Next week will see the most unusual NHL game of the season as the Vegas Golden Knights, the Colorado Avalanche, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins take the puck on the road to Lake Tahoe. The Flyers play at home on Wednesday before flying west to take on the Bruins on Sunday, February 21.

The Colorado Avalanche are suspended on February 2 as a result of the postponement. The prognosis is more optimistic, as the Avalanche resumed practice on Thursday (including star Nathan MacKinnon, who is recovering from a lower-body injury).

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

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But let’s get back to what I was talking about last week in this space: Fantasy indicates the bench points in the schedule. Things have changed since last week. Hopefully this will be the last time many teams have to go over the schedule in detail.

On Monday, February 15, the New Jersey Devils have 47 games left to play. At the other end of the scale are the Vancouver Canucks, who have 38 games to go. Besides the Devils, other potential teams with points are the Buffalo Sabres with 46 games to go, the Minnesota Wild with 45 games to go and the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers and Florida Panthers with 44 games to go.

Teams not listed above have played between 40 and 43 games.

I would also say that the overall gap is still not enough to affect my actions on the calendar via trade. Things change, the pace of players will get better or worse, injuries will occur.

2 Connected

Would you say Nicklas Backstrom’s 2.8 Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) in the Capitals’ last 43 games is worth more than Leon Draisait’s 3.0 FPPG in the Oilers’ last 40 games? That would certainly be the case, yes.

But is it reasonable to think that Backstrom will have the same pace as Draisaitl? Do you want to make this deal for Backstrom? I would say no.

When it comes to extremes, there is something to be said for it. Would I consider contracting Elias Pettersson (38 games left), who is still fighting, for Jack Hughes (47 games left)? Absolutely. Especially if my fantasy team was struggling. Even if Pettersson gets his form back, the extra nine games would make up the difference.

Fantastic Meteorologist: February 15-21

The four teams traveling to Lake Tahoe play only two games this week, as do the Montreal Canadiens.

Team HMS Reviews 2/15 Monday Di2/16 Wednesday 2/17 Do2/18 Free2/19 Sa2/20 Dim2/21
Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 1

10

@SJ

3

8

MIN

1

10

MIN

1

10

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 6

6

STL

7

8

LA

5

7

LA

5

7

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 2 5

5

NJ

8

10

IHP

9

8

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 7

8

NEW YORK

5

7

NEW YORK

5

7

@WSH

8

3

@NJ

8

8

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 7

9

@VAN

7

8

FROM

7

8

EDM

7

5

MDA

7

5

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 7

5

CLS

8

7

FLA

7

4

CHI

7

4

CHI

7

4

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 8

9

@DET

10

9

@DET

10

9

@CAR

7

4

@CAR

7

4

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 2 4

5

VGS

6

9

VGS

6

9

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 6

4

@CAR

4

2

NSH

8

6

NSH

8

6

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 8

8

NSH

10

8

NSH

10

8

TB

5

4

TB

5

4

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 1

2

CHI

1

2

CHI

1

2

FLA

1

1

FLA

1

1

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 6

4

WPG

6

3

WPG

6

3

@CGY

6

4

CGY

6

4

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 8

9

@TB

6

4

@CAR

8

4

@DET

10

10

@DET

10

10

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 4

6

MIN

4

9

@ARI

4

6

@ARI

4

6

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 2

9

@LA

3

7

@ANA

1

10

@ANA

1

10

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 2 5

4

TOR

6

3

@OTT

10

8

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 4

3

@DAL

2

1

@DAL

2

1

@CLS

4

4

@CLS

4

4

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 2

4

NEW YORK

2

7

@BOS

1

2

BUF

3

3

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 6

8

@BUF

3

5

@BUF

3

5

@PIT

6

8

@PIT

6

8

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 6

6

NJ

4

9

@PHI

5

6

@WSH

4

3

@WSH

4

3

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 2

1

@TOR

2

1

@TOR

2

1

@TOR

2

1

MTL

2

1

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 2 3

3

NEW YORK

5

6

@BOS

3

2

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 3

3

WSH

5

1

NEW YORK

3

5

NEW YORK

3

5

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 4

6

ANA

2

8

@STL

6

6

@STL

6

6

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 5

4

@ARI

3

4

SJ

6

5

SJ

6

5

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 3 6

5

FLA

8

5

@DAL

7

5

@DAL

7

5

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 10

10

OTT

10

8

OTT

10

8

OTT

10

8

@MTL

8

5

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 4

4

CGY

3

4

@CGY

3

4

WPG

4

3

WPG

4

3

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 2 1

3

COL

2

5

@COL

2

5

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 8

7

@PIT

10

6

BUF

9

3

NEW YORK

8

7

NEW YORK

8

7

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21 4 8

7

MDA

8

5

MDA

8

5

@VAN

9

7

@VAN

9

7

For newcomers to the summary table, here’s an explanation: with the “O” (Attack) on the left after each game and the “D” (Defense) on the right, the rankings of the games are based on a scale of 1 (bad game) to 10 (great game) and are calculated using a formula that evaluates the team’s statistics per season, home and away performance based on where the game is played, and the number of opponents in those categories. The “Rankings” column shows the cumulative rankings from 1 to 10 games this week for offense (“O”) and defense (“D”).

Team Comments

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

Toronto Maple Leafs: Stock up on all the Leafs you can find. Well, okay, it’s not very useful if a team is so strong that their players are used in 100% of leagues or in less than 20%. But for the Leafs’ four games, including three home games against the Senators, there is a special opportunity: with Wayne Simmonds out for a long time with a broken wrist, Ilya Mikheev will be the new winger in place of John Tavares and William Nylander. So far in this role, he has scored a point in each of his two games.

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

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Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

Carolina Hurricanes: A week of four games and many players who can help in fantasy. Jordan Staal’s production is among the elite in the league this season. With 9.29 fantasy points per 60 minutes (FPP60), he ranks 12th in the NHL, and with an average ice time of 17:29, his FPPG is still in the top 20. Vincent Trocheck, who will be less available than Staal, is showing similar numbers. Both players are currently at the top of the power play list.

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

Winnipeg Jets: Apparently the Jets are still working on their new centers. Pierre-Luc Dubois played two games with the club, and both times it seemed different. However, Marc Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers and Andrew Kopp are both on the same page. The Jets seem determined to keep Kopp in the top six, so maybe it’s time to stop considering him an option. It’s a good scoring schedule next week with two games against the Oilers and two against the Canucks.

Reader’s Notes

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

Max Comtois, B, Anaheim Ducks: I said earlier this season that I think I overcompensated for my mistake of pushing Comtois too hard a year too early. But it’s hard not to notice that he has become a leader for the Ducks. He has scored twice as many goals as any other member of the team so far, he has some decent stats for a striker (shots, set-pieces, blocked shots) and if he continues to show so much promise, he will eventually get more playing time in the force.

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0:20

Max Comtois scores the only goal of the game. Anaheim beats Vegas 1-0.

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Arizona Coyotes: He is expected to return from his injury Friday and is available in about a quarter of ESPN.com leagues. Jacob Cichrun has taken over in OEL’s absence, but Ekman-Larsson will still be an option for the Coyotes at the top of the team. He should be all over the place.

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

Cam Atkinson, B, Columbus Blue Jackets: This is the combination of lines we were looking for. Atkinson has played his last three games with the old Jets, and the trio led the Blue Jackets in ice time Thursday. Atkinson’s four points against the Blackhawks didn’t all come from Jack Roslovic and Patrick Laine (just one, actually), but that should be a surefire result for a relatively new trio. And while you’re at it, check out Roslovic, who has scored five points in the three games they’ve played together.

Fantasy hockey – Forecaster for the week of February 15-21

Nicolas Boden, D, Chicago Blackhawks: The Hawks have not had an early start to the season so far. Boden has taken on the role of second row quarterback in a power back position over the last few games. On Thursday, he picked up his first block and scored two points. Duncan Keith and Adam Boqvist have yet to consolidate their roles there, so it’s worth keeping an eye on them.

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