Fantasy’s Tricks and Treats

As we enter week four there has been only two hat tricks so far this season.  Derek Stepan scored a hat trick in his very first NHL game and Anthony Stewart turned the trick against Anaheim last week.  The hat trick can be exciting but the real treat for a hockey fan is the Gordie Howe Hat Trick, which is when a player records a goal, assist and a fight.

Pavel Datsyuk, Kris Versteeg and Milan Lucic are the three players to treat the fans so far this season and teams are 3-0 when a player records a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.  As we approach Halloween be sure to ask your favorite hockey player “Trick or Treat?”

Games to be played in  week four:

Four Games: Los Angeles, Montreal, Philadelphia and Phoenix

Three Games: Anaheim, Atlanta, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, Islanders, Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Washington

Two Games: Boston, Detroit, Nashville, San Jose, St. Louis and Tampa Bay

One Game: Vancouver

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 (minimum two games) and their home/road records up to October 21, 2010:

HOME: Calgary (2-1-0), Dallas (2-0-0), Detroit (1-0-1), Minnesota (2-2-0), Ottawa (1-1-0) and San Jose (0-2-1)

AWAY: Buffalo (2-1-0), Edmonton (0-2-0), Florida (1-2-0), New Jersey (1-1-0) and Washington (1-1-0)

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):

No games this Sunday

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):

Anaheim (0-1), Atlanta (1-1), Buffalo (0-2), Carolina (1-0), Chicago (1-0), Edmonton (0-0), Los Angeles (0-1), Montreal (1-0), New Jersey (0-2), Islanders (1-0), Rangers (0-0), Philadelphia X2 (0-0), Phoenix (0-2) and Pittsburgh (1-0)

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 October 21, 2010:

TOP FIVE: Chicago (5-2-1), Toronto (4-0-1), Nashville (3-0-2), Tampa Bay (4-1-0) and Los Angeles (4-1-0)

BOTTOM FIVE: New Jersey (1-4-1), Ottawa (1-4-1), Rangers (1-2-1), Phoenix (1-2-1) and San Jose (1-2-1)

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 October 21, 2010 for the past 7 and 14 days:

SKATER PAST 7: Sidney Crosby-PIT (3GP 3G 3A 15SOG), Eric Staal-CAR (4GP 3G 3A 11SOG), Matt Cullen-MIN (3GP 2G 4A), Brad Richards-DAL (3GP 1G 5A) and Patrick Sharp-CHI (4GP 5G 20SOG)

SKATER PAST 14: Marian Hossa-CHI (8GP 7G 4A 23SOG), Brad Richards-DAL (5GP 2G 8A), Daniel Sedin-VAN (7GP 7G 3A 20SOG), Steven Stamkos-TAM (5GP 5G 4A 23SOG) and Henrik Sedin-VAN (7GP 9A)

GOALTENDERS PAST 14: Brent Johnson-PIT (4GS 4W 1.49GAA), Tim Thomas-BOS (3GS 3W 1SO 0.67GAA), Jonathan Quick-LOS (3GS 3W 0.97GAA), Mike Smith-TAM (3GS 3W) and Tomas Vokoun-FLA (4GS 2W 2SO 1.26GAA)

For more fantasy hockey analysis, check out FantasyHockeyCoach.com

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