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Week 4 schedule analysis

by | Rotowire.com
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With just 11 days remaining in the month, we decided to seek out some trends to focus on. Minnesota (NAS, CAR at CHI) will end the week on Saturday night with the first half of a home-and-home with Stanley Cup champs. But teams with very different schedules will make a bigger impact to your lineups over the next two weeks.

NHL schedule

Three of a Kind

Chicago (at FLA, at TB, MIN), Montreal (EDM, ANH, SJ) and Pittsburgh (COL, NYI, at TOR) will all play seven games over the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Florida (CHI, BUF, TB), Nashville (at MIN, WPG, STL), Colorado (at PIT, CAR, WPG) and Columbus (NJ, TOR, ANH) all play just five games over the next 14 days.

Flush

In Flush, five teams have busy (four games) and seemingly brutal schedules. Some members of the Pacific Division (plus Winnipeg) play host to Alexander Ovechkin and the traveling Caps.

Anaheim (at TOR, at MON, at OTT, at CLS) is off to a good start and even Teemu Selanne is warming up.

Calgary (at LA, at PHX, at DAL, WAS): The Sean Monahan countdown continues. He had a power play goal and an assist in San Jose on Saturday night. Will the Flames send him back down to Juniors or keep him up? Joey MacDonald is 0-2-1 (4.25 GAA) versus the Caps.

San Jose (at DET, at BOS, at MON, at OTT: Matt Nieto continues his "progressive" additions to the stat sheet. More importantly Logan Couture (nine points in seven games) is returning to form after a down lock-out shortened season. Antti Niemi is 3-0-1 (1.98 GAA, 1 SO) in his career against the touring Caps.

Edmonton (at MON, WAS, at PHX, at LA): The Oilers are apparently on Ryan Miller’s no-trade clause, so what now? Jason LaBarbera is not a likely candidate for putting a team on his back all the way to what is now a deep run in the NHL playoffs. In the meantime, Mark Arcobello is just piling up the points in Alberta. If he is to continue his pace, it would not be a stretch for the undrafted 25-year-old who had 46 assists in 74 games with the Oklahoma City Barons. He also set a career-high with 22 goals with the Barons as well.

Winnipeg (WAS, at NAS, at DAL, at COL): However, the good news for Alberta natives is not both incumbent NHL starters fell flat on their face like the unmentioned Edmonton man. Ondrej Pavelec rebounded from a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over St. Louis on Friday. It's noteworthy that Pavelec's offense only scored four goals during that losing streak. However, Pavelec did not have a good campaign (1-4, 3.62 GAA) against the former division rival Capitals in last year's lock-out shortened season.

One Pair

Philadelphia (NYR, at NYI), St. Louis (VAN, at NAS) and Carolina (at MIN, at COL) are three of the five teams who play just twice this week.

Dallas (CAL, WPG): Despite having the very talented Alex Chiasson and underrated Cody Eakin, the Stars won't be a great source of points until next week when they play four games. Dan Ellis was solid against the Sharks earlier this week, but could the day-to-day Kari Lehtonen (lower-body) be back soon? By this time next week, we may need to consider whether Jack Campbell’s services will be needed.

Rangers (at PHI, at DET): A movement of excitement began when Henrik Lundqvist blanked the Caps and the Rangers power-play rose from the dead. However, Ryan Callahan's broken digit only compounds Rick Nash's (concussion) continuous absence. The hope is Carl Hagelin's return will help wash out these injuries. If the Rangers offense remains stagnant (Taylor Pyatt on the first line?), you could see highly touted winger J.T. Miller register top-six minutes this week. If so, pounce, and Jesper Fast could sneak up there as well. But either way, the Rangers won't make any splashes on your week with just two tilts.

Back-To-Back

For those in leagues with weekly lineups, you have some tough decisions to make. In addition to the Ducks, Flames, Oilers, Sharks, Blues and Jets, the following teams playing three games this week will all play games on consecutive nights at some point this week.

Vancouver (at NYI, at NJ, STL) flies home from visiting dear old friend Cory Schneider before hosting the Blues.

Toronto (ANH, at CLS, PIT) has a tough week ahead. After hosting the Ducks, they'll travel to Columbus on Friday and host the Pens on Saturday.

After opening the week with a few days off, Tampa Bay (CHI, BUF, at FLA) will tangle with the Blackhawks on Thursday, then host Buffalo on Saturday and travel to play the Panthers in a De facto road game on Sunday.

Pittsburgh will host Colorado on Monday, before back-to-back games against the Isles at home on Friday and then the aforementioned tilt with Toronto on Saturday.

The Islanders (VAN, at PIT, PHI) travel to take on the Pens before heading back to the Island to host the lackluster Flyers on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Buffalo (BOS, at FLA, at TB) and Boston (at BUF, SJ, NJ) will take different journeys after meeting each other Wednesday. Tuukka Rask's backup, Chad Johnson, will likely get the nod hosting Buffalo as the Bruins head home on Thursday to take on the Sharks. Buffalo will likely look to their backup Jhonas Enroth when they begin their Florida swing on Friday.

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Player News
Anders Lee
Islanders' Lee Likely Scratch Saturday
Anders Lee, C, NYI
4/26/2015
News: Anders Lee is likely to be a scratch for Game 6 on Saturday, Zac Boyer of the Washington Times reports.
Analysis: Anders Lee will likely be replaced by Eric Boulton in the lineup. The 24-year-old had been ineffective through the first five games of the Islanders' series and all signs point to Lee sitting out for Game 6.

Nikolay Kulemin
Kulemin Scores Winner For Isles, Forces Game 7
Nikolay Kulemin, LW, NYI
7:13 PM
News: Nikolay Kulemin scored the game-winning goal in Saturday's 3-1, Game 6 win over the Capitals.
Analysis: He was Johnny on the spot and wide open in front of Braden Holtby on a strange play. He went across the top of the crease and wrapped the puck inside the left post after bulling his way through a melee between the benches. There were simply too many Caps out of the play and Kuly took advantage. It's his second point of the postseason.

John Tavares
Tavares Helps Lead Isles To Game 6 Win
John Tavares, C, NYI
7:07 PM
News: John Tavares had a goal and assist in Saturday's Game 6 win over the Capitals. He opened the scoring seven minutes into the game and set up the winner.
Analysis: He now has six points in six games and is the reason the winning goal was scored. There was a bit of a shoving match going on in between the two benches and he gathered the puck up and took off up the middle. He tried to split the defenders and was bowled over by two Caps before he could get the shot off. The puck squirted to a teammate, who set up Nik Kulemin who wrapped it in while those two Caps were still in the corner with John Tavares.

Ronalds Kenins
Canucks' Kenins A Healthy Scratch In Game 6
Ronalds Kenins, LW, VAN
6:10 PM
News: Ronalds Kenins will be a healthy scratch for Game 6 against the Flames on Saturday, Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca reports.
Analysis: Ronalds Kenins took the ice in the first five games of the series but didn't cut the mustard for Game 6. At this point his status for a potential Game 7 will be unknown until pregame warmups Monday.

Ryan Miller
Canucks' Miller To Start In Game 6
Ryan Miller, G, VAN
5:37 PM
News: Ryan Miller will start in net against the Flames for Game 6 on Saturday.
Analysis: Ryan Miller made the most of a relief appearance in Game 4 and had a solid outing as the starter in Game 5 that secured his spot in net for Saturday. His last time out resulted in 20 saves and one goal allowed, but the 34-year-old will be taking the ice for a second-straight elimination game.

Calvin de Haan
Isles' de Haan (Shoulder) Sits Out Saturday
Calvin de Haan, D, NYI
5:28 PM
News: De Haan (shoulder) was unable to take the ice in Game 6 against the Capitals on Saturday.
Analysis: De Haan was considered questionable heading into Game 6 and ultimately stayed off the ice as a result of his current shoulder injury. His next opportunity to skate will be in Game 7 on Monday.

Eric Nystrom
Preds' Nystrom (Lower Body) Out Saturday
Eric Nystrom, LW, NSH
5:07 PM
News: Eric Nystrom (lower body) will not skate in Game 6 against Chicago on Saturday, Kristopher Martel of FOX Sports reports.
Analysis: Eric Nystrom hasn't taken the ice since Mar. 3 so his Saturday scratch is not all that surprising. However, he's back at practice and could rejoin his team in competition soon if the Predators can find a way to edge out the Blackhawks.

Teuvo Teravainen
Black Hawks' Teravainen Scratched Saturday
Teuvo Teravainen, LW, CHI
5:02 PM
News: Teuvo Teravainen is not on the ice for pregame warm ups before Saturday's Game 6 contest with the Predators and will be scratched from the lineup, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Analysis: Teuvo Teravainen has not played since Game 2 of Chicago's series against Nashville. He registered an assist in Game 1 but did not factor in the scoring in Game 2.

Gabriel Bourque
Predators' Bourque On The Ice For Warmup
Gabriel Bourque, LW, NSH
4:55 PM
News: Gabriel Bourque is on the ice for pre-game warm ups, Adam Vingan of The Tennessean reports.
Analysis: Gabriel Bourque missed Game 5 with an upper-body injury, but was able to participate in Saturday's morning skate. He is taking part in warm ups and is slated to be on a line with Paul Gaustad and Viktor Stalberg.

Pekka Rinne
Predators' Rinne To Start Game 6
Pekka Rinne, G, NSH
4:45 PM
News: Pekka Rinne will get the start Saturday for Game 6 against Chicago.
Analysis: Pekka Rinne responded from Tuesday's triple overtime loss to hold Chicago to two goals on 30 shots in Game 5. He will be in net once again Saturday.

 
 
 
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