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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
Luke Gazdic
Oilers' Gazdic Gets In Full-Contact Practice
Luke Gazdic, LW, EDM
10/1/2014
News: Luke Gazdic (shoulder) took part in a full-contact practice Sunday, Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun reports.
Analysis: Luke Gazdic, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, finally seems to be nearing the finish line, though he's still not deemed ready to play. The 25-year-old hopes to get enough practice time in to be ready for Opening Night. He'll be tasked with playing an enforcer role for the Oilers on the checking line, making him a useful source for penalty minutes and little else.

Jakob Silfverberg
Ducks' Silferverg Expected To Land On Second Line
Jakob Silfverberg, RW, ANA
10/1/2014
News: Jakob Silfverberg is expected to serve as a second-line player for the Ducks this season, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports.
Analysis: After earning the trust of coach Bruce Boudreau during the postseason, Jakob Silfverberg will have the opportunity to flank Ryan Kesler, which should allow him to surpass last season's totals of 10 goals and 13 assists over 52 games. A former MVP in the Swedish Elite League, the 23-year-old Silfverberg may not fully breakout this season, but a 60-point campaign could eventually be realized in the coming years.

Joshua Morrissey
Jets' Morrissey Jockeying For Roster Spot
Joshua Morrissey, D, WPG
10/1/2014
News: Joshua Morrissey remains in contention for an Opening Night roster spot with the Jets, Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal reports.
Analysis: The 2013 first-rounder paired up with Jacob Trouba in Monday's exhibition against the Oilers, providing Jets fans with a glimpse of their future top pairing. Joshua Morrissey didn't do much in his 17:49 of ice time Monday (minus-2, one hit, one block) and is generally expected to head back to his junior team at the end of camp, but he's probably not far away from making an impact in the NHL.

Evander Kane
Jets' Kane Sits Out Monday's Preseason Contest
Evander Kane, LW, WPG
10/1/2014
News: Though he was generally expected to play in Monday's exhibition against the Oilers, Evander Kane ended up sitting out the contest.
Analysis: It's not believed that Evander Kane is dealing with any sort of injury, so perhaps the Jets just decided the winger could use a little more rest in advance of the regular season. He'll likely return to preseason action at some point this week, which should allow the coaching staff to determine where he fits best. He's expected to receive an audition with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler on the top line, a combination that could help Kane unlock the 60-point potential that exists within him.

Eric O'Dell
Jets' O'Dell Recovering From Undisclosed Injury
Eric O'Dell, C, WPG
10/1/2014
News: Coach Paul Maurice said Eric O'Dell is "coming along" from an undisclosed injury, the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
Analysis: Eric O'Dell has yet to appear in any preseason games for the Jets, which could make him vulnerable as the team prepares their final cutdowns. Even if he returns to full health and makes the squad, O'Dell would likely spend most games in the press box.

Paul Postma
Jets' Postma Banged Up
Paul Postma, D, WPG
11:58 AM
News: Paul Postma is dealing with an undisclosed injury, the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
Analysis: He was held out of Monday's exhibition against the Oilers and is considered day-to-day. Paul Postma is expected to be a regular on the Jets' defense, likely as a third-pairing skater.

Dustin Byfuglien
Jets' Byfuglien Day-To-Day
Dustin Byfuglien, RW, WPG
11:56 AM
News: Dustin Byfuglien (undisclosed) was held out of Monday's exhibition loss to the Oilers, the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
Analysis: Dustin Byfuglien is considered day-to-day with the undisclosed ailment, but the Jets don't seem to think he'll be unavailable for the team's regular-season opener. He'll be tabbed for a full-time role at forward this season, though it's not quite certain who his linemates might be to start the year.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Sharks' Vlasic Fully Practicing
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, D, SJ
11:51 AM
News: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (knee) has been practicing in full for the Sharks as of late, Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports.
Analysis: Marc-Edouard Vlasic has been practicing next to Justin Braun on the first pairing through most of camp, as the Sharks look to create a larger role for a player who garnered Norris Trophy votes a season earlier. Though he's highly adept on his own end, Vlasic lacks the scoring aptitude of some of the league's other premier blueliners, which inhibits his value in fantasy. There should be more of an opportunity for him to find time on the power play this season now that Dan Boyle is departed, but it likely won't be a significant enough of a development to dramatically elevated his point total.

Patrice Bergeron
Bruins' Bergeron Welcomes Smith Back
Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS
11:42 AM
News: Patrice Bergeron's teammate, Reilly Smith, has rejoined the Bruins after signing a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the team, the Boston Herald reports.
Analysis: Smith, who recorded 51 points in 82 games for the B's last season, is thus presumably on track to rejoin left winger Brad Marchand on the Bruins' capable second line, centered by Patrice Bergeron, who remains one of the league's elite two-way pivots, on the heels of a season in which he recorded 30 goals and 62 points in 80 games, to go along with a plus-38 mark.

Erik Condra
Sens' Condra Expected To Practice Tuesday
Erik Condra, RW, OTT
11:37 AM
News: Erik Condra (undisclosed) is expected to return to practice Tuesday, Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen reports.
Analysis: Erik Condra hasn't skated with the team the previous five days, but was able to work out on his own Sunday, signaling a forthcoming return.

 
 
 
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