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Week 27 schedule analysis

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

*GRS= Games Remaining this Season

**B2B= Back-to-Back

NHL schedule

Four of a Kind

With more than half (16) of the league playing four games this week, there's just one team playing four games without a b2b occurrence.

Anaheim (WIN, EDM, NSH, at EDM) has a wonderfully easy schedule and no b2b occurrences. With their playoff hopes locked up, does head coach Bruce Boudreau start giving Jonas Hiller a bit of a break down the stretch? Frederik Andersen proved to be trustworthy in Saturday's win over Vancouver and Hampus Lindholm received a maintenance night off.

Eights Are Wild

The following 8 teams not only play four games with a b2b occurrence this week, but have four games remaining in the final week of the season as well.

Buffalo (NJD, at STL, at DET, at PHI) has acombined record of 1-5-1 against this week's opponents. Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) returned to the lineup on Saturday. Matt Hackett has been up and down like the rest of his team.

Carolina (at OTT, at PIT, DAL, NJD) has a combined record of 3-5-1 against this week's opponents. Andrei Loktionov (three goals, three assists in his last six games) has been impressing head coach Kirk Muller and the FA pool rankings.

Columbus (COL, at PHI, CHI, NYI) has a combined record of 4-4 against this week's opponents. Artem Anisimov snapped an eight-game point drought on Saturday. Sergei Bobrovsky was well enough to serve as back-up on Saturday, so head coach Todd Richards will likely resume regularly scheduled goaltending this week, though Curtis McElhinney should still get a start this week.

Colorado (at CBJ, NYR, at STL, PIT) has a combined record of 2-4 against this week's opponents. Matt Duchene (knee) left Saturday's game against the Sharks and underwent an MRI on Sunday.

Dallas (at WAS, at CAR, at TBL, at FLA) has a combined record of 2-2 against this week's opponents. Erik Cole (upper body) did not play in Saturday's win. Ryan Garbutt has three goals in last two games.

Ottawa (CAR, NYI, MTL, at NYR) has a combined record of 2-4-3 against this week's opponents. Craig Anderson returned to the lineup and had one of his on-nights (46 of 49 shots) on Saturday.

Philadelphia (at STL, CBJ, at BOS, BUF) has a combined record of 5-3 against this week's opponents. Steve Downie (head) took part in practice on Saturday but is being treated like a concussion case.

St. Louis (PHI, BUF, COL, at CHI) has acombined record of 7-2 against this week's opponents. Alexander Steen has three goals and four assists during his current four-game point streak.

Back-to-Back Jacks

In Back-to-Back Jacks, we have two teams playing four games all on back-to-back occurrences.

Despite a lot of frequent flyer miles, New Jersey (FLA, at BUF, WAS, at CAR) has an advantageous schedule. Three of four of their opponents already have their eyes on next season's training camp. More importantly, it appears both Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider will be needed with two b2b occurrences. Eric Gelinas, who has been playing forward, played nearly four minutes of power-play time in Thursday's loss. Stephen Gionta left Saturday's game with an undisclosed injury. The Devils are 10-5-4 when playing games on consecutive nights.

Much like New Jersey, the Islanders (FLA, at OTT, WAS, at CBJ) have a weaker schedule consisting of two in Uniondale and two on the road. Unlike New Jersey, they simply don't have the netminder arsenal to consider for such an occurrence. Ironically enough, Anders Nilsson made 23 saves in a 2-1 win over New Jersey on Saturday. After going 0-6-1 on the back half of b2b games, the Islanders are a respectable 5-3 in their last eight games occurring on consecutive nights.

Three of a Kind

The following six teams have just six games remaining in the regular season.

Can't believe we're saying this, but Chicago (MIN, at CBJ, STL) is limping to the finish line. Marian Hossa hasn't missed a beat.

Detroit (BOS, BUF, at MTL) has two of three at home, but all are division rivals with an agenda of some sort. Justin Abdelkader (leg) practiced on Saturday and was considered day-to-day on Sunday. Gustav Nyquist has really been a contributor.

Montreal (at TBL, at OTT, DET) is one of the hotter teams as we enter the final 14 days of play and Max Pacioretty (11 points over his last 10 games), Thomas Vanek (10 points in last seven games) and Carey Price (9-1, 2 SO in last 10 games) have had a lot to do with that. Tomas Plekanec (personal) did not play on Saturday.

Despite winning five in a row, after losing Chris Kreider (wrist) and Friday's tilt in Calgary, the Rangers' (at VAN, at COL, OTT) situation has changed a bit. With Kreider gone, head coach Alain Vigneault is toying with his lines and all-of-a-sudden forward Daniel Carcillo could have the biggest fantasy impact. John Moore (concussion) may return to the lineup next week, for now Raphael Diaz has been soaking up his third-pairing time.

San Jose (EDM, LOS, NSH) has punched their ticket to the playoffs and are mucking (lost two in a row) around at the moment. Jason Demers (illness) missed Saturday's game against Colorado.

Losers of eight straight, Toronto (CGY, BOS, WIN) is still just two points out of the final wild card. However, Jonathan Bernier hasn't been much better than James Reimer.  Jake Gardiner has 10 points in his last 10 games.

One Pair

Nashville (at ANA, at SJS) has two tough matchups. Patric Hornqvist is enjoying life as of late and Calle Jarnkrok has a goal and four assists through five games played. Pekka Rinne has allowed 20 goals in his last five games.

Other than a grudge match between Vancouver (NYR, LOS) and the Rangers seeming juicer, not much else here. Perhaps head coach John Tortorella will attempt to get into the Rangers locker room?

Muck 'Em?

Two more teams out of something to play for, is it time to cut bait?

Calgary (at TOR, at TBL, at FLA) is holding tough, just ask the Rangers. Fact is, they have off Monday, then have three games in four days. Michael Cammalleri has eight points over his last five games. With Ladislav Smid (upper body) questionable, the Flames have recalled defenseman Chad Billins from the AHL. Billins has 37 points through 58 games with Abbotsford.

Florida (at NJD, at NYI, CGY, DAL) has two on the road, then finish the season on a five-game homestand. With Roberto Luongo (upper body) day-to-day, Scott Clemmensen has been recalled to backup Dan Ellis.

GOALTENDING CAROUSEL: Ilya Bryzgalov turned in a solid one goal performance against Phoenix, perhaps leaving Darcy Kuemper on the outside looking in. Speaking of the 'Yotes, Thomas Greiss has been up and down since taking over for Mike Smith (lower body). Smith is expected to be re-evaluated in a week. Former first round pick and two-time junior's medalist Mark Visentin has been called up to the big club. Ondrej Pavelec returned in Saturday's loss and then so did Al Montoya.

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Player News
Michael Bournival
Habs' Bournival Reassigned To AHL Hamilton
Michael Bournival, LW, MON
12:58 AM
News: Michael Bournival was reassigned to AHL Hamilton on Monday, TSN's John Lu reports.
Analysis: Forward P.A. Parenteau (concussion) will finally rejoin the lineup, and defenseman Jeff Petry was recently acquired in a trade. The Habs will thus reassign both Michael Bournival and Greg Pateryn, freeing up room for a pair of proven veterans. Bournival only has five points through 29 NHL appearances this season, but he does have eight points in just seven AHL games.

Maxime Talbot
Talbot Traded To Bruins
Maxime Talbot, C, COL
12:57 AM
News: The Avalanche traded Maxime Talbot and Paul Carey to the Bruins on Monday in exchange for Jordan Caron and a 2016 sixth-round draft pick, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Maxime Talbot, who has notched five goals and 10 assists in 63 games with the Avs this season, gives the Bruins some added depth and experience up front, something that will come in handy, with centers Gregory Campbell and David Krejci currently sidelined.

P.A. Parenteau
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P.A. Parenteau, RW, MON
12:53 AM
News: P.A. Parenteau will rejoin the lineup for Monday's game against San Jose, NHL.com's Arpon Basu
Analysis: After missing six weeks of action due to a concussion, P.A. Parenteau was a healthy scratch for Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs. He may be limited to a spot on the fourth line in his first game since Jan. 15.

Jordan Caron
Caron Traded To Avs
Jordan Caron, LW, BOS
12:50 AM
News: The Bruins traded Jordan Caron and a 2016 sixth-round draft pick to the Avs on Monday in exchange for Maxime Talbot and Paul Carey, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Jordan Caron, who has been held without a point in 11 games with the Bruins this season, was a first-round draft pick (25th overall) in 2009. After having recorded just 28 points in 134 career NHL contests with Boston, however, a change of scenery will probably do the 24-year-old winger some good, though a wait-and see approach is in order from a fantasy perspective.

James Wisniewski
Ducks Acquire Wisniewski In Late Deadline Deal
James Wisniewski, D, CLB
12:45 AM
News: James Wisniewski was traded to the Ducks on Monday along with a 2015 third-round draft pick in exchange for forwards William Karlsson and Rene Bourque and a 2015 second-round draft pick, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Analysis: James Wisniewski will likely assume a top-four role on defense with his new organization, giving the Ducks an added dose of puck-moving ability on the blue line. The 31-year-old has predictably been unable to replicate last season's 51-point scoring outburst in 2014-15, but he's still been an above-average source of goals and assists for a defenseman. Assuming the foot injury he suffered in Saturday's game against the Penguins doesn't prove too problematic, Wisniewski's fantasy value figures to notice a small uptick with the move, as his placement on a superior Ducks squad should allow his plus/minus mark to recover from its current minus-10 standing.

Alexei Marchenko
Wings' Marchenko Sidelined
Alexei Marchenko, D, DET
12:43 AM
News: Alexei Marchenko is dealing with an oblique strain, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports.
Analysis: The report suggests that Alexei Marchenko will be out for a week or so. The 23-year-old blueliner has two points in 12 games with the Wings to date, including a goal in his last outing, Saturday against the Preds.

Darren Helm
Wings' Helm Dealing With Oblique Injury
Darren Helm, C, DET
12:38 AM
News: Darren Helm is dealing with an oblique strain, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports.
Analysis: Per the report, GM Ken Holland indicated that Darren Helm's injury is not considered serious, but it looks like the forward will be out a week or so.

Sven Baertschi
Flames Deal Baertschi To Canucks For Pick
Sven Baertschi, LW, CGY
12:35 AM
News: Sven Baertschi was traded to the Canucks on Monday in exchange for a 2015 second-round pick, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.
Analysis: A former first-round selection by the Flames in 2011, Sven Baertschi made the NHL squad out of training camp in 2013-14 but wasn't able to maintain a spot after tallying 11 points over 26 games. He failed to break camp with the Flames this season and didn't make much of his opportunity when injuries resulted in his promotion to the big club. His pedigree still made him intriguing to many organizations, so the Flames decided to part with him before his value completely bottomed out. Still only 22 years old, Baertschi could unlock his full potential with the move to the Canucks, though he'll likely have to prove himself at AHL Utica first.

Simon Despres
Pens Deal Despres To Ducks
Simon Despres, D, PIT
12:21 AM
News: Simon Despres (head) was traded to the Ducks on Monday in exchange for defenseman Ben Lovejoy, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Analysis: The Penguins indicated the head injury that Simon Despres suffered in Sunday's win over the Blue Jackets appears to be minor, but that didn't prevent the team from seeking a veteran blueliner on deadline day. While Lovejoy possesses more NHL experience and might offer more present-day value than Despres, it appears the Ducks have added yet another intriguing young blueliner to a corps that also includes three under-25 talents in Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, and Sami Vatanen. At 6-foot-4 with a willingness to hit and the ability to score, Despres could become a mainstay on the defense for the Ducks over the next several seasons.

Chris Stewart
Stewart Moves To Playoff Contender With Wild
Chris Stewart, RW, BUF
12:17 AM
News: Chris Stewart has been traded to the Wild in exchange for what is expected to be a 2017 second-rounder, WGR550.com reports.
Analysis: Even though this deal was snuck in just ahead of the deadline, Chris Stewart was as good of a bet as any player in hockey to get dealt Monday. He'll head to a playoff contender, which should immediately boost his plus-minus prospects. And Minnesota might start to be considered Buffalo West, with four former Sabres on the roster once Stewart gets settled. Stewart has a disappointing 25 points in 61 games this season, but he's been playing better lately with the potential to do more with better talent around him. Keep an eye on his line assignment, though it's worth noting that inconsistency has always been a part of his game.

 
 
 
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