Week 15: The Russians Are Coming

The Washington Capitals are hoping that their Russians (Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Semyon Varlamov) can follow in the footsteps of the Russian U20 team and be the teams’ best players when the games count the most.

It took the Russians three late game comebacks in order to win the World Junior Hockey Championship but they are now on top of the World. In the final three games Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis prospect) scored two goal and two assists, Maxim Kitsyn (Los Angeles prospect) scored two goal and three assists and Yevgeni Kuznetsov (Washington prospect) scored two goals and four assist including the OT winner against Finland in the quarter finals.

Congrats to the Russians for winning Gold and to all the players for a fantastic tournament.

Games to be played in week 15:

Four Games: Boston, Edmonton, Nashville, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington

Three Games: Anaheim, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh, San Jose and Tampa Bay

Two Games: Atlanta, Dallas and New Jersey

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 January 7, 2011):

HOME: Boston (9-7-3), Dallas (12-6-3), Florida (8-7-2), Los Angeles (13-6-1), NY Islanders (7-7-3), NY Rangers (10-8-2) and San Jose (10-7-3)

AWAY: Calgary (7-12-3), Edmonton (6-8-4), New Jersey (4-15-0), Ottawa (7-8-3), Philadelphia (13-4-3), St. Louis (6-8-4), Toronto (6-10-1) and Vancouver (12-5-3)

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 but not including Week 14):

Anaheim (4-4), Chicago (4-2), Edmonton (3-3), Minnesota (2-2), Nashville (2-2), NY Rangers (3-2), Ottawa (2-1), Philadelphia (2-1), Vancouver (4-2) and Washington (5-1)

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 but not including Week 14):

Anaheim (3-6), Atlanta (2-8), Boston (4-3), Calgary (2-5), Chicago (4-3), Columbus (6-2), Detroit (3-3), Edmonton (2-1), Montreal (5-3), Nashville (2-4), New Jersey (1-7), NY Rangers (9-1), Ottawa (2-4), Philadelphia (5-4), Phoenix (3-5), St. Louis (5-3), Tampa Bay (5-3), Toronto (0-5), Vancouver (3-2) and Washington (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 January 7, 2011:

TOP FIVE: Vancouver (9-0-1), NY Islanders (7-2-1), Minnesota (7-2-1), Tampa Bay (7-2-1) and Philadelphia (7-3-0)

BOTTOM FIVE: New Jersey (1-9-0), Edmonton (2-6-2), Los Angeles (4-6-0), Toronto (4-6-0) and Columbus (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 January 7, 2011 for the past 7 and 14 days:

SKATER PAST 7: Shea Weber-NAS (4GP 2G 6A), Patric Hornqvist-NAS (4GP 5G 2A), Shane Doan-PHO (4GP 4G 3A), Sergei Kostitsyn-NAS (4GP 4G 3A), Drew Stafford-BUF (3GP 3G 3A)

SKATER PAST 14: Doan (7GP 6G 6A), Nicklas Lidstrom-DET (6GP 2G 9A), Anze Kopitar-LA (7GP 1G 9A), Steven Stamkos-TB (6GP 4G 4A), John Tavares-NYI (6GP 3G 5A)

Here are the top five goaltenders and bottom five goaltenders up to January 7, 2011 for the past 14 days:

HOT GOALTENDERS PAST 14: Varlamov-WAS (4GS 3W 1SO 0.99 GAA), Jason LaBarbera-PHOENIX (3GS 2W 2SO 1.99 GAA), Cory Schneider-VAN (3GS 3W 2.01 GAA), Cedrick Desjardins-TB (2GS 2W 1.00 GAA), Rick DiPietro-NY ISLANDERS (2GS 2W 1.32 GAA)

COLD GOALTENDERS PAST 14: Martin Brodeur-NJ (3GS 0W 4.49 GAA), Carey Price-MON (5GS 1W 1OT 3.00 GAA), Brian Elliott-OTT (4GS 1W 1OT 3.65 GAA), Craig Anderson-COL (4GS 1W), Kari Lehtonen-DAL (5GS 2W 3.28 GAA)

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

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