Looking Ahead — Week 19

Dave Poleck

2012-02-10

 

Bobby Ryan

 

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. However, 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.

 

 

The Ducks can thank their 11-2-2 record since January 6 for getting them even remotely close to being mentioned in the race. Now if you consider being out eight points qualifies them as being in the playoff race, the next 14 days is going to decide whether they can get to that eighth spot or not. Anaheim, who is tied for the League in road victories (6), starts a terrifying eight game road trip on Friday. Not only do they start it off against the Wings, but seven of the eight teams they play have a much better record in their own barn than on the road. The other unfortunate thing is that even if they manage to do well on this trip, they only play one team that they're in contention with for a playoff spot — Minnesota.

 

Last week I mentioned the Hawks starting a similar trip that the Ducks are starting this week, except it was for nine games. They proceeded to go out and get hammered by Sam Gagner, then follow it up with losses to Calgary and Colorado. They currently have one of the worst road records for a playoff team, and their schedule doesn't get much easier this coming week. After playing San Jose on Friday, they head to Phoenix, Nashville and MSG to face the Rangers. Two weeks ago no one imagined that Chicago would be 10 points back of Detroit, but now we could see them fighting for their lives to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

 

Another team starting a very lengthy road trip is the San Jose Sharks, who will head out for nine straight after Friday's game against Chicago. While their 12-7-4 road record doesn't necessarily show it, the Sharks have struggled to score away from HP, averaging only 2.4 goals per game, compared to just over 3 at home.

 

Speaking of the Red Wings, I unfortunately can't complete this week's article without mentioning their home streak of 18 consecutive wins. The fantastic news for Red Wings owners is that they have played a league high 31 road games so far this season, giving them only 10 more