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Weekly NHL Forecaster December 26th – December 31st

The Ducks are loaded on the Pond

Anaheim Ducks v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images

Below is a breakdown of the seventh week of NHL games in the 2017-2018 season (can you believe we are about 25% into the season?!?) . The graph breaks down the schedule and the strength of the opponent in goals for, goals against, their power play and penalty kill and ranks it against the rest of the league on a scale from 1-31 (with 31 being the worst) So the higher the average ranks you see for an opponent the better schedule that team has. It factors in how well a team does at home vs. on the road as well.

*Stats are as of 12/8/2017

Favorable:

Offense: The injury plagued Anaheim Ducks get three home matches and the first and last (Golden Knights & Coyotes) are bottom 6 defenses. Chris Wagner (11% owned) has been playing well as of late and provides more beyond just points. Adam Henrique (23%) who has 8 points in 8 games since his trade to Anaheim. Calgary will be their larger challenge. Finally, the Blackhawks have a Canada trip on the road facing Canucks, Oilers and Flames, all are sub-average at home with the Oilers and Flames being two of the worst 3 home teams defensively.

Goalies: A VERY good week for Mike Smith who goes up against the Sharks (5th worst offense at home), Ducks (6th worst at home) and Blackhawks (6th worst offense on the road) means the Flames defense and goalies should be good this week.

Montreal Canadiens v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Power Play: Anaheim’s three opponents aforementioned are not very good on the penalty kill either Vegas and Calgary are among the five worst PK units and Arizona is very average. The Bruins are another team with a good week for their power play. They face the Senators (7th worst PK unit), Capitals (10th worst unit) and then the Senators again on the road. The worst PP unit (Blackhawks) face two of the worst five PK units in Oilers and Flames, this should be fun to watch. If I stress nothing else – pick up ANY JET who could POSSIBLY be on a PP unit this week (Jacob Trouba, Bryan Little, Kyle Connor or even Joel Armia), with two matches against the Oilers and one against the Islanders they get the three games against the worst two units in the league.

Penalty Kill: The Calgary Flames get s second consecutive week facing weaker power play units. They play the Sharks and Ducks (both tied for 13th worst PP units) and the Blackhawks who are the 3rd worst PP unit. I find it amazing that the Blackhawks and Kings are not only the best five PK units but the worst five PP units – this is good for Vancouver who faces both this week.

Unfavorable:

Offense: The Golden Knights have the Kings defense (and Jonathan Quick) not to mention the Maple Leafs defense (with red hot Frederik Andersen). San Jose has the strong Stars defense and Flames defensive units, in addition, the Sharks are terrible on offense. Finally the Blues have the Predators, Stars and Hurricanes, this is not an easy stretch to go through.

Goalies: King Henrik Lundqvist has to go up against the Capitals and Red Wings this week, both high flying offensive units this year. Conversely both squads are terrible on defense so expect some high scoring affairs.

Washington Capitals v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Power Play: Vegas has the Kings and Ducks (both top ten PK units). The Minnesota Wild need to avoid all non 5v5 hockey, they play the Stars and Predators who both have very respectable Power Play AND Penalty Kill units. Vancouver gets the Blackhawks (who are terrible on the Power Play but great on the Penalty Kill) and the Kings (best PK unit in the league).

Penalty Kill: Minnesota Wild – see above. New York Rangers – see above, lots of goals ahead all around for their week. The Flyers are on the road for a Florida trip which means they face a lethal Lightning PP unit

NHL Forecaster 12/25 - 12/31

Weekly Avgs Mon, Dec 25 Tue, Dec 26 Wed, Dec 27 Thu, Dec 28 Fri, Dec 29 Sat, Dec 30 Sun, Dec 31
Weekly Avgs Mon, Dec 25 Tue, Dec 26 Wed, Dec 27 Thu, Dec 28 Fri, Dec 29 Sat, Dec 30 Sun, Dec 31
0 0 vs. Vegas Golden Knights 0 vs. Calgary Flames 0 vs. Arizona Coyotes
3
0
18 0 0 6 0 19 0 29
20 0 0 26 0 10 0 25
19 0 0 21 0 13 0 23
22 0 0 27 0 26 0 14
0 0 @ Colorado Avalanche vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 0 0 @ Anaheim Ducks
1
2
11 0 0 7 1 0 0 25
13 0 0 20 4 0 0 14
13 0 0 15 6 0 0 18
13 0 0 20 13 0 0 7
0 0 vs. Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals 0 @ Ottawa Senators 0
1
2
17 0 0 14 15 0 21 0
17 0 0 20 3 0 28 0
19 0 0 26 6 0 26 0
23 0 0 24 21 0 24 0
0 0 @ New York Islanders 0 @ New Jersey Devils 0 0
0
2
15 0 0 1 0 28 0 0
21 0 0 24 0 18 0 0
10 0 0 11 0 9 0 0
19 0 0 30 0 8 0 0
0 0 vs. Montreal Canadiens 0 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins @ St. Louis Blues 0
2
1
17 0 0 17 0 24 10 0
20 0 0 24 0 30 7 0
16 0 0 24 0 3 22 0
20 0 0 21 0 17 23 0
0 0 0 @ San Jose Sharks @ Anaheim Ducks 0 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
1
2
25 0 0 0 26 25 0 25
10 0 0 0 6 14 0 11
22 0 0 0 18 18 0 29
5 0 0 0 2 7 0 5
0 0 0 @ Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers 0 @ Calgary Flames
0
3
20 0 0 0 29 16 0 16
25 0 0 0 16 30 0 29
17 0 0 0 11 26 0 13
25 0 0 0 18 31 0 26
0 0 @ Pittsburgh Penguins 0 @ Ottawa Senators 0 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
1
2
11 0 0 9 0 21 0 3
14 0 0 10 0 28 0 3
10 0 0 3 0 26 0 1
16 0 0 17 0 24 0 8
0 0 vs. Arizona Coyotes 0 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 0 vs. New York Islanders
3
0
13 0 0 29 0 1 0 8
17 0 0 25 0 4 0 22
13 0 0 23 0 6 0 11
19 0 0 14 0 13 0 30
0 0 @ Minnesota Wild 0 vs. St. Louis Blues 0 vs. San Jose Sharks
2
1
16 0 0 16 0 11 0 22
4 0 0 5 0 6 0 2
15 0 0 5 0 22 0 18
12 0 0 11 0 23 0 2
0 0 @ New Jersey Devils 0 vs. New York Rangers 0 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
2
1
19 0 0 28 0 4 0 24
25 0 0 18 0 27 0 30
7 0 0 9 0 8 0 3
13 0 0 8 0 15 0 17
0 0 @ Winnipeg Jets 0 vs. Chicago Blackhawks 0 vs. Winnipeg Jets
2
1
16 0 0 2 0 25 0 20
12 0 0 14 0 11 0 12
12 0 0 4 0 29 0 4
14 0 0 18 0 5 0 18
0 0 0 vs. Philadelphia Flyers 0 vs. Montreal Canadiens 0
2
0
13 0 0 0 8 0 17 0
16 0 0 0 8 0 24 0
20 0 0 0 16 0 24 0
23 0 0 0 25 0 21 0
0 0 @ Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings 0 0 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
1
2
15 0 0 25 20 0 0 1
7 0 0 14 3 0 0 4
16 0 0 18 25 0 0 6
7 0 0 7 1 0 0 13
0 0 0 vs. Vegas Golden Knights 0 @ Vancouver Canucks 0
1
1
18 0 0 0 6 0 29 0
21 0 0 0 26 0 16 0
16 0 0 0 21 0 11 0
23 0 0 0 27 0 18 0
0 0 vs. Dallas Stars 0 vs. Nashville Predators @ Nashville Predators 0
2
1
18 0 0 26 0 23 5 0
15 0 0 21 0 5 20 0
6 0 0 14 0 2 2 0
7 0 0 8 0 6 6 0
0 0 @ Carolina Hurricanes @ Tampa Bay Lightning 0 @ Florida Panthers 0
0
3
10 0 0 22 3 0 6 0
20 0 0 23 8 0 30 0
16 0 0 28 1 0 20 0
22 0 0 29 8 0 28 0
0 0 vs. Detroit Red Wings 0 vs. Buffalo Sabres @ Washington Capitals 0
2
1
24 0 0 30 0 27 15 0
17 0 0 19 0 29 3 0
15 0 0 10 0 30 6 0
16 0 0 11 0 15 21 0
0 0 @ St. Louis Blues 0 @ Minnesota Wild vs. Minnesota Wild 0
1
2
13 0 0 10 0 16 13 0
12 0 0 7 0 5 23 0
11 0 0 22 0 5 5 0
15 0 0 23 0 11 11 0
0 0 vs. Buffalo Sabres 0 @ Winnipeg Jets 0 @ Colorado Avalanche
1
2
12 0 0 27 0 2 0 7
21 0 0 29 0 14 0 20
16 0 0 30 0 4 0 15
18 0 0 15 0 18 0 20
0 0 vs. Washington Capitals 0 @ Detroit Red Wings 0 0
1
1
11 0 0 8 0 13 0 0
28 0 0 31 0 25 0 0
8 0 0 6 0 10 0 0
16 0 0 21 0 11 0 0
0 0 @ Boston Bruins 0 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Boston Bruins 0
2
1
15 0 0 16 0 12 18 0
13 0 0 17 0 13 9 0
22 0 0 17 0 31 17 0
3 0 0 3 0 4 3 0
0 0 0 @ Florida Panthers @ Tampa Bay Lightning 0 0
0
2
5 0 0 0 6 3 0 0
19 0 0 0 30 8 0 0
11 0 0 0 20 1 0 0
18 0 0 0 28 8 0 0
0 0 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 0 @ Carolina Hurricanes 0 @ Detroit Red Wings
1
2
16 0 0 12 0 22 0 13
20 0 0 13 0 23 0 25
23 0 0 31 0 28 0 10
15 0 0 4 0 29 0 11
0 0 0 vs. Calgary Flames 0 0 @ Dallas Stars
1
1
15 0 0 0 19 0 0 11
6 0 0 0 10 0 0 2
14 0 0 0 13 0 0 14
17 0 0 0 26 0 0 8
0 0 vs. Nashville Predators 0 @ Dallas Stars vs. Carolina Hurricanes 0
2
1
16 0 0 23 0 11 15 0
7 0 0 5 0 2 13 0
15 0 0 2 0 14 28 0
14 0 0 6 0 8 29 0
0 0 0 vs. Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers 0 @ Columbus Blue Jackets
2
1
17 0 0 0 17 8 0 26
11 0 0 0 24 8 0 1
24 0 0 0 24 16 0 31
17 0 0 0 21 25 0 4
0 0 0 @ Arizona Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche 0 @ Vegas Golden Knights
0
3
14 0 0 0 30 7 0 4
19 0 0 0 27 20 0 9
20 0 0 0 23 15 0 21
20 0 0 0 14 20 0 27
0 0 0 vs. Chicago Blackhawks 0 vs. Los Angeles Kings 0
2
0
15 0 0 0 25 0 5 0
6 0 0 0 11 0 1 0
27 0 0 0 29 0 25 0
3 0 0 0 5 0 1 0
0 0 @ New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins 0 vs. New Jersey Devils 0
2
1
11 0 0 12 18 0 2 0
11 0 0 11 9 0 13 0
11 0 0 8 17 0 9 0
9 0 0 15 3 0 8 0
0 0 vs. Edmonton Oilers 0 vs. New York Islanders 0 @ Edmonton Oilers
2
1
13 0 0 15 0 8 0 16
22 0 0 13 0 22 0 30
21 0 0 26 0 11 0 26
31 0 0 31 0 30 0 31