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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.

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(all data courtesy of CBSSports.com)

NHL schedule

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Player News
Bobby Ryan
Sens' Ryan Sidelined After Collision
Bobby Ryan, RW, OTT
7:16 AM
News: Bobby Ryan will sit out Monday's pre-season games for precautionary reasons, the Ottawa Sun reports.
Analysis: Bobby Ryan collided with linemate Kyle Turris during the second period of a team scrimmage Sunday, and did not return to the ice. He was able to skate Monday morning, but will sit out the Sens pre-season games as a precaution. Team doctors want to make sure he doesn't experience any delayed concussion symptoms, so they're just playing it safe with the star winger for now. Ryan isn't expected to miss any significant time at this point.

Mark Visentin
Coyotes' Visentin (Lower Body) Helped Off Ice
Mark Visentin, G, ARI
12:51 AM
News: Mark Visentin suffered a lower body injury during Sunday's training camp scrimmage.
Analysis: Mark Visentin was helped off of the ice, so it's possible the injury is something fairly serious, but it's too early to tell, as the report did not provide definitive details. Another update should be forthcoming once Visentin is evaluated by the team's medical staff.

Nathan Lieuwen
Sabres Start Lieuwen In Preseason Opener
Nathan Lieuwen, G, BUF
12:25 AM
News: Nathan Lieuwen will start and possibly play the whole game in their preseason opener Sunday against Washington.
Analysis: The Sabres are dressing their two AHL goalies with Nathan Lieuwen and Andrey Makarov. Lieuwen, a sixth-round pick, usurped the starting job from Matt Hackett in Rochester last year until a concussion shut Lieuwen down for the season, paving the way for Makarov to finish as Rochester's starter in the playoffs. Lieuwen finished his AHL season with a .922 save percentage and 17 wins in 32 appearances. Interesting to hear that head coach Ted Nolan will likely play Lieuwen the whole game, sending the message loud and clear that each goalie will get a fair shot and a fair look. It's open season in the organization right now as Lieuwen and Makarov vie for the starting job in Rochester while Michal Neuvirth and Jhonas Enroth battle for the big league gig.

Jon Merrill
Merrill To Sit Monday For Devils
Jon Merrill, D, NJ
9/21/2014
News: Jon Merrill (head) will not play Monday against the Rangers in the Devils' preseason opener after suffering a slight head injury Saturday.
Analysis: Jon Merrill collided with Ruslan Fedotenko on Saturday and appeared woozy. He will not play Monday simply as a precaution and will likely be limited in the coming week.

Cory Schneider
Devils To Rest Schneider Monday
Cory Schneider, G, NJ
9/21/2014
News: Cory Schneider will not play in Monday's preseason opener against the Rangers.
Analysis: Schenider's job as New Jersey's No. 1 netminder is massively secure, but the team needs to figure out who will be their backup netminder this season. That contest is between Scott Wedgewood, Keith Kinkaid and Maxime Clermont, two of whom will begin the season in the AHL. Schenider had some of the best peripheral statistics among NHL starting goaltenders last season despite just 16 wins in 45 games. He's a safe option after the netminders who will pile up wins are snagged.

Mike Cammalleri
Cammalleri Seeing Time On Devils' Top Line
Mike Cammalleri, LW, NJ
9/21/2014
News: Mike Cammalleri has been playing left wing on the team's top line alongside Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr, the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti reports.
Analysis: Mike Cammalleri will be expected to challenge the 30-goal plateau and could have a decent shot if he is able to develop chemistry with Zajac and Jagr. The veteran sniper can also play center, but the Devils are starting him off on the wing where he will be expected to shoot often. Cammalleri had 26 goals in 63 games last year for Calgary, a season that saw him battle various nagging injuries.

Adam Larsson
Larsson Under Pressure At Devils' Camp
Adam Larsson, D, NJ
9/21/2014
News: Adam Larsson will need to earn the trust of the New Jersey coaching staff in order to secure a spot in the team's lineup.
Analysis: Adam Larsson has to have a strong camp in order to secure one of the open spots on the team's roster. With him on a one-way, one-year contract now, he'll have to pass through waivers if he is sent down, so he has a roster spot in theory. The fourth-overall pick of the 2011 draft has seen sparse ice time the last few seasons and will need to have a strong training camp along with fellow youngster Eric Gelinas in order to earn the trust of the team's coaching staff.

Eric Gelinas
Gelinas Needs To Impress Devils' Coaches
Eric Gelinas, D, NJ
9/21/2014
News: Eric Gelinas will need to earn the trust of the New Jersey coaching staff in order to secure a spot in the team's lineup.
Analysis: Eric Gelinas had a rather up-and-down rookie season, with the bulk of his 29 points coming early in his 60 games. He spent several stints in the minors and will need to play well in preseason games to earn a regular spot on the roster. He offers a ton of offensive upside, especially on the power play where he snagged 17 points, but him receiving regular ice time will come down to how he plays in his own zone. The Devils' coaching staff love their veterans and Gelinas had a rather short leash last season. He's worth a risk, just don't make it a sizable one in most leagues.

Erik Haula
Wild's Haula (Jaw) Back To Full Speed
Erik Haula, LW, MIN
9/21/2014
News: Erik Haula, who suffered a broken jaw at the World Championships in Belarus in May, is back to full strength at the start of training camp, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Analysis: Erik Haula looks set to center the Wild's third line. Huala had a strong showing in the playoffs with four goals and seven points in 11 games and looks set to build on that performance with a set job in the NHL this season.

Andre Burakovsky
Caps' Burakovsky Scores First (Unofficial) Goal
Andre Burakovsky, LW, WAS
9/21/2014
News: Andre Burakovsky scored the only goal in the Capitals' 1-0 over Buffalo on Sunday night.
Analysis: Andre Burakovsky scored a nice wrist shot from the face-off circle, and continued to build on his impressive offseason. While Burakovsky is likely destined for AHL Hershey for the balance of the season, the 19-year-old Swede has impressed his coaches throughout the summer. With the leg injury to Tom Wilson and Burakovsky's emerging skills as a potential scoring line center, Burakovsky might be able to secure a roster spot if he keeps this level of play throughout preseason. Keep an eye on him, as Burakovsky has some burgeoning sleeper potential in single-season leagues, and is a must own in keeper leagues.

 
 
 
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