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Week 6 schedule analysis

by | Rotowire.com
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The NHL schedule has been anything but predictable. Perhaps it's Detroit's reassignment to the Eastern Conference, but it seems the Western Conference has taken the alpha role one month into the season. Headed into Friday's (11/1/13) action 10 of the 16 Eastern Conference had a record above .500 while the Western Conference, who has a gaudy combined record of 57-21-10 in home games, has just three teams of the same futility. With the beginning of the month just having passed, we felt a weekly and monthly perspective was needed.

*All teams include (this week's schedule, home/away totals for the month; BOLD indicates back-to-back occurrence).

NHL schedule

Four Aces

Anaheim (at NYR, PHX, BUF VAN-6H/9A) Ducks will play four games including the two very different teams (Buffalo, Phoenix) on the back end of back-to-back nights.

Edmonton (at FLA, at TB, at PHI, at CHI- 6H/7A) goes on a Florida swing before sweeping up to Philly and Chicago to end the week, yikes.

Florida (EDM, at BOS, at OTT, at NYR-6H/9A) is hosting Edmonton on Tuesday before playing eight of their next nine games on the road over the next 19 days. Opponents include Boston, Ottawa, the Avs and Canucks to name a few.

The second-place Islanders (at WAS, at CAR, at CLS, at MON-7H/8A) have five of their next 6 on the road. Sooner or later these guys are going to need an upgrade or veteran depth of some kind at the goalie position.

The Rangers (ANH, PIT, at CLS, FLA- 8H/7A) start November with seven of their first 10 at the Garden.

The Vancouver Canucks (at PHX, at SJ, at LA, at ANH-7H/6A) finally extended the Sedins, how will they react?

The beginning and end of the week will be most trying for the Washington Capitals (NYI, MIN, at PHX, at COL- 8H/7A).

Back-To-Back

Buffalo (at SJ, at LA, at ANH- 7H/6A), New Jersey (at PHI, at TOR, NAS-7H/8A) and Phoenix (VAN, at ANH, WAS- 6H/6A) all have games on back-to-back nights.

One Pair

Tampa Bay (EDM, at DET- 6H/8A) plays 14 games in the month of November and is one of four teams playing just a pair of tilts this week.

Los Angeles (BUF, VAN-7H/6A will host the Sabres and Canucks before a four-game East Coast swing.

Pittsburgh (at NYR, at STL- 6H/9A) has no trend, spending most of a busy 15-game month on two and three game road trips.

Toronto (NJ, at BOS) has just 13 games this month, five on the road to start, beginning with playing on back-to-back nights this week.

Three of a Kind

Aside from the streaking Colorado (NAS, CAL, WAS) Avalanche, who play three easy tilts at home, here are some teams playing vanilla (3 games) schedules not only this week, but have a 13-15 game schedule in the month of November.

After visiting the Jets on Monday, Detroit (at WPG, DAL, TB-8H/6A) heads home for seven of their next 8 games and the competition includes inconsistent teams like the Stars, Jets, Caps, Preds, Canes and Sens.

Nashville (at COL, at WPG, at NJ- 5H/9A) is in the midst of a seven-game road trip. After catching their breath against the Wings on the 19th, Preds visit Toronto on the 21st then play four of their last five at home in November.

Philadelphia (at CAR, NJ, EDM - 7H/8A) will play six of their first eight games in November on the road.

Ottawa (at CLS, MON, FLA-9H/5A) will host seven of their first eight games this month.

San Jose (BUF, VAN, at WPG-8H/5A) starts with three at home, five on the road, and then five at home to close out the month.

After traveling to Montreal, St. Louis (at MTL, CAL, PIT-7H/8A) heads home for seven of next 10 contests.

The Calgary (at MIN, at STL, at COL-7H/7A) Flames flip flop most of the month, a few 3 game trends, but nothing that sticks out.

Carolina (PHI, NYI, MIN-9H/5A) begins the month with a five game homestand, starting with three very winnable games.

Two Pair

Dallas (at BOS, at DET, CHI-5H/7A) is the team with the shortest (fewest games) straw this month and beginning with a troubling trio of games this week.

Columbus (OTT, NYR, NYI-7H/9A) has a 16-game schedule this month, so Blue Jacket fans and management should find out early what the commitment is there.

The defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins (DAL, FLA, TOR-10H/5A) are playing 10 out of 15 games this month from TD Garden, including a five game home-stand starting this week with a few cupcakes coming into town. If we were betting men, and we are, put your money on Claude Julien's B's.

The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks (WPG, at DAL, EDM-5H/10A) bear an exactly opposite fate in November, after playing four of their first six at home, eight of their final nine games in the month are on the road.

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Player News
Adam Clendening
Canucks' Clendening To Debut Sunday
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News: Adam Clendening will make his Canucks debut Sunday against the Wild, Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun reports.
Analysis: The Canucks were motivated to acquire the young blueliner from the Blackhawks after Kevin Bieksa (hand) was ruled out for six to eight weeks. Adam Clendening will immediately assume a spot on the club's third pairing, joining Luca Sbisa. While he won't eat up all of Bieksa's 21:16 average TOI, Clendening should slot in on the second power-play unit, displacing Yannick Weber. The rearguard lacks much experience at the NHL level, but did show a dash of offensive potential during his four-game stint with the Blackhawks earlier in the season, tallying a goal and an assist.

Derek Dorsett
Canucks' Dorsett Returns To Practice
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2/1/2015
News: Derek Dorsett (neck) took part in Saturday's practice, Jon Abbott of TSN Radio Vancouver reports.
Analysis: Derek Dorsett appeared to be a full participant in his first practice since suffering the injury Wednesday against the Ducks, taking part in battle drills with the team's other healthy skaters. Coach Willie Desjardins indicated Dorsett will be a possible lineup option for Sunday's game against the Wild, but his status likely won't be known until the Canucks hold pregame warmups.

Alex Tanguay
Bruised Hand Knocks Avs' Tanguay Out Of Practice
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News: Alex Tanguay missed Saturday's practice due to a bruised hand, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports.
Analysis: Alex Tanguay suffered the injury in Friday's game against Nashville, when a slap shot from Seth Jones ricocheted off his hand. He is expected to resume practicing with the team Monday, which would put him on track to play Tuesday against the Stars.

Martin Hanzal
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News: The Coyotes announced prior to Saturday's game against the Senators that Martin Hanzal is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Analysis: Martin Hanzal's injury was deemed "minor" by coach Dave Tippett on Friday, and the day-to-day designation would seem to verify that's indeed the case. The Coyotes will check in on his condition Sunday morning before deciding if he'll be available for the matinee with the Canadiens.

Colin McDonald
Isles Reassign McDonald
Colin McDonald, RW, NYI
2/1/2015
News: Colin McDonald was reassigned to AHL Bridgeport prior to Saturday's game against the Red Wings, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
Analysis: Colin McDonald was strictly considered an emergency option Saturday while Casey Cizikas contended with a foot injury. After Cizikas was able to skate during the warmup without incident, McDonald's services were no longer needed by the Islanders.

Tyler Kennedy
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2/1/2015
News: Tyler Kennedy (lower body) was able to take part in Saturday's morning skate, but won't be a lineup option for the Sharks' tilt with the Blackhawks, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Analysis: Tyler Kennedy is reportedly dealing with muscle spasms in the lower-body injury, the fourth unique ailment he's had to deal with this season. The winger declined to put an estimate on a potential return date, but if he continues to practice without much pain over the next couple of days, he could be ready to go for Monday's match against Edmonton.

Nikita Nikitin
Oilers' Nikitin Ruled Out 4-6 Weeks
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2/1/2015
News: Nikita Nikitin (shoulder) was officially ruled out for four to six weeks Saturday, Jack Michaels of the Oilers Radio Network reports.
Analysis: The Oilers will more than likely place Nikita Nikitin on injured reserve in the coming days while he contends with the long-term injury. His absence should go relatively unnoticed in the fantasy realm, as eight points and a minus-9 rating in 34 games don't exactly scream "roster me." Keith Aulie looks to be Nikitin's primary replacement on the Oilers' third defensive pairing.

Ben Scrivens
Oilers' Scrivens Garners Nod Saturday
Ben Scrivens, G, EDM
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News: Ben Scrivens will be in the cage for Saturday's game against the Flames, Jack Michaels of the Oilers Radio Network reports.
Analysis: After a capable showing Thursday against the Sabres during which he allowed two goals on 20 shots, Ben Scrivens will earn a second consecutive nod. The Oilers have been playing better hockey since the calendar turned to 2015, but it's still difficult to count on Scrivens for wins against the NHL's elite teams, and even middle-of-the-pack squads like the Flames. Scrivens' value is further hindered by the Oilers seemingly adopting a timeshare in goal, as Viktor Fasth has kept his name salient in the battle for starting duties.

Brett Ritchie
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News: Brett Ritchie will be held out of Saturday's game against the Coyotes while he continues to nurse an undisclosed injury, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: While the Stars decided to activate Brett Ritchie from injured reserve Wednesday, his unavailability in the team's subsequent two games suggests he's not feeling 100 percent just yet. His next chance to play will come Tuesday against the Avalanche.

Erik Cole
Stars' Cole Out Again Saturday
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News: Erik Cole (upper body) will not play Saturday against the Jets, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: Erik Cole will miss his third straight game due to the injury. He's been able to practice the last few days, so he'll remain in the day-to-day camp for the time being, with a return to action perhaps coming next week.

 
 
 
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