Road warriors like Jonathan Toews are rare finds. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Deciding between two closely matched players is sometimes as simple as looking at their performance at home versus on the road. Those in daily leagues are often torn between dressing an average player who is white-hot or a top player who is in a bit of a slump. This makes a nice tiebreaker. Here are some of the biggest discrepancies in the league.
RIGHT AT HOME
Jason Pominville, Buffalo – 17 points in 14 home games; nine points in 10 road games
Pominville is slowing down (three points in his past five games) and he’ll continue to slow down as the road games start to pick up. After Dec. 16, the Sabres will have played 20 home games and 11 road games. That would be the time to “sell high” because they play a pile of road games in the ensuing weeks.
Johan Franzen, Detroit – 15 points in 13 home games; eight points in 10 road games
The Wings have been dominant at home and so has Franzen. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Whatever the answer, neither chicken, nor egg is as strong on the road.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton - 19 points in 12 home games; eight points in 13 road games
Great news for Nugent-Hopkins owners, as he has played more road games yet still averages more than a point per game.
Max Pacioretty, Montreal - 15 points in 13 home games; four points in 11 road games
How’s this for a lucky bounce: Pacioretty’s three-game suspension landed on Montreal’s three-game road trip. Odds are he wasn’t going to give you many points anyway.
Valtteri Filppula, Detroit – 16 points in 13 home games; four points in 10 road games
Filppula is finally breaking out, something we pundits predicted all along. Sure, we predicted it four years ago, but still...
Danny Briere, Philadelphia - 12 points in 11 home games; four points in 10 road games
It looks like a rough month ahead for Briere. The Flyers play 10 of 13 December games on the road. Ouch!
Jonathan Toews, Chicago - seven points in 11 home games; 18 points in 14 road games
Home ice studs are easier to find than road warriors, so discovering a player this prolific on the road is rare. It’s almost unfortunate the Hawks play nine of 13 December games at home.
Ryan Smyth, Edmonton - eight points in 12 home games; 16 points in 13 road games
So if Nugent-Hopkins goes nutty at home and Smyth goes nutty on the road, what happens now that the two of them are linemates?
Joe Thornton, San Jose - eight points in 11 home games; 13 points in 10 road games
Hopefully this trend doesn’t hold, as the Sharks are looking at 10 December home contests versus four road games.
Brian Campbell, Florida - seven points in 11 home games; 13 points in 13 road games
Campbell is already just four assists shy of last year’s end result and 13 away from his total in 2009-10. Becoming the league’s No. 1 power play quarterback with 12 man-advantage assists has put him back amongst the top fantasy defensemen.
Craig Smith, Nashville - four points in 10 home games; 13 points in 14 road games
Nashville’s success as a team is relatively similar at home and on the road. But impressive rookie so far prefers to travel.
John-Michael Liles, Toronto - three points in 12 home games; 13 points in 13 road games
The discrepancy here is incredible and too much to ignore. Until he strings together decent production levels in a few consecutive home games, consider him Jekyll and Hyde.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section. Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.