Fantasy Hockey: Impacts Before The Olympics (Part 1)

Jerome Miron USA TODAY Sports

The “Olympic Break” is less than a week away and already Week 19 in your fantasy leagues will be impacted. Players will either be missing game action or their minds will be elsewhere. Injuries and a decreased schedule load also will play important roles as well. This will be a focus all week as we look at various aspects of a shorter fantasy hockey week.

My goal in this post is to possibly steer you away from some of the landmines that you could face this week. It will not be an easy week to negotiate but the challenge is to persevere and then thrive. After all, every fantasy hockey owner will have the same dilemmas and problems.

Fantasy Hockey Scheduling Nightmares?

Week 19 features only 45 total games (90 teams playing) on the docket. That is a definite drop in numbers. Typically a week sees 10-20 percent more games. Also, keep in mind that there are six days in Week 19. The schedule structure is a bit different.

  • Monday — 7 games
  • Tuesday — 9 games
  • Wednesday — 3 games
  • Thursday — 11 games
  • Friday — 5 games
  • Saturday — 10 games

That is an average of 7.5 games a night. Typically one sees around eight games a night, give or take. Knowing what the big nights are is a huge advantage, not just for daily leagues but all fantasy leagues. Monday is a modest night and so is Friday. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are the big nights. Wednesday is a rather light night but has another epic clash between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. If it is anything like the game last month, it could be a fantasy feast.

Some teams even have very odd schedules. The New Jersey Devils, as an example, play three games but on Monday, Friday, and Saturday. Most every team plays three games but it is just how some of the games are clustered. The real winner may be the San Jose Sharks, who play all three games at home that should be winnable. Anaheim has two of their three games at home, where they have lost two games in regulation all season. One team that plays four games in Week 19 is actually the Vancouver Canucks along with the Colorado Avalanche. Other teams that play four games include the Ottawa Senators.

Who Has Back To Backs?

This is a good question and here is the answer.

  • Vancouver (Monday-Tuesday)
  • Colorado (Monday-Tuesday)
  • Ottawa (Monday-Tuesday)
  • Dallas (Tuesday-Wednesday)
  • Buffalo (Wednesday-Thursday)
  • Florida (Thursday-Friday)
  • NY Rangers (Thursday-Friday)
  • Edmonton (Thursday-Friday)
  • Columbus (Thursday-Friday)
  • Phoenix (Friday-Saturday)
  • Carolina (Friday-Saturday)
  • New Jersey (Friday-Saturday)

After all, did you really think New Jersey would go a week without a back-to-back? Surely, you were mistaken. Obviously, no teams play multiple back-to-backs so that does not need to be worried about. That is good news for goalies especially. Most starting goalies should see a vast majority of the starts in Week 19.

The next installment will feature injuries and holdouts because of the “Olympic Break”. Players will likely be added between now and then so keep an eye out for injury updates and also the players that may sit out before the break. Stay tuned as this will not be an easy fantasy hockey week to gauge.

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Chris Wassel
Chris Wassel writes for XN Sports, The Hockey Writers, Dobberhockey, and many others. He is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has never turned a question away in 10+ years of writing so ask away @ChrisWasselTHW.