Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Week 17 schedule analysis

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

With the craziness of last week's schedule behind us, we can fully focus on the remaining 287 games until the NHL's three-week break for Olympic action. It's not going to be easy as the schedule shakes out very balanced and "vanilla". It's going to take some work to read between these lines.

*B2B= Back-to-Back occurrence.

FWTOB = Final Week Until Olympic Break

NHL schedule

Flush (green highlight)

There is a dwindling availability of teams with a four-game week ahead. After nearly half the league (12 teams) plays four tilts this week, just 11 teams will have a four-game schedule over the final two weeks, so it's imperative you play the percentages.

Dallas (at NSH, MIN, TOR, PIT) has a very favorable schedule that ends with a big bang against Pittsburgh. The Stars blue line is beginning to resemble their training camp presence, but it's not resulting in wins. Trevor Daley is back up to speed, Sergei Gonchar (lower body) has been averaging 19 minutes a game over the past seven days. Alex Chiasson is off the schneid, look out! While you might get some good efforts out of both Kari Lehtonen and Dan Ellis this week, avoid using either that is sent to the wolves when Pittsburgh comes knocking.

While Detroit (STL, CHI, MTL, FLA) has all four in the Motor City, they've got some injury issues to say the least. In addition to Daniel Alfredsson (back) having missed four straight games, Joakim Andersson's (lower body) absence on Saturday meant the Wings were without all four (Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss) centers and still defeated the Kings with the likes of Cory Emmerton, Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan. We also like the chance of Tomas Tatar's ice time going up this week. Additionally, Datsyuk (groin) was told not to practice for a few days. Could Johan Franzen (concussion) be nearing a return?

Florida (at PIT, at BUF, COL, at DET) has been tapering off and just in time for a very spirited schedule. After visiting their fearless conference-leading Penguins, the Panthers haul off to Buffalo, head home to face Colorado then back north to Detroit. Going to be a long week and you'll likely see Scott Clemmensen. Regardless, don't expect too many wins from Tim Thomas or Clemmensen, as the Panthers have just eight goals in their last six games. Jesse Winchester (hand) could return this week.

Los Angeles (at BOS, at CBJ, at ANA, ANA) slowly makes their way home, only to be rewarded with an untraditional home-and-home series against the Ducks. While Jonathan Quick remains locked in since returning from the IR, he'll have his work cut out for him. Martin Jones, come on UP, again. Mike Richards snapped a 24-game goal-scoring drought on Saturday.

Nashville (DAL, at VAN, at CGY, at EDM) will host fellow southern style Dallas before embarking on a road trip. Different city, same Devan Dubnyk. In a 5-4 loss to the Avalanche on Saturday, we're still convinced, this guy is simply useless without a number one goalie breathing down his neck. As Pekka Rinne nears a return, look for an uptick, otherwise, avoid like the plague. Roman Josi has a three game (one goal, three assists) point-streak.

The Islanders (PHI, at NYR, PIT, STL) will play three of four from home, but all are big Metro rivalry games. Calvin De Haan has a goal and seven assists in his last seven contests. Brock Nelson is coming into his own, having registered four goals and an assist in his last seven contests as well. Kevin Poulin was on quite a roll, but Saturday's third period breakdown against the Flyers reminds you of his once Fantasy irrelevance.

Philadelphia (at NYI, CAR, at CBJ, BOS) has a considerably winnable schedule, with two from home and two on the road. Extension or not, Ray Emery had to relieve Steve Mason of his duties on Saturday night for the win. Andrej Meszaros is getting geared up for the Olympics and you don't hear the Flyers complaining.

Phoenix (TOR, at CGY, at EDM, at VAN) also plays host before embarking on a Canadian road trip. Looks like Martin Hanzal has been a busy man, taking out a trio of Canucks while nearing career-highs (34) for points. Mike Smith notched his first shutout of the season in that game against the Canucks, but Vancouver has been suspect lately so don't get too excited. Rostislav Klesla cleared waivers and will report to AHL Portland.

Pittsburgh (FLA, MTL, at NYI, at DAL) plays two games from home and two on the road, but all four games show to be an excellent opportunity for offensive explosion. After a long rest last week, all hands on deck for Penguins players. Chuck Kobasew (lower body), Paul Martin (leg), Jayson Megna (lower body) and James Neal (upper body) could return this week. Megna has been skating with Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby at practice.

After singing their praises, St. Louis (at DET, at NJD, at NYR, at NYI) is stumbling a bit. Nothing like a dreaded (not this year) East Coast swing to get rid of the Blues? Vladimir Sobotka ended his two game point-less drought. Sobotka has two goals and eight assists in his last nine games played. Hmm…T.J. Oshie must have read last week's article, as Oshie has three goals and an assist in his last three games.

The good news? Toronto (at PHX, at COL, at DAL, at WIN) has won four in a row. The bad news is that could end almost immediately. The Leafs are 8-10-4 on the road where they play all four of their games. With David Clarkson heading to IR, Troy Bodie has returned to his parent club. Dave Bolland (ankle) has been skating, but shouldn't be considered near a return. Nazem Kadri has two assists and five hits and there was even a Mason Raymond sighting on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg (at ANA, at SJS, TOR, at CHI) has righted the ship since the coaching change, shocker, eh? Hey, Ondrej Pavelec found an opponent to gain confidence from. Forgetting that he allowed the tying goal in the final two minutes and that opponent was the defunct Oilers, perhaps it's a building block. Jacob Trouba, who saved Pavelec's hide, has three goals in his last two games. Paul Postma (leg) should return to practice with contact this week.

Fold (red highlight)

There are just six teams tapped with a two-game schedule over the next three weeks. The only way we would suggest Tampa Bay (OTT, COL) this week, who joins Boston (LOS, at PHI) as the two game lepers, is if Martin St. Louis guarantees two more four-goal efforts like Saturday night against the Sharks. But as you'll find out in Back-to-Back Jacks, that isn't likely against this week's opponents.

Three of a Kind (orange highlight)

As we mentioned the NHL schedule seems to get very plain in the final three weeks leading up to the Sochi games. Three of a Kind this week will focus on six teams with three games a week for the next three weeks.

With the Blues and Blackhawks stumbling, it's clear Anaheim (WIN, LOS, at LOS) is the powerhouse of the West. Or are they? They'll play the Kings (0-1) twice this week. Bryan Allen (lower body) returned to the tune of nearly 16 minutes of time on Friday. As it turns out, head coach Bruce Boudreau didn't let Jonas Hiller face all those pucks and Frederik Andersen rewarded him against the Blues. With the Kings on two nights this week, regardless of no b2b occurrence, we think you'll see Andersen in one of those games. However, we're willing to bet against Teemu Selanne's presence against L.A. on Saturday.

Carolina (at PHI, at BUF, OTT) has a very winnable schedule (combined 3-0 record) on paper. He's not as hot as he once was, but Anton Khudobin is almost single-handedly righting the ship while Cam Ward (lower body) has yet to even resume skating. Of course it helps when Alexander Semin scores. Eric Staal is picking up the pace as well. Justin Peters' splinter condition could continue, despite the b2b occurrence.

Calgary (at SJS, PHX, NSH) is being outscored 24-11 by this week's opponents. Blair Jones (knee) returned on Saturday, and thanks to the line brawl, to the tune of 15 penalty minutes in just two seconds of ice time. Guess he was jealous of all the publicity Tom Sestito (64 PIM in his last 22-minutes of ice time) has gotten. If you watch the video Sestito gets his ass handed to him by Brian McGrattan. Apparently, John Tortorella decided to take matters into his own hands?

Chicago (at DET, at MIN, WIN) has a varied schedule. Re-alignment or not, it's strange to be saying this in January. Chicago and Detroit will face-off for the first time this week. From there, Chicago is 1-2 against the Wild and 3-0 (15/5 GF/GA) against the Jets. Depending on Sunday's effort, Patrick Kane may bring a 10-game goal-less drought into the week. As of Sunday morning, all reports had Kris Versteeg (upper body) playing against the Bruins.

Edmonton (VAN, PHX, NSH) has been manhandled by Vancouver (GF-GA 10-2) and Phoenix (15-9). Ales Hemsky (ankle) is likely to miss this week with what is being called "bruising," but don't rule out a return before the week's end. David Perron had an important goal for the team on Saturday, and broke a four game point-less drought in the process. Nail Yakupov (concussion) may hit the IR this week.

After taking on the Blues, New Jersey (STL, WAS, NYR) will play Washington and the Rangers. It should be interesting to see if the Devils can continue their season's dominance (3-0, 11-5 GF/GA) over their cross-river rival. Someone smack Travis Zajac around, this guy is clearly asleep.

Back-to-Back Jacks

In addition to the aforementioned Canes and Hawks, four other teams play three contests and will play on b2b occasions, allowing for a possible back-up goalie spot start.

Despite yielding four goals in a 5-4 win over the lackluster Preds on Saturday, Colorado's (TOR, at FLA, at TBL) Semyon Varlamov is one of the NHL's best goalies in the month of January. Outside of his career 1.00 GAA in two games against his former employer Washington, Varlamov's (winner in eight of his last nine) favorite opponent (1.87 GAA in 8 games) is Tampa Bay. With Jean-Sebastien Giguere (back) out, Sami Aittokallio could get his first start of the season against the Panthers. Not goalie related, but worth mentioning, Nick Holden had two goals, an assist and a whopping nine hits against Nashville on Saturday.

Montreal's (at PIT, at DET, WAS) winning variable always comes down to Carey Price. However, Price has been inconsistent, having given up three or more goals in six of his last eight games. While Peter Budaj has been a much more consistent goalie for the Habs through a small sampling (10 starts), the team doesn't seem (5-4-1) to play as spirited in front of him. While we wouldn't bet on Montreal's chances against any of this week's opponents, Price's career numbers against Detroit (2.36 GAA in 5 games) are certainly better than those against Washington (3.09 in 15 games).

Despite Saturday's matinee loss to the Rangers, Ottawa (at WAS, at TBL, at CAR) has been solid of late, but they've got their fair share of problems. Craig Anderson has given up four or more goals in three of his last four starts. Nonetheless, Robin Lehner gave up 10 in two games prior to shutting out the Wild last week. Like Varlamov, Anderson's favorite team to face over the span of his career (GAA 1.42 in 11 games) has been Tampa Bay. Look for Lehner in Carolina.

Washington's (OTT, @NJD, at MTL) goaltending situation is right back where it started. After this season's mere bright spot, Philipp Grubauer, was pulled in Friday's 5-1 loss to Columbus, we certainly don't see a reason for optimism. Actually, despite giving up four goals to the Pens last week, Michal Neuvirth looked fair for most of a very fast-paced contest. Not to say we consider Neuvirth a great choice for your team's number one goalie, but we see him coming out of this week as the number one man on the Washington depth chart. Adam Oates will have the comfort of starting Neuvirth against either the Devils (2.07 GAA in 8 games) or the Canadiens (2.25 GAA in 9 games).

OTHER ROTOWIRE REPORTS: Alexandre Burrows (jaw) returned just in time for the goon game, while Mike Santorelli (arm) missed it. Josh Harding (illness) has practiced four days in a row and could get a start this week. Martin Havlat (lower body) is very likely to return to game action this week. David Jones (eye) has been cleared for full-contact skating. Jared Spurgeon (foot) skated on Saturday.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Dennis Rasmussen
Chicago Recalls Rasmussen
Dennis Rasmussen, LW, CHI
2:58 PM
News: The Blackhawks have recalled Dennis Rasmussen from AHL Rockford, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Dennis Rasmussen, who has recorded 16 points in 44 games AHL games to date, gives the Blackhawks some extra forward depth for the team's upcoming six-game road trip.

Patrick Kane
Hawks' Kane Wins Most Accurate Shooter Contest
Patrick Kane, RW, CHI
1/24/2015
News: Patrick Kane won the Shooting Accuracy competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Columbus on Saturday night.
Analysis: He needed just five shots to get through all four targets in the fastest time (13.529 seconds).

Shea Weber
Preds' Weber Wins Hardest Shot Competition
Shea Weber, D, NSH
1/24/2015
News: Shea Weber won the Hardest Shot competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Columbus on Saturday.
Analysis: He fired the puck at 108.5 mph, just 0.3 mph off Zdeno Chara's record (2012). There were plenty of nods and murmurs among the other all stars, so perhaps this win will buy Shea Weber a few more lanes to the net for that shot. No-one will want to stand in front of one of those.

Steven Stamkos
Bolts' Stamkos Hopes To Sign Extension Next Summer
Steven Stamkos, C, TB
1/24/2015
News: Steven Stamkos is eyeing a summer contract extension with the Lightning, reports the Tampa Bay Times. He can't sign an extension until July 1.
Analysis: Stammer is in line for a deal like the ones that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews signed in Chicago. Those are eight-year, $84 million contracts and they both inked the deals a year before they could become unrestricted free agents. It looks like he'll be a fixture in Tampa for a long time and that's great news for fans and fantasy owners alike.

Tyler Johnson
Tampa Bay's Johnson Out For All-Star Game
Tyler Johnson, C, TB
1/24/2015
News: Tyler Johnson (lower body) will not play in Sunday's All-Star Game, but he will be eligible to play in Tuesday's game against the Hurricanes if healthy, ESPN reports. He is at the All-Star festivities even though he isn't going to play.
Analysis: Tyler Johnson appears to be sitting out as a precaution more than anything. He played in the last three games leading up to the All-Star break, so there's little reason to think he won't be ready to go for Tuesday's game.

Jonathan Drouin
Bolts' Drouin Fastest Skater In NHL
Jonathan Drouin, LW, TB
1/24/2015
News: Jonathan Drouin won the Fastest Skater competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Columbus on Saturday night. His time was 13.103.
Analysis: He's been in and out of the lineup, but he is an elite talent. He also scored a beauty goal in another part of the competition. Short term, his value may be limited, but long term, he will be among the league's elite.

Clayton Stoner
Ducks' Stoner Expected To Play Next Week
Clayton Stoner, D, ANA
1/24/2015
News: Coach Bruce Boudreau said that he expects Clayton Stoner (lower body) to be available when the Ducks resume play the Canucks on Tuesday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports.
Analysis: Clayton Stoner was a late scratch for the Ducks' final game before the All-Star break this past Wednesday due to the lower-body ailment, which he sustained the previous weekend against the Kings. It appears to be just a minor concern for Stoner, whose availability for the game against the Canucks should be confirmed when he returns to practice Monday.

Stephen Johns
Hawks' Prospect Johns Suffers Knee Injury
Stephen Johns, D, CHI
1/24/2015
News: Stephen Johns, who is considered one of the top Blackhawks' top prospects at AHL Rockford, suffered a knee injury on Monday and is expected to miss two-to-three weeks, ESPN Chicago reports.
Analysis: The 22-year-old defenseman suffered a head injury Nov. 26 that forced him to miss nearly two months. After his return last week, he skated in only three games before being dealt yet another setback on the health front. He has six assists and is plus-13 in 23 games with Rockford, his first season as a pro after finishing four years at the University of Notre Dame.

David Rundblad
Hawks' Rundblad Making His Mark In First Half
David Rundblad, D, CHI
1/24/2015
News: David Rundblad has been showing some good stuff in the first half as one of the last pair of defensemen on the Blackhawks, Hawks general manager Stan Bowman told ESPN Chicago.
Analysis: David Rundblad scored goals in back-to-back games earlier this week and has collected three goals and six assists in 27 games this season. The games skated is the most in his six seasons in the NHL, including stints with Ottawa and Arizona. Bowman gave Rundblad raves so far this season, but it will be interesting once rookie defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk returns from a leg injury which could be as early as mid-February. "I think David has probably grabbed the reins the most of all those guys," Bowman said. "He's (Rundblad) really shown he's kind of emerged as a guy that's getting more comfortable. He's always had the talent. I think as a young defenseman it's trying to gain the game-to-game confidence. He's moved from the left side to the right side. Having not only not played the left side much, that was an adjustment for him, but I thought he got pretty good at it."

J.T. Miller
Rangers' Miller Continues Roller Coaster Ride
J.T. Miller, C, NYR
1/24/2015
News: J.T. Miller will begin the second half of the NHL season on a five game point-scoring drought.
Analysis: After logging four points in three games after the new year, J.T. Miller has found himself in a rut. With the 23-year-old Ohio native most likely focused more on play without the puck and occasional centering duties, he's a safe bet to continue the roller coaster ride in traditional production. Although the highly regarded first-round pick (2011) has a decent five goals and 10 points in 23 games this season, standard format owners should only have him on their radar, not their roster.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings