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.
As a Wings' fan, one of the most staggering things for me this season has been their play on the road. Last season, they had the second most road wins in the league with 26 (one behind Vancouver). This year, this just can't seem to get it done away from the Joe; 11-13 thus far. While they're managing over four goals per game at home, they only have 2.54 per game on the road. That is a huge difference. Thankfully for us they have a few in a row at the Joe this weekend with another matchup against Chicago followed an early week clash with the struggling Sabres. After that it's seven of nine away from home, at the end of which they will have played eight more road games than home games.
After Friday's meeting in Buffalo (the first road game of the new year for Toronto), the white hot Maple Leafs play another five straight at the ACC. Toronto has a distinctly better record at home (12-5-4) versus on the road (10-10-1), which is why I find it weird that their goal differential for each is surprisingly similar. Through 21 games at home they're 64 GF – 61 GA; 21 games on the road 68 GF – 68 GA. I'm sure they're not really complaining about the differential, but they have lost five of their last six road games.
I actually have not one, but two five game weeks to talk about this week. In the Friday to Thursday schedule, Buffalo gets to try and turn their ugly 5-9-3 stretch around with games vs Toronto, then in Long Island, Detroit, Chicago and Winnipeg. It's a make or break point for the Sabres as starting with the Isles game they play seven straight on the road where their 8-10 is actually flattering to the way they've played. While they have played six more games at home at this point (74 GF in 24 home games), they've scored 40 less goals on the, being outscored 52-34. Gut check time for the Sabres.