Finding volume plays and schedule advantages is essential in head-to-head and roto leagues. With that in mind, here are the schedule details for the week of December 9-15, along with specific targets who could tip the scales in close fantasy matchups.
Boston Bruins (@OTT, @WSH, @TBL, @FLA)
Calgary Flames (@COL, @ARI, TOR, CAR)
Chicago Blackhawks (@VGK, @ARI, @STL, MIN)
Detroit Red Wings (@WPG, WPG, @MTL, LAK)
Los Angeles Kings (NYR, @ANA, @PIT, @DET)
Minnesota Wild (@VGK, @ARI, WPG, @CHI)
Tampa Bay Lightning (NYI, @FLA, BOS, WSH)
Vancouver Canucks (TOR, CAR, @SJS, @VGK)
Vegas Golden Knights (CHI, @STL, @DAL, VAN)
Anaheim Ducks (@MIN, LAK, NYR)
Arizona Coyotes (CGY, CHI, NJD)
Buffalo Sabres (STL, NSH, @NYI)
Carolina Hurricanes (@EDM, @VAN, @CGY)
Colorado Avalanche (CGY, PHI, NJD)
Columbus Blue Jackets (@WSH, @PIT, @OTT)
Dallas Stars (NJD, VGK, @NSH)
Edmonton Oilers (CAR, @MIN, TOR)
Florida Panthers (TBL, NYI, BOS)
Montreal Canadiens (@PIT, OTT, DET)
Nashville Predators (SJS, @BUF, DAL)
New Jersey Devils (@DAL, @COL, @ARI)
New York Islanders (@TBL, @FLA, BUF)
New York Rangers (@LAK, @SJS, @ANA)
Ottawa Senators (BOS, @MTL, CBJ)
Philadelphia Flyers (@COL, @MIN, @WPG)
Pittsburgh Penguins (MTL, CBJ, LAK)
San Jose Sharks (@NSH, NYR, VAN)
St. Louis Blues (@BUF, VGK, CHI)
Toronto Maple Leafs (@VAN, @CGY, @EDM)
Washington Capitals (CBJ, BOS, @TBL)
Winnipeg Jets (DET, @DET, PHI)
-The Lightning do not have favorable matchups during their upcoming four-game week, but they play three games at home. Tampa Bay is tied with Colorado for the NHL lead with 4.08 GPG on home ice this season.
-The Hurricanes and Panthers are a pair of three-game clubs who should also benefit from some home cooking. Both clubs rank among the top-10 in goals per game at home and play all of their December 9-15 matchups in their own barns.
-The Jets are another attractive three-game club, as two of their trio of contests come against a Red Wings club that ranks last in the NHL in goals-against average (3.93) and goal differential (-1.83).
-For the most part, the four-game teams have a mixed bag of matchups. Clubs such as Boston, Detroit, and Los Angeles have a pair of favorable matchups and two tough ones.
Alex Iafallo, Los Angeles Kings (LW, 2 percent rostered)
The little-known Iafallo surprisingly ranks second among Kings in total points during the past 30 days. He is averaging a robust 18:26 TOI during those 30 days, and three of his 10 points have come on the power play.
Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings (RW, 38 percent)
Brown is a great option for managers who are looking for a power forward with an upcoming four-game week. The veteran has solid totals in points (15) and shots (71), and his 67 hits are an excellent total for a forward. He is also +1, which is impressive on a mediocre Kings squad.
Charlie Coyle, Boston Bruins (C/RW, 15%)
Coyle has become a bit of a regular in this space, as his ability to provide secondary scoring on a talented Bruins team with a heavy schedule of late has made him a great option. The multi-position asset has collected 16 points this season, and he is a major asset to those in leagues that count face-offs won.
Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning (LW, 31%)
Palat is one of many talented Lightning forwards who could help managers during a four-game week. The winger has produced a solid point total (16), while also collecting his share of hits (60) and blocked shots (23). And his +9 rating leads all Tampa Bay forwards.
Anthony Cirelli, Tampa Bay Lightning (C, 13%)
I narrowly chose Cirelli over Alex Killorn (LW/RW, 12%) as the second Tampa Bay forward to highlight in this space. Across the past 30 days, the center ranks fourth among Lightning players in points (11) and second in face-offs won (95).
Tanner Pearson, Vancouver Canucks (LW, 16%)
The Canucks have relied heavily on their top forwards, which has resulted in their secondary scorers, like Pearson, staying on waivers in most leagues. But the winger has maximized his 16:10 TOI across the past 30 days, collecting 12 points (four on the power play), 42 shots and 20 hits.
Calvin de Haan, Chicago Blackhawks (D, 13%)
de Haan has quietly been one of the most valuable defensemen in leagues that value hits and blocked shots. The 28 year old leads Chicago in both categories (84 hits, 67 blocks) while also maintaining an impressive +/- rating of +9. He could swing at least a pair of categories during his upcoming four-game week.
Alex Stalock, Minnesota Wild (G, 21%)
Stalock has been effective when called upon this season, producing eight wins, a 2.70 GAA and a .910 SV% across 16 starts. He should draw at least two starts during Minnesota’s upcoming four-game week.