LookingAhead


Looking ahead at the best matchups for Week Four.


We hit the 100th game of the season last night and we have the following headlines that continue to baffle many:

  • Tomas Hertl leads the NHL in goals
  • Matt Cooke leads the Wild in scoring
  • Brayden Schenn leads the Flyers in scoring
  • The top ten save percentage leaders include names like: Al Montoya, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Peter Budaj, Thomas Greiss, Jonas Gustavsson, Carter Hutton and Robin Lehner
  • Goalies with save percentages under .900: Braden Holtby, Martin Brodeur, Tim Thomas, Devan Dubnyk and Niklas Backstrom

 

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

 


Winnipeg Jets = Target

 

Games: 7 (3H/4A)

Favorable Matchups:

  • vs. Nashville – The Preds are in the bottom half of the league in goals against per game and are in the bottom third for the PK.  It won’t last but Pekka Rinne has a .901 SV% and 2.73 GAA.
  • vs. Washington – Washington is allowing almost three and a half goals against per game.  Braden Holtby is sporting a .899 SV% and 3.28 GAA while Michael Neuvirth isn’t doing any better with a .893 SV% and 3.30 GAA.
  • @ Nashville – See above.
  • @ Dallas – 11 goals against in the past three games and Dan Ellis is their starting goaltender while Kari Lehtonen is out.

 

The Jets have seven games in 12 days as they are looking to crawl up in the standings.  They are one of three teams to play seven games over the next two weeks.  Hopefully Evander Kane can come back from his leg injury and continue his nearly five shots on goal per game.  I would expect by the end of October, Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler and company will have all padded their stats, especially if Kane isn’t out long.

 

Montreal Canadiens = Consider

 

Games: 6 (5H/1A)

Favorable Matchups:

  • vs. Nashville – See above.
  • vs. Edmonton – Worst defensive team in the NHL (4.38 GA/G) along with the worst PK percentage (69%).  Devan Dubnyk can’t stop a beach ball.
  • @ NY Rangers – Average more than four goals against per game including four goals to Phoenix, nine goals to San Jose, six goals to Anaheim and five goals to St. Louis.
  • vs. Dallas – See above.

 

The Habs have a nice little home stand coming up and could use that if Max Pacioretty is out for an extended period of time.  The thing is, they were still rolling without Pacioretty putting up points (three points in five games).  P.K. Subban has been leading the way with Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk following closely behind.  I don’t expect Eller to continue scoring on 31.3% of his shots but he’s still looking at a productive month.  Could be a good time to snag Daniel Briere or buy low on Tomas Plekanec.

 

Philadelphia Flyers = Beware

 

Games: 3 (2H/1A)

Unfavorable Matchups:

  • @ NY Islanders – The Isles have been a solid defensive team so far this year.  Evgeni Nabokov is sporting an impressive .925 SV% and 2.25 GAA.
  • vs. Anaheim – The Ducks are in the top ten defensively and have held their opponents to two goals or fewer in the past four games.

 

The Flyers have a week off between their game last night and their next game.  Don’t know why the schedule is setup that way but owners of basically every Flyer will continue to be disappointed and frustrated.  But at least you won’t be compelled to start them and can safely stash them on your bench.

 

St. Louis Blues = Avoid

 

Games: 4 (2H/2A)

Unfavorable Matchups:

  • vs. Vancouver – Best PK in the NHL at 92.3%.

 

The Blues, like the Flyers, have an entire week off between their game tonight and next Friday.  That’s really the only reason they are listed as an “avoid” team.  A lot of Blues have chipped in with points so far this year and the production will continue to be spread out because Ken Hitchcock hates fantasy hockey, allegedly.

 

 

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.

 

Winnipeg: Michael Frolik (13%) – Five points in seven games this season along with +2 and 13 shots.  If Kane misses any games, Frolik should benefit.

 

Calgary: Lee Stempniak (10%) – Five points in six games and 26 shots (leads the team).  Averaging about 18 and a half minutes per game with over two and a half of that coming on the powerplay.

 

Edmonton: Mark Arcobello (7%) – One of the few Oilers with a “plus” in the plus/minus column, in fact he leads the team in that category.  Has eight assists in eight games.  Is on a line with Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall at both even strength and the powerplay.

 

Anaheim: Mathieu Perreault (6%) – Has a decent pair of linemates in Jakob Silfverberg and some guy names Teemu Selanne.  Has the same stats as Ryan Getzlaf at this point in the season and is averaging over two and half minutes on the man advantage.

 

San Jose: Tyler Kennedy (3%) – Lining up with Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture and has the most PP time on the team after the big four forwards (Marleau, Couture, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton).

 

 

Light Day Targets

A new thing I decided to add this week (thanks Berger) is teams to target based on their schedule landing on light days (typically Monday, Wednesday, Friday and/or Sunday) for the upcoming Monday to Sunday schedule.

 

Week2: Monday, October 21 through Sunday, October 27

 

Wednesday: 4 teams

Monday: 6 teams

Sunday: 10 teams

Friday: 12 teams

Tuesday: 16 teams

Thursday: 20 teams

Saturday: 22 teams

 

Odds are you will have a full starting lineup for Saturday, Thursday and probably even Tuesday.  So what teams have a good schedule for the light days?

 

Ottawa Senators: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

San Jose Sharks: Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

Anaheim Ducks: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday

Colorado Avalanche: Monday, Friday and Sunday


 

Friday, October 18 to Thursday, October 24

Best Bets

Phoenix (4.21) - 4 Games: @ANH, DET, CGY, @LA

Winnipeg (4.10) - 4 Games: STL, NSH, WSH, @NSH

Nashville (4.10) - 4 Games: @MTL, @WPG, @MIN, WPG

Anaheim (4.05) - 4 Games: PHX, DAL, @TOR, @MTL

Vancouver (3.94) - 4 Games: @PIT, @CBJ, @NYI, @NJ

Steer Clear

St. Louis (1.05) - 1 Games: @WPG

Philadelphia (1.05) - 1 Games: NYR

Tampa Bay (1.89) - 2 Games: BOS, CHI

Carolina (1.95) - 2 Games: @NYI, @MIN

Colorado (1.95) - 2 Games: @BUF, @PIT

Saturday, October 19 to Friday, October 25

Best Bets

Vancouver (4.80) - 5 Games: @PIT, @CBJ, @NYI, @NJ, @STL

Columbus (4.30) - 4 Games: @WSH, VAN, NJ, TOR

Nashville (4.10) - 4 Games: @MTL, @WPG, @MIN, WPG

Anaheim (4.00) - 4 Games: DAL, @TOR, @MTL, @OTW

Calgary (3.71) - 4 Games: @SJ, @LA, @PHX, @DAL

Steer Clear

Philadelphia (1.05) - 1 Games: NYR

St. Louis (1.05) - 1 Games: VAN

Tampa Bay (1.89) - 2 Games: BOS, CHI

NY Rangers (2.04) - 2 Games: @NJ, @PHI

Carolina (2.90) - 3 Games: @NYI, @MIN, @COL

Sunday, October 20 to Saturday, October 26

Best Bets

Winnipeg (4.15) - 4 Games: NSH, WSH, @NSH, @DAL

Nashville (4.10) - 4 Games: @WPG, @MIN, WPG, STL

Anaheim (4.00) - 4 Games: DAL, @TOR, @MTL, @OTW

Calgary (3.96) - 4 Games: @LA, @PHX, @DAL, WSH

Vancouver (3.85) - 4 Games: @CBJ, @NYI, @NJ, @STL

Steer Clear

Carolina (1.90) - 2 Games: @MIN, @COL

NY Rangers (2.00) - 2 Games: @PHI, @DET

St. Louis (2.00) - 2 Games: VAN, @NSH

Florida (2.05) - 2 Games: CHI, BUF

Philadelphia (2.05) - 2 Games: NYR, @NYI

Monday, October 21 to Sunday, October 27

Best Bets

Winnipeg (4.05) - 4 Games: WSH, @NSH, @DAL, @COL

Calgary (3.96) - 4 Games: @LA, @PHX, @DAL, WSH

Edmonton (3.91) - 4 Games: @MTL, WSH, @PHX, @LA

Anaheim (3.90) - 4 Games: @TOR, @MTL, @OTW, @CBJ

San Jose (3.71) - 4 Games: @DET, @BOS, @MTL, @OTW

Steer Clear

Carolina (1.90) - 2 Games: @MIN, @COL

NY Rangers (2.00) - 2 Games: @PHI, @DET

St. Louis (2.00) - 2 Games: VAN, @NSH

Philadelphia (2.05) - 2 Games: NYR, @NYI

Dallas (2.42) - 2 Games: CGY, WPG

Tuesday, October 22 to Monday, October 28

Best Bets

Montreal (4.26) - 4 Games: EDM, ANH, SJ, @NYR

Washington (4.23) - 4 Games: @WPG, @EDM, @CGY, @VAN

Buffalo (4.14) - 4 Games: BOS, @FLA, @TB, DAL

Chicago (4.09) - 4 Games: @FLA, @TB, MIN, @MIN

Winnipeg (4.05) - 4 Games: WSH, @NSH, @DAL, @COL

Steer Clear

St. Louis (2.00) - 2 Games: VAN, @NSH

Philadelphia (2.05) - 2 Games: NYR, @NYI

Detroit (2.10) - 2 Games: OTW, NYR

Los Angeles (2.21) - 2 Games: PHX, EDM

Colorado (2.26) - 2 Games: CAR, WPG

Wednesday, October 23 to Tuesday, October 29

Best Bets

Dallas (4.36) - 4 Games: CGY, WPG, @BUF, @MTL

Montreal (4.15) - 4 Games: ANH, SJ, @NYR, DAL

Tampa Bay (4.14) - 4 Games: CHI, BUF, @FLA, @NJ

Buffalo (4.14) - 4 Games: BOS, @FLA, @TB, DAL

Edmonton (4.06) - 4 Games: WSH, @PHX, @LA, TOR

Steer Clear

Detroit (2.10) - 2 Games: OTW, NYR

Nashville (2.10) - 2 Games: WPG, STL

Calgary (2.15) - 2 Games: @DAL, WSH

Columbus (2.21) - 2 Games: TOR, ANH

Florida (2.21) - 2 Games: BUF, TB

Thursday, October 24 to Wednesday, October 30

Best Bets

Dallas (4.36) - 4 Games: CGY, WPG, @BUF, @MTL

Toronto (4.28) - 4 Games: @CBJ, PIT, @EDM, @CGY

Montreal (4.15) - 4 Games: ANH, SJ, @NYR, DAL

Tampa Bay (4.14) - 4 Games: CHI, BUF, @FLA, @NJ

Los Angeles (4.11) - 4 Games: PHX, EDM, @PHX, SJ

Steer Clear

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

Nashville (2.10) - 2 Games: WPG, STL

Columbus (2.21) - 2 Games: TOR, ANH

Florida (2.21) - 2 Games: BUF, TB

Colorado (2.26) - 2 Games: CAR, WPG

 



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