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Fantasy Hockey Schedule Week 13: Surprises Abound After the First Third

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 16: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck under pressure from Lubomir Visnovsky #17 of the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on December 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Ducks 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Aaron BrouwerContributor IIDecember 23, 2011

The season is over a third of the way complete and there are plenty of surprises in the standings and stats.

The Chicago Blackhawks are the current leader in the overall standings, but what is most surprising is that the Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild are leading their respective divisions.  Both teams had a major overhaul this offseason and no one could have predicted their starts.  To no one’s surprise, though, despite a strong start, the Toronto Maple Leafs are dropping in the standings.

Henrik Sedin is tied for second overall in points with 40, which also isn't a surprise.  Claude Giroux is leading the NHL in scoring, which was not a stretch at the start of the season but still, I would be curious to know how many people who would have wagered that Giroux would be leading in the points department at this point in the season.  Phil Kessel is tied for second in points and tied for the lead in goals, which is a huge surprise but much like the Leafs, he will eventually fade and drop down the ranks.

The biggest surprise of them all is that Brian Elliott is leading the NHL in GAA, save percentage and shutouts.  Elliott has a goals against average of 1.52, a save percentage of 0.944 and four shutouts.

Are we in for more surprises, or will the expected teams and players move up the ranks as many predicted? 

Games to be played in week 13:

 

GP 

MON 

TUE 

WED 

THU 

FRI 

SAT 

SUN 

ANAHEIM 

3

@SJ

 

 

VAN

 

COL

 

BOSTON 

2

 

 

@PHO

 

 

@DAL

 

BUFFALO 

4

WAS

 

@NJ

 

@WAS

OTT

 

CALGARY 

4

 

@CBJ

 

@NYI

@OTT

 

@NAS

CAROLINA 

4

NJ

@PIT

 

TOR

 

@TB

 

CHICAGO 

3

CBJ

 

LA

 

DET

 

 

COLORADO 

4

@MIN

WPG

 

PHO

 

@ANA

 

COLUMBUS 

4

@CHI

CGY

 

@DAL

 

WAS

 

DALLAS 

3

@STL

 

 

CBJ

 

BOS

 

DETROIT 

4

@NAS

STL

 

 

@CHI

STL

 

EDMONTON 

3

@VAN

 

 

@MIN

 

@NYI

 

FLORIDA 

3

 

TOR

 

 

NYR

MON

 

LOS ANGELES 

4

PHO

 

@CHI

@WPG

 

VAN

 

MINNESOTA 

4

COL

 

@NAS

EDM

 

PHO

 

MONTREAL 

3

 

@OTT

 

@TB

 

@FLA

 

NASHVILLE 

4

DET

 

MIN

 

@STL

 

CGY

NEW JERSEY 

3

@CAR

 

BUF

 

 

PIT

 

NY ISLANDERS 

3

@NYR

 

 

CGY

 

EDM

 

NY RANGERS 

3

NYI

 

@WAS

 

@FLA

 

 

OTTAWA 

3

 

MON

 

 

CGY

@BUF

 

PHILADELPHIA 

2

 

@TB

 

@PIT

 

 

 

PHOENIX 

4

@LA

 

BOS

@COL

 

@MIN

 

PITTSBURGH 

3

 

CAR

 

PHI

 

@NJ

 

SAN JOSE 

2

ANA

 

VAN

 

 

 

 

ST. LOUIS 

4

DAL

@DET

 

 

NAS

@DET

 

TAMPA BAY 

3

 

PHI

 

MON

 

CAR

 

TORONTO 

3

 

@FLA

 

@CAR

 

@WPG

 

VANCOUVER 

4

EDM

 

@SJ

@ANA

 

@LA

 

WASHINGTON 

4

@BUF

 

NYR

 

BUF

@CBJ

 

WINNIPEG 

3

 

@COL

 

LA

 

TOR

 

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 06:  Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates against Shea Weber #6 of the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on December 6, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

When it comes to dressing your players for the upcoming week—especially your goalies—it is important to know which team is on a long road trip and which team is enjoying an extended period at home.

Listed below are the teams that play at least three home/away games this week or play all their games at home or on the road (home/road records up to December 23, 2011):

HOME: Chicago (12-2-3), Florida (8-3-5), Minnesota (10-4-3), Nashville (9-5-3), San Jose (11-6-1) and Tampa Bay (8-5-0)

AWAY: Boston (10-3-0), Calgary (6-10-2), Edmonton (5-10-1), Montreal (8-9-1), Philadelphia (13-3-2), Phoenix (11-6-1), Toronto (9-8-0) and Vancouver (11-7-1) 

If you participate in any type of head-to-head hockey pool, you are likely dressing a lineup for each scoring period, which usually ends on Sunday.

As the week comes to an end, and you find yourself in a close battle for those wins, you want as many players as possible playing for you.

Here are the teams that play on Sunday (January 1, 2012):

SUNDAY: Calgary and Nashville

When you are deciding which goalie to dress, you need to look at the NHL schedule to see if your goalie's team will play in a back-to-back game that week.

Most coaches will not dress the same goalie in back-to-back games, so that is something to consider when you are thinking about which goalie to dress. 

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 21:  Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his goal with Claude Giroux #28 and Wayne Simmonds #17 during play against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on December 21, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ron
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Here are the teams that play in back-to-back games this week:

BACK-TO-BACK: Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit (two sets), Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Ottawa, Phoenix, St. Louis (two sets), Vancouver and Washington

Knowing which team is on a hot streak or cold streak will help in making your lineup decisions. 

For example, you definitely want to dress a goalie for teams that are on a hot streak. Here are the top five and bottom five teams over their last 10 games up to December 23, 2011:

TOP FIVE: Philadelphia (8-1-1), Chicago (8-1-1), Boston (8-2-0), Vancouver (7-2-1) and Winnipeg (7-2-1)

BOTTOM FIVE: Carolina (2-6-2), Anaheim (2-6-2), Tampa Bay (3-7-0), Edmonton (3-6-1) and Columbus (3-6-1) 

Fantasy hockey is all about offense, and what better place to generate offense than the power play?  Here are the top five power plays up to December 23, 2011:

Vancouver Canucks: 26.1 percent
Nashville Predators: 21.7 percent
Edmonton Oilers: 20.7 percent
Colorado Avalanche: 20.7 percent
Toronto Maple Leafs: 20.3 percent

 

Aaron Brouwer is the co-creator of www.fantasyhockeycoach.com.  FHC is a free fantasy hockey service that developed a ranking system combining post-lockout statistics, current factors and our own hockey knowledge.  Brouwer writes about fantasy hockey on Bleacher Report. You can contact Coach Brouwer at brouwer@fantasyhockeycoach.com.

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