The Weekend Wrap: Takeaways from Jets/Leafs series, pressure on Canadiens
The National Hockey League season is winding down, and with it, so is our fantasy season.
Most head-to-head leagues are kicking off their championship weeks, while the remaining leagues are battling in the semifinals. Roto leagues still have two and a half weeks to make a final push.
Wherever you’re at, the pressure is on. As always, the best way to relieve that pressure is gaining an edge on your opponent, and we’ll do that by dissecting the upcoming weekly schedule.
Week 15 Notes
The Columbus Blue Jackets are the only team limited to just two games in Week 15. They’ll play Tuesday and Saturday, so it might be wise to move on from the Jackets after their Tuesday game.
On the flip side, there are 14 teams with four games apiece this week, with the remaining 16 teams at three games each.
The schedule is fairly even with no obvious advantages in games played, so let’s take a look at the best matchups.
Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles will play all four games against the Ducks this week. Anaheim sits second last in the NHL with just 35 points, and they’re giving up the eighth-most goals per game this season.
Andreas Athanasiou has five points over his past six games, with three shots per game over that span. He also enjoys playing the Ducks, with five points in three games against them this season. He’s getting time on the top power-play unit, which is doing surprisingly well at 20.3 per cent. He’s available everywhere.
Meanwhile, Adrian Kempe has five goals in four games against the Ducks this season. He’s only rostered in a quarter of leagues.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay will also play four games this week, with two of those coming against Detroit in a back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday.
Tampa and Detroit are the only teams playing on Sunday. Get ahead of your competition and add some players from those teams – mainly the Bolts – early on in the week. They will be hot commodities by the end of the week with such a limited crop to choose from.
Alex Killorn has five points in his past six games. He’s now up to a respectable 28 points in 47 games. He’s available in 70 per cent of leagues.
Alex Barre-Boulet has been playing on the top line alongside Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat. He scored his first goal of the season on Sunday, and could be worth a flier in deeper leagues.
Meanwhile, Blake Coleman has seven points in his last nine games. He’s available in close to half of leagues.
The Avs get the Blues and Golden Knights, before finishing their week with a back-to-back against the Sharks on Friday and Saturday. San Jose is giving up 3.5 goals per game in April, the fourth most in the league.
We’ve been on Andre Burakovsky for a while now but he’s still only rostered in 37 per cent of leagues. He’s coming off a pair of multi-point games and is taking Mikko Rantanen’s spot on the top line in his absence. Rantanen is expected to miss another two games.
Top Playoff Streamers
W, Sam Bennett, Florida Panthers (20 per cent rostered, up 18 per cent)
The change of scenery has done wonders for Sam Bennett after the trade from Calgary at the deadline. He has three goals and six points through his first five games with the Panthers, to go along with a plus-7 rating. Not only is he filling the scoresheet, he’s playing a physical game with 19 hits, close to four hits per game. He’s playing on a line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair – the trio has combined for 21 points through five games – and Bennett has already been added to the top power-play unit. The Panthers play four games in Week 15 with a pair of those coming against the Blackhawks, who are giving up the seventh-most goals per game in April. Bennett should be in for another big week.
G, Calvin Petersen, Los Angeles Kings (12 per cent rostered, down 3 per cent)
The Kings will play the Ducks all four times in Week 15. Anaheim is the worst team offensively, scoring just 2.17 goals per game this season. The Kings have been going back and forth between Calvin Petersen and Jonathan Quick for the better part of April, but Petersen has actually started the past three games. We can expect Petersen to get at least two of the four starts against the Ducks. Petersen has been impressive at times this season, sporting a .917 save percentage compared to Quick’s .890 mark. The problem for Petersen has been the team in front of him. He only has eight wins through his 23 starts this year, but with at least two games against the lowest-scoring team on deck, he’s a great option for those looking for an extra boost in most goalie cats, and he should be able to pick up a win or two.
W, Nick Foligno, Toronto Maple Leafs (33 per cent rostered, up 4 per cent)
Nick Foligno made his Leafs debut on Thursday and was immediately slotted on to the top line alongside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, an obvious boost for fantasy purposes. Foligno has an assist in each game so far, along with five hits. He won’t get much, if any power-play time, and the Leafs only play three times this week. However, they do play back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday, meaning Foligno would be a solid mid-week streamer with a great chance at contributing in a few different categories.
W, Nils Hoglander, Vancouver Canucks (9 per cent rostered, up 2 per cent)
Vancouver is finally back playing hockey, and they’ve looked pretty good doing so, winning three of four games. Nils Hoglander scored in each of the team’s first two games back against the Leafs, adding an assist as well. He now has four goals, six points in his past eight games dating back to late March. The Canucks will play the Senators twice and the Leafs twice in Week 15, with all four games likely to be high-scoring. Hoglander is playing alongside J.T. Miller on the second line and is getting time on the second power play. He’s worth a flier while he’s hot, especially with the Canucks busy schedule to start the week. They play three times over the first four days of the week.