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NHL Schedule Analysis: Week 6 Highlights

Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford

A freelance writer of all things but mostly sports, music and politics, Brian Rutherford was raised on Long Island, NY and currently resides in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. His favorite teams are the New York Rangers, Texas Rangers, New York Giants and New York Knicks. "So the difference I think, boils down to this: you can either impose yourself on reality and then write about it, or you can impose yourself on reality by writing it." -Hunter S. Thompson "The Proud Highway"


With a potentially explosive Week 7 next week (16 NHL teams playing four games) just ahead, it's important to build momentum now. That's doesn't mean you look past some very important matchups this week.



Trends

Anaheim begins a home-and-home on back-to-back nights with fellow SoCal club Los Angeles this Wednesday. The week finishes for Anaheim on Sunday night with Detroit.

Speaking of Detroit, since a 4-1 loss to Calgary, the Red Wings have outscored their last four opponents quite handily (18-4). Johan Franzen has five goals and four assists in his last 240 minutes of hockey.

Carolina, playing eight games in the next 14 days, starts off each of the next two weeks playing Philadelphia and Montreal.

With the NBA lockout lasting like the Energizer bunny, the United Center will be real quiet over the next two weeks. The Blackhawks head out on a six-game West Coast trip starting this Wednesday in Vancouver.

Armed with the NHL's hottest young gun, Tyler Seguin, the Bruins have outscored their opponents 30-12. Boston has quite the possibly the most affable weekly schedule with two home games against the Devils and Blue Jackets and a quick trip to Long Island. On paper, the Bruins (5-0 in November) could easily be 8-0 on the month before heading up to Montreal next week.

Since October 7, Panthers defenseman, undrafted British Columbia native Jason Garrison (CBS 60%), has four goals and two assists during a seven game span. Florida will need Garrison as they visit Dallas, St. Louis and play host to Pittsburgh.

Max Pacioretty (66%), who nabbed his first game-winning goal of 2011-12 in OT at Nashville, has three goals in the last seven days. Montreal is very busy (eight games) over the next two weeks and will need more production from Pacioretty.

Toronto, just two points from tops in the conference and the entire league, will have their depth challenged this week, with a very gloomy schedule vs. PHO, @NSH, vs. WAS and @CAR.

With Jhonas Enroth (5-0, 1.75 GAA) outplaying Ryan Miller (5-6, 2.86 GAA), fantasy owners are reaching for the antacids. Hopefully the hit from Milan Lucic against Boston this past Saturday will knock some sense into Miller. Buffalo, 4-2 in November, endures a seesaw four-game week, one on the road, one at home, etc.

Winnipeg dying to gain momentum has three at home, but two are divisional matchups. Tread lightly and pray Buff awakens finally!

It started off with two wins and Dallas played a solid 40 minutes for the last two games of their most recent 2-2 east coast (CAR, WAS, PIT, DET) trip. Unfortunately, as we all know, there are 60 minutes to an NHL game, and the Stars were outscored 5-0 in third period's versus Pittsburgh and Detroit. Let's see how they handle life with Otter and Goose (more below) this week vs. FLA @COL vs. SJ.

No longer "HOTtawa," Ottawa 1-4-1 in November, in the midst of a six-game road trip. With five of their six remaining November games on the road, let's see what shakes out in Ottawa.

Another team that has cooled off is Colorado, also 1-4-1 in November. The Avs visit Pittsburgh and Minnesota before heading home to play Dallas and San Jose. Semyon Varlamov, is 0-4 (4.26 GAA) in November while Jean-Sebastien Giguere's season record is 3-1 and sports a 2.18 GAA. With games on b2b nights only once, we could see Jiggy get three starts this week.

Under the Radar

Jannik Hansen (CBS 6%) has three goals (plus-4) with 10 SOG in his last four games. Eric Nystrom (1%) has five goals in his last seven games. Seventh pick overall in the 2008 Colin Wilson (20%) has one goal, two assists and is plus-7 with nine SOG over the last seven days. Ryan Johansen (24%), drafted fourth overall in 2010 has registered three goals in his last two games. The Jackets are 3-1 when he scores this season. Grant Clitsome's (41%) ice time varies from night-to-night, but after netting two goals against Chicago last week, you have to at least get him on your scout team. Dmitry Kulikov (65%) has a five-game point streak and 10 points in his last nine games. If he's available, nab him. Dan Girardi (49%) has two goals, two assists and is plus-6 since Halloween night. Marc Staal (38%) visits the doc this week. No expectations, but Staal is lying around most pools. Ray Emery is 3-0-1 on the season with a 2.70 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.

Saturday's News

Dallas' Alex Goligoski will be out up to four weeks with a fractured thumb. Jordan Staal notched his first two goals in November, but it was Eric Staal's goal and assist in the third period that drove the Hurricanes past the Penguins Joffrey Lupul continues his steady 2011. Lupul has four goals, four assists in six November games. Ilya Kovalchuk has not been placed on IR and may return next week. Mike Smith (7-2, 2.22) remains the hot hand in control of the Coyotes crease time, with a shutout of San Jose.

Got Cable?

Monday, NOV 14 - Buffalo @ Montreal - VERSUS
Tuesday, NOV 15 - Colorado @ Pittsburgh - VERSUS
Wednesday, NOV 16 - New Jersey @ Buffalo - VERSUS