It is over the next week or two that we will start to see everyone's schedule even out a bit and find out whether some of these supposed pretenders are actually contenders.
The New Jersey Devils are one of the supposed contenders that are off to a slow start, 2-4-1 through Thursday's game vs. Montreal. Although they are a "Best Bet" for five of the next eight days, they have a mean six game road trip after this Saturday's home game against the Sabres. They play the Rangers, San Jose, Anaheim, LA, Vancouver and Chicago.
The weak link of that group appears to be the Ducks; but remember, they are 2-0-1 at home while scoring 12 goals. However, the Ducks have scored only six goals in five games on the road (three came vs. Philly on Thursday). This is definitely not a new occurrence for the Ducks. In 2009-10, they were 25-11-5 at the Honda Centre while scoring 141 goals in those games, good for third in the League. On the road was a much different story; 14-21-6 and only 92 goals for, which put them 27th.
Easily the most popular team on the waiver wire so far in my leagues has been Long Island. But the league's third highest scoring team through Thursday (that is not a typo) is in for a test over the next while; they play eight of their next ten away from home. They only had 11 wins on the road last season, second least in the NHL.
As I noted last week, the Kings are the top ranked team on the Friday-Thursday and Saturday-Friday schedules, but also play all four of their games on the road over that stretch.
Last week I warned you about a slow stretch for the Red Wings, this week it is the Canucks who, after a rematch against the Wild on Friday only play one game between Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 31. Don't fret though; they come back strong in November with eight games before the 16th of the month.
Speaking of those Red Wings, stay strong owners. After yet another four day break this week, they play five games in ten days including a Western