville after allowing three goals in the first period, presumably so he would be fresh for Sunday's crucial showdown with the Rangers. Although the matchup is difficult, Holtby has been a strong performer this year and must be trusted to have a bounce-back game as the Capitals try to hold on to a playoff berth amid a late-season slide.

 
 
 
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