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Week 2 schedule analysis

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

After ramping up on a slow week, there will be a steady increase of NHL action as we get further into October. A total of 181 games will be played over the next two weeks, starting with 87 this week. Shake that rust, here it comes.

NHL schedule

Four of a Kind

Players from the following teams have a statistical advantage with four games of fantasy eligibility this week.

Carolina (at PIT, at WAS, LA, PHX)
Florida (at PHI, at TB, PIT, LA)
New Jersey (at EDM, at VAN, at CAL, at WPG)
New York Rangers (at LA, at SJ, at ANH, at STL)
Phoenix* (at NYI, at DET, at PHI, at CAR)

Additionally, Los Angeles (NYR, OTT, at CAR, at FLA) plays four and we especially like their strength (or-there-lack-of) of schedule. Impacting the goaltending of your team, all six of these help make up the 13 NHL teams playing in back-to-back action this week.

Back-to-Back

In addition to the aforementioned teams, the following teams are likely call upon both of their goalies, regardless of how many games they play this week.

Chicago (at STL, NYI, BUF)
Montreal (at CAL, at EDM, at VAN)
New York Islanders (PHX, at CHI, at NAS)
Ottawa (at LA, at SJ, at ANH)
Philadelphia (FLA, PHX, at DET)
Pittsburgh (CAR, at FLA, at TB)
Winnipeg (at MIN, DAL, NJ)

Dallas (at WPG, at MIN) will actually play it's only two games this week on a consecutive nights, bringing us to teams with minimal action this week.

Take Two

Including Dallas's two games, eight teams play just twice this week. You may notice nearly all of these games come with a natural advantage as they will be home games for the following:

Anaheim (NYR, OTT)
Boston (COL, at CLS)
Calgary (MON, NJ)
Columbus (at BUF, BOS)
Detroit (PHX, PHI)
St. Louis (CHI, NYR)
Washington (CAR, COL)

Obviously teams playing two games are going to provide you with the least chance for points in any given fantasy week, regardless of what arena they play in, so let's have a look at some of the 16 NHL teams playing three games.

Low Percentage

Montreal's (at CAL, at EDM, at VAN) goalie Carey Price looked sluggish and rusty during their season opener with Toronto (COL, at NAS, EDM), whose schedule we like. There's no telling how long Price owners/Habs fans will need to endure that and a four game trip west isn't likely to help.

In contrast, for those ready to give Patrick Roy the Jack Adams Award already, be mindful of Colorado's (at TOR, at BOS, at WAS) tough East Coast swing.

The New York Rangers (at LA, at SJ, at ANH, at STL) will visit three different Western Conference teams in the first four days of the week and travel to St. Louis (CHI, NYR) to close out. With the demotion of forward J.T. Miller to Hartford, it's possible you could see the return of their offensive spark and captain, Ryan Callahan, on Monday.

Florida's outlook (at PHI, at TB, PIT, LA) gets progressively worse when you consider their most impacting player (Tim Thomas) just joined the team two weeks ago. Then again, Thomas looked sharp in his debut versus Dallas.

High Percentage

This early in the season, it's difficult to find bottom feeders, so a favorable schedule is rare. If you are to bet on a team, we like Vancouver (NJ, SJ, MON) who hosts two of three against travel weary Eastern Conference teams.

Minnesota (at NAS, WPG, DAL) also has a schedule consisting of vulnerable and unknown teams.

There's no telling how the Flyers will look after their game on Saturday night, but on paper, their schedule (FLA, PHX, at DET) doesn't look tough till they travel to Detroit.

Depending on how Cam Ward is feeling, your best offensive explosion of the week is most likely to come from Pittsburgh (CAR, at FLA, at TB) and Tampa Bay (at BUF, FLA, PIT) and ending with a matchup against each other on Saturday night.

Trending

(all data courtesy of CBSSports.com)

NHL schedule

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Player News
Derick Brassard
Rangers' Brassard Will Play Saturday
Derick Brassard, C, NYR
12/21/2014
News: Derick Brassard (illness) will play Saturday against the Hurricanes, Andrew Gross of The Record reports.
Analysis: Coach Alain Vigneault signed off on Derick Brassard's return after he was able to take part in the team's morning skate. The center missed the Rangers' last two contests with the mumps virus.

Ryan Carter
Wild Activate Carter (Upper Body)
Ryan Carter, C, MIN
12/21/2014
News: Ryan Carter (upper body) was activated from injured reserve Saturday, Rachel Blount of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: After missing the Wild's previous three games, Ryan Carter was cleared to return after practicing Friday. He'll be reinserted on the fourth line for Saturday's game against the Predators.

Jonathan Quick
Kings Tap Quick For Saturday Start
Jonathan Quick, G, LA
12/21/2014
News: Jonathan Quick led the Kings on to the ice for pregame warmups and will thus get the start Saturday against the Coyotes, Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Analysis: Jonathan Quick will likely be a heavy favorite to come away with the victory against a Coyotes squad that has lost eight of its last 10 games, with its lone two wins during that stretch coming against the sad-sack Oilers. The netminder hasn't been particularly sharp lately, so this should represent a good bounce-back opportunity for him.

Matt Cooke
Wild's Cooke (Hip) Activated For Saturday's Game
Matt Cooke, LW, MIN
12/21/2014
News: Matt Cooke (hip) was activated from injured reserve Saturday and will suit up against the Predators, Rachel Blount of the Minneapolis Stat Tribune reports.
Analysis: He'll replace Justin Fontaine in the lineup, joining Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter on the Wild's third line. Matt Cooke last played on Oct. 28 before missing the last 22 games with a hip flexor.

Jonas Hiller
Flames To Start Hiller Saturday
Jonas Hiller, G, CGY
12/21/2014
News: Jonas Hiller will get the start in net Saturday, Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald reports.
Analysis: Jonas Hiller and the Flames have hit the skids in December, as Calgary has lost seven straight and Hiller has lost six in a row. Until they right the ship, Hiller should be avoided, especially with his mates giving him a grand total of four goals combined in his last four outings.

Jake Allen
Allen, Blues Looking For Road Victory
Jake Allen, G, STL
12/21/2014
News: Jake Allen will be between the pipes Saturday against the Sharks, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Analysis: Things have started to turn ugly for Jake Allen here in December, despite the fact that he's won each of his last three starts. He's posted a horrid .884 save percentage in five outings this month, which has resulted in him yielding more work to Martin Brodeur than anticipated. Still, with a powerful offense and strong defense supporting him, the wins should keep coming rather steadily for the struggling netminder.

Antti Niemi
Sharks' Niemi To Take Aim At Seventh Straight Win
Antti Niemi, G, SJ
12/21/2014
News: Antti Niemi will be between the pipes Saturday night against the Blues, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports.
Analysis: Antti Niemi will take aim at his seventh straight victory Saturday, though he hasn't been as consistently sharp as the winning streak would suggest. During that stretch, he's surrendered three goals or more on three occasions, but did manage to capture his second shutout of the season. He'll have his work cut out for him against the Blues, who rank sixth in the NHL in goals and fifth in shot attempts per game.

Mikael Granlund
Wild's Granlund Out With Illness
Mikael Granlund, C, MIN
5:09 PM
News: Mikael Granlund is ill and will not play Saturday against the Predators, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Analysis: Although the immediate reaction might be: "Mumps!" - that's not the case here. Mikael Granlund fell victim to the stomach ailment that has claimed four other victims in the Minnesota locker room. He'll have a few days to recover before the Wild's next game Tuesday against the Flyers. Justin Fontaine will replace Granlund in the lineup.

Max Pacioretty
Habs' Pacioretty (Upper Body) Returns Saturday
Max Pacioretty, LW, MON
4:24 PM
News: Max Pacioretty is in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Senators.
Analysis: Max Pacioretty's injury was muscular in nature, so he likely sustained no lasting damage from the hit he took Friday from Clayton Stoner that sent him to the hospital.

Tyler Johnson
Bolts' Johnson (Illness) Returns Saturday
Tyler Johnson, C, TB
4:16 PM
News: Tyler Johnson has returned to the Tampa Bay lineup for Saturday's game against the Islanders, Joe Smith of the Tamba Bay Times reports.
Analysis: Tyler Johnson participated in the pregame skate and will be in the lineup. It's not impossible that he's pulled if he isn't feeling well, though.

 
 
 
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