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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
Nikita Nesterov
Bolts' Nesterov May Stick In NHL For Now
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News: Nikita Nesterov is likely to stay with the Lightning and see regular action now that Matt Carle is slated for surgery on Tuesday that will keep him out of the lineup for up to two months.
Analysis: He's dependable and plays with an edge. And while he has picked up his scoring a bit this season in the AHL, Nikita Nesterov should not be mistaken for a scorer. But he can chew minutes.

Mark Barberio
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1/25/2015
News: Mark Barberio may be in line for more consistent playing time now that Matt Carle is set for surgery on Tuesday.
Analysis: Mark Barberio has been in and out of the lineup as a healthy scratch, but Carle's injury makes room for him to slot in and show his stuff. Right now, he's still not fantasy worthy as he tends to overthink things when he's on the ice. Watch and wait before you snag him off the wire.

Anton Stralman
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News: Anton Stralman is poised to see an increase in ice time in all situations now that Matt Carle is scheduled for surgery on a torn abductor muscle.
Analysis: Carle is slated to be out six-to-eight weeks, so the pillars on the Bolts' blue line will see extra duty to support some of the younger players. Anton Stralman should be able to sustain his current offensive pace in this situation and that makes him a solid fantasy activation until season's end.

Dennis Rasmussen
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1/25/2015
News: The Blackhawks have recalled Dennis Rasmussen from AHL Rockford, the team's official site reports.
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Patrick Kane
Hawks' Kane Wins Most Accurate Shooter Contest
Patrick Kane, RW, CHI
1/24/2015
News: Patrick Kane won the Shooting Accuracy competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Columbus on Saturday night.
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Shea Weber
Preds' Weber Wins Hardest Shot Competition
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1/24/2015
News: Shea Weber won the Hardest Shot competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Columbus on Saturday.
Analysis: He fired the puck at 108.5 mph, just 0.3 mph off Zdeno Chara's record (2012). There were plenty of nods and murmurs among the other all stars, so perhaps this win will buy Shea Weber a few more lanes to the net for that shot. No-one will want to stand in front of one of those.

Steven Stamkos
Bolts' Stamkos Hopes To Sign Extension Next Summer
Steven Stamkos, C, TB
1/24/2015
News: Steven Stamkos is eyeing a summer contract extension with the Lightning, reports the Tampa Bay Times. He can't sign an extension until July 1.
Analysis: Stammer is in line for a deal like the ones that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews signed in Chicago. Those are eight-year, $84 million contracts and they both inked the deals a year before they could become unrestricted free agents. It looks like he'll be a fixture in Tampa for a long time and that's great news for fans and fantasy owners alike.

Tyler Johnson
Tampa Bay's Johnson Out For All-Star Game
Tyler Johnson, C, TB
1/24/2015
News: Tyler Johnson (lower body) will not play in Sunday's All-Star Game, but he will be eligible to play in Tuesday's game against the Hurricanes if healthy, ESPN reports. He is at the All-Star festivities even though he isn't going to play.
Analysis: Tyler Johnson appears to be sitting out as a precaution more than anything. He played in the last three games leading up to the All-Star break, so there's little reason to think he won't be ready to go for Tuesday's game.

Jonathan Drouin
Bolts' Drouin Fastest Skater In NHL
Jonathan Drouin, LW, TB
1/24/2015
News: Jonathan Drouin won the Fastest Skater competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Columbus on Saturday night. His time was 13.103.
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Clayton Stoner
Ducks' Stoner Expected To Play Next Week
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News: Coach Bruce Boudreau said that he expects Clayton Stoner (lower body) to be available when the Ducks resume play the Canucks on Tuesday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports.
Analysis: Clayton Stoner was a late scratch for the Ducks' final game before the All-Star break this past Wednesday due to the lower-body ailment, which he sustained the previous weekend against the Kings. It appears to be just a minor concern for Stoner, whose availability for the game against the Canucks should be confirmed when he returns to practice Monday.

 
 
 
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