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Hey everyone!  I’m back following the All-Star break and with no games since last Thursday (recapped here), I need something else to talk about!  Well, I thought something that would be very helpful is an in-depth look at the schedules for every team in the NHL the last four weeks of the season.  I picked those weeks because at least the last three weeks (the last 4 if you’re in an RCL or any league with two week long playoff matchups) are your playoffs in head to head leagues.  By giving you this information now, this gives everyone a few options.  One, it helps everyone make decisions at the bottom of your roster.  Don’t let the schedule be the final decision, but it’s a useful tiebreaker.  Two, if you’re in top position, it allows you to make a trade that would greatly benefit you in the playoffs.  Lastly, it shows you what teams will be the best to stream from at certain points in the playoffs.  You’re going to want to bookmark this page for when you make it and use it as a guide.  If a player finishes the week with three games in four nights, he’ll obviously make a great streamer for multiple days.  Let’s look at every team and see what they’re working with:

ATLANTIC DIVISION:

Montreal Canadiens (3,3,3,4) – The numbers in parentheses indicate how many games the team has in each of the last 4 weeks of the season.  For example, Montreal has 4 games the last week of the season with 3 games in each of the prior 3 weeks.  Compared to the rest of the league, this schedule is pretty rough, especially for the top end guys like Max Pacioretty and Carey Price.  They close the first week with a back to back (nice for streamers in one week matchups, irrelevant in 2 week finals) and close with a back to back, including playing the only game on April 7th, the last Friday of the season.  With a huge slate the last two days of the season, that will be a massive game for streaming.  The 13 games in this stretch are tied for the second fewest in the league.

Overall Grade (Grade for the holds on the team) : C-

Streaming Grade: B+

Ottawa Senators (4,3,3,5) – One of two teams to finish the season with a 5 game week, the Senators schedule is among the best in the league.  Only one team has more than their 15 games total and their 8 games in the final matchup.  They have a back to back to close week one before an excellent Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday finish.  It’s excellent in terms of streaming and their top players.

Overall Grade: A

Streaming Grade: A

Boston Bruins (3, 4, 4, 3) – Week two opens with a Monday/Tuesday/Thursday which is a nice streaming spot to close the semifinal matchups in RCL’s.  There is another three games in four nights stretch from 4/1 through 4/4 but overall, one less game than most teams without playing on a crucial date.

Overall Grade: C+

Streaming Grade: C

Toronto Maple Leafs (3, 4, 3, 5) – They finish the same way as Ottawa meaning Toronto players should be a major difference maker in the finals.  They play every other day the first three weeks of this stretch making them a poor choice for streaming until that final week.  However, if you get there, players like Frederik Andersen and Auston Matthews can decide leagues.

Overall Grade: A- (the schedule gaps are a little tougher to deal with than Ottawa’s)

Streaming Grade: F for the first three weeks, A for the last week

Florida Panthers: (4, 3, 4,4) – It’s an excellent schedule for the Panthers in multiple ways.  One, they get a high quantity of games in this stretch.  Two, they get 8 in the RCL finals.  Three, they have the best streaming schedule in the final.  They open up with a Monday/Tuesday/Thursday start and then close with three games in the last four days.  Guys like Reilly Smith and even Jonathan Marchessault will be excellent in that you can ride them to start, cut them in the middle of the finals and then grab them again for the last four days.

Overall Grade: A-

Streaming Grade: A

Tampa Bay Lightning (4, 3, 4,4) – While it looks similar to a bunch of other teams so far and down the list, this is an amazing schedule.  Streaming Tampa guys in the finals is going to be a must.  They close the season with 6 games in the last 9 days, including a 5 in 7 stretch that concludes with Montreal on Friday the 7th, the only game that day.  If Steven Stamkos can return at this point, he can swing leagues.  It also gives Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy to fix things for you, assuming they haven’t buried you already.  This is a near perfect schedule that’s topped by only one team.

Overall Grade: A

Streaming Grade: A+

Buffalo Sabres (3, 3, 3, 4) – This is a much better schedule for streaming than the studs.  Despite only having 13 games, there is at least one back to back in each of these weeks.  They also play on Monday and Wednesday the last week of the season, days where there are 3 and 2 games respectively, before they finish on a back to back as well.  Sam Reinhart and Evander Kane will be of great use down the stretch, especially in the finals, if they’re available to stream.

Overall Grade: C

Streaming Grade: A

Detroit Red Wings (3, 4, 4, 4) – This schedule is simply a better version of the Sabres schedule.  They have two sets of back to back games in the finals but they also have back to back to back games!  Because the ice was unplayable in Carolina earlier in the year, Detroit plays at Minnesota on Sunday to close the semi-finals in RCL’s before playing Monday and Tuesday, both at Carolina.  You will get a huge edge streaming Red Wings and Hurricanes (more on them later).  The options are limited but Andreas Athanasiou and Tomas Tatar can make big differences on top of the studs like Anthony Mantha.

Overall Grade: A

Streaming Grade: A+

METROPOLITAN DIVISION

Washington Capitals (3, 3, 4, 4) – Six games in the semifinals of RCL’s is tied for the fewest among the league so we need to bank on Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby coming through on quality, not quantity to get us to the finals.  The good news is if you make the finals, their schedule is great for their studs and streamers.  On top of eight total games, there are three sets of back to backs including a game on Wednesday, April 5th when there are only two games.  Perhaps Philipp Grubauer gets extra action with these back to backs?  It all depends on where they are in the standings and how much home ice means to them.

Overall Grade: B-

Streaming Grade: B

Columbus Blue Jackets (4,3,4,4) – While it’s great that they play 15 games, it’s actually a poor streaming schedule.  In the finals, they play almost exclusively on busy days (they’re all days with 10+ games in the last week).  Great for the studs though.

Overall Grade: A-

Streaming Grade: C

Pittsburgh Penguins: (4, 4, 3, 4) – If you’re desperate the last day of any week in this stretch, turn to the Penguins.  They play on the last four Sundays of the regular season.  Bryan Rust anyone?  Add in that they play fifteen games, three of which are on the last four nights of the regular season, and you have a strong schedule for everyone on Pittsburgh.

Overall Grade: B+ (one less game in finals)

Streaming Grade: A-

New York Rangers (3, 4, 3, 3) – Ugly schedule with only 13 total games.  There are four back to backs, including the last two nights of the season, so Pavel Buchnevich and Michael Grabner gets a nice boost as streamers.  They also play on Wednesday in the last week of the season when there are two games, a day where streaming will be a must.  That said, I can see cutting a bunch of their fringe holds in this stretch for guys with more volume.  It might be a good time to sell high on these guys.

Overall Grade: D

Streaming Grade: B-

Philadelphia Flyers  (4, 4, 4, 3) –  They close the semi-finals with three games in four nights so guys like Travis Konecny will be great to grab for this stretch.  It sucks that they have only three games in the final week especially since they don’t play Wednesday, Thursday or Friday that week.  With how busy the last two days are, I could see dropping some of the bottom end Flyers to stream those days.

Overall Grade: B-

Streaming Grade: B-

New York Islanders  (4, 3, 4, 4) – A bit of a funky schedule for the Islanders.  There are a bunch of back to backs in the first couple weeks and they close on a back to back.  However, they’re just like the Blue Jackets in that they play on all of the busy days.

Overall Grade: A-

Streaming Grade: C+

Carolina Hurricanes (5, 3, 5, 4) – The Godfather of playoff schedules, the Hurricanes are going to be great on volume alone.  They don’t have three games in three nights like Detroit but there’s a pile of back to backs here.  There has to be with 17(!!!) games in 28 nights to close the season.  That’s two more games than anyone else in the league.  Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask should be monsters in the playoffs while Sebastian Aho and Elias Lindholm will be among the best streamers in the league.

Overall Grade: A+

Streaming Grade: A+

New Jersey Devils (4, 4,2,4) – Great schedule for the semifinals, dud for the finals.  They have a back to back the last two days of the semis which makes guys like Adam Henrique and Travis Zajac top streamers.  However, in the finals, they play on the busiest four days in the last week and as you can see, there’s only two games the week before.  Those two games are Friday and Saturday so with no games that week Monday through Thursday, I wouldn’t hold any Devils besides Taylor Hall through that stretch.

Overall Grade: C

Streaming Grade: C

CENTRAL DIVISION

Minnesota Wild (4,4,4,3) – Great schedule for the studs and streamers.  They close each of the first three weeks playing Thursday, Saturday, Sunday.  It’s hard to say who will be holds and streamers in the middle of the Wild roster but guys like Jason Zucker and Nino Niederreiter get a nice boost. While they only have three games in the last week, they don’t play on Sunday meaning you can cut your guys in redrafts to stream the last day.

Overall Grade: B+

Streaming Grade: A

Chicago Blackhawks (4,3,4,3) – It’s not the worst schedule but it’s definitely near the bottom.  For streaming, it’s an absolute disaster.  They play a back to back on Saturday and Sunday of the first week (nice for one week matchups, irrelevant for two) and then they play every other day the rest of the season.  Woof.  Add in that they play 14 games instead of 15 and it’s not pretty.

Overall Grade: C

Streaming Grade: F

Nashville Predators (3, 3, 5, 3) – The semi-finals are a nightmare with three games each week and no back to backs.  However, if you make the finals, it’s outstanding with five games the first week and then three games in the last week without playing on the final day of the season.

Overall Grade: B-

Streaming Grade: B-

St. Louis Blues (4, 3, 4, 4) – They’re a great option to start the playoffs with three games in four nights.  Look to snag someone like David Perron the day before the playoffs start with the plan on cutting him after Thursday.  From there, they’re playing every other night until a back to back to close the season.  Can’t complain with the studs like Vladimir Tarasenko getting 15 games but they aren’t a real streaming option outside of the first few days and last few.

Overall Grade: A-

Streaming Grade: C

Dallas Stars (3, 4, 4, 3) – Hopefully some players on the Stars emerge as quality streaming options over the next few months because they play three of the last four nights to close the semifinals in RCL’s.  Outside of that, it’s a below average schedule in all facets.

Overall Grade: C

Streaming Grade: B-

Winnipeg Jets (4, 4, 2,3) – Good lord, this is the dumpster fire of playoff schedules.  Yes, the studs on the Jets are probably a big reason why you’re in contention in the first place, but if you make the finals they aren’t going to be of much help.  I’m going to ask Reid his thoughts about this on the podcast that will go up later today.  If you can get equal value for your Jets studs, I would look to trade them.  You’re simply at too big of a deficit only getting five games over the two weeks.  Now, with eight games in the semis including three of the last four nights, you don’t have to necessarily trade them because they will increase your chances of making the finals.  It’s a give and take situation that you’ll have to decide on what’s best for your team

Overall Grade: F

Streaming Grade: C

Colorado Avalanche (4,3,4,4) – The bad news is that this is a horrible streaming schedule.  The Avalahcne play every other day the last four weeks of the season besides a back to back to end it.  The good news is who the hell would you want to stream anyways?  Nice that Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene get 15 games though.

Overall Grade: A-

Streaming Grade: F

PACIFIC DIVISION

San Jose Sharks (3,4,4,3) – The schedule is pretty boring for the Sharks.  In the last week of the semis, they play Monday and Tuesday plus Friday and Saturday letting guys like Tomas Hertl and even Mikkel Boedker be nice streamers.  They also have a back to back in the first week of the finals and don’t play the last day of the season making the three game week less devastating.

Overall Grade: C

Streaming Grade: B-

Edmonton Oilers (3, 4, 3, 4) – Nice schedule for the last week of the semis playing four games the first six nights, two of which are against Colorado.  They’re every other day in the finals though until the last two nights, a home and home with the Canucks.  Overall, it’s pretty yawnstipating.

Overall Grade: C+

Streaming Grade: B-

Anaheim Ducks (3, 3,3,4) – They’re already in a big hole playing only 13 games.  They open the semis playing Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and then don’t play until the following Wednedsay, March 22nd.  I’m not sure how many Ducks I’d be holding through three days off, especially since they don’t have any back to backs after that until the April 1st and 2nd.  Pretty poor all around.

Overall Grade: C-

Streaming Grade: D

Calgary Flames (4, 3, 4, 3) – Talk about a boring schedule.  The Flames literally play every other day the last four weeks of the season.  I will not be streaming anybody from this team for that entire stretch unless on a Sunday with no regard for future streaming.  If one of the goalies gets hot, they could potentially carry the workload for this stretch.

Overall Grade: C

Streaming Grade: F-

Los Angeles Kings (4, 3, 4, 4) – They open the semis with three games in four nights and five in eight nights.  Unfortunately, after that Monday, they only play Thursday and Saturday after that in the semis.  I’d cut the vast majority of Kings after the 20th.  Once you get into the finals, the Kings schedule is nice; they play four games with a back to back each week.

Overall Grade: B+

Streaming Grade: C+

Vancouver Canucks (3,4,3,4) – The schedule is great for streaming which is nice for a team full for streamers and very few holds.  Sven Baertschi and especially Bo Horvat could surprise in a big way.  They close both the semis and finals with three games in four nights.

Overall Grade: B-

Streaming Grade: A-

Arizona Coyotes (4, 4, 4, 3) – The few holds on the Coyotes e.g. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Max Domi could be huge in the fantasy playoffs.  They play both Mondays in the semis, both of which are short slates.  Look to stream their middling guys like Martin Hanzal those days to get a head start each week. They play every other day the last two weeks making them useless in terms of streaming in the finals.

Overall Grade: B

Streaming Grade: B-

I hope this post helps everyone out come playoff time.  With 14 games on the slate today, I don’t see any need for streaming but if you want to know who I like, just ask in the comments section and I’ll be sure to answer.  As mentioned above, hopefully we have a podcast drop in the afternoon today so be on the lookout for that.  You can post Three Point Challenge picks in this post or the podcast one, just remember it can’t  be anyone in the top 10 in scoring.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  I’ll be back Wednesday morning with notes on Tuesday’s games.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Lackeydrinksonme

    Don'tGoWaterfalls says:
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    Just made the playoffs this week- sitting at 12-3. I have Scheifle, Ehlers, and Wheeler, and they’ve paid dividends so far. Who would be a decent trade target?

    I also grabbed Stamkos- good idea?

    Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Don’tGoWaterfalls: Congrats! Always good to clinch with time to spare. You definitely don’t have to trade all of them but I would look to do what you can. We talk about guys for Scheifele on the podcast, maybe a Backstrom type? Or Draisaitl+? Considering how good Carolina’s schedule is, getting Skinner+ for one of the wingers makes sense too. Patches, Forsberg, someone who is also a clear top 50 player. You don’t want to sell too low and I doubt many people are looking this far ahead so you can take advantage of it.

      • Lackeydrinksonme

        Don'tGoWaterfalls says:
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        @Viz:

        Just bounced Ehlers for Foligno, looking to ship someone for Skinner- already nailed Forsberg down. With your help, I’ve been killing this.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Don’tGoWaterfalls: excellent, good to hear! It’s nice to take advantage of a good situation like the one you’re in

  2. Nate says:
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    Love this article.
    12 team redraft currently in 4th place.
    G-A-+/–PIM-PPP-GWG-SOG-H-B goalies – W-L-GAA-SV-SV%-SO

    Roster this morning
    C – Scheifele
    C – R. Johansson
    LW – Benn
    LW – Ehlers
    RW – Wheeler
    RW – Seguin
    D – Karlsson
    D – Ristolainen
    D – Trouba
    D – Gudas
    U – E. Kane
    U – M. Hoffman
    B – Foligno, T. Johnson,
    G – Bobrovski, Lehner, Vasilevskiy, Pavelec

    Was able to turn Scheifele into Forsberg and also
    Wheeler/bobrovski into Kessel/Price.

    Your thoughts on the 2nd trade and any other glaring holes you see as we set up for the playoffs?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Nate: I’m fine with the second one, seems pretty fair to both sides. I could see Price getting extra rest down the stretch since it looks like they’ll win the division fairly easily but won’t have a chance at the #1 seed.

      No, I don’t see any holes, your team is in really good shape. I guess I would be willing to cut Johnson if someone on the waiver wire emerges or he doesn’t pick it up soon but I’m fine with holding him in the meantime. I like what you have here, well done!

      • Nate says:
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        @Viz: thanks Viz, wouldn’t be where I am without your help!

        Keep up the good work!

        • Nate says:
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          @Nate: make sense to drop Johnson for Aho?

          • Viz

            Viz says:
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            @Nate: Thanks, I appreciate it! Where are you in the standings right now? If you are at the top, I would make the move mostly because Aho’s playoff schedule is awesome. I wouldn’t be married to either of them i.e. if someone else broke out, I’d be fine with dropping either, but I’d lean Aho’s way

  3. Lackeydrinksonme

    Don'tGoWaterfalls says:
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    I just realized that I only have two weeks of playoffs, so this list is slightly skewed and Winnipeg looks a lot better. teams that are (3,3) for their first two games are WSH, MON, BUF, ANA, and NSH… so should I dump Forsberg and Kuznetsov to jockey for people from PIT, PHI, NJ, ARI, and MIN (4,4)?

    I hope this makes sense- thinking Forsberg/Kuz for Schenn or T. Hall?

    thanks- I hope I didn’t shoot my dick off by bouncing Ehlers, now

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Don’tGoWaterfalls: yeah that definitely helps their cause. Hmm, I would definitely want more than those guys for Kuznetsov. Something along the lines of Forsberg for Hall makes sense, maybe you can get the guy to add a small piece too?

      • Lackeydrinksonme

        Don'tGoWaterfalls says:
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        @Viz:

        I’m trying Forsberg/Holtby for Dubnyk/Hall. I’d rather not risk losing starts from the Caps.

        Any targets of equal value for Kuznetsov? I might try to dump him to a playoff rival closer to the deadline.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Don’tGoWaterfalls: Hmm, he’s a difficult guy to find a comp for. Maybe you can add to get Kucherov or something? Giroux straight up? Johansen plus someone?

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