JoePavelski2

 

Dobber takes a look at players strong at home - and their home vs. road schedule after the Olympic break

 

One thing that successful fantasy hockey managers do to help them get and edge is they manage the schedule. If their team has several players who only seem to show up for home games and the relevant team has the majority of March games on the road, then maybe it's time to talk trade.

But first, you look at the schedule overall. Obviously you want to know which teams play the most games down the stretch, and worry about micro-managing from that point. Here is a list of teams in order of the most games after Sochi (all schedule information gathered quickly thanks to Frozen Pool):

 

Team

Games

Home

Away

Blues

25

11

14

Bruins

25

10

15

Panthers

24

14

10

Lightning

24

14

10

Penguins

24

13

11

Flames

24

12

12

Blue Jackets

24

12

12

Stars

24

12

12

Avalanche

24

12

12

Red Wings

24

11

13

Coyotes

24

11

13

Hurricanes

24

9

15

Sabres

24

9

15

Devils

23

14

9

Flyers

23

14

9

Sharks

23

12

11

Senators

23

12

11

Predators

23

11

12

Wild

23

11

12

Kings

23

11

12

Rangers

23

10

13

Capitals

23

10

13

Canadiens

23

10

13

Oilers

22

15

7

Canucks

22

13

9

Jets

22

12

10

Ducks

22

12

10

Blackhawks

22

12

10

Islanders

22

11

11

Maple Leafs

22

9

13

 

St. Louis and Boston play the most games (25), while seven teams play 22. Those in leagues with no game limits may want to take a look at their team and make some adjustments. Wouldn't you rather have Jarome Iginla for 25 games over James van Riemsdyk playing 22?

But that's just the basic, quick analysis. That's something you could do in five minutes of looking at the chart and firing off a few high-level trade offers and/or scanning the waiver wire. You can take this even deeper in terms of home games versus playing on the road.

While some players actually do play better at home. Some players are just performing better and it's just a coincidence that the numbers (home versus road) are as lopsided as they are. But you're still probably better off trying to ride the trend then to fight it. Here are my thoughts on some players who have been hot on home ice.

 

Matt Moulson, Buffalo - Moulson has 22 of his 30 points on home ice, but much of that was when he was with the Islanders. He sticks out like a sore thumb when you look at overall home vs. road stats, but don't be duped. Dig a little deeper and his Buffalo numbers are closer - 14 in 21 at home, 7 in 16 on the road. Still a gap, but not as much of one. Conclusion: Makes no difference either way

Paul Stastny, Colorado - Stastny has been almost a point-per-game player at home this campaign (24 points, 25 games). It's unfortunate that the Avs play fewer home games down the stretch. Conclusion: Sell, as 10 of Colorado's last 14 games are on the road.

Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus - Dubinsky has 22 points in 24 home games as opposed to 12 in 21 on the road. The Blue Jackets play a pretty even home/road split down the stretch, thereby negating any advantage here. Conclusion: No advantage to be gained, unless you 'sell' after a successful mini-home stand.

Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit - Henrik has 17 points in 20 road games, but at Joe Louis Arena he has 27 points in 20 games. That's a remarkable gap. The Wings have a fairly even schedule after the Olympic break, but a closer look shows that there may be an advantage to 'selling high' just prior to or during Sochi. The Red Wings are on the road for two games before the break, and then another three games after the break. Meaning that between February 4 and March 5 they do not play at home. At all. Conclusion: Zetterberg owners may want to look into moving him before the possible slump, or during the Olympic break. At least worth kicking some tires and see what kind of return you get.

Justin Williams/Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles - Combined, Williams and Kopitar have 47 points in 52 home games, but just 23 in 54 on the road. This has hit Williams in particular, as he has just seven points in 27 road games. But he had many of his home points on a line with Kopitar and now they no longer play together. Conclusion: Williams should be a "sell" at this point, regardless. He is an average player at best without Kopitar on his line. But Kopitar should be shopped as well. Not only do the Kings play 23 games after the break (which is below average) and 12 of those games are on the road, but also they play four of the last five on the road.

Chris Kreider, NY Rangers - Kreider has just six points in 19 games on the road this year. Yes, that means he has a whopping 24 points in 28 home games. Conclusion: Considering the Rangers play 13 of 23 on the road after the break, he's a "sell" unless you need him for the other categories.

Keith Yandle/Radim Vrbata, Phoenix - They each have 23 points at Jobing.com Arena this season. Vrbata has 13 and Yandle has 11 on the road. The Coyotes play five of six at home leading into the Sochi break, so assuming these two produce well during that stretch, they are decent sell-high candidates during the Olympics. Conclusion: Worth kicking tires on, but only move if you're satisfied with the return.

Joe Pavelski, San Jose - The 29-year-old has 31 points in 24 home games, but 22 in 28 on the road. The Sharks have a pretty even schedule down the stretch, though. Conclusion: Pavelski is at a near-unsustainable pace regardless of home/road. But since San Jose plays four at home heading into the break, the perfect time to shop him is during the Olympics. Unless, of course, he suddenly stops his superstar ways in the SAP Center.

Alex Steen/TJ Oshie, St. Louis - On one hand, the Blues play more games after the break than any other team but Boston. On the other hand, 14 of 25 are on the road. Oshie (29 in 25) and Steen (27 in 20) have been amazing at home. Conclusion: The Blues play six of their first seven games after Sochi on the road. If you can make a killing in a Steen or Oshie trade before then, do it.

 

Team Notes


The Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning boast the best schedules in terms of more games at home. This bodes well for owners of Taylor Hall, Martin St. Louis, Valtteri Filppula, Justin Schultz, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. These are players from those teams who I've identified as having significant offensive success at home. However, with the coming return of Steven Stamkos, there is no way an owner of St. Louis will move him. Best to target one of the other five.

And although the New Jersey Devils have a favorable schedule, their skaters are pretty consistent regardless of the building they play in.

Scottie Upshall has been in a dreadful slump after bursting onto the fantasy scene in November. But he has 15 points in 20 home games versus eight in 26 on the road. With the favorable schedule after the Olympics, he would be a nice depth add and could be had for a song.

On the other side of the coin, the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres find themselves on the road for a lopsided amount of games after Sochi. That being said, due to the fact that the Bruins play more games than 28 other teams during that window, I wouldn't be in sell mode with those players. And with the dreadful scoring of the Hurricanes and the Sabres, the fact that they play a pile of games on the road to end the campaign doesn't bode well. I'd say that the players are at "sell high" status, but…um…they have to be productive to begin with!

There are lots of factors - dozens - that you could look at and use to adjust your thinking. This is only one of them. Factors such as players returning from injury, a PDO number that is way too high/low, first- versus second-half players, each often serve as good predictors. This one however is a nice, simple method to find a few trade targets quickly.

 

Do you place any stock in home vs. road production, if the track record points to it? Or are the numbers just a coincidence?

 

You need to login to post comments. Registration takes 5 seconds. See link at top left under "home"