David Carey – April 17th, 2021
We’re back at it for Week 14 of the NHL season with more insights into scheduling, player add/drops, covid implications, stats and strategy. For H2H leagues week 14 using standard schedules week 14 marks the first round of playoffs. This is the most exciting time of the year for Fantasy Managers who have a chance at winning a championship. Our goal, is to get your across that finish line and take home the cash and bragging rights in your league.
In weeks prior we’ve focused on playoff scheduling preparation to ensure that you have a good chance at victory right off the hop. By keying on players and teams who play the most games through these weeks you have the best chance at success even if your roster doesn’t stack up with the same kind of firepower as your opponent. Moving into week 14 the mentality is a “win or go home” so lets keep that in the front of our minds when consider hard decisions as we map out our week.
A few promising win streaks have developed in the NHL West division over the course of the past week. Vegas has strung together 5 straight wins while Colorado has put 4 of their own in place prior to having their next 3 games postponed after a 3rd player tested positive on Thursday. Looking to the NHL East an exciting race is taking place between the Rangers and Bruins who have both won 3 games straight through action Saturday afternoon.
On the frosty side of the NHL we don’t have a large amount of change over at the top of the ranks though quietly out West the Sharks and Coyotes had lost 4 and 5 games straight respectively. At this point in the NHL season teams who were sellers at the deadline and have young talent in the minors have begun to shuffle their rosters in order to give prospects some opportunities to play. The Devils are a fitting example of this and are currently running (RW) Yegor Sharangovich and (LW) Janne Kuokkanen on either side of Jack Hughes on L1. I look for these to be dependable trends across the NHL from here until the end of the regular season.
COVID-19 News + Notes
Recent news about the Colorado Avalanche and Phillip Grubauer testing positive made headlines this week, adding another topic to be discussed in the media on top of the scenario for the Vancouver Canucks who are now projecting to resume their season against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. The NHL postponed 3 games for Colorado after a 3rd player tested positive. They will miss games on April 16th, 18th and 20th and are anticipated to resume play on Thursday against St Louis.
- Boston Bruins – Jaroslav Halak
- Colorado Avalanche – Bowen Byram, Joonas Donskoi, Phillip Grubauer
- Edmonton Oilers – Dmitry Kulikov
- Los Angeles Kings – Matt Roy
- Montreal Canadiens – Eric Gustafsson, Jon Merrill
- Philadelphia Flyers – Jackson Cates
- Toronto Maple Leafs – Nick Foligno, Ben Hutton, Riley Nash
- Vancouver Canucks – Nate Schmidt, Jake Virtanen
Games Played on the year
We’re going to continue to put out a list of the fewest games played so far this year and help you capitalize on the heaviest remaining schedules, by team, for your Fantasy rosters. Players from these clubs are routinely going to play 4+ games between now and the end of the NHL season:
- Canucks – 37
- Canadiens – 41
- Oilers – 42
- Kings – 42
- Blues – 42
Games per day
The schedule for week 14 is notably heavy to start the week and can be taken advantage of with a total of 6 teams playing back to back nights Mon/Tue.
- Monday – 8
- Tuesday – 9
- Wednesday – 4
- Thursday – 10
- Friday – 5
- Saturday – 11
- Sunday – 4
Teams playing 4+ games this week
Some players with less than 50% ownership are very much in play this week pairing their recent success with a 4G schedule. Adding to that, some of the matchups we will see this week will heavily favor the better of the two teams. Tune your add/drops this week towards these teams!
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Dallas Stars
- Detroit Red Wings
- Florida Panthers
- Minnesota Wild
- Montreal Canadiens
- Nashville Predators
- New Jersey Devils
- NY Rangers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Tampa Bay Lightning
Teams playing 2- games this week
Many teams who only play twice this week feature top 10 talent in the NHL. Edmonton and Colorado combine to have 5-6 of the Top 10 players (format dependent) in Fantasy Hockey. For many Fantasy Managers they could potentially be without some of their top talent in a week where their season is on the line.
- Anaheim Ducks
- Colorado Avalanche
- Edmonton Oilers
- St Louis Blues
- Washington Capitals
- Winnipeg Jets
Players to Add this week
Casey Mittelstadt (C,LW,RW) BUF – 12% Owned
- 7G, 1A in his last 10 GP
- Centering the PP1 unit for BUF
- 4 GP on the week including a 3 games in 4 days from Thursday to Sunday
- Shooting 19.9% on the season
- Avoids teams top checking line while playing L2 for BUF
- 3 position eligibility allows for a lot of flexibility in filling holes
Craig Smith (RW) BOS – 42% Owned
- 4 GP on the week
- 3G, 3A in his last 5GP
- After spending time on L1 with Bergeron and Marchand he is now playing along side David Krejci and Taylor Hall on BOS L2
- L2 stays together on PP2 for BOS which ranks 9th in the NHL converting 22.5% of the time
- Boston plays Buffalo 3x this week
Colin Blackwell (LW,RW) NYR – 7% Owned
- 4GP on the week
- Plays L2 for the smokin hot NYR along side Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin
- 4A in his last two games and a combined +4
- Has already doubled his career high in points
- Shooting with a 25.5% success rate on the season
Jason Robertson (LW) DAL – 46% Owned
- 4GP this week
- Playing L1 for Dallas along side Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski
- 4G, 2A,+8 in his last 5GP
- Dallas plays Detroit 4x this week who although have been winning lately still have a -38 goal differential on the year
Adam Erne (LW,RW) DET – 16% Owned
- Obviously available and overlooked in most formats
- Currently has an 8 game point streak
- 4GP on the week
- Centers the PP1 unit for Detroit
- A great add in banger formats where his 70 Hits on the season come into play
Mike Reilly (D) BOS – 13% Owned
- Recently acquired at the trade deadline lending him to the sharpest of the Managers with a nice boost in value as a result
- 4GP on the week
- Plays the Point on PP1 for BOS which features Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak
- Averaging ~23 mins per night for a team who has 3 games upcoming with the Buffalo Sabres
Devan Dubnyk (G) COL – 40% Owned
- Phillip Grubauer tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss multiple games
- Dubnyk will likely face St Louis 2x at the end of week 14, the Blues are slumping of late going 3-6-1 in their last 10 GP
- I’m recommending this add shortly in advance of April 22nd
Players to Drop this week
Martin Jones (G) SJ – 49% Owned
- Has lost 4 straight games against LA, ANA and MIN x2
- Games currently scheduled against tough teams in MIN, VGK this week
- In his last 4 losses he’s surrendered 11GA and has a .810 SV%
- Your currently better of benching Martin Jones than playing him
Ryan Graves (D) COL – 36% Owned
- Colorado only plays 2x during week 14
- Limited offensive upside despite playing on one of the top offensive groups in the NHL
- Provides his floor with a heavy +/- contribution as well as hits/blocks
- At only 36% owned he is likely able to be dropped and picked back up ahead of week 15
At this point in the NHL season we’ve seen players with upwards of 45GP. We have collected enough data on those who have missed periods of the year to accurately analyze their season and contributions. Artemi Panarin sticks out on this list as a player who is likely going to appear on championship rosters across a lot of Fantasy Leagues. He has posted 9G, 13A in his last 10GP. Take note of the players on this list and adjust your evaluations accordingly.
- Boston Bruins @ Buffalo Sabres: Boston is going to get the better of Buffalo this week and the two teams square off 3x in a row. For Taylor Hall its going to be a surreal feeling going from the last place Sabres to the Bruins who he has openly commented on wishing to be a part of throughout his career. Hall has already equaled his 2G with Buffalo in only 3GP on the season as compared to his 37 with the Sabres. Plenty of Boston Bruins provide a ton of fantasy value this week including Craig Smith, Mike Reilly and David Krejci who are widely available in Fantasy leagues, regardless of format.
- Dallas Stars vs Detroit Red Wings: We’ve got 4 games on the week between these two teams including back to back matchups Mon/Tue in Detroit. Detroit is in full rebuild mode and will be aiming to give playing time to young developmental players between now and the end of the season. Dallas comes in 6-2-2 in their last 10GP and will likely get Tyler Seguin back sooner than later. Stars GM Jim Nill said the team was projecting a return to action by April 26th. Dallas projects to win 3 of 4 games against Detroit and also provides a few players for consideration in terms of pickups this week: Denis Gurianov, Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger are under 50% owned and worthy of consideration this week.
Fantasy Tip of the week
Be prepared to sacrifice big name players who have nothing left to offer you on the week in search of a win!
Have a look at the links above to see the games per week listed from www.dailyfaceoff.com and see how your fantasy roster will stack up over the course of those weeks.
To expand on this week’s tip consider a player like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for example. He plays L1 along side Connor McDavid, the best player in the world, and appears on the top PP unit for Edmonton. This is a guy you WANT on your Fantasy Hockey team without question. Well come the playoff rounds you’re going to need to consider what this player can do for you beyond his 2nd of 2GP on the week Wednesday against Montreal. With 0GP from Thu-Sun you have a player on your roster providing you 0’s when you could realistically drop him and add a trending player like Craig Smith who plays 3x between Thursday and Sunday. The feeling of doing this is painful, but I encourage you to take a look at the end result and move right along with the process which hopefully leads you to a championship run!
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David Carey – April 17th, 2021