Head-to-Head Faceoff: The Thanksgiving Drive

Updated: November 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm by Mollie Krupp

Unfortunately at DailyFaceoff.com we aren’t here to feed you like a Thanksgiving food drive. However, we are here to feed your knowledge base and ultimately serve your fantasy hockey team with next week’s happenings. Below you will find the potential outlook on all 30 teams as well as the expected games played next week. Feel free to put your hunches and thought in the comments.

Anaheim Ducks

(@Pho, Chi, Tor) The Ducks should rely on Jonas Hiller for most of this week. The team has struggled to find a win in the month of November, but it should turn itself around soon. Don’t heistate to play the Ducks goalie, as usual, since it is not quite time to give up on the Ducks.

Boston Bruins

(@Mon, @Buf, Det, Wpg) Back-to-backs this week for the Bruins means Tom Thomas will get a a break this week and Tuukka Rask will step in. Both goalies are good fantasy options, so if you’ve got them, set them in your lineup.

Buffalo Sabres

(Bos, @Cls, Was) Ryan Miller is out with a concussion and there’s no word yet on his return. The Sabres will rely on Jhonas Enroth as the No. 1 goalie in the meantime. If he hasn’t been snagged yet he might be worth a pickup as he’ll be seeing a lot of time in net while Miller is out.

Calgary Flames

(@Cls, @Det, @StL, @Min) Miikka Kiprusoff continues to get a lot of time in net and is a good fantasy player for his owners, but doesn’t always get the offensive help that he needs to get your team the wins. He should get a rest with a four-game week and playing six consecutive games.

Carolina Hurricanes

(@Phi, Mon, Wpg, @Ott) Cam Ward has continued to struggle through November. And with a busy, four game week with back-to-back tilts, Brian Boucher should step in and give Ward a break. It’s too soon to give up hope on Ward, he’s got the talent, let’s just hope something lights the fire in him, and the Canes, soon.

Chicago Blackhawks

(@SJ, @Anh, @LA) Ray Emery could step in to give Corey Crawford a break this week as Chicago is one of many teams this week with back-to-back games. Both starting goalies struggled in their recent Alberta swing.

Colorado Avalanche

(Van, Edm) Jean-Sebastien Giguere got his first shutout of the season last week against the Stars. No. 1 goalie, Semyon Varlamov, has struggled through the month of November and with Giguere’s solid performance, we could see him in net again this week.

Columbus Blue Jackets

(Cgy, @NJ, Buf, StL) Curtis Sanford could very well start more than one game this week. At this point, Columbus is ready to try any other options they have. Keep an eye on the situation, but don’t get your hopes up.

Dallas Stars

(Edm, LA, Tor, @Pho) Kari Lehtonen hit a bit of a snag when he allowed six goals in the Panthers game last week, but fantasy owners shouldn’t be worried, he’s still an elite starting goalie and should be active on your roster every time he’s in the net. This week, the team’s schedule is busy with back-to-back games, so Andrew Raycroft could get a start as well.

Detroit Red Wings

(Cgy, @Bos, Nsh) Backup goalie Ty Conklin should be in net for one of the back-to-back games this week but the Wings will continue to rely on Jimmy Howard to be their No. 1.

Edmonton Oilers

(@Dal, @Nsh, @Min, @Col) The Oilers will face double back-to-back games this week which should allow for both Nikolai Khabibulin and Devan Dubnyk to get their work in this week. Keep in mind, when setting your lines, which teams they are playing, as some might be too tough for the young Oilers team.

Florida Panthers

(NJ, NYR, TB, @TB) Scott Clemmensen made his 2011-2012 debut last week and managed to shutout the Stars making 25 saves. With back-to-back games, he would see another start if he did not come up lame shortly after. Jacob Markstrom probably gets another start with Jose Theodore taking the other three. However, should Markstrom get hot again or Clemmensen get healthy that can all change. Check back game days to see who the Panthers decide to go with.

Los Angeles Kings

(@Dal, @StL, Chi) Jonathan Quick should get at least two, if not three starts this week for the Kings. Quick’s November hasn’t been amazing, but he’ll bounce back. Keep playing him as you usually would.

Minnesota Wild

(Nsh, Edm, Cgy) Niklas Backstrom has been solid and in the month of November he’s already notched two shutouts. Then again, backup Josh Harding has been near flawless as well so he could steal another start. Certainly a situation to keep your eye on.

Montreal Canadiens

(Bos, @Car, @Phi, Pit) Carey Price seems to have turned his game around this month, he shutout Carolina last week and will look to defend the net this week against some of the leagues best. Back-to-back games will allow for Peter Budaj to likely get a start as well.

Nashville Predators

(Edm, @Min, @Det) The Predators have been fierce this month with Pekka Rinne particularly outstanding for his team and his fantasy hockey  owners. The Predators will face back-to-back games this week, so Anders Lindback could get a start to give Rinne a break.

New Jersey Devils

(@Fla, Cls, @NYI, NYI) Back-to-back games should allow for both Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg to make appearances. After Marty lost to the Caps, Hedberg started to consecutive games, so it’s possible that Hedberg could see a few more starts depending on Marty’s performance this week.

New York Islanders

(@Pit, Phi, NJ, @NJ) Evgeni Nabokov and Al Montoya are both injured. Nabokov with a groin injury and Montoya with a hamstring strain. Rick DiPietro will step in the meantime, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily pick him up. We all know the Islanders record, keep an eye on his performance but don’t get your hopes up.

New York Rangers

(@Fla, @Was, Phi) The Rangers have back-to-back games this week which means Martin Biron will likely see a start, but the king will reign for at least two of the games, when Lundqvist is an option, it’s a no brainer.

Ottawa Senators

(@Pit, Car)With a light week for the Sens, Craig Anderson will continue in his No. 1 goalie spot for the team. The beginning of November was rough for the Senators but last week they found their way back into the winners circle. Expect the roller coaster ride to continue in Canada’s capitol.

Philadelphia Flyers

(Car, @NYI, Mon, @NYR) Flyers also have back-to-back games this week which should give Sergei Bobrovsky a start. Bryzgalov has had a somewhat disappointing season but in the last month, he’s had more wins than losses, maybe we’ll see a turn around. Fantasy owners keep your fingers crossed.

Phoenix Coyotes

(@Was, Anh, Van, Dal) Mike Smith will be in net the majority of this week but Jason LaBarbera will also make an appearance with the busy week ahead. Smith has only a few losses this month and is a safe bet to play whenever you can.

Pittsburgh Penguins

(NYI, StL, Ott, @Mon) With four games this week, Johnson and Fleury will both make appearances. Johnson has been less than impressive in his last few outings but Fleury should be played with confidence.

San Jose Sharks

(Chi, Van) With a light week for the Sharks, Antti Niemi will continue to defend the net.

St. Louis Blues

(LA, @Pit, Cgy, @Cls) Blues face back-to-back games this week means Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott should both get a look. Although they’ve been splitting time lately there doesn’t appear to be a discernible pattern so make sure to check the starting goalies page on game days to set your lineups accordingly if you have either of these teams.

Tampa Bay Lightning

(Tor, @Fla, Fla) Back-to-back games this week will allow both Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon to make appearances. Roloson continues to be the No. 1 goalie for the Lightning but has been shaky at best. Although he still has some kinks to work out in his performance, you should still play him in your lineup, especially this week against the teams the Lightning will face off with this week.

Toronto Leafs

(@TB, @Dal, @Anh) James Reimer is still on IR and could be another seven to 10 days or more before he returns. Ben Scrivens has been the number one goalie as of late, but hasn’t been impressive. Jonas Gustavsson is more of the same. Avoiding the Toronto goalies until Reimer returns might be your best bet.

Vancouver Canucks

(@Col, @Pho, @SJ) Roberto Luongo is dealing with an upper-body injury, which means Cory Schneider will man the net until he’s fully healthy. More importantly this week should serve as a test for the young protege Schneider. It could be possible for Luongo to play this week, but keep an eye on his health status to be sure.

Washington Capitals

(Pho, Wpg, NYR, @Buf) As of late, the Caps goalies, Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun have been splitting time. With back-to-back games this week we’ll see both goalies in net. Check the starting goalies page on game days to see who the Caps start and beware of coach Bruce Boudreau’s trickery.

Winnipeg Jets

(@Was, @Car, @Bos) Pavelec’s performance has improved over the past few games but he still plays for the lowly Jets. Chris Mason could give him a break after starting the last 12 games.


Looking forward to the week ahead: Nov 28 – Dec 4

4 Games – Flames, Avalanche, Oilers, Wild, Predators

3 Games – Ducks, Sabres, Hurricanes, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Stars, Red Wings, Panthers, Kings, Habs, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, Senators, Coyotes, Penguins, Sharks, Blues, Lightning, Canucks , Caps, Jets

2 Games – Bruins, Flyers, Leafs

Alexander Monaghan also contributed to this article.

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