2013 Fantasy Hockey Forecaster, Week 8: Game Picks and Sleepers
Week Seven of the 2013-2014 National Hockey League Season is in the books; before we make way for our Week Eight preview, let’s take a look back at last weeks’ news.
This past week was our worst week for game picks, as we went 22-25 — negative winning percentage for the first time all season — thanks to unexpected losing streaks for teams like Detroit, Anaheim, and Vancouver.
We are now 164-107 on the year (.605 winning percentage).
Before we preview this weeks’ games, lets review some of the big news from late in the week:
Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Green was originally listed as day-to-day, but apparently the injury is more serious that expected. He will be out at least a week. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov, a 22-year-old prospect out of Novokuznetsk, Russia, was called up from the Hershey Bears (Washington’s AHL affiliate) to replace Green on the roster. Expect defenseman John Carlson to benefit most from Green’s departure from the lineup.
The Edmonton Oilers (really the Edmonton Dumpster Fires), recalled goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov who they signed last week to a one-year $2-million deal. Bryzgalov is likely going to start on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but he is to be avoided in Fantasy Hockey until he can prove he’s distanced himself from the problems that he experienced with Philadelphia.
Updating what would have otherwise been a Saturday news report, New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who left Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, has been diagnosed with a groin injury and is expected to miss at least four weeks according to Newsday. Expect goaltender Kevin Poulin to get the vast majority of the starts for the Islanders going forward while Nabby recuperates. The 23-year-old Poulin is sporting a 2.52 goals-against average on the season and a save percentage of .909. Both numbers are considerably better than Nabokov’s 3.30 and .892 marks respectively.
Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson has missed two games thus far due to a groin injury. Alfredsson is old and frail and currently there is no approximation for when he will return, but he needs to remain out of your lineup this week.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marion Gaborik will miss four-to-six weeks with a sprained knee. Gaborik, at the time of the injury, was tied with multiple players with five goals, but now Ryan Johansen has taken the lead with six. The loss of Gaborik will be felt by a Columbus team that is already a cellar dweller.
The Chicago Blackhawks traded for Kris Versteeg, re-acquiring him after parting ways with him after their 2010 cup win. The Blackhawks gave up nothing of significance (for them), as they shipped prospects Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen. Versteeg is expected to take on a third line role, as well as play valuable power-play minutes on the second unit.
Monday, November 18th:
BOS @ CAR: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Boston
ANA @ PIT: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Pittsburgh
CGY @ WPG: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Winnipeg
Tuesday, November 19th:
STL @ BUF: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- St. Louis
NYI @ TOR: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Toronto
OTT @ PHI: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Philadelphia
MIN @ MTL: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Minnesota
NSH @ DET: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Detroit
BOS @ NYR: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- New York Rangers
CHI @ COL: 9:00 p.m. Our pick- Chicago
CBJ @ EDM: 9:30 p.m. Our pick- Columbus
FLA @ VAN: 10:00 p.m. Our pick- Vancouver
TB @ LA: 10:30 p.m. Our pick- Tampa Bay
Wednesday, November 20th:
MIN @ OTT: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Minnesota
PIT @ WSH: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Washington
CBJ @ CGY: 10:00 p.m. Our pick- Calgary
NJD @ ANA: 10:00 p.m. Our pick- New Jersey
Thursday November 21st:
STL @ BOS: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- St. Louis
NSH @ TOR: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Toronto
BUF @ PHI: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Philadelphia
CAR @ DET: 7:30 p.m. Our pick- Detroit
CHI @ WPG: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Chicago
NYR @ DAL: 8:30 p.m. Our pick- Dallas
COL @ PHX: 9:00 p.m. Our pick- Phoenix
FLA @ EDM: 9:30 p.m. Our pick- Edmonton
NJD @ LA: 10:30 p.m. Our pick- Los Angeles
TB @ SJ: 10:30 p.m. Our pick- San Jose
Friday, November 22nd:
NYI @ PIT: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Pittsburgh
MTL @ WSH: 7:00 p.m. Our pick Washington
FLA @ CGY: 9:00 p.m. Our pick- Calgary
CBJ @ VAN: 10:00 p.m. Our pick- Vancouver
TB @ ANA: 10:00 p.m. Our pick- Anaheim
Saturday, November 23rd:
CAR @ BOS: 1:00 p.m. Our pick- Boston
MIN @ WPG: 3:00 p.m. Our pick- Minnesota
WSH @ TOR: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Washington
PIT @ MTL: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Pittsburgh
OTT @ DET: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Detroit
NYI @ PHI: 7:00 p.m. Our pick- Philadelphia
DAL @ STL: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- St. Louis
NYR @ NSH: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Nashville
ANA @ PHX: 8:00 p.m. Our pick- Anaheim
CHI @ VAN: 10:00 p.m. Our pick Chicago
COL @ LA: 10:30 p.m. Our pick- Los Angeles
NJD @ SJ: 10:30 p.m. Our pick- San Jose
Sunday, November 24th:
DET @ BUF: 5:00 p.m. Our pick- Detroit
OTT @ CAR: 5:00 p.m. Our pick- Ottawa
Games by Team:
Four games: Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins
Three games: Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets. Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets
Two games: Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks
Favorable Matchup of the Week: Upset Pick!
The Anaheim Ducks appear to have a favorable schedule this week with two home games, with one of them being against the New Jersey Devils, and the other being against the Tampa Bay Lightning — both of whom are on long west-coast road trips.
However, their game against the Devils is going to be a trap game. The Ducks are coming home after a long road trip — flying from Pittsburgh to Anaheim on Tuesday, and playing Wednesday in Anaheim — and it will be tough for them to adjust to the time zone difference with such a quick turnover. With the Ducks having lost all three games against the three former Southeast Division mates (Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina), they will be starving for a win in Pittsburgh after finally having enough time to recuperate. If they leave everything they have on the ice in Pittsburgh like we expect, they may not be ready for the Devils. New Jersey will be waiting patiently in Anaheim, having Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off to rest for them.
Devils forwards Adam Henrique (22.3% owned), Patrik Elias (83.6% owned), Dainius Zubrus (0.4% owned), and Travis Zajac (2.8% owned) are all excellent sleepers to stream for this week, and especially Wednesday against Anaheim. The Ducks are a good team, but we expect them to be exhausted on Wednesday, making that game a good game to bet on, as well as starting some of the Devils players in fantasy.