PatriceBergeron USAToday

 

The 'Looking Ahead' series helps you get the edge when setting your fantasy lineups.

 

A tough decision can be made easier with these charts showing you the best five and worst five schedules for upcoming seven-day periods. Some of you used them last year but for the benefit of new readers here is a refresher. The number next to the team indicates the 'multiplier' to use on a player's point-per-game pace to give you an idea how many points to expect for that week.


 

Conference Bias

 

The East seems to be pulling away in the “Best Bets” department, almost a clean sweep, sporting a 32-3 advantage this week.  The West takes the “Steer Clear” category again, 25-10.

 

Philadelphia, Yeah Them Again


Take two.  The Flyers are slowly improving.  I can see their full turnaround happening before the end of the month.  They are 2-1 in their last three with nine goals scored.  Not the greatest, but could be a lot worse (see San Jose section below).  Their brutal road trip continues on Friday against the surprising (but it shouldn’t be a surprise) New Jersey Devils.

 

To be honest, it’s pretty apparent why the Flyers aren’t playing well: their leading point getter is Jakub Voracek, second is a tie between Brayden Schenn, Matt Read and Kimmo Timonen.  Finally, we have Claude Giroux at fifth.  Scott Hartnell is hurt.  Giroux needs to find a way to take that passion he had during the playoffs where Laviolette verbally felated him after announcing that he would start the game and then he proceeded to knock down Crosby and score a goal.  The great news is that Hartnell could skate Saturday and be back within the next week.

 

While their schedule doesn’t look great, Montreal and the Islanders are vulnerable, then they only have to get past Pittsburgh on the road and then they have a cushy schedule until March.  Expect Bryzgalov to get the bulk of the work and I’ll make a prediction right now: Over the next 8 games, Claude Giroux will have at least 12 points.

 

See you next week for another rendition of Flyers weekly!


Hurricanes Taking Over the Southeast


When Jimmy Rutherford looked at his team going into the season, he thought he had another Stanley Cup contender.  Playing in (arguably) the weakest division in the NHL, the Hurricanes have had an OK start.  They lead their division, but that’s not saying much.  The Staal brothers have basically been in on every single goal scored and while Jordan only has one goal to go along with his ten assists, his big brother has eight goals, which is weird, since he usually waits to start producing in March and April.

 

One of the worst trends in the entire league has to be their goaltender stats.  Top netminders just can’t seem to find their rhythm.  Cam Ward is bolstering a GAA over three, but much of that is to be attributed to the first couple weeks of the season.  In February, his stats are excellent, 2.46 GAA and 0.926 SV%, play him with confidence.

 

With games against Montreal, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, the Islanders and Washington, expect Carolina to not only solidify their playoff position, but also your fantasy stats as guys like Jeff Skinner, Alex Semin, Jordan and Eric (and even Jiri Tlusty) continue their torrid scoring pace on some of the worst defensive teams in the league.  Semin’s and Jordan’s goals will come, they’re boasting some really weak shooting percentages (7.1% and 3.2%), but they are shooting and with shots come goals.

 

Sharks Slump Continues


Just as predicted in last week’s edition of “Looking Ahead,” it was expected that San Jose would go into a slump, but not even Nostradamus could’ve been as bang on (1-0 shootout loss to Phoenix, 6-2 loss to Columbus and a 1-0 OT loss to Nashville).  So if you had the stones to bench a top-scoring Shark last week, kudos.  It’s not going to get much better in the near future.  Losing six in a row after being considered invincible and now looking at the calendar and seeing four more games on the road against good defensive teams, two of which against Chicago at the United Center?  Good luck. Thornton

 

This is a truly brutal part of the schedule for the Sharks and they’ll have to really dig deep to gut out some points here.  While we can expect some bounce back performances from guys like Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, the psyche of the team has to be extremely fragile.  This is a team who’s never had much big time success outside of regular season victories.  This team can be resilient but this is not the time for it.

 

Use your San Jose players with caution, I highly doubt anyone will actually have the luxury to bench these guys, but this routine of the Sharks slumping is to be expected at least once a year.


Minnesota Mild


After hitting the UFA lottery, the Minnesota Wild haven’t exactly cashed in to the extent they had hoped.  The wise words of the late great Biggie Smalls rings true here: “Mo’ money, Mo’ problems.”  Adding Ryan Suter and Zach Parise seemed to only magnify the glaring weaknesses on this team.  The problems consist of minimal secondary scoring, mediocre defense and an unfortunate goalie situation starting with the terrible news that Josh Harding’s MS is going to be an issue for a while.

 

Dany Heatley is like that unemployed uncle who heard you won the lottery and now he thinks this is his early retirement.  News flash Dany boy, you still have to work.  Devin Setoguchi is like your younger cousin who just graduated college and thinks you’re going to bankroll his business venture to have a dual food truck and iPhone repair shop.  Matt Cullen is your friend who you haven’t seen since high school and now all of a sudden he has some great investment opportunity of selling tie-dyed meme-themed shirts on the freeway exits.

 

The bottom line is that the Minnesota Wild still have some transitioning to do.  Parise has been pretty good, but Suter definitely has not.  The amount of fantasy options on the Wild has always been limited, now more than ever.  This week they play Detroit who almost always beats them, and then they play Edmonton and Calgary on the road and then Calgary again at home.  Sure, Calgary and Edmonton are vulnerable, but Minnesota is the same way.  Plus they only play four games in 13 days.  Steer clear if you can.

 

Possible Pickups


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

 

NY Islanders: Brad Boyes (11%) – Only two games without a point in his past seven (2-4-6).

Philadelphia: Brayden Schenn (25%) – Seven in his past seven, including a three-point effort against Carolina.

Carolina: Jiri Tlusty (17%) – Was very surprised he was available in the league I was doing research in.  Seven points during his current three game goal and point streak.

Montreal: Rene Bourque (13%) – Two points in his last three to go with 24 PIMs, seven hits and ten shots on goal.  Playing top line at ES and PP.

New Jersey: Travis Zajac (21%) – No points in February.  Still on a line with Kovalchuk at even strength and on powerplay.  Gotta pay off eventually, right?


 

Friday, February 15 to Thursday, February 21
Best Bets
Philadelphia (5.10) - 5 Games: @NJ, @MTL, @NYI, @PIT, FLA
Montreal (4.32) - 4 Games: PHI, CAR, @NYR, NYI
Toronto (4.19) - 4 Games: OTW, @FLA, @TB, BUF
New Jersey (4.19) - 4 Games: PHI, @NYI, OTW, @WSH
Ottawa (4.06) - 4 Games: @TOR, @NJ, NYI, NYR
Steer Clear
San Jose (1.85) - 2 Games: @CHI, @STL
Washington (1.90) - 2 Games: @NYR, NJ
Minnesota (2.00) - 2 Games: DET, @EDM
Carolina (2.15) - 2 Games: @MTL, WPG
Phoenix (2.26) - 2 Games: CLB, CGY
Saturday, February 16 to Friday, February 22
Best Bets
Montreal (4.32) - 4 Games: PHI, CAR, @NYR, NYI
Philadelphia (4.20) - 4 Games: @MTL, @NYI, @PIT, FLA
Toronto (4.19) - 4 Games: OTW, @FLA, @TB, BUF
Nashville (4.10) - 4 Games: ANH, @COL, DET, VAN
Ottawa (4.06) - 4 Games: @TOR, @NJ, NYI, NYR
Steer Clear
San Jose (1.85) - 2 Games: @STL, @CHI
Washington (1.90) - 2 Games: @NYR, NJ
Minnesota (2.00) - 2 Games: DET, @EDM
Anaheim (2.01) - 2 Games: @NSH, CLB
Boston (2.04) - 2 Games: @WPG, @TB
Sunday, February 17 to Saturday, February 23
Best Bets
Philadelphia (4.36) - 4 Games: @NYI, @PIT, FLA, WPG
Buffalo (4.31) - 4 Games: PIT, WPG, @TOR, NYI
Montreal (4.21) - 4 Games: CAR, @NYR, NYI, NYR
Ottawa (4.16) - 4 Games: @NJ, NYI, NYR, TOR
NY Rangers (4.11) - 4 Games: WSH, MTL, @OTW, @MTL
Steer Clear
Anaheim (1.16) - 1 Games: CLB
Boston (2.04) - 2 Games: @WPG, @TB
Phoenix (2.05) - 2 Games: CGY, @EDM
San Jose (2.76) - 3 Games: @STL, @CHI, @DAL
Washington (2.90) - 3 Games: @NYR, NJ, NJ
Monday, February 18 to Sunday, February 24
Best Bets
NY Islanders (5.10) - 5 Games: PHI, @OTW, @MTL, @BUF, CAR
Philadelphia (4.36) - 4 Games: @NYI, @PIT, FLA, WPG
Carolina (4.35) - 4 Games: @MTL, WPG, TB, @NYI
Montreal (4.21) - 4 Games: CAR, @NYR, NYI, NYR
New Jersey (4.19) - 4 Games: OTW, @WSH, @WSH, WPG
Steer Clear
Washington (2.00) - 2 Games: NJ, NJ
Dallas (1.89) - 2 Games: VAN, SJ
Boston (2.09) - 2 Games: @TB, @FLA
Minnesota (1.95) - 2 Games: @EDM, @CGY
Anaheim (2.26) - 2 Games: CLB, COL
Tuesday, February 19 to Monday, February 25
Best Bets
Ottawa (4.36) - 4 Games: NYI, NYR, TOR, MTL
Los Angeles (4.15) - 4 Games: @EDM, @CGY, COL, ANH
Chicago (4.10) - 4 Games: VAN, SJ, CLB, EDM
Philadelphia (4.32) - 4 Games: @PIT, FLA, WPG, TOR
Toronto (4.01) - 4 Games: @TB, BUF, @OTW, @PHI
Steer Clear
Minnesota (1.95) - 2 Games: @EDM, @CGY
Phoenix (1.95) - 2 Games: @EDM, @CGY
Washington (2.00) - 2 Games: NJ, NJ
Anaheim (2.05) - 2 Games: COL, @LA
Boston (2.09) - 2 Games: @TB, @FLA
Wednesday, February 20 to Tuesday, February 26
Best Bets
Pittsburgh (4.51) - 4 Games: PHI, FLA, TB, @FLA
Carolina (4.40) - 4 Games: WPG, TB, @NYI, @WSH
Philadelphia (4.32) - 4 Games: @PIT, FLA, WPG, TOR
NY Islanders (4.09) - 4 Games: @MTL, @BUF, CAR, BOS
Tampa Bay (4.00) - 4 Games: BOS, @CAR, @PIT, BUF
Steer Clear
Anaheim (2.05) - 2 Games: COL, @LA
St. Louis (2.15) - 2 Games: @COL, CLB
Phoenix (2.80) - 3 Games: @EDM, @CGY, @VAN
San Jose (2.86) - 3 Games: @CHI, @DAL, COL
Nashville (2.89) - 3 Games: VAN, @DET, DAL
Thursday, February 21 to Wednesday, February 27
Best Bets
Philadelphia (4.57) - 4 Games: FLA, WPG, TOR, WSH
Carolina (4.40) - 4 Games: WPG, TB, @NYI, @WSH
Toronto (4.11) - 4 Games: BUF, @OTW, @PHI, MTL
Washington (4.10) - 4 Games: NJ, NJ, CAR, @PHI
NY Islanders (4.09) - 4 Games: @MTL, @BUF, CAR, BOS
Steer Clear
St. Louis (1.16) - 1 Games: CLB
Colorado (2.80) - 3 Games: @LA, @ANH, @SJ
Phoenix (2.80) - 3 Games: @EDM, @CGY, @VAN
San Jose (2.86) - 3 Games: @CHI, @DAL, COL
Edmonton (2.9) - 3 Games: MIN, PHX, @CHI



Write comment
Comments (1)add comment

TJ4 said:

TJ4
... "Laviolette verbally fellated him (Giroux)"...lmao
thanks Bob.
February 15, 2013
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy