It’s that time of the year again. For those of you who haven’t seen this post in the past, I will break down every team’s schedule for fantasy hockey playoffs i.e. starting on this coming Monday, 4/4. I will note when a team has a back to back or a light day. A light day is a day where there are four or less games on the schedule, with the exception of Wednesday, 4/27. I am including that day where there are five games because it’s the last day of the season where you’ll need streaming, as the last two days both have a lot of games. I will do the teams in alphabetical order so it’s easy to find everyone, and next to each team, there will be (A,B,C,D). Those numbers will be how many games the team has in each of the four weeks left in the season. For example, (4,2,3,3) means they have four games from 4/4 – 4/10, two games from 4/11 -4/17, etc. This post is going to be extremely long, so it will be broken into two parts, with part two coming on Monday. If you have a specific question about a team next week that will be in part two and you need it answered immediately, please let it be known in the comments section and I’ll answer it for you. And away we go!
ANAHEIM DUCKS (3,3,3,2)
In terms of volume, 11 games is as bad as it gets. There are no games on light days either. The one good thing is that the Ducks end both the first and third weeks with a back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday. They also play the Sunday in week two, meaning if your league has one week matchups, the Ducks could be a big factor for streaming. Overall, this is a pretty dreadful schedule, but the good news is that there isn’t many guys that we want to use on Anaheim right now anyways. If you end up down on goalie stats on the weekend, you might end up needing to use Anthony Stolarz if you have no other options.
ARIZONA COYOTES (3,3,4,3)
First up, best wishes to Clayton Keller after a horrible injury on Wednesday. Seven games over the last two weeks is the best in the league, while 13 total games is one less than the most. They play on two back-to-backs in the last two weeks, and they also play on four light days. If you’re lucky enough to make the finals, the Coyotes can be a big factor, either using their players or using players against them. The matchups are pretty rough on the whole, but Karel Vejmelka can be a nice gamble if you need to make up some goalie stats. It depends who plays with who with Keller is done for the season, but Lawson Crouse and Nick Schmaltz are definitely the two best options.
BOSTON BRUINS (4,3,4,3)
This Boston schedule is incredible outside of only one light day, which is the first day of the fantasy playoffs Monday. They have the most games of any team in the league, they start off with a back-to-back (one of three teams to do so), they have a back-to-back to finish week three, and they finish the season on a back-to-back. The scheduling is so heavy on the back end that Marchand or Pastrnak could end up being the best player in the fantasy playoffs. Jake DeBrusk will be one of the best streamers in the league. Linus Ullmark should see enough action that I would be holding him.
BUFFALO SABRES (4,4,2,2)
If your league has two week long playoff matchups, the Sabres will be great for you. The problem is that while the team is on a great run at the moment, the first five games are Carolina twice, Florida, Tampa, and Toronto. To be blunt, that’s brutal. However, they do end week two with a back-to-back, both games against the Flyers. After those two games, they don’t play for three days before two matchups in three days, then have four days off before finishing with a back-to-back. That means you should hold the top Sabres for the first two weeks, then cut bait to get volume when they have their days off. Also, have Owen Power on your radar because the second Michigan’s season ends, I expect him to sign and be in the Sabres lineup.
CALGARY FLAMES (4,3,4,3)
This is an excellent schedule, which is great to see given the quality of the team. Calgary opens on Monday, a light day, before having a back-to-back Wednesday and Thursday. All of their games for the first two weeks are excellent matchups, and there’s only a few teams that are strong defensively among their 14 games. They open week three with a back-to-back and finish the season on a back-to-back. There could be a few spots to use Dan Vladar. Mikael Backlund is an elite streaming option as well. The only time where Calgary has two off days in a row is the last Sunday/Monday of the season, so it will be very easy to hold all of their stars and given they play 14 games, we can see Gaudreau and Tkachuk among the best players in the fantasy playoffs.
CAROLINA HURRICANES (4,3,4,2)
Outside of a game at Colorado, Carolina should be the favorite in all of their games the rest of the season. They do play at the Rangers twice, but the rest of the matchups are outstanding. From a streaming standpoint, it’s kind of a rough schedule since they play on zero light days and only have two back-to-backs. The good news is that one of them closes week three. For the studs, it’s a very good schedule. Thirteen games is solid, and they’re one of two teams that do not play on the last day of the season. You’ll easily be able to replace them so it doesn’t hurt you that they don’t have the 14th game. No matter what games on the back-to-back Antti Raanta gets, he’ll be worth using. Martin Necas is a strong streaming candidate, while Seth Jarvis has the potential to be one.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (2,3,4,3)
Obviously two games in week one is brutal, but being on Thursday and Sunday is suboptimal. I would only be holding DeBrincat, Kane, and Jones through that. After the coming week though, the schedule is very good. They don’t have more than one day off in a row, and while there’s only one back-to-back, there’s games on three light days. One of them is the only game on the last Monday of the season against Philadelphia. Dylan Strome can be a huge factor in the last three weeks. In the last two weeks, Chicago plays a lot of bad teams. Kevin Lankinen could even be an option depending on how the Blackhawks are playing leading up to that point. He’d be risky, but if you fall behind in goalie starts, you’re simply looking for volume, and he should have it.
COLORADO AVALANCHE (3,3,4,3)
This is among the best streaming schedules in the league, if not the best. In all three weeks that they have three games, the Avalanche have a back-to-back. In the four game week, they play on two light days. It is mind blowing that Valeri Nichushkin is still available in over two-thirds of leagues. He’s a clear hold in all formats, and at the least, he absolutely needs to be streamed in these back-to-backs and light days. Arturri Lehkonen can end up being a factor with the players Colorado is missing. It’s a great opportunity for Alex Newhook as well. Pavel Francouz should get a fair amount of games and will be a big favorite in all of them making him an elite option.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (4,3,3,3)
This is a pretty good schedule for streaming. They open the fantasy playoffs with a back-to-back. They have a stretch with one game in six days, and that one game is a light day, so you don’t have to hold their guys through this stretch, before they have three games in four days against the California teams. They finish with tough matchups, but all three games in the last week are on the three busy days, so you don’t have to use any of their guys besides Laine and Werenski if he’s back. Jack Roslovic is in a great spot to use him in the heavy parts of their schedule, while if you fall behind in assists, Jakub Voracek can be your guy.
DALLAS STARS (4,3,4,3)
Absolutely dynamite schedule. Fourteen games is tied for the most in the league. They close week one with a back-to-back. There’s a back-to-back with a light day in week three. In the last week, they also play on a light day. The problem right now is that the team is short on streaming options. Scott Wedgewood could be a viable option in net in a few spots, but as far as skaters go, it’s bleak. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Vladislav Namestnikov can be used, but keep expectations in check.
DETROIT RED WINGS (3,4,4,2)
Strong streaming schedule here. Back-to-back early in week one, then T-T-S-S schedule for both weeks two and three. The teams they’re going against are pretty good on the whole, but there’s still some appeal in Detroit players. Jakub Vrana, come on down! He’s first power play unit and second line, looking quite good off his surgery. After Vrana though, it’s just the top line and Seider right now.
EDMONTON OILERS (3,3,3,3)
Considering all of the holds on the Oilers right now, only twelve games is pretty disappointing. They have only one back-to-back as well, which is the last two days of the season, which about half of the league has. The one good thing is in week two, two of those three games come on light days. Granted, they’re against Dallas and Colorado, not exactly great matchups, but since it’ll be easy to have a full lineup on Thursday and Saturday that week, having players on Wednesday and Friday is nice. Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi look like the best streaming options.
FLORIDA PANTHERS (3,3,4,3)
They have a Friday-Saturday back-to-back in week one, then play on the Friday of the second week when there are only two games on the schedule. They close week three with a back-to-back and finish the season with a back-to-back. That’s pretty good for streaming purposes. The players who are close to be holds like Sam Bennett and Carter Verhaeghe can easily be held through the heavy parts of the schedule. I don’t want to put too much into the current lines since Brunette said he wants to test different things down the stretch, especially with Giroux, but right now, Ryan Lomberg is with Giroux and Huberdeau. If that sticks, he can be a huge value in deep leagues.
LOS ANGELES KINGS (3,3,3,2)
The schedule for the Kings is pretty unique. They open with a light day, then have only one game in five days. After that, they play three games in four nights, before having only one game in five days again. Then there are three games every other day in week three, all in good matchups, before finishing the season with a back-to-back on Wednesday-Thursday. That means they’re one of two teams that don’t finish the season on Friday. Obviously eleven games is terrible, and I would lean towards not holding anybody on their team during the stretches where they have one game in five days. It’s great for streaming given how their games are bunched, but there’s nobody on their team good enough to hold through the lower volume of total games. Streaming wise, Viktor Arvidsson and any of the other top six guys are viable.
MINNESOTA WILD (3,4,4,3)
The schedule week one is pretty ugly. In week two, the Wild close with a back-to-back. In week three, they have four games in six nights, including a back-to-back with a light day. They also finish with a back-to-back. Amazing schedule for the first liners on the team given the 14 games. Streaming wise, there are plenty of good options. Cam Talbot will have plenty of games given how condensed the schedule and that the Wild are close to locked into second place in the Central. Joel Eriksson Ek would be my first choice to stream, although it could be Matthew Boldy if he turns his game back around.
MONTREAL CANADIENS (3,4,4,2)
Streaming wise, you better get used to the Canadiens. In week two, they play on three light days. On that Monday, they play in the only game of the day, and on Friday, there are only two games (there are four on Wednesday). They’re the perfect team to find a player to fill in for your guys who play on the busy days. In week three, they close the week on a back-to-back, and in the last week of the season, they play on a light day. They’re probably the second best team in stream from. Right now, the top guy has to be Mike Hoffman since he’s on a line with Suzuki and Caufield. There’s a case to be made for Josh Anderson as well. They’ve been playing much better hockey under St. Louis so I wouldn’t be surprised to see these guys make a huge impact in fantasy playoffs. The matchups aren’t as bad as you’d think given the division they’re in.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll have Part Two on Monday as we’re looking at 5,000+ words between the two posts. As mentioned above, if there’s something specific you want to know for the second half of teams before Monday, ask in the comments section and I can give you the cliff notes answer. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!