|Looking Ahead - Week 11||Tweet|
|Written by Dave Poleck|
|Friday, 16 December 2011 20:43|
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.
It doesn’t seem to matter who the Blues have in net with Hitchcock at their helm, they just keep winning games. Since his first game behind the bench on November 8, the Blues have gone 12-2-3, allowing only 28 goals in 17 games (including four shutouts). The system Hitch has implemented has reignited Halak’s play (4-1-3, 13 GA) and allowed the surprisingly Brian Elliott to maintain his Vezina worthy season (8-1-0, 11 GA). Another amazing stat about the Blues is that they’re an incredible 13-0 this season when scoring more than three goals in a game. Their remaining eight games of the 2011 calendar are very Central Division heavy; two games each against Nashville and Detroit, one against Columbus.
The other team allowing only 2.00 goals per game is the defending Cup champions in Boston, although their player has been consistently stellar all season long. Through seven December games thus far they’ve only allowed 11 goals. It doesn’t hurt when you have a backup that can step in with a 41 save shutout performance like he did against the Kings this past Tuesday. Rask has only allowed five goals in his last five starts. The only thing to be aware of at this point is that they only have seven games over the next 21 days.
Crosby owners can sort of, somewhat, kind of rejoice; the Penguins also only play seven over the next 21 days, hopefully giving Sidney some much needed time to recover without missing too much time. They actually play all seven of those games in 2011, and then start off the new year with a game the Rangers on January 6. If he were to return on that date, Pittsburgh would still have 44 games left in the season. There’s my good deed for the day; trying to spin this whole situation in a positive manner for all of those who can see our season going down the toilet without Sidney.
Including a 5-4 loss to San Jose on Thursday night, Colorado has allowed 18 goals against in their last four road games. While the Avs are still 26th overall in goals against, their upcoming homestand can bring Varlamov and Giguere owners a little bit of faith in playing them. As mentioned, their road stats have been terrible so far (55 GA in 15 GP), but despite them being ranked 23rd in home goals allowed, they have only let in 44 goals in 17 home games (2.67 per game). Keep that in mind when they play Washington, Philly, St. Louis and Tampa at home this week.
Speaking of the Capitals, they have been frustrating their fantasy owners for over a full season now with their inconsistent and sometimes lazy play. Just looking at their recent schedule I noticed a completely random stat. In their last 15 games, they have scored only one goal on eight different occasions, with the only win coming Thursday in a 1-0 victory over Winnipeg. The maddening thing about this lineup is that in the other seven games they’ve scored 27 goals. At this point we just have to stick with them and hope for one of their “good nights”.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been struggling mightily lately; heading into Thursday’s game against the Rangers they had lost five in a row and only two of their last nine. They have a league high 10 road losses so far and play five of their next seven away from St. Pete’s. Not only have they allowed four goals or more in four straight games, they’ve only scored 18 goals in their last nine games, a stretch which includes a five goal outburst against Florida.
The Jets are another team much better at home then on the road, going 8-4 in Winnipeg versus 4-7-4 on the road. They’ve also been climbing the standings in the East going 7-2-1 in their last 10 and are in the midst of playing 13 of 15 at home. The even better news is that they’ve only played four of those 13 home games and are basically in Winnipeg until a New Years Eve date against the Leafs.
The month of December is either going to make or break the Anaheim Ducks season. Before Thursday’s games, Anaheim was already nine points back of the final playoff spot in the West, with five teams between them and eighth. They have a league low two wins on the road scoring only 18 goals in their 11 road games. Boudreau’s rough start is looking to get a bit worse as the Ducks play only one home game in their next eight, where all games are against teams ahead of them in the standings; St.Louis, Nashville, Chicago, Winnipeg, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Jose.
|Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2011 20:47|