Ramblings: Planning Around the NHL Schedule; Bargain Goalies Like Talbot & Fleury (Sep 7)

Alexander MacLean


Every year I put together a bit of a schedule planner for myself to look ahead to the games played by each NHL team in the fantasy finals weeks. The last few years it has been less useful with any planning around Covid schedules being a complete crapshoot.

This year though we can anticipate (with our fingers crossed) from the get-go that the schedule should remain static through the year. That means that we can plan ahead more than we have been able to of late.

Keep in mind, that planning for head-to-head playoffs is not something to do much of at the draft. If it becomes the focus, it becomes your downfall. The tradeoff in having a lot of players with good H2H schedules, is that those extra games are packed at the end, instead of being during the bulk of the season when you're trying to compete to get to the playoffs in the first place. You can't win if you're not in, so that has to remain the primary focus.

With that in mind, let's jump to some schedule notes.

Regular season:

-San Jose and Nashville are the only teams to start the year with four games in the first fantasy week, while most teams only play two. This makes players from these teams great targets in the last couple rounds. Guys like Alex Barabanov, Tanner Jeannot (depending on your league), Mattias Ekholm, and Kevin Labanc will make nice streams with those late picks, either to be traded if they start hot and you can manage it, or dumped for the next hot piece on the FA pile.

-On the flip side of that, St. Louis and Winnipeg only play one game by October 16th. Good time to buy "low" on those players, and to see if there are any hanging around on the waiver wire.

-The first "week" of the fantasy hockey season (Oct 7-16) is a lighted one, with only about three-quarters of the total number of games that we see in a normal week. Lots of chance for variation here, so maximizing games played it key, as it making sure you hit your minimum ga