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Weekly Wrap: Fantasy Hockey Week In Review

While the trade deadline buzzed with anticipation, it left many fantasy hockey enthusiasts feeling underwhelmed. Despite expectations of a goalie carousel, only the New Jersey Devils made notable acquisitions. Moreover, the big-name players rumored to be on the move remained with their pre-deadline teams, leaving fantasy hockey fans craving more excitement. Perhaps the upcoming summer will bring the anticipated goalie movement that fans hoped for.

However, as the dust settles, and we shift our focus to the horizon of the 2023-24 season, the playoffs loom large on the horizon. For some leagues, including two of my own pools, the playoffs have already commenced, intensifying the spotlight on player performances and schedules.

This week, we’re adding a twist by incorporating a brief segment on next week’s NHL team schedules, a valuable insight for fantasy hockey managers. Having the foresight on which teams to target can offer a significant advantage, especially for waiver claims.

So, let’s dive into the fantasy hockey week that was, highlighting the stars, streaks, and the week ahead.

Fantasy Hockey Week In Review

NHL Three Stars

First Star: Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado Avalanche

Once again, MacKinnon dominates the fantasy hockey scene. With an impressive three goals and seven assists in three games, MacKinnon’s season tally now stands at a remarkable 111 points in 65 games. His recent performance, including a staggering 76 shots in his last 12 games, solidifies his status as a top contender for the Hart Trophy.

Second Star: Pavel Zacha, C, Boston Bruins

Zacha’s standout performance included five goals and two assists over four games, with three goals contributing to crucial wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs. His contributions have undoubtedly bolstered fantasy teams.

Third Star: Thatcher Demko, G, Vancouver Canucks

Demko’s stellar week, going 3-0 with a 0.89 goals-against average and a .969 save percentage, unfortunately, ended with an injury expected to sideline him for 2-3 weeks. Casey DeSmith emerges as a must-add replacement for fantasy managers.

NHL Trade Deadline

Tomas Hertl, C, Vegas Golden Knights

One of the trade deadline’s biggest surprises was the acquisition of Tomas Hertl by the Vegas Golden Knights. Despite initial doubts about his return for the regular season, Hertl’s potential comeback during the playoffs significantly boosts his fantasy value, especially with his salary retained by the San Jose Sharks.

Kappo Kahkonen, G, New Jersey Devils

Kahkonen’s move to the New Jersey Devils signals a shift in fantasy relevance, providing stability amidst ongoing team improvements.

Jake Allen, G, New Jersey Devils

Acquired for a conditional third-round pick, Allen offers reliability to the Devils and emerges as a strong playoff option for fantasy managers.

Gustav Forsling, D, Florida Panthers

Forsling’s contract extension with the Florida Panthers highlights his increasing fantasy potential, especially with potential power-play opportunities.

Timo Meier, LW/RW, New Jersey Devils

Meier’s resurgence makes him a valuable asset for fantasy playoffs, with consistent contributions indicating a return to form.

Fantasy Hockey Playoff Schedules

Strategic roster management becomes crucial as fantasy hockey playoffs approach. Despite limited schedules for teams like the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Tampa Bay Lightning next week, savvy managers can exploit upcoming schedules for an edge.

Next week offers a favorable landscape, with every team playing at least three games and thirteen teams playing four games, optimizing player utilization. Targeting players from teams with heavier schedules on ‘off nights’—Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday—can yield additional games played and enhance fantasy performance.

By leveraging a comprehensive understanding of team schedules and strategic roster management, fantasy managers can position themselves for success in the playoffs. Best of luck, and may the puck be in your favor.

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