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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
Steve Mason
Flyers' Mason Set To Start Thursday
Steve Mason, G, PHI
3/5/2015
News: Steve Mason is in line to start Thursday's game against the Blues, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Analysis: Steve Mason -- who has given up five goals over his last two outings -- is thus on track to make his third straight start for the Flyers since returning from a knee injury.

Mark Fraser
Fraser Credited With Assist In Devils Win
Mark Fraser, D, NJ
3/5/2015
News: Mark Fraser was credited with an assist, four hits, and four blocked shots in Tuesday's win over the Predators.
Analysis: The improved play of Eric Gelinas has cost Mark Fraser a regular lineup spot in recent weeks, but he's at least been able to draw back in for the last three games. He's not been totally useless during that time with nine PIM and eight hits in addition to the assist, but the general lack of offensive production throughout his career puts a definite ceiling on his fantasy value.

Andrej Sustr
Bolts' Sustr Gathers Assist In Win
Andrej Sustr, D, TB
3/5/2015
News: Andrej Sustr pocketed an assist in Tuesday's win over the Sabres.
Analysis: Following the acquisition of Braydon Coburn at the trade deadline, the Bolts shuffled around their defensive pairings, with Andrej Sustr slotting in next to Mark Barberio. Both players profile as stay-at-home types, which should prevent either from accumulating much meaningful offensive numbers. Sustr hasn't exactly shined regardless of who his defensive mate as been this season, as his total of nine points over 61 games would attest.

David Booth
Leafs' Booth Shoots Five Times, Gets Assist In Win
David Booth, LW, TOR
3/5/2015
News: David Booth was active in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Panthers, notching an assist and attempting five shots on goal.
Analysis: The five shots were the second-highest total of the season for David Booth, who typically doesn't see many favorable scoring opportunities in his bottom-six role. Unsurprisingly, his point totals (one goal, five assists in 41 games) remain rather depressed, a trend that should continue while he barely averages over 10 minutes of ice time per night, with none coming on the power play.

Jyrki Jokipakka
Stars' Jokipakka Records Assist, Three SOG In Win
Jyrki Jokipakka, D, DAL
3/5/2015
News: Jyrki Jokipakka picked up an assist and put three shots on net in Tuesday's win over the Islanders.
Analysis: Jyrki Jokipakka's offensive production has been light this season (zero goals, nine assists in 34 games), but the 23-year-old has generally acquitted himself well in his first taste of NHL action. However, with Patrik Nemeth (arm) returning from a long-term injury Tuesday, Jokipakka could soon be at risk at losing his regular spot on the Stars' second pairing, which would essentially sink his already minimal fantasy utility.

Karri Ramo
Flames Turn To Ramo On Thursday
Karri Ramo, G, CGY
3/5/2015
News: Karri Ramo is slated to start Thursday's game against the Bruins, Roger Millions of Sportsnet reports.
Analysis: Though he's 2-2 over his last four games, Karri Ramo has given up just five goals in that span, so he's in line for his fifth straight start on Thursday after last giving way to Jonas Hiller on Feb. 20.

T.J. Brodie
Flames' Brodie Helps Out In Win
T.J. Brodie, D, CGY
3/5/2015
News: T.J. Brodie recorded an assist and blocked seven shots on the defensive end in Tuesday's win over the Islanders.
Analysis: With Mark Giordano set to miss the rest of the season with a torn biceps tendon, T.J. Brodie is slated to serve as the Flames' top defenseman from here on out. He's already seen a significant spike in his TOI since Giordano exited the lineup, logging 29:06 and 26:59 in ice time in the last two games. The increased minutes should only help Brodie raise his production in the counting stats categories.

John Klingberg
Stars' Klingberg Active In Win
John Klingberg, D, DAL
3/5/2015
News: John Klingberg dished out an assist and claimed four PIM in Tuesday's win over the Islanders.
Analysis: John Klingberg typically doesn't offer many contributions in the PIM category, but the points have been flying in rapidly since his promotion to the big club in November. The rookie has already established himself as one of the best fantasy defenseman out there, producing an impressive 10 goals and 24 assists in 52 games. Though he hasn't found the net since Feb. 5, Klingberg has maintained value by claiming nine of his helpers since that time. He's quickly making up ground on the Preds' Filip Forsberg for the Calder Trophy.

Carey Price
Habs Roll With Price
Carey Price, G, MON
3/5/2015
News: Carey Price was the first goalie off the ice at the Habs' pregame skate, indicating that he is in line to start Wednesday's game against the Ducks, TSN's John Lu reports.
Analysis: Carey Price -- who sports a 1.92 GAA and .935 save percentage in 51 games to date -- is thus in line to have an opportunity Wednesday to bounce back from Monday's 4-0 loss to the Sharks.

Brett Connolly
Bruins' Connolly Suffers Broken Finger
Brett Connolly, RW, BOS
3/5/2015
News: Brett Connolly broke his finger in practice Wednesday and will be out six weeks, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports.
Analysis: Brett Connolly took a puck to the hand during practice and will have to wait to make his Bruins debut after being acquired by the club on Monday's trade deadline. The six-week timetable takes him past the team's last regular season game, so Connolly's season could be over even if the Bruins do make the playoffs. The 22-year-old has 15 points through 50 games to date.

 
 
 
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