Thanks for checking in for Week 2 of the Fantasy Hockey season. Week 1 of the NHL season was unconventional in a lot of ways. Perhaps the greatest of those being the number of dark days on the NHL schedule amidst the extended week. The end result for Fantasy Managers was less games played over an extended period of time. If you ask me, that’s a pretty boring way to kick off the Fantasy Season. I am looking forward to more excitement in the coming weeks where we have a typical amount of games played.
A common thread that I saw develop from Fantasy Managers, in week 1, was the difficulty to reach the minimum appearance threshold for goaltenders. Often overlooked, the nuance to minimum appearances exists to keep managers honest in their goalie selection and roster construction. I expect that some of your league mates didn’t reach the minimum threshold for games played or decided to drop a notable player in exchange for a goalie playing on Friday or Saturday. Now is a good time to scout free agency for notable players.
- Dallas Stars – The Stars have started the season off 3-0, which is impressive. Add in a 13:3 GF:GA ratio and you can see a separation that this team is creating from the rest of the undefeated teams in the league. A number of Dallas players remain under owned relative to production. None of them a bigger target than (LW) Mason Marchment who has produced 3G and 2A through 3GP and contributes physically with 4 hits on the week.
- Carolina Hurricanes – The Canes are another team who’s come out of the gate in red-hot fashion. Another 3-0 start which is bolstered by a 11:3 GF:GA ratio. Key in on some available Carolina players if you find yourself looking at a poor +/- rating following week 1 action. (RW) Martin Necas is only rostered in 32% of Yahoo leagues and has contributed 2G and 3A through 3GP, he makes a great place to start.
- Minnesota Wild – Starting off the season 0-3 isn’t anything to panic over, but the concern that I see with Minnesota is that they’ve allowed 20 GA in only 3GP, an average of 6.66 per game. This is a surprising start for Minnesota who allowed only 160GA in the entire 2021/22 season. Look to target against the Wild in the early part of 2022 with your streaming add/drops.
- San Jose Sharks – San Jose is currently last place in the NHL after an 0-4 start to the season. The Sharks also have the misfortune of playing in the Pacific division with some top heavy teams like Calgary, Las Vegas and Edmonton. For now, the Sharks appear to be a good team to bet against having scored only 6 goals in 4GP, an average of 1.50 per game.
News + Notes
- Evgeny Kuznetsov has been given a 1 game suspension for high-sticking Vancouver Canucks Kyle Burroughs
- Tyler Bertuzzi is out 4-6 weeks for Detroit (UBI)
- Matt Murray is out 4 weeks for Toronto (LBI)
- Nick Schmaltz is out 6-8 weeks for Arizona (UBI)
Games per day
Week 1 of the NHL Fantasy season was pretty funky given the length of time spanned by comparison to the total number of games played. One of the most frequent challenges for Managers was reaching the minimum appearance threshold for goaltenders. Week 2 has a much friendlier schedule with the week leading off with 17 games in 2 days.
- Monday – 9
- Tuesday – 8
- Wednesday – 3
- Thursday – 12
- Friday – 3
- Saturday – 13
- Sunday – 5
Thursday and Saturday remain the only days of the week where Managers will have to pick and choose players to start or sit.
Teams playing 4+ games this week
- Anaheim Ducks
- Boston Bruins
- Colorado Avalanche
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Florida Panthers
- Los Angeles Kings
- New York Islanders
- Philadelphia Flyers
- San Jose Sharks
- Seattle Kraken
Teams playing 2 or fewer games this week
Just two teams are listed with only 2GP in week 2 action. You may remember St Louis being listed with only 1GP in week 1.
- Chicago Blackhawks
- St Louis Blues
Players to Add this week
Like most sports, Fantasy Hockey presents a number of key players to add right out of the gate from the <50% rostered range. I can’t impress enough that these early-season additions to your Fantasy team will be some of the most important moves you make all year long.
Here are a few that I recommend picking up in exchange for some of your late-round picks or, better yet, while moving a drafted player into an IR spot.
Mason Marchment (LW,RW) DAL – 49% Owned
- Plays L2 and PP2 for Dallas next to C Tyler Seguin
- 3G and 2A through 3GP
- Has 4 hits on the season and contributed 114 in 2021
Martin Necas (RW) CAR – 32% Owned
- 2G, 3A through 3GP
- Plays RW on L2 opposite Svechnikov and the point on PP2
- +5 through 3GP
Antti Raanta (G) CAR – 32% Owned
- Backup netminder for Carolina
- 1.00GAA and .947 SV% in 1 Appearance this season
- Should starter Frederik Andersen miss time due to injury, Raanta would immediately present top 10 upside
Connor Clifton (D) BOS – 10% Owned
- 2nd pairing defender currently not listed on the Boston powerplay
- Logging as many as 25:21 minutes of ice time per night
- 4 Assists through 3GP with a +5 rating, 7 SOG, 9 HITS and 6 BLK
Players to Drop this week
Jamie Benn (C,LW) DAL – 24% Owned
- Yet to register a point on the 2022 season and has only contributed 2 SOG and 2 HITS
- Playing LW on L3 for DAL and standing in front of the net on PP1
- Ice time has diminished early this season to as little as 11:20 per game
Nick Schmaltz (C,RW) ARI – 16% Owned
- Out 6-8 weeks with an UBI
- Arizona already projects as one of the worst offenses in the NHL
- Better options exist to be sheltered in your IR position
iHDCF = Individual High Danger Chances For
This stat category captures the amount of high danger chances for a player with the exception of shootout opportunities. Generally, a player with a higher amount of chances is going to produce a higher total of goals scored. While the relationship between chances and results doesn’t necessarily follow a linear pattern, this is a “low hanging fruit” category to exploit. Players like Michael Bunting and Kaapo Kakko shouldn’t surprise you if they string together a few multi point games in the near future.
Fantasy Tip of the week
Keep a simple and repeatable routine
With the amount of days in an NHL Season, your bound to make a few mistakes or miss a few things that would have been beneficial to your season’s outcome. I want you to develop a quick and easy routine that you can run through in under 5 minutes. This routine needs to accomplish the simple tasks like setting an active lineup for that day/week while also keeping you informed of trending players which could help your teams success. Try to keep this routine down to 5 topics that you review in under 1 minute each. Lineups, Free Agents, Injuries, Trades and team Schedules are all realistic topics to consider on a routine basis. The simpler the routine the more often you can repeat it, without cutting into your daily priorities in the real world.
Thank you very much for following along during the early portion of the Fantasy Hockey season. I’ve got some great resources to share with you in the form of online tools in next weeks article. Be sure to check out our Fantasy Hockey Rankings for 2022/2023 and stop by next week for my week 3 Preview.
Follow me on Twitter @87_Carey and @fantasymarksmen