Monday marked the beginning of an important week for most fantasy hockey leagues. Many leagues begin their playoffs this week, while playoff qualification and seeding may be on the line in other leagues. Either way, having a good showing this week could go a long way in securing your league's fantasy hockey championship. So, in this week's Eastern Edge, we'll look at teams that have a good schedule this week (Tuesday, March 29th – Sunday, April 3rd) and we'll highlight players on those teams who can help your fantasy squad.
Using Dobber's invaluable Schedule Planner, we can see that across the NHL, 18 teams are in action on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. In contrast, only 12 teams play on Wednesday, with 14 playing on Friday. As such, I'll be sure to highlight teams that play on Wednesday and Friday this week, because it'll probably be easier to integrate players from those teams into your lineup.
The Sabres have an ideal 'light-day' slate this week, with games scheduled on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. I've been pumping the tires of Buffalo's top line all season, but Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch remain criminally underrated in fantasy formats.
Thompson is still available in 43% of Yahoo leagues. Not only does he produce offense, tallying 31 points in 31 games in 2022, but he contributes a good number of shots and faceoff wins. He's eligible to play all three forward positions in Yahoo leagues, which makes it easy to slot him into your fantasy roster. If your league rewards faceoff wins, you know how useful it is to slot someone in as a winger and have them add on to the faceoffs tallied by the centers on your roster.
If Thompson isn't available in your fantasy league, you may be able to snag one of his linemates as Skinner and Tuch are rostered in just 24% and 21% of Yahoo leagues, respectively. Since January 1st, only 20 players across the league have more goals than Skinner, who's posted 18 goals through 35 games in the calendar year. After a terrific start to his tenure in Buffalo, Tuch had a disappointing March, with just six points in 12 games. However, given the good things we've seen from him in a larger sample, I'd still be willing to give him a chance in deeper leagues this week.
A final name I want to mention is Victor Olofsson. He's had a disappointing season and I think that's partially explained by an oblique injury he suffered earlier in the campaign. Olofsson's greatest strength is hit shot and the oblique muscles are integral in the action of shooting. From November (when he returned from the oblique injury) to February, Olofsson managed just two goals in 36 appearances. He's taken a big step forward in March, tallying seven goals in 13 outings so far. While I'm optimistic about Olofsson, it's important to mention that he's only been skating 14 minutes a night recently and doesn't hold a prominent ro