The NHL season is finally upon us and it’s time to make those final adjustments to your fantasy roster and dress your opening day lineup. Four teams start the NHL season overseas (Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers). Teams who start the season overseas tend to have slow starts once they get back to North America; something to think about for next week.
Games to be played in week 1:
THREE GAMES: Pittsburgh
TWO GAMES: Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal, Nashville, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Toronto
ONE GAME: Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Phoenix, San Jose, St. Louis, Vancouver, Washington and Winnipeg
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 all their games at home or on the road (home/road records pre-season):
HOME: Boston (1-1-0), Calgary (3-1-0), Colorado (1-2-0), Edmonton (3-2-0), Los Angeles (0-2-2), Minnesota (1-1-1), New Jersey (2-1-0), NY Islanders (1-1-0), San Jose (3-0-0), St. Louis (2-2-0), Toronto (1-3-0), Vancouver (2-2-0), Washington (3-1-0) and Winnipeg (2-0-1)
AWAY: Florida (0-2-0), Montreal (2-0-0), Nashville (4-1-0), NY Rangers (1-1-0), Ottawa (2-1-0), Philadelphia (2-1-0), Phoenix (2-3-0), Pittsburgh (2-1-0) and Tampa Bay (2-1-0)
If you participate in any type of head-to-head hockey pool, 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:
Edmonton, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg
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.
Here are the teams that play in back-to-back games this week:
Anaheim, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay
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 from the pre-season:
TOP FIVE: Nashville (7-1-0), Dallas (6-1-0), Columbus (5-2-1), Pittsburgh (5-1-0) and San Jose (5-1-0)
BOTTOM FIVE: NY Islanders (1-4-0), Florida (1-4-1), Carolina (1-4-1), NY Rangers (1-1-1) and Montreal (2-6-0)
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 ten scorers for each skater position from the pre-season:
FORWARDS PAST 14:
Mike Ribeiro-DALLAS (GP-four G-two A-eight)
Mark Scheifele-WINNIPEG (GP-five G-four A-four)
Mikko Koivu-MINNESOTA (GP-four G-three A-four)
Colin Wilson-NASHVILLE (GP-six G-three A-four)
Claude Giroux-PHILADELPHIA (GP-four G-zero A-seven)
Matt Read-PHILADELPHIA (GP-six G-two A-five)
Patrick O’Sullivan-PHOENIX (GP-six G-two A-five)
Evgeni Malkin-PITTSBURGH (GP-four G-three A-four)
Mikhail Grabovski-TORONTO (GP-six G-three A-four)
Jaromir Jagr-PHILADELPHIA (GP-three G-four A-two)
DEFENSEMEN PAST 14:
Fedor Tyutin-COLUMBUS (GP-four G-two A-five)
Cam Fowler-ANAHEIM (GP-five G-two A-three)
Christian Ehrhoff-BUFFALO (GP-four G-two A-three)
Alex Goligoski-DALLAS (GP-four G-one A-four)
Pavel Kubina-TAMPA BAY (GP-five G-one A-four)
Marek Zidlicky-MINNESOTA (GP-four G-one A-four)
Shea Weber-NASHVILLE (GP-four G-one A-four)
Jake Gardiner-TORONTO (GP-six G-one A-four)
Paul Postma-WINNIPEG (GP-four G-two A-three)
Zdeno Chara-BOSTON (GP-three G-one A-three)
Here are the top five goaltenders and bottom five goaltenders from the pre-season:
HOT GOALTENDERS PAST 14:
Steve Mason-COLUMBUS (GP-four W-four SO-zero)
Thomas Greiss-SAN JOSE (GP-five W-four SO-one)
Sergei Bobrovsky-PHILADELPHIA (GP-three W-three SO-one)
Pekka Rinne-NASHVILLE (GP-four W-three SO-zero)
Andrew Raycroft-DALLAS (GP-three W-three SO-one)
COLD GOALTENDERS PAST 14:
Jason LaBarbera-PHOENIX (GP-three L-three)
James Reimer-TORONTO (GP-four L-three)
Carey Price-MONTREAL (GP-five L-three)
Dan Ellis-ANAHEIM (GP-two L-two)
Leland Irving-CALGARY (GP-two L-two)
For more fantasy hockey analysis, check out FantasyHockeyCoach.com.