Looking Ahead – Week 23

Dave Poleck

2012-03-09

 

Kovalchuk ICON SMI

 

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.

 

My Look Ahead article two weeks ago is more important now than ever as a lot of your fantasy leagues will be starting playoffs this upcoming Monday. In Monday to Sunday leagues, two teams to stay away from are the Canucks and Wild who both play only two games. Minnesota also only plays two games in the Wednesday to Tuesday and Thursday to Wednesday schedules so beware of picking up the recently good, shootout specialist Devin Setoguchi.

 

Anyone counting the Tampa Bay Lightning out of the playoff race need to have a look at the schedule. After Thursday's game in Washington, they play their next seven at home where they are 20-10-2. It's common knowledge that their goaltending is awful and that doesn't really change at home, but their scoring prowess is significantly better as they've scored 27 more goals in two less home games. Add that to the fact that they play four bottom feeders in Carolina, Toronto, Long Island and Edmonton over this stretch and I think Buffalo and company should be worried.

 

The Capitals are one of the teams Tampa is trying to catch and they have a very scary road ahead considering the way they've played as of late and on the road all season. They play six of their next seven away from home where their record is less than impressive at 11-18-3. While Tampa has some easy games in their own building, Washington has to travel to some very tough places like Boston, Winnipeg, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia. All five rank in the top eight in home goals for.

 

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Could things get any better for the Rangers this year? Starred and won in HBO's 24/7. Best goalie in the league. Top record in the Conference and NHL. No more Sean Avery and the advantage of having millions of dollars waste away on your minor league affiliate. Now after a double header in Ottawa and Chicago on Thursday and Friday, they get to head home for a seven game homestand. Suffice it to say they have been pretty damn good wherever they play this year, but their home stats are just a tiny amount better; 0.3 more goals scored and a disgusting 1.90 goals against at home. For those Lundqvist owners who are disheartened that Biron will be starting on Thursday, it is interesting to note that this will be the Rangers last back to back scenario for the rest of the year.