2013 Fantasy Hockey Forecaster, Week 6: Game Picks and Sleepers
Week Five of the 2013-2014 National Hockey League Season is in the books; before we make way for our Week Six preview, let’s take a look back at last weeks’ news.
We went 29-15 in our game picks, elevating our season-long record to 110-66 (.625 win percentage).
Here are the top stories from last week:
Calgary Flames– Goaltender Joey MacDonald cleared waivers after being sent down to the Flames AHL affiliate the Abbotsford Heat. In seven games for Calgary, he has a 3-3-1 record to go along with a 3.17 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage. Fantasy owners should continue to stay far away from the goaltending situation in Calgary.
Ottawa Senators- Goaltender Craig Anderson was taken off on a stretcher following an injury he sustained during overtime in Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars. Robin Lehner, a 22-year-old netminder out of Gothenburg, Sweden, replaced Anderson at the 1:44 mark of overtime after Anderson was run into by Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin. Going forward, Lehner is an excellent goaltender to own if Anderson’s injury (reportedly a stiff neck according to coach Paul MacLean) is serious. The 6’5 Lehner boasts a 2.77 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage on the season. He is owned in 9.4% of ESPN.com standard leagues.
Edmonton Oilers- Goaltender Richard Bachman had to helped off the ice after apparently injuring his groin in the first period. Backup Jason LaBarbera played 46 minutes in relief, yielding three goals on 22 shots. LaBarbera has been downright horrendous this year, tallying a .858 save percentage to go with a 3.69 goals-against average. To this date, Bachman was the only Fantasy Hockey relevant goaltender in Edmonton — 3.03 GAA, .916 save percentage — and with his absence, the Oilers goalies need to be steered clear of.
Toronto Maple Leafs– Center Dave Bolland will have surgery to repair a torn achilles tendon after sustaining the injury after an unfortunate collision with Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian. The injury has severe repercussions on the Maple Leafs since they already boasted what was arguably the leagues worst group of centers. With Bolland now out long-term and Tyler Bozak without a time-table for his return on a lower-body injury, the Maple Leafs desperately need to acquire another center via free-agency or via a trade.
Los Angeles Kings- Center Jeff Carter was placed on injured-reserve Friday with a lower-body injury. Impressive young rookie Tyler Toffoli was recalled to replace Carter. Initial reports suggest Carter will be out for at least a week. Expect Toffoli to stick though; he’s owned in 0.4% of ESPN.com standard leagues. Toffili picked up an assist in his debut on Saturday against the Nashville Predators. In addition to the assist, the 21-year-old from Ontario saw 19 minutes of ice time.
Let’s now preview the games for Week Six. Here are our game picks and sleepers.
Week Six Games:
Monday, November 4th:
ANA @ NYR: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- New York Rangers
DET @ WPG: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Detroit
Tuesday, November 5th:
DAL @ BOS: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Boston
NYI @ WAS: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Washington
OTT @ CBJ: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Columbus
STL @ MTL: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Montreal
EDM @ FLA: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Florida
PHI @ CAR: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Philadelphia
CGY @ MIN: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Minnesota
VAN @ PHX: 9:00 p.m. Our pick- Phoenix
BUF @ SJ: 10:30 p.m. Our pick- San Jose
Wednesday November 6th:
PIT @ NYR: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- New York Rangers
WPG @ CHI: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Chicago
NSH @ COL: 9:30 p.m. Our pick- Colorado
PHX @ ANA: 10:00 p.m. Our pick- Anaheim
Thursday, November 7th:
FLA @ BOS: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Boston
MTL @ OTT: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Montreal
NJ @ PHI: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Philadelphia
MIN @ WSH: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Washington
NYI @ CAR: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- New York Islanders
NYR @ CBJ: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- New York Rangers
DAL @ DET: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Detroit
EDM @ TB: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Tampa Bay
CGY @ STL: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- St. Louis
BUF @ LA: 10:30 p.m. Our pick- Los Angeles
VAN @ SJ: 10:30 p.m. Our pick- San Jose
Friday, November 8th:
NJ @ TOR: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Toronto
NSH @ WPG: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Winnipeg
CGY @ COL: 9:00 p.m. Our pick- Colorado
BUF @ ANA: 10:00 p.m. Our pick- Anaheim
Saturday, November 9th:
EDM @ PHI: 1:00 p.m. Our pick- Philadelphia
FLA @ OTT: 2:00 p.m. Our pick- Ottawa
TOR @ BOS: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Boston
TB @ DET: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Tampa Bay
MIN @ CAR: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Minnesota
NYI @ CBJ: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- New York Islanders
PIT @ STL: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- St. Louis
CHI @ DAL: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Chicago
WSH @ PHX: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Phoenix
VAN @ LA: 10:00 p.m. Our pick- Vancouver
Sunday, November 10th:
NYI @ MTL: 6:00 p.m. Our pick- Montreal
NSH @ NJ: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- New Jersey
FLA @ NYR: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- New York Rangers
EDM @ CHI: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Chicago
SJ @ WPG: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- San Jose
WSH @ COL: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Colorado
VAN @ ANA: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Anaheim
Games By Team:
Four games: Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets
Three games: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues
Two games: Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs
Breakdown: Match-up to Exploit
With a season high eight teams having four games on their ledgers for this week, there are sure to be a lot of high scoring blowouts late in the week. The toughest schedules this week go to the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, and Vancouver Canucks.
The Oilers have a brutal road trip all the way down to Florida to play the “Stinkin” Panthers (Tuesday), followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning (Thursday). Fortunately the Oilers have an off day during their trek from Sunrise, Florida to Tampa. They are not so lucky later in the week, as they have to travel all the way to Philadelphia to play the Flyers on Saturday, then all the way to Chicago the very next day to play a tough Blackhawks team.
We fully expect the Lighning, Flyers and Blackhawks games to be complete and utter blowouts, so here are some players from each team that are available on your waiver wire for a stream.
Tampa Bay Lightning:
Alex Killorn– F- 8.3% owned- Alex has 12 points in 14 games so far this season, including two goals, three assists and a plus-5 rating in his past two games.
Tyler Johnson– F- 0.4% owned- Tyler has six points this season for the Bolts, including 32 shots on net. Picking him to pot a goal against the Oilers this week is a solid bet.
Brayden Schenn– F- 32.5% owned- Schenn has three goals and seven points on the season.
Matt Read– F -9.2% owned- Read has three goals as well and is much more widely available. He’s another Flyer good for a stream against the Oilers this week.
Andrew Shaw– F- 13.9% owned- Shaw has nine points in 15 games in his 2013-2014 campaign, including three goals and 30 shots.
Bryan Bickell– F – 7.1% owned- Bickell has four goals on the season, however they all came in a span of four straight games in mid-to-late October. He’s worth a stream against a bad Oilers team.