Looking Ahead: Week Eight

Bob Fisher

2013-11-15

phil kessel


Here are some teams to target and avoid for the next week or two, several players to target that may be available in your league as well as teams that play a light schedule.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs = Target

 

Games: 7 (5H/2A)

Favorable Matchups:

  • @ Buffalo – Fourth worst defensive team in the league.  Tied for the most shots allowed per game.  20 goals against in the past five games.  Worst team in the NHL for a reason.  Ryan Miller has actually been pretty good but he has no help and can only do so much.
  • vs. Buffalo – See above.
  • vs. NY Islanders – Bottom five in goals against.  Worst PK in the NHL at 73.8%.  Evgeni Nabokov's last seven goals allowed stats: 4, 5, 3, 3, 4, 6, 4. Looks like he's lost his job to Kevin Poulin for the foreseeable future.
  • vs. Nashville – 30 goals allowed in their past seven games.  That's bad.  This team misses Pekka Rinne, a lot.  Carter Hutton has proven that he doesn't belong in the NHL by allowing 26 goals since Rinne went down with his hip ailment.  Hutton is sporting a 3.53 GAA and .887 SV%, which is buoyed by two respectable efforts prior to Rinne's absence.

 


Toronto has really cooled off considerably since the calendar flipped over to November.  This string of seven games in two weeks will help turn that around.  Get Phil Kessel and company back in your lineups.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins = Consider

 

Games: 8 (4H/4A)

Favorable Matchups:

  • vs. Nashville – See above.
  • vs. NY Islanders – See above.

 

The Pens don't have a ton of juicy matchups, but they do play eight games in 13 days.  So the sheer quantity of games should help offset any tough defensive matchups in weekly leagues.  Sidney Crosby will still be leading the league in points after this stretch of games, but hopefully Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Kris Letang will improve on their current per game averages.