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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
Cam Talbot
Rangers' Talbot Silences Flyers
Cam Talbot, G, NYR
11/29/2014
News: Cam Talbot stopped all 26 shots he faced to blank the Flyers on Friday.
Analysis: That gives Cam Talbot back-to-back shutouts against the Flyers, who failed to get one by the netminder when the two teams met last week. Despite his extraordinary success against Philadelphia, coach Alain Vigneault will resist the temptation to go back to him in Saturday's rematch, as Henrik Lundqvist has already been announced as that game's starter. In any case, the back-to-back positive turns amount to a nice confidence boost for Talbot, who had mostly struggled in his other outings this season.

Frederik Andersen
Ducks To Start Andersen On Friday
Frederik Andersen, G, ANA
11/29/2014
News: Frederik Andersen led the Ducks on to the ice and will make the start in goal Friday versus the Blackhawks.
Analysis: Frederik Andersen has reeled off three straight wins on the heels of a five-game losing streak, but he'll face a stiff test at home against Chicago. Friday's game will mark the first of a back-to-back set for the Ducks, so it's possible coach Bruce Boudreau will turn to backup Jason LaBarbera on Saturday.

Jesse Blacker
Ducks Recall Prospect Blacker
Jesse Blacker, D, ANA
11/29/2014
News: Jesse Blacker was recalled from AHL Norfolk on Friday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports.
Analysis: Clayton Stoner was officially diagnosed with the mumps virus and ruled out of Friday's game against the Blackhawks, forcing the Ducks to bring up Jesse Blacker for his NHL debut. The 23-year-old, who is considered one of the organization's better blue line prospects, has four points in 14 games with Norfolk.

Clayton Stoner
Ducks' Stoner Has Mumps, Out Saturday
Clayton Stoner, D, ANA
11/29/2014
News: Clayton Stoner (illness) has been officially diagnosed with the mumps virus and will not play Friday against the Blackhawks, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports.
Analysis: Clayton Stoner practiced Thursday and seemed well on his way to returning to action, but apparently some late-emerging symptoms of the mumps will knock him out of action. The setback has to be concerning for the Ducks, who now might have to worry about further players potentially being infected by Stoner. Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin previously missed multiple games with the illness.

Mike Green
Caps' Green To Sit Again Friday
Mike Green, D, WAS
11/29/2014
News: Mike Green (upper body) will not play Friday against the Islanders, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports.
Analysis: Jack Hillen will spell him in the Capitals' lineup for the second straight game. It hasn't been reported that Mike Green has resumed skating since suffering the injury, so it's not clear when he might rejoin the lineup.

Johnny Boychuk
Isles' Boychuk Ruled Out Friday
Johnny Boychuk, D, NYI
11/29/2014
News: Johnny Boychuk will miss Friday's game against the Capitals with an upper-body injury.
Analysis: Johnny Boychuk had been missing practices recently with a suspected knee issue, so the fact that he'll sit out Friday with an upper-body injury comes as a surprise. The blueliner, who has been highly productive since coming over in a trade with the Bruins late in training camp, will be considered day-to-day for the time being. Brian Strait takes his spot in the lineup Friday.

Chad Johnson
Isles To Go With Johnson
Chad Johnson, G, NYI
11/29/2014
News: Chad Johnson will be in the crease Friday against the Capitals.
Analysis: Chad Johnson will spell the red-hot Jaroslav Halak in goal, but only because the Islanders are playing the first game of a back-to-back set. The move from Boston to Long Island hasn't proven overly kind for Johnson, despite the 5-2 record he carries into Friday's contest. His 3.33 GAA and .876 save percentage rank 38th and 42nd, respectively, among the 42 qualifying goaltenders.

Justin Schultz
Oilers' Schultz Returns To The Lineup
Justin Schultz, D, EDM
5:19 PM
News: Justin Schultz returned to the lineup for the Oilers on Friday, according to the Edmonton Journal.
Analysis: Justin Schultz has been struggling mightily for most of the season and was a healthy scratch Thursday versus Nashville. Schultz has never been the player most thought he could be since coming to Edmonton which could lead one to ask, is that the players fault, or the organizations?

Jonathan Quick
Kings' Quick Expected To Start Saturday
Jonathan Quick, G, LA
5:18 PM
News: Jonathan Quick is expected to get the start in net on Saturday when the Kings take on the Blackhawks, Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Analysis: After backing up Martin Jones for the Kings' previous two games, Jonathan Quick is expected to start in net on Saturday. Quick struggled in his last start, making just 18 saves in a 5-4 loss to the Stars. The extra rest could very well lead to a bounce back performance for the King's star goaltender.

Duncan Keith
Blackhawks' Keith Named First Star In Friday's Win
Duncan Keith, D, CHI
5:09 PM
News: Duncan Keith contributed an assist and was a plus-3 Friday, earning first star honors in a win over Anaheim.
Analysis: Another solid outing for Duncan Keith, who is now riding a four-game point streak, putting him at five goals and 15 points in 23 games on the season. He is an absolute workhorse and one of the most consistent fantasy defensemen around. Keep him rolling.

 
 
 
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