Originally posted on The Hockey Program  |  Last updated 2/18/13

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 18: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 18, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
By Garrett Rees Mid-Week Lite Version this for Week 5.  Bigger Version will come next week. Erik Karlsson owners, I feel your pain. Sad to see him go out like that and hope that he’s able to be the player he was before the injury. WEEKLY BREAKDOWN Here is the weekly breakdown for this upcoming week, Feb 18 – Feb 24: 4 GAMES:  CAR, CBJ, CGY, COL, DET, FLA, LAK, MON, NAS, NJD, NYI, OTT, PHI, TBL, TOR, VAN, WPG 3 GAMES:  BUF, CHI, EDM, NYR, PHX, PIT, SJS, STL 2 GAMES:  ANA, BOS, DAL, MIN, WAS A bit of an odd week as there are season-high five teams that are going to be getting some rest during Week 5 as they all are only playing two games.  To make up for that, there are a whopping 17 teams that will be playing four games for the week.  Hopefully you’re teams aren’t filled with Ducks, Bruins, Stars, Wild, or Caps.  Other than those teams, there will be plenty to choose from in an oddly busy week.  Here’s the weekly breakdown per days: MON – 7 games TUES – 8 games WED – 3 games THU – 10 games FRI – 3 game SAT – 12 games SUN – 8 games Definitely some highs and lows during Week 5 as Wednesday and Friday only have three games on the schedule while Thursday and Saturday are seeing double digit games each. Sunday is also an unusually busy end of the week with eight games, COL@ANA, BOS@FLA, CAR@NYI, CBJ@CHI, PHX@CGY, VAN@DET, WPG@NJD, and TBL@PIT. The three-game days have the following games being played, Wednesday: LOS@CGY, STL@COL, PHI@PIT and Friday: SJS@CHI, FLA@PIT, VAN@NAS so for those in Head-to-Head leagues make sure to keep this in mind when scouring the waiver-wire. ON THE ROAD AGAIN These teams are playing all of their games on the road so be aware that fatigue may play a factor in their play: BOS, CBJ, MIN, SJS, VAN, WPG The Bruins and Wild don’t have it that bad since they are only playing two games, however the Blue Jackets, Canucks, and Jets are all playing all four of their games on the road so beware that there may be some fatigue involved and backup goalies seeing action to spell the regular starters. HOME COOKING These teams are playing all of their games at home this week so they should be rested and practicing: ANA, CHI, DAL, EDM, PIT, WAS Again notice that the Ducks, Stars, and Caps are playing only two games while no teams playing four games made the Home Cooking list although the Red Wings deserve an Honorable Mention as they are traveling only once between their four games and they have a day off for it.   B2B: BACKUPS TO SEE ACTION? All of these teams are scheduled to play in back-to-back games this upcoming week, so there are good chances that these teams’ respective backup goaltenders could see some action: CAR, CBJ, CGY, COL, DET, FLA, LAK, MON, NASx2, NJD, NYI, OTT, PHI, PHX, SJS, STL, TBL, TOR, VAN, WPG 2/3rds of the league is seeing a back-to-back played during Week 4 while the Predators have two and the Flames almost have two as they are playing back-to-back games to begin the week. STRONG SCHEDULES Now let’s take a look at a couple of the most favorable matchups of the week: New Jersey Devils – Opponents: OTT, @WAS, @WAS+WPG – The Devils continue to be amongst the East’s, if not the league’s, best the opportunity to score goals will be there during Week 5. Other than the stingy Senators, two games against the Caps and a game against the Jets should be pleasing to fantasy owners as these teams are 3rd worst and 6th worst in the league respectively when it comes to goals allowed per game.  Do what you should be doing this season and get your Devils out there. Philadelphia Flyers – Opponents: @NYI, @PIT+FLA, WPG – The Flyers have the opportunity to rack up some goals this week (well, except for maybe the high-flying Penguins on Wed). They play the Islanders today (Mon) and then Florida and Winnipeg on Thursday and Saturday. How about that line of Jakub Voracek – Claude Giroux – Matt Read? Check them out.   …And there are plenty more options this week with so many teams playing on four games. WEAK SCHEDULES ...And the least favorable matchups of the week: Washington Capitals – Opponents: NJDx2 – The Caps have only two games on the schedule for Week 5 and both of them are going to be up against the East leading New Jersey Devils on the two busiest nights of the week, Thursday and Saturday.  Although the Capitals have been a much better team than at the start of the shortened season, the Devils are always a tough opponent and opportunity for goals will be scarce as they are allowing the 2nd fewest goals per game in the Eastern Conference at 2.25 GA/G.  Since they are only playing on the busiest nights, you could probably find better players than the Caps to put out there during Week 5. Minnesota Wild – Opponents: @EDM, @CGY – Another team playing only two games with both of them on Thursday and Saturday.  They’ve only played 1 game against either of these teams so far this season, and that was a low scoring affair as they beat the Flames 2-1. As is the case with the Caps, I’d look else if looking at the waiver-wire for pickups/injury replacements. Dallas Stars – Opponents: VAN, SJS - Same thing for the Stars, as they are yet another team that is playing only two games on the busiest nights of the week. Same story as the other two. Managers are probably just hoping that Kari Lehtonen and the Dallas Stars can benefit from a slow week so that Kari can get back in between the pipes and get back to form. Good luck out there, everyone.  Post any comments or questions below hit me up on Twitter @G_Rees.
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