This year the Winter Classic showcases two of the NHL top young teams in the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The visiting team in every Winter Classic has gone onto the Stanley Cup Finals and failed to win the Cup in that season. Could that mean the Washington Capitals are Finals bound? They are sure banking on being in the Finals, so much so that they have decided to sacrifice offense this season to be a more playoff ready team and only time will tell if they made the right move.
Alexander Ovechkin versus Sidney Crosby on an outdoor rink should make for an exciting game.
Games to be played in week 13:
Four Games: Atlanta, Boston, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Jose
Three Games: Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Vancouver
Two Games: Washington
When it comes to dressing your players for the upcoming week, especially your goalies, it is important to know which team is on a long road trip and which team is enjoying an extended period at home. Listed below are the teams that play at least three home/away games this week or play all their games at home or on the road (home/road records up to December 25, 2010):
HOME: Edmonton (6-8-2), Florida (7-6-0), Minnesota (8-7-2), St. Louis (11-4-2) and Tampa Bay (10-2-2)
AWAY: Atlanta (9-6-3), Boston (9-5-1), Montreal (8-8-0), NY Rangers (12-6-0), Philadelphia (10-2-3) and San Jose (9-7-2)
If you participate in any type of head-to-head hockey pool then you are likely dressing a lineup for each scoring period, which usually ends on Sunday. As the week comes to an end and you find yourself in a close battle for those wins you want as many players as possible playing for you. Here are the teams that play on Sunday (record for Sunday games up to but not including Week 12):
Anaheim (3-3), Atlanta (2-1), Chicago (3-1), Colorado (1-0), Columbus (0-1), Dallas (1-0), Detroit (2-1), Florida (0-1), Minnesota (1-1), Montreal (0-1), Nashville (1-1), NY Rangers (3-1), Philadelphia (1-1), Phoenix (2-2), St. Louis (2-0) and Vancouver (2-2)
When you are deciding which goalie to dress you need to look at the NHL schedule to see if your goalie’s team will play in a back-to-back game that week. Most coaches will not dress the same goalie in back-to-back games so that is something to consider when you are thinking about which goalie to dress for the week. Here are the teams that play in back-to-back games this week (record of second game of back-to-back up to but not including Week 12):
Atlanta (2-6), Boston (3-3), Buffalo (3-7), Calgary (1-4), Carolina (4-5), Colorado (3-4), Columbus (4-2), Dallas (3-3), Detroit (2-2), Los Angeles (2-3), Minnesota (1-7), Montreal (4-3), New Jersey (1-6), NY Islanders (1-5), NY Rangers (9-0), Ottawa (2-3), Philadelphia (5-3), Phoenix (2-5) and Pittsburgh (2-4)
Knowing which team is on a hot streak or cold streak will help in making your lineup decisions, for example you definitely want to dress a goalie from teams that are on a hot streak. Here are the top five and bottom five teams up to December 25th:
TOP FIVE: Pittsburgh (8-2-0), Vancouver (7-1-2), Philadelphia (7-2-1), San Jose (7-2-1) and Los Angeles (7-2-1)
BOTTOM FIVE: New Jersey (1-9-0), Washington (2-5-3), NY Islanders (3-6-1), Columbus (3-5-2) and Calgary (4-5-1)
Most elite stars are consistent scorers, but there are several players who are very streaky so keep an eye on their stats so that you can dress them while they are on a hot streak. Here are the top five scorers up to December 25, 2010 for the past 7 and 14 days:
SKATER PAST 7: Martin St. Louis-TB (4GP 3G 5A), Evgeni Malkin-PIT (3GP 2G 5A), Henrik Sedin-VAN (4GP 3G 4A), Loui Eriksson-DAL (4GP 2G 5A) and Brian Rafalski-DET (4GP 7A)
SKATER PAST 14: Henrik Sedin-VAN (7GP 5G 7A), Dustin Brown-LA (7GP 4G 8A), Henrik Zetterberg-DET (8GP 3G 9A), Corey Perry-ANA (7GP 6G 5A) and Daniel Sedin-VAN (7GP 3G 8A)
GOALTENDERS PAST 14: Anders Lindback-NASH (6GS 4W 2SO 1.94 GAA), Craig Anderson-COL (8GS 6W), Jonas Hiller-ANA (5GS 4W 1SO 1.38 GAA .957 SV%), Roberto Luongo-VAN (5GS 4W 1.97 GAA) and Jonathan Quick-LA (6GS 3W 2SO)
For more fantasy hockey analysis, check out FantasyHockeyCoach.com.