With December just around the corner, I took a look at teams who I’m buying and selling heading into the final month of 2019 in fantasy hockey.
5 teams I think will have a big December
Toronto Maple Leafs: They fired Mike Babcock and in steps Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Marlies. Given the large amount of young talented players like Mitch Marner (currently hurt) William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Codi Ceci, Travis Dermott and Auston Matthews (among others) . I think Sheldon can speak well to their needs.
Florida Panthers: They have one of the longest homestands between November 30th and December 20th. The Panthers have now won four of their last six home games scoring at least 3 goals in every one of those games. This could be a chance for their offense to tally a big month under Joel Quenneville.
Winnipeg Jets: They have 13 games in December, eight of those games are at home. Winnipeg has won five of their last eight games at home and has minimal injuries right now on their team. The Jets have allowed two goals or fewer in four of their last seven games and they have scored 3 goals or more in four of their last seven games
Arizona Coyotes: Among their 13 games in December, they have five games against bottom ten teams in the league (San Jose, Columbus, New Jersey, Minnesota and Nashville) and just 2 games against top ten teams (St. Louis and Edmonton).
Pittsburgh Penguins: Similar to Arizona, they face off against bottom ten teams five times (Columbus, LA, Nashville x2, Ottawa and San Jose) meanwhile top ten opponents include just St. Louis, Arizona and Edmonton. There is a good chance they see Patric Hornqvist and Kris Letang back as well.
5 teams I think will have a rough December
Carolina Hurricanes: They have a 5 game road trip on the West Coast that could prove to be a difficult hurdle for them in mid-December. The injury to Erik Haula certainly doesn’t help either.
Philadelphia Flyers: They currently have the most back-to-back games against rested teams in this seasons schedule. In December they face Minnesota and Winnipeg on the road and then San Jose and Anaheim on the road two weekends apart from each other’s.
Montreal Canadiens: It starts with their schedule. Of the 15 games they have in December, 10 of them are on the road including a lengthy trip to the west coast and then florida, they are gone from December 17th – 31st. Add to that continuation of injuries to Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron and it won’t be an easy stretch for Montreal.
Dallas Stars: They have to go up against top ten teams in SEVEN GAMES (Winnipeg x2, NYI, Edmonton, Colorado Florida and Arizona) on the other side they face four games against the bottom 10 (Minnesota, New Jersey, Nashville and Tampa Bay). They have back-to-backs against Vegas & Nashville and Colorado and Arizona.
LA Kings: They have fifteen games in December including back-to-backs against Edmonton & Calgary, Pittsburgh & Detroit and San Jose & Vancouver. Of the 15 games, 11 of them are on the road. I know most people aren’t rostered deep with Kings but beware of December’s possibility to make them look even worse.