War Room

Manage Your Bench

Assuming you've assembled a strong starting roster and a respectable bunch of scrubs to sit on the bench, your next challenge may be the toughest. Who to start each week? Fortunately, once again, Landshark Hockey provides plenty of tools to help you make your decision. Here are some things to consider by position.

Goalies

Goalies require the most thorough examination from week to week. Most leagues only start 2 goalies, so if one of them is sitting out a few games, half your goalie points are gone. So pay attention, pal.

1. The Basics - Obviously, your first thing to look for is injuries. Next, pay attention to who's started the last few games for his team. Coaches often ride a hot goalie, so if Huet started the last 3 games, don't bother playing Khabibulin, fool.

2. Schedule - In general, this only applies to goalies. Pay attention to the goalie's schedule and his opponents. If you're choosing between 2 goalies, play the one with 4 games that week over the one with 2 games. Again, first apply common sense. Even with 1 game in a week, I would start Luongo over Budaj with 4 games. If it comes down to 2 comparable goalies with 3 matchups, look at the opponents. Landshark Hockey tools wills give you the reporting you need to make these kinds of decisions.

Offense / Defense

Rules are basically the same for offense and defense when it comes to deciding who to play and who to sit.

1. Never Sit a Healthy Star - Even when they're off to a slow start, there are certain players you should never sit. This season, Getzlaf had 1 point in his first 6 games, so I benched him for a week. He rattled off 10 points in the next 4 games. Hey, even Chewbacca makes mistakes. But he won't make that mistake twice.

2. Recovery Period - If a player is coming off an injury, and you have a comparable alternative, it's typically best to wait a week. With the exception of Gonchar this season, you'd be hard-pressed to find another player who came back at a point-a-game pace after an injury.

3. The Hidden Stats - It's easy enough to look at points per game when you're making your line up decisions, but there are two stats that are often ignored that can be great predictors of points to come. Shots on goal and minutes per game. Take the time to compare these stats against comparable players to see who may be more likely to break out next week. If a player is getting 5 or more shots on goal per game, he's going to score soon. Similarly, if a player's time on the ice is steadily increasing, he's probably due to hit the scoresheet soon.