A look at the post-Olympic schedule for teams with favourable stretches to close the season.
This is a special article due to the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia which necessitates a 16-day break from NHL hockey. Unless you're in an Olympic pool, you're just praying your fantasy players come back from Russia uninjured and ready to crank it up for your playoff run. I'm sure Steven Stamkos and Henrik Sedin owners are a little relieved that their players will be at home resting for two weeks instead of sharing a room with two other players and sleeping in tiny beds. I also guess you could be rooting for your home country too, but let's be honest, what's more important: your country or your fantasy team?
Something to keep in mind is the effect of playing in the Olympics and the toll it could take on some players and teams. The Olympic tournament consists of a 3-game preliminary round followed by a 12-team playoff (with the top four receiving byes). So the maximum number of games played by a team is seven. But the Gold Medal Game will feature two teams that have played at least five games to that point. So every player, barring injury or benching, going over to Russia will play between three and seven intense hockey games. That can add up.
Here's a list of the number of players from each NHL team going to Sochi:
10 Players: Chicago & Detroit
9 Players: St. Louis*
8 Players: Montreal
7 Players: Anaheim, NY Rangers, Pittsburgh
6 Players: Los Angeles, Tampa Bay & Vancouver+
5 Players: Boston, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Phoenix
4 Players: Buffalo, Colorado, New Jersey, NY Islanders, San Jose, Washington*, Winnipeg & Columbus^
3 Players: Carolina, Dal