phil kessel


Here are some teams to target and avoid for the next week or two, several players to target that may be available in your league as well as teams that play a light schedule.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs = Target

 

Games: 7 (5H/2A)

Favorable Matchups:

  • @ Buffalo – Fourth worst defensive team in the league.  Tied for the most shots allowed per game.  20 goals against in the past five games.  Worst team in the NHL for a reason.  Ryan Miller has actually been pretty good but he has no help and can only do so much.
  • vs. Buffalo – See above.
  • vs. NY Islanders – Bottom five in goals against.  Worst PK in the NHL at 73.8%.  Evgeni Nabokov’s last seven goals allowed stats: 4, 5, 3, 3, 4, 6, 4. Looks like he’s lost his job to Kevin Poulin for the foreseeable future.
  • vs. Nashville – 30 goals allowed in their past seven games.  That’s bad.  This team misses Pekka Rinne, a lot.  Carter Hutton has proven that he doesn’t belong in the NHL by allowing 26 goals since Rinne went down with his hip ailment.  Hutton is sporting a 3.53 GAA and .887 SV%, which is buoyed by two respectable efforts prior to Rinne’s absence.

 


Toronto has really cooled off considerably since the calendar flipped over to November.  This string of seven games in two weeks will help turn that around.  Get Phil Kessel and company back in your lineups.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins = Consider

 

Games: 8 (4H/4A)

Favorable Matchups:

  • vs. Nashville – See above.
  • vs. NY Islanders – See above.

 

The Pens don’t have a ton of juicy matchups, but they do play eight games in 13 days.  So the sheer quantity of games should help offset any tough defensive matchups in weekly leagues.  Sidney Crosby will still be leading the league in points after this stretch of games, but hopefully Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Kris Letang will improve on their current per game averages.

 

Dallas Stars = Beware

 

Games: 4 (2H/2A)

Unfavorable Matchups:

  • vs. NY Rangers – Only 12 goals allowed in the past seven games.  Henrik Lundqvist has put up a save percentage of .920 or better in five of his past seven games.
  • @ St. Louis – Eight goals against in the past four games.  Sixth best team in goals allowed.  Fourth best team at shots allowed.
  • vs. Anaheim – Top ten in both goals against and shots against per game.  Only nine goals against in the last five games.  Frederik Andersen has the third best GAA (1.66) and fourth best SV% (.943) in the NHL.

 

Four games in two weeks is never a recipe for great offensive fantasy numbers.  Add in the fact all four teams they face are playoff teams who are either playing really well, have a notorious defensive system or a very good goaltender (some with more than one of these things) and you shouldn’t count on your Stars to light it up in the near future.

 

Phoenix Coyotes = Avoid

 

Games: 5 (3H/2A)

Unfavorable Matchups:

  • vs. Tampa Bay – Have allowed more than two goals in a game once in the past seven games (and that was against Boston when Steven Stamkos was hurt).  Ben Bishop has not had a save percentage lower than .926 in November (and also has not lost).
  • vs. Colorado – Boston recently passed them for top defensive team, but 1.76 GA/G is still pretty respectable.  #3 penalty kill as well.  Semyon Varlamov has had only two sub-.920 games this season.  Too bad the bastard couldn’t do that last year when I owned him in one of my pools.
  • vs. Anaheim – See above.
  • @ Minnesota – Third best defensive team with a 2.00 GAA.  Best team at shots allowed.  Six goals allowed in their past five games.  Josh Harding is #1 in GAA and shutouts and #2 in SV%.

 

I recommended avoiding the Coyotes last week and they went out and rallied with two late third period goals to hang a loss on Michal Neuvirth in a shootout win.  They followed that up by scoring three goals on 19 shots on Jaroslav Halak.  Let’s try this again: Avoid Phoenix.  They will stop scoring at this pace.

 

 

Possible Pickups

Here’s a list of some players, owned in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues, to target for the upcoming Monday to Sunday schedule.

 

Detroit: Todd Bertuzzi (11%) – Five points in the last six games playing with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on Detroit’s only productive line.  Plus he is the Tomas Holmstrom replacement in front of the net on the power play.

 

Anaheim: Dustin Penner (28%) – Had a five-game point streak with eight points until Ryan Getzlaf went down with an injury.  If Getzlaf gets back into the lineup, Penner’s value definitely increases as he rides on Getzlaf and Corey Perry’s coattails.

 

Pittsburgh: Beau Bennett (6%) – Bennett will be the first player to slide up into the top six should an injury occur.  Until then, he’ll have to settle for third line minutes and second unit PP time.

 

Boston: Reilly Smith (3%) – Five points in the past five games.  He’s kind of in the same situation as Bennett is in Pittsburgh, just waiting for an injury or demotion for someone currently in the top six.  He subbed in for Brad Marchand while he was struggling earlier in the season (he’s still struggling).

 

Ottawa: Clarke MacArthur (23%) – Seven points in his past seven games.  MacArthur, Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris are making Jason Spezza’s line look like the second line.

 

 

Light Day Targets

Want to know what teams to target based on their schedule landing on light days for the upcoming Monday to Sunday schedule?

 

Week: Monday, November 18 through Sunday, November 24

 

Sunday: 4 teams

Monday: 6 teams

Wednesday: 8 teams

Friday: 10 teams

Tuesday: 20 teams

Thursday: 20 teams

Saturday: 24 teams

 

Back to the typical Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday schedule we are more accustomed to where Saturday has as many games as Monday, Wednesday and Friday combined.

 

So what teams have a good schedule for the light days?

 

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thur

Fri

Sat

Sun

Pittsburgh Penguins

X

 

X

 

X

X

 

Anaheim Ducks

X

 

X

 

X

X

 

Calgary Flames

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

Carolina Hurricanes

X

 

 

X

 

X

X

Ottawa Senators

 

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

Friday, November 15 to Thursday, November 21

Best Bets

Toronto (4.51) - 4 Games: @BUF, BUF, NYI, NSH

Edmonton (4.35) - 4 Games: SJ, @CGY, CBJ, FLA

Detroit (4.30) - 4 Games: WSH, @NYI, NSH, CAR

Columbus (4.18) - 4 Games: MTL, @OTW, @EDM, @CGY

Winnipeg (4.16) - 4 Games: PHI, @MIN, CGY, CHI

Steer Clear

Phoenix (1.94) - 2 Games: TB, COL

NY Islanders (1.95) - 2 Games: DET, @TOR

Dallas (2.00) - 2 Games: @VAN, NYR

Vancouver (2.26) - 2 Games: DAL, FLA

Tampa Bay (2.80) - 3 Games: @PHX, @LA, @SJ

Saturday, November 16 to Friday, November 22

Best Bets

Calgary (4.57) - 4 Games: EDM, @WPG, CBJ, FLA

Columbus (4.18) - 4 Games: @OTW, @EDM, @CGY, @VAN

Pittsburgh (4.15) - 4 Games: @NJ, ANH, @WSH, NYI

Florida (3.99) - 4 Games: @COL, @VAN, @EDM, @CGY

St. Louis (3.81) - 4 Games: CAR, @WSH, @BUF, @BOS

Steer Clear

Phoenix (1.94) - 2 Games: TB, COL

Dallas (2.00) - 2 Games: @VAN, NYR

San Jose (2.00) - 2 Games: @CHI, TB

Philadelphia (2.26) - 2 Games: OTW, BUF

Carolina (2.69) - 3 Games: @STL, BOS, @DET

Sunday, November 17 to Saturday, November 23

Best Bets

Vancouver (4.41) - 4 Games: DAL, FLA, CBJ, CHI

Columbus (4.18) - 4 Games: @OTW, @EDM, @CGY, @VAN

Winnipeg (4.06) - 4 Games: @MIN, CGY, CHI, MIN

Anaheim (4.05) - 4 Games: @PIT, NJ, TB, @PHX

Pittsburgh (4.01) - 4 Games: ANH, @WSH, NYI, @MTL

Steer Clear

Phoenix (1.94) - 2 Games: COL, ANH

Buffalo (1.95) - 2 Games: STL, @PHI

Edmonton (2.31) - 2 Games: CBJ, FLA

Carolina (2.55) - 3 Games: BOS, @DET, @BOS

New Jersey (2.76) - 3 Games: @ANH, @LA, @SJ

Monday, November 18 to Sunday, November 24

Best Bets

Detroit (4.35) - 4 Games: NSH, CAR, OTW, @BUF

Anaheim (4.05) - 4 Games: @PIT, NJ, TB, @PHX

Pittsburgh (4.01) - 4 Games: ANH, @WSH, NYI, @MTL

Boston (3.95) - 4 Games: @CAR, @NYR, STL, CAR

Ottawa (3.80) - 4 Games: @PHI, MIN, @DET, @CAR

Steer Clear

Phoenix (1.94) - 2 Games: COL, ANH

Dallas (1.95) - 2 Games: NYR, @STL

San Jose (2.15) - 2 Games: TB, NJ

Edmonton (2.31) - 2 Games: CBJ, FLA

Chicago (2.76) - 3 Games: @COL, @WPG, @VAN

Tuesday, November 19 to Monday, November 25

Best Bets

Philadelphia (4.51) - 4 Games: OTW, BUF, NYI, @FLA

Toronto (4.46) - 4 Games: NYI, NSH, WSH, CBJ

Vancouver (4.41) - 4 Games: FLA, CBJ, CHI, LA

Detroit (4.35) - 4 Games: NSH, CAR, OTW, @BUF

Florida (4.23) - 4 Games: @VAN, @EDM, @CGY, PHI

Steer Clear

Dallas (1.95) - 2 Games: NYR, @STL

San Jose (2.15) - 2 Games: TB, NJ

Calgary (2.31) - 2 Games: CBJ, FLA

NY Islanders (2.76) - 3 Games: @TOR, @PIT, @PHI

Carolina (2.81) - 3 Games: @DET, @BOS, OTW

Wednesday, November 20 to Tuesday, November 26

Best Bets

Anaheim (4.10) - 4 Games: NJ, TB, @PHX, @DAL

New Jersey (3.86) - 4 Games: @ANH, @LA, @SJ, WPG

Pittsburgh (3.72) - 4 Games: @WSH, NYI, @MTL, @BOS

Philadelphia (3.40) - 3 Games: BUF, NYI, @FLA

Toronto (3.31) - 3 Games: NSH, WSH, CBJ

Steer Clear

NY Islanders (1.85) - 2 Games: @PIT, @PHI

Colorado (1.95) - 2 Games: @PHX, @LA

Montreal (1.95) - 2 Games: @WSH, PIT

Buffalo (2.00) - 2 Games: @PHI, DET

San Jose (2.15) - 2 Games: TB, NJ

Thursday, November 21 to Wednesday, November 27

Best Bets

Philadelphia (4.35) - 4 Games: BUF, NYI, @FLA, @TB

Florida (4.33) - 4 Games: @EDM, @CGY, PHI, NYR

Toronto (4.21) - 4 Games: NSH, WSH, CBJ, @PIT

Chicago (4.18) - 4 Games: @WPG, @VAN, @EDM, @CGY

Nashville (4.05) - 4 Games: @TOR, NYR, PHX, @CBJ

Steer Clear

Calgary (2.26) - 2 Games: FLA, CHI

Edmonton (2.26) - 2 Games: FLA, CHI

Ottawa (2.85) - 3 Games: @DET, @CAR, @WSH

Buffalo (2.95) - 3 Games: @PHI, DET, MTL

Colorado (2.95) - 3 Games: @PHX, @LA, STL

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