Bob Fisher with his weekly look ahead at the schedules for the NHL's 30 clubs.


* This article was written before NHL games took place on Thursday, April 4, 2013.


Conference Bias


Things have gotten back to normal now.  The East has reclaimed its title (although it is very close).  East has a slight edge in both Best Bets and Steer Clear with both having an 18-17 final score.  So it’s pretty even this time around.



Fantasy Playoffs Week #1 (April 8 – April 14)


Since the majority of fantasy hockey H2H leagues have playoffs starting this coming Monday, I figured I’d focus on the teams that would maximize (and minimize) your potential for games played for the Monday to Sunday schedule.


Teams with four games: BOS, BUF, CGY, CAR, COL, STL, TB

Teams with two games: FLA, NJ, WPG

All the rest have three games


Teams to Target:


Boston (Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat)

Home: 2 (Carolina, Islanders)

Away: 2 (New Jersey, Carolina)

Their only game against a team with an average goals against of better than three is the Devils, on Wednesday.


Buffalo (Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun)

Home: 3 (Montreal, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay)

Away: 1 (Winnipeg)

Aside from Montreal, the other three teams are in the bottom third of the league defensively.


Calgary (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)

Home: 2 (Vancouver, Phoenix)

Away: 2 (Colorado, Edmonton)

Colorado is the only truly weak team on their schedule but the Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule is ideal for maximizing games played as they are typically lighter days.


Carolina (Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat)

Home: 2 (Pittsburgh, Boston)

Away: 2 (Boston, Washington)

Not the greatest schedule for putting up points, but four games is better than three.


Colorado (Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat)

Home: 2 (Calgary, Vancouver)

Away: 2 (Anaheim, Los Angeles)

Calgary is the only good-looking game on the Avalanche’s horizon.


St. Louis (Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun)

Home: 1 (Chicago)

Away: 3 (Nashville, Minnesota, Columbus)

All teams in the top half of the league defensively.  You should probably avoid them unless they fit into your roster well.


Tampa Bay (Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun)

Home: 2 (Ottawa, Pittsburgh)

Away: 2 (Washington, Buffalo)

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday schedule isn’t ideal but the Saturday/Sunday games against Washington and Buffalo are.


Teams to Avoid:


Florida (Thu, Sat)

Home: 1 (Pittsburgh)

Away: 1 (Winnipeg)

Not much to look at here.


New Jersey (Wed, Fri)

Home: 2 (Boston, Ottawa)

Away: 0

Two games against the top two defensive teams in the Eastern Conference and no Ilya Kovalchuk.  Don’t pick up any Devils for Week 1.


Winnipeg (Tue, Thu)

Home: 2 (Buffalo, Florida)

Away: 0

These matchups are actually really good.  Home against the Sabres and Panthers?  Yes please.  But only two games?  Ugh, no thanks.  Maybe snag a Jet on Monday, use them Tuesday and Thursday, and then drop them on Thursday night for someone playing two games between Friday and Sunday.


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.


Boston: Rich Peverley (3%) – Not a lot of options in Boston that aren’t already owned in the majority of leagues.  With Jaromir Jagr joining the squad, the top seven point-getters are all owned over 30% in Yahoo leagues.  So that brings up to Peverley.  He’s your best choice of what’s left.  Who knows what the lines will be like with Jagr in town.  And will Jagr eat into Peverley’s PP minutes?


Buffalo: Drew Stafford (27%) – Stafford has been super disappointing this season.  He’s seen his PPG average over the past three seasons go from 0.84 to 0.63 to 0.37 this season.  He still gets plenty of ice time at even strength and the powerplay.  And with the departure of Jason Pominville, someone will have to step up and provide some offense.


Calgary: Alex Tanguay (27%) – Tanguay is the kind of guy that either gets you a point or nothing at all (no peripherals).  He has a whopping 38 shots on goal all season.  He has 16 penalty minutes.  He’s a -13.  All in 35 games.  So, if he doesn’t get a point, then he isn’t helping you elsewhere.  But he does have the highest probability to do something as he leads the team in average ice time at ES and PP and is tied for the team lead in points.  So he gets the best looks and lines up with Mike Cammalleri, who, sadly, is now Calgary’s best offensive weapon, I guess.


Colorado: Jamie McGinn (6%) – Spends his even-strength shifts with Colorado’s two best players: Matt Duchene and P.A. Parenteau.  He leads the team in shots on goal.


Tampa Bay: Alex Killorn (1%) – Three points in his last two games along with six shots and plus three.  As long as he continues to skate with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, he’s a great own.



Friday, April 5 to Thursday, April 11
Best Bets
Colorado (5.06) - 5 Games: DET, @PHX, CGY, @ANH, @LA
Anaheim (4.31) - 4 Games: DAL, LA, EDM, COL
San Jose (4.21) - 4 Games: CGY, DAL, @CLB, @DET
Boston (4.16) - 4 Games: @MTL, CAR, @NJ, NYI
Washington (4.11) - 4 Games: @FLA, TB, @MTL, CAR
Steer Clear
Dallas (2.80) - 3 Games: @ANH, @SJ, LA
Chicago (2.85) - 3 Games: @NSH, NSH, @MIN
Toronto (2.85) - 3 Games: @NJ, NYR, @NYR
Nashville (2.90) - 3 Games: CHI, @CHI, STL
Edmonton (2.91) - 3 Games: @LA, @ANH, PHX
Saturday, April 6 to Friday, April 12
Best Bets
Boston (4.16) - 4 Games: @MTL, CAR, @NJ, NYI
Washington (4.11) - 4 Games: @FLA, TB, @MTL, CAR
Los Angeles (4.11) - 4 Games: EDM, @ANH, @DAL, COL
Phoenix (4.10) - 4 Games: COL, @VAN, @EDM, @CGY
Tampa Bay (4.09) - 4 Games: @NYI, @WSH, OTW, PIT
Steer Clear
Pittsburgh (2.00) - 2 Games: @CAR, @TB
Dallas (2.80) - 3 Games: @SJ, LA, @NSH
Toronto (2.85) - 3 Games: @NJ, NYR, @NYR
Edmonton (2.91) - 3 Games: @LA, @ANH, PHX
Detroit (2.96) - 3 Games: STL, SJ, @CHI
Sunday, April 7 to Saturday, April 13
Best Bets
Boston (4.26) - 4 Games: CAR, @NJ, NYI, @CAR
Washington (4.21) - 4 Games: TB, @MTL, CAR, TB
Buffalo (4.15) - 4 Games: NJ, @WPG, MTL, PHI
Anaheim (4.11) - 4 Games: LA, EDM, COL, @LA
Columbus (4.10) - 4 Games: MIN, SJ, STL, @MIN
Steer Clear
Winnipeg (2.21) - 2 Games: BUF, FLA
New Jersey (2.89) - 3 Games: @BUF, BOS, OTW
Toronto (2.90) - 3 Games: NYR, @NYR, MTL
Phoenix (2.95) - 3 Games: @VAN, @EDM, @CGY
Detroit (2.96) - 3 Games: STL, SJ, @CHI
Monday, April 8 to Sunday, April 14
Best Bets
Boston (4.26) - 4 Games: CAR, @NJ, NYI, @CAR
Buffalo (4.20) - 4 Games: @WPG, MTL, PHI, TB
Calgary (4.10) - 4 Games: @COL, VAN, PHX, @EDM
Colorado (4.01) - 4 Games: CGY, @ANH, @LA, VAN
Tampa Bay (3.99) - 4 Games: OTW, PIT, @WSH, @BUF
Steer Clear
New Jersey (1.89) - 2 Games: BOS, OTW
Florida (2.05) - 2 Games: @WPG, PIT
Winnipeg (2.21) - 2 Games: BUF, FLA
Detroit (2.76) - 3 Games: SJ, @CHI, @NSH
Dallas (2.90) - 3 Games: LA, @NSH, SJ
Tuesday, April 9 to Monday, April 15
Best Bets
Nashville (4.25) - 4 Games: STL, DAL, DET, VAN
Montreal (4.20) - 4 Games: WSH, @BUF, @TOR, PHI
Buffalo (4.20) - 4 Games: @WPG, MTL, PHI, TB
Minnesota (4.19) - 4 Games: CHI, STL, CLB, @CGY
Chicago (4.10) - 4 Games: @MIN, DET, @STL, DAL
Steer Clear
Florida (2.05) - 2 Games: @WPG, PIT
Anaheim (2.06) - 2 Games: COL, @LA
NY Rangers (2.20) - 2 Games: TOR, @NYI
Winnipeg (2.21) - 2 Games: BUF, FLA
Edmonton (2.31) - 2 Games: PHX, CGY
Wednesday, April 10 to Tuesday, April 16
Best Bets
Minnesota (4.20) - 4 Games: STL, CLB, @CGY, @EDM
Calgary (4.10) - 4 Games: VAN, PHX, @EDM, MIN
Boston (4.10) - 4 Games: @NJ, NYI, @CAR, OTW
Tampa Bay (4.04) - 4 Games: PIT, @WSH, @BUF, @WPG
Vancouver (4.04) - 4 Games: @CGY, @COL, @NSH, @STL
Steer Clear
Pittsburgh (2.00) - 2 Games: @TB, @FLA
Anaheim (2.06) - 2 Games: COL, @LA
Winnipeg (2.21) - 2 Games: FLA, TB
Dallas (2.76) - 3 Games: @NSH, SJ, @CHI
Detroit (2.76) - 3 Games: SJ, @CHI, @NSH
Thursday, April 11 to Wednesday, April 17
Best Bets
Boston (4.25) - 4 Games: NYI, @CAR, OTW, BUF
Minnesota (4.20) - 4 Games: STL, CLB, @CGY, @EDM
Calgary (4.15) - 4 Games: PHX, @EDM, MIN, DET
Buffalo (4.06) - 4 Games: MTL, PHI, TB, @BOS
Montreal (4.05) - 4 Games: @BUF, @TOR, PHI, @PIT
Steer Clear
New Jersey (1.94) - 2 Games: OTW, @TOR
Anaheim (1.95) - 2 Games: @LA, CLB
NY Rangers (2.09) - 2 Games: @NYI, @PHI
Phoenix (2.09) - 2 Games: @CGY, SJ
Winnipeg (2.21) - 2 Games: FLA, TB

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