The NHL schedule is finally normalizing after the bye weeks and All-Star break threw things out of sync. It’s a typical week with Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday serving as the league’s busiest nights. For streaming purposes, you’ll want to target teams playing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday. I’ve gone over the teams with the most streamer-friendly schedules and their best available options below. Good luck!
New York Rangers (4 games – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
The Rangers draw what we like to call the perfect schedule this week, with all four of their games falling on the league’s quieter nights. That means adding a single Ranger can bring four extra games to your lineup, giving their players tremendous value in leagues with weekly acquisition limits. And luckily for fantasy players, there are a couple of heavily-featured Rangers that are available in most leagues. You shouldn’t even need to look passed their first line.
Pavel Buchnevich is still just 11% owned right now, despite practically cementing himself a spot on the top line. He’s been tied to the waists of Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, and his production is finally starting to catch up with the usage. Buchnevich has played 18:30 or more in each of his last three games, racking up two goals and 11 shots on goal. The ideal usage combined with the perfect schedule means Buchnevich is easily the top streaming target of the week. If you’re a little late on Buchnevich, Jesper Fast makes for a fine consolation prize. He’s not seeing quite as much ice-time as Buchnevich, but Fast is in arguably a better spot in the lineup. He’s spent the last month or so on the team’s second line with Ryan Strome and Artemi Panarin. His production is inconsistent, but he’s worth taking a gamble on this week.
Toronto Maple Leafs (4 games – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday)
The Maple Leafs make for a solid streaming target this week, playing on three of the week’s slower nights. You’ll be hard-pressed to fit them into your lineup for Saturday’s 12-game slate, but they can help you out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Obviously, the bulk of Toronto’s heavily-featured players are already rostered in your league, but some frequent line-juggling has helped keep the ownership of the complementary players down. Zach Hyman is still available in 73% of leagues despite recently flourishing on Toronto’s top-line. Hyman is taking full advantage of the opportunity to play with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. He’s got four goals and five assists in his last seven games, averaging 18:35 a game over that span. His 20.6 SH% suggests there’s some regression coming Hyman’s way, but the usage alone is enough to warrant a pick-up this week.
If you’re apart of the 27% of leagues where Hyman is unavailable, then you might want to consider Alexander Kerfoot. Kerfoot has seen a subtle uptick in production after being promoted to the team’s second line. He’s performed admirably on the wing of John Tavares and William Nylander, with three points in the last four games. A lack of shot volume caps his upside, but his usage makes him a viable play this week. The triple-position eligibility certainly doesn’t hurt, either.
Detroit Red Wings (4 games – Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday)
Detroit is where offensive production goes to die, but their schedule this week means we have to talk about them. They play four games this week, making notable appearances on Monday, Friday, and Sunday. Keep in mind their players can be a liability in plus/minus leagues, but the three extra games mean the right player is worth the risk. That right player, assuming Tyler Bertuzzi (42% owned) is unavailable, is Andreas Athanasiou. Athanasiou will return to Detroit’s lineup Monday night after missing the last 13 games with a lower-body injury. He’ll play alongside Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin on the first line and power-play unit. Athanasiou has 19 points in 36 games this year to go along with his ugly -36 rating. There isn’t a lot of long-term upside here, but he’s worth a flier this week in deeper leagues.