The Chicago Blackhawks are the current leader in overall standings but what is most surprising is that the Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild are leading their divisions. Both teams had a major overhaul this off-season 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 is no 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. Phil Kessel is tied for second in points and tied for goal lead, which is a huge surprise but much like the Leafs he will faded and drop down the ranks.
The biggest surprise of them all is that Brian Elliott is leading the NHL in GAA, SV% 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 surprise or will the expected teams and players move up the ranks as many predicted?
Games to be played in week 13:
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.
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 from 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 then 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 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 a weekly fantasy hockey column for The Star Phoenix, Fantrax, Inside Hockey and Bleacher Report. Email Coach Brouwer at [email protected] or check us out on twitter at twitter.com/fanhockeycoach.