A tough decision can be made easier with these charts showing you the best five and worst five schedules for upcoming seven-day periods. Some of you used them last year but for the benefit of new readers here is a refresher. The number next to the team indicates the ‘multiplier’ to use on a player’s point-per-game pace to give you an idea how many points to expect for that week.
Since I started writing this article, I have almost become religious about monitoring the current games played of teams throughout the season because it is one aspect that people often overlook when making deals. Yahoo definitely helps this advantage out by not directly showing player's games played when you look at their stats. These trade advantages will only stay open for a short period of time, so capitalizing on them before the games start to even out is key.
As of this Saturday morning, the Pittsburgh Penguins will have played four more games than the following teams; New Jersey, Long Island, San Jose, Detroit and the New York Rangers. If you own Penguins, especially in a rotisserie league, you definitely want to look into making a deal. I would be all over trading Jordan Staal for the likes of Franzen, Clowe or Callahan in most formats. Normally these windows are only open for a short period of time, but after next Thursday's games, Pittsburgh will still have played 12 times, the Devils, Rangers and Islanders eight times, while the Sharks and Wings still sit at only seven games a piece. It is not until Monday, October 31 that any of those teams will come within three games played of Pittsburgh (San Jose plays NYR that night for game 10).
I think I may have jinxed the Lightning last week by pointing out their perfect penalty kill thus far in the season. They responded by giving up two powerplay goals on Saturday and an astonishing five on Monday against the Florida Panthers. The Devils and Hawks have still only allowed one powerplay goal each in four and six games respectively; but the real cream of the crop (and perhaps the one that has enough significance to alter your lineup plans) are the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have only allowed one powerplay marker in 31 attempts.
The Rangers will finish their seven game road trip to start the season against Edmonton and Winnipeg this week, and begin a six game home stand at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden against Toronto, then Ottawa. That four game stretch could be just what the they need after starting the year 2-1-2.
Last season, the Ducks started 7-1-1 at home but only 3-7-2 on the road. While they were eventually able to pull up that lackluster road record because of a strong finish, I will be watching them very closely as they are about to set out on an early seven game road trip.