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NHL Schedule Analysis: Tough Calgary Schedule

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"


Of the 16 NHL teams playing four games this week, none of them will do it strictly from their home arena. In fact, seven of the 16 teams will have their week split with two on the road and two at home. Only Florida, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Dallas, Washington and Columbus will play three at home and one away. It could be worse - they could be Calgary or Edmonton, with all four games on the road. Twenty three of the 30 NHL teams will play on back-to-back nights at some point this week.



Check

Winnipeg's Evander Kane is heating up. Kane has three goals, two assists, eight penalty-minutes, 15 shots on goal and is a plus-5 in his last seven days. Though Mr. Underwood, Mike Fisher (G, 4 A) has been getting more involved, I'm fairly hesitant about Nashville's (vs. EDM @MIN, DET) schedule. Toronto takes on three strong teams, all on the road. Probably the second worst schedule ahead of any team, Calgary has four on the road, including three against divisional opponents. Ah yes, the worst schedule in the league is Phoenix, though they're playing three of four at home, all four games (@WAS vs. ANH, VAN, DAL) this week are against some of the league's elite. Perhaps this is the week Oliver Ekman-Larsson (50 percent owned) truly sparkles, last call.

Fresh off their 9-2 shellacking of Chicago, Edmonton is hoping Shawn Horcoff (2 G, 2 A in last seven days) can keep warm as they head out for a big road trip. With all four games being played on back-to-back nights, and six of their next eight games being of the same circumstance, Devan Dubnyk anyone? Rebounding from the aforementioned loss, Chicago hits the road for three (@SJ, ANH, LA) against the Pacific Division. It's one thing to beat the Dallas Stars. But after blowing out the Stars in front of their home crowd last week, who knows what to expect from the Panthers (vs. NJ, NYR, TB @TB) schedule this week.

Split Wager

Carolina also splits up their four game (@PHI vs. MON, WPG @OTT) week with two on the road and two at home. St. Louis' schedule starts off rough, first playing host to the Kings, then heading to Pittsburgh. After that, they head home to host the Flames before a showdown with the Blue Jackets. Speaking of Columbus, their strength of schedule isn't nearly as bad as it looked prior to the season. Calgary, New Jersey, Buffalo and St. Louis have all been under achieving franchises, but then again so has Columbus. After opening the season 8-0, the Capitals are 3-7-1 since and talk around the sewing circles is Bruce Boudreau could be the sacrificial lamb. Washington looks to get back on track with three of four at home.

Philadelphia plays four conference teams, two at home, two on the road. Matt Read (31 percent owned) is on fire for the Flyers, contributing five goals and sixteen shots over the last week. Read, is a road warrior, grabbing eight points (four goals, four assists) in just seven games on the road this season. Helping him has been Jakub Voracek (goal, three assists), surely feeling fortunate he's no longer stuck in Columbus. Meanwhile, Erik Cole (45% percent owned) is stepping up for the Canadiens with three goals, three assists, which included four power play points. Montreal is yet another team that splits up their four-game week with two on the road (CAR, PHI) and two (BOS, PIT) at home.

All In

After a hot week, Minnesota is tied for most points in the NHL. I'm just too tired to research how long it's been they could boast so loudly. The bad news is, the Wild will need to continue to receive excellent tandem goaltending from Backstrom and Harding. Three games (NSH, EDM CGY) at home this week for the team in green. Boston, 8-0 in November, heads out for two road games (@MON, BUF), and then two (vs. DET, WPG) at home. Pittsburgh has a fairly favorable schedule, visiting only a comparable Montreal at the end of the week. Prior, they play host to the Islanders, Blues and Senators. As for Monday's much anticipated return of Sid the Kid, hopefully these two teams squashed all bad blood from last season's brawl in their home-and-home match up last month.

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NOV 21 Boston @ Montreal 7:30 PM on VERSUS
NOV 22 L.A. @ St. Louis 7:30 PM on VERSUS