Bob Fisher gets us ready for the final week of the 2013 NHL regular season.


Editors note - thanks a lot to Bob for doing a heck of a job with the Looking Ahead column in 2013.


* This article was written before NHL games took place on Thursday, April 18, 2013.


Conference Bias


40 more Eastern Conference games.  39 more Western Conference games.  Seven of the top ten defensive teams (GA/G) are from the West.  The West is traditionally a less offensive conference.  Perhaps that explains the bias toward Eastern teams in the “Best Bets” section and more Western teams in the “Steer Clear” section.


Best Bets: 30-17 East

Steer Clear: 27-18 West


Fantasy Playoffs Week #3 (April 22 – April 28)


If you’re still undefeated in your H2H league playoffs then you’re in the Finals.  Congrats!  Let’s bring home the Championship.  Here’s the upcoming Monday to Sunday schedule:


Teams with four games: BOS, CHI, DET, EDM, OTW, PHX

Teams with two games: BUF, CLB

All the rest have three games


Teams to Target:


Detroit (Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat)

Home: 3 (Phoenix, Los Angeles, Nashville)

Away: 1 (Dallas)

Detroit will be playing for their playoff lives so hopefully all these games are meaningful and no one will be taking a night off.


Boston (Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun)

Home: 2 (Tampa Bay, Ottawa)

Away: 2 (Philadelphia, Washington)

Philly and Tampa Bay are two of the worst defensive teams in the league.  Boston and Ottawa is the only game on Sunday, so anyone owning Bruins or Sens went from a three game week to a four game week (at the expense of their previous weeks).


Phoenix (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)

Home: 2 (San Jose, Colorado)

Away: 2 (Detroit, Anaheim)

Phoenix is another team desperately trying to claw into the playoffs.  Look for them to lay it all on the line, especially Shane Doan.


Chicago (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)

Home: 1 (Calgary)

Away: 3 (Vancouver, Edmonton, St. Louis)

Calgary and Edmonton are good-looking games for the Chicago snipers.  Vancouver and St. Louis will be a bit tougher, but Chicago has been the class of the NHL all season long.  Be wary of players being sat down the stretch to rest for the NHL playoffs (one reason why my keeper league normally ends the fantasy playoffs a week early).


Ottawa (Mon, Thu, Sat, Sun)

Home: 2 (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia)

Away: 2 (Washington, Boston)

Not the greatest opponents for fantasy-relevant stats, but four games is four games.


Edmonton (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)

Home: 3 (Anaheim, Chicago, Vancouver)

Away: 1 (Minnesota)

The top three Western Conference teams at home and the sixth-seeded Wild on the road.  Let’s just hope the kids in Edmonton open it up to give their fans (and fantasy owners) one last glimpse of the future this season.



Teams to Avoid:


Columbus (Thu, Sat)

Home: 1 (Nashville)

Away: 1 (Dallas)

Not sure there is anyone on the Columbus roster worth holding onto (maybe Gaborik) for only two starts in such a crucial fantasy week.


Buffalo (Mon, Fri)

Home: 2 (Winnipeg, NY Islanders)

Away: 0

Buffalo is 22nd in the NHL in goals for and goals against average.  They traded away their captain.  Their top scorer has three points in his past six games, along with a -6.  I know they are still in the playoff hunt, but I just don’t have faith in this team any longer.


Possible Pickups:

Here’s a list of some players, owned in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues, to target during the upcoming Monday through Sunday week.


Detroit: Justin Abdelkader (3%) – Detroit is struggling to score goals but Abdelkader has been glued to Pavel Datsyuk’s side at even strength through all of the team’s struggles.  Just gotta hope Datsyuk’s starts banking goals in off of Abdelkader again.


Boston: Gregory Campbell (3%) – Five points in his last five games.  Even with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand back last game, he still played with Jaromir Jagr and David Krejci.  And he still saw some powerplay time.  He’s probably the only Bruin playing in the top six that is available in your league right now.


Phoenix: Martin Hanzal (8%) – Only four points in the month of April, but he is averaging about two and quarter shots per game.  If the Yotes are making the playoffs, it’s going to be because of the Shane Doan-Hanzal-Radim Vrbata line.



Viktor Stalberg (21%) – Four points in his last five games while averaging over two and half shots per game.  At even strength, he’s seeing third line minutes but on the powerplay his linemates vastly improve.


Ottawa: Mika Zibanejad (6%) – Zibanejad had a very impressive eight-game run at the end of March and early April where he netted nine points (all assists) in eight games, with only one of those games being scoreless.  The kid can play.


Friday, April 19 to Thursday, April 25
Best Bets
St. Louis (4.51) - 4 Games: DAL, @COL, COL, CGY
Boston (4.41) - 4 Games: PIT, FLA, @PHI, TB
Carolina (4.25) - 4 Games: PHI, @TB, NYI, NYR
NY Rangers (4.23) - 4 Games: @BUF, NJ, @FLA, @CAR
New Jersey (4.21) - 4 Games: FLA, @NYR, MTL, PIT
Steer Clear
Columbus (1.90) - 2 Games: @SJ, @DAL
Minnesota (2.21) - 2 Games: CGY, LA
Phoenix (2.80) - 3 Games: @CHI, @DET, SJ
Los Angeles (2.96) - 3 Games: DAL, @MIN, @DET
Toronto (2.99) - 3 Games: @OTW, @TB, @FLA
Saturday, April 20 to Friday, April 26
Best Bets
Carolina (4.25) - 4 Games: PHI, @TB, NYI, NYR
New Jersey (4.21) - 4 Games: FLA, @NYR, MTL, PIT
Chicago (4.16) - 4 Games: PHX, @VAN, @EDM, CGY
Winnipeg (4.15) - 4 Games: NYI, @BUF, @WSH, MTL
NY Islanders (4.09) - 4 Games: @WPG, @CAR, @PHI, @BUF
Steer Clear
Columbus (1.90) - 2 Games: @SJ, @DAL
Nashville (2.16) - 2 Games: CGY, @DET
Dallas (2.80) - 3 Games: @LA, @SJ, CLB
Colorado (2.85) - 3 Games: STL, @STL, @PHX
Anaheim (2.90) - 3 Games: @EDM, @EDM, @VAN
Sunday, April 21 to Saturday, April 27
Best Bets
Edmonton (4.95) - 5 Games: ANH, ANH, CHI, @MIN, VAN
Tampa Bay (4.37) - 4 Games: CAR, TOR, @BOS, FLA
Boston (4.36) - 4 Games: FLA, @PHI, TB, @WSH
St. Louis (4.35) - 4 Games: @COL, COL, CGY, CHI
Minnesota (4.35) - 4 Games: CGY, LA, EDM, @COL
Steer Clear
Buffalo (2.21) - 2 Games: WPG, NYI
Philadelphia (2.90) - 3 Games: BOS, NYI, @OTW
Montreal (2.95) - 3 Games: @NJ, @WPG, @TOR
Columbus (2.95) - 3 Games: @SJ, @DAL, NSH
Vancouver (2.99) - 3 Games: CHI, ANH, @EDM
Monday, April 22 to Sunday, April 28
Best Bets
Detroit (4.10) - 4 Games: PHX, LA, NSH, @DAL
Boston (4.10) - 4 Games: @PHI, TB, @WSH, OTW
Phoenix (4.05) - 4 Games: @DET, SJ, COL, @ANH
Chicago (4.01) - 4 Games: @VAN, @EDM, CGY, @STL
Ottawa (4.01) - 4 Games: PIT, @WSH, PHI, @BOS
Steer Clear
Columbus (2.05) - 2 Games: @DAL, NSH
Buffalo (2.21) - 2 Games: WPG, NYI
Calgary (2.71) - 3 Games: @NSH, @STL, @CHI
Colorado (2.85) - 3 Games: @STL, @PHX, MIN
Los Angeles (2.85) - 3 Games: @MIN, @DET, SJ
Tuesday, April 23 to Sunday, April 28
Best Bets
Boston (4.10) - 4 Games: @PHI, TB, @WSH, OTW
St. Louis (3.31) - 3 Games: COL, CGY, CHI
NY Rangers (3.24) - 3 Games: @FLA, @CAR, NJ
Toronto (3.19) - 3 Games: @TB, @FLA, MTL
Tampa Bay (3.17) - 3 Games: TOR, @BOS, FLA
Steer Clear
Buffalo (1.10) - 1 Games: NYI
Anaheim (1.95) - 2 Games: @VAN, PHX
Columbus (2.05) - 2 Games: @DAL, NSH
Vancouver (2.05) - 2 Games: ANH, @EDM
Winnipeg (2.05) - 2 Games: @WSH, MTL
Wednesday, April 24 to Sunday, April 28
Best Bets
Toronto (3.19) - 3 Games: @TV, @FLA, MTL
Tampa Bay (3.17) - 3 Games: TOR, @BOS, FLA
Chicago (3.11) - 3 Games: @EDM, CGY, @STL
Phoenix (3.10) - 3 Games: SJ, COL, @ANH
Boston (3.10) - 3 Games: TB, @WSH, OTW
Steer Clear
Winnipeg (1.05) - 1 Games: MTL
Buffalo (1.10) - 1 Games: NYI
Calgary (1.76) - 2 Games: @STL, @CHI
Nashville (1.85) - 2 Games: @DET, @CLB
San Jose (1.85) - 2 Games: @PHX, @LA
Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, April 28
Best Bets
Boston (3.10) - 3 Games: TB, @WSH, OTW
Ottawa (2.96) - 3 Games: @WSH, PHI, @BOS
Pittsburgh (2.16) - 2 Games: @NJ, CAR
St. Louis (2.15) - 2 Games: CGY, CHI
Minnesota (2.15) - 2 Games: EDM, @COL
Steer Clear
San Jose (0.90) - 1 Games: @LA
Los Angeles (1.00) - 1 Games: SJ
Winnipeg (1.05) - 1 Games: MTL
Buffalo (1.10) - 1 Games: NYI
Calgary (1.76) - 2 Games: @STL, @CHI
Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28
Best Bets
Minnesota (2.15) - 2 Games: EDM, @COL
Chicago (2.11) - 2 Games: CGY, @STL
Phoenix (2.11) - 2 Games: COL, @ANH
Ottawa (1.96) - 2 Games: PHI, @BOS
Colorado (1.95) - 2 Games: @PHX, MIN
Steer Clear
Winnipeg (0.00) - 0 Games:
Calgary (0.86) - 1 Games: @CHI
Philadelphia (0.86) - 1 Games: @OTW
Nashville (0.90) - 1 Games: @CLB
New Jersey (0.90) - 1 Games: @NYR
Saturday, April 27 to Sunday, April 28
Best Bets
Ottawa (1.96) - 2 Games: PHI, @BOS
Boston (1.94) - 2 Games: @WSH, OTW
Tampa Bay (1.21) - 1 Games: FLA
Pittsburgh (1.21) - 1 Games: CAR
Toronto (1.05) - 1 Games: MTL
Steer Clear
Buffalo (0.00) - 0 Games:
Calgary (0.00) - 0 Games:
NY Islanders (0.00) - 0 Games:
Winnipeg (0.00) - 0 Games:
Philadelphia (0.86) - 1 Games: @OTW
Sunday, April 28 to Sunday, April 28
Best Bets
Boston (0.95) - 1 Games: OTW
Ottawa (0.86) - 1 Games: @BOS
Steer Clear
Everyone else




Dobber's 2013 Interactive Playoff Draft list is now available for purchase. 


For the eighth year in a row, Dobber has your covered - all the player injury notes, their anticipated rate of production - all sortable by team, by name or by points. Use Dobber's own draft list, or create your own with his formulas. It's simple - select the team coming out of each bracket and work your way to the Final. Once done, sort it however you like, print it and you're all set. Take a look at several scenarios, run it as often as you like!

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