Fantasy Hockey Week 23: Young Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers traded away their leading goal scorer in Dustin Penner at the NHL Trade Deadline this past week. The Oilers are handing the reigns of the team over to its young gun and this week will be a big test.

Edmonton plays four games on the road this scoring period against some of the best teams in the NHL. First it’s back-to-back games against the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. The Oilers then close out the week against the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

If Ales Hemsky is out with an injury then the Oilers will be looking at Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to carry the offensive load. It’s time for these young Oilers to showcase what they can do.

Games to be played in week 23:

FOUR GAMES: Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Ottawa, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington

THREE GAMES: Anaheim, Atlanta, Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto and Vancouver

TWO GAMES: NY Rangers

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 March 3, 2011):

HOME: Dallas (18-9-5), Florida (12-12-6), Pittsburgh (20-11-2), San Jose (16-10-3), St. Louis (18-11-4), and Tampa Bay (21-7-4)

AWAY: Buffalo (16-10-4), Chicago (15-9-6), Edmonton (10-16-4), Los Angeles (16-14-3), NY Rangers (19-13-1), Ottawa (10-16-4), Vancouver (17-9-4) and Washington (16-12-3)

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 Week 21):

Anaheim (8-4), Buffalo (1-2), Chicago (8-3), Dallas (3-2), Edmonton (3-7), Los Angeles (2-2), Ottawa (2-2), Phoenix (3-4), Pittsburgh (0-4) and Washington (8-1)

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 Week 21):

Atlanta (2-10), Boston (8-3), Buffalo (5-10), Calgary (4-6), Carolina (6-8), Chicago (8-5), Colorado (3-8), Columbus (8-5), Detroit (6-4), Edmonton (3-6), Minnesota (4-10), New Jersey (5-9), NY Islanders (4-10), Ottawa (4-8), Pittsburgh (8-5), St. Louis (8-5), Tampa Bay (6-6) and Washington (4-6)

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 March 3, 2011:

TOP FIVE: New Jersey (9-1-0), San Jose (8-2-0), Chicago (7-1-2), Detroit (7-2-1) and Boston (7-3-0)

BOTTOM FIVE: Colorado (1-7-2), Atlanta (2-6-2), Florida (3-6-1), Pittsburgh (3-4-3) and St. Louis (4-6-0)

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 March 3, 2011 for the past seven and fourteen days:

SKATER PAST SEVEN: Phil Kessel-TOR (GP-4 G-4 A-5), Jonathan Toews-CHI (GP-4 G-5 A-3), Alex Tanguay-CAL (GP-4 G-2 A-5), Jarome Iginla-CAL (GP-4 G-3 A-3), Anze Kopitar-LA (GP-3 G-2 A-4)

SKATER PAST FOURTEEN: Toews (GP-7 G-6 A-7), Kessel (GP-6 G-5 A-5), Patrick Sharp-CHI (GP-7 G-5 A-5), Tanguay (GP-6 G-3 A-7), Patrick Kane-CHICAGO (GP-7 G-2 A-7)

Here are the top five goaltenders and bottom five goaltenders up to March 3, 2011 for the past fourteen days:

HOT GOALTENDERS PAST FOURTEEN: Antti Niemi-SJ (GS-6 W-6 SO-1 GAA-1.76), Corey Crawford-CHI (GS-7 W-6 SO-1 GAA-2.52), Johan Hedberg-NEW JERSEY (GS-4 W-3 SO-2 GAA-0.75), Steve Mason-CBJ (GS-4 W-3 SO-1 GAA-1.71), Kari Lehtonen-DALLAS (GS-4 W-3 GAA-1.51)

COLD GOALTENDERS PAST FOURTEEN: Curtis McElhinney-ANA (GS-3 L-3 GAA-5.18), Ondrej Pavelec-ATL (GS-3 L-2 GAA-3.88), Marc-Andre Fleury-PITTSBURGH (GS-6 W-1 OTL-3 GAA-2.96), Pekka Rinne-NASHVILLE (GS-7 L-4 GAA-2.29), Tomas Vokoun-FLA (GS-4 L-3 GAA-2.74)

For more fantasy hockey analysis, check out FantasyHockeyCoach.com.

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