NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 8

NHL Fantasy Preview - Week 8

Table of Contents

NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 8

Episode 90 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 7 of the NHL continued to entertain, highlighted by more injury trouble around the league, mayhem in New Jersey, trades, NHL records, and a big milestone! As we do each week, we’ll check in on John’s list, “hack” our way through the NHL’s Headlines, go through the week’s schedule, make recommendations for waiver wire adds, and discuss our weekly Top 200 Rankings – Powered By Left Wing Lock.

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  • Enter to win a Hacks Holiday in Vegas!
  • Fleury returns to action
  • Jason Robertson continues to terrorize the league
  • Jeff Skinner a must-own?
  • Leafs blue line a mess
  • Cale Makar sets a record
  • Another milestone for Patrice Bergeron
  • Nick Schmaltz making an impact for Arizona

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John’s List

If you have been listening to our podcast for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard about “John’s List”; which is basically John’s $h!t list of players past and present. If you have any suggestions for players/subjects we should add to the list, let us know!

Whoever designed the Bruins Winter Classic Jerseys – Yikes.😬

Fantasy Lock Of The Week (November 21 – 27, 2022) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Jason Robertson, LW, 98% Rostered (Yahoo)

35 points and 18 goals in 22 games played to date this season – 8 Points (6 Goals), 2 PPP, 26 SOG, +1, 68% PP Share, 20:47 ATOI in 4 games played during week 7. 2nd in league scoring, just 1 point behind Connor McDavid!🤯

Headlines W/ The Hacks | November 21 – 27, 2022

Injury News – The Bad
    • Morgan Riley of the Toronto Maple Leafs left Monday night’s game with the Islanders with a lower body injury: UPDATE he has been placed on LTIR with a knee injury. He will miss the next 10 games. The Leafs are now missing 3 of their 4 top defensemen
    • Travis Konecny of the Flyers will be out the next 10-14 days with an upper body injury
    • Leafs defenseman Jordie Benn was placed on IR Thursday with an upper body injury
    • Linus Ulmark left the Bruins game on Friday with an upper body injury.
Injury News – The Good
    • Rope Hintz returned the the Dallas Stars lineup on Monday
    • Nick Schmaltz and Jakob Chychrun returned to the Arizona Coyotes lineup on Monday
    • Seth Jones was activated off of IR an joined the Blackhawks for their game on Wednesday
    • Samuel Girard returned to the Avalanche lineup on Wednesday
    • TJ Oshie has been activated from IR and returned to the Capitals lineup 
    • Marc-Andre Fleury was activated off of IR on Thursday
Other News
    • On Monday Patrice Bergeron recorded his 1000th point of his career against the Tampa Bay Lightning
    • With a goal on Monday night, Cale Makar became the fastest defensemen in NHL history to record 200 points. He reached the mark in just 195 games. 
    • The Carolina Hurricanes signed goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov to a 4 year contract with an AAV of $2 million per season
    • The Minnesota Wild acquired forward Ryan Reaves from the New York Rangers for a 2025 5th round draft pick.
    • The Toronto Maple Leafs acquire defenseman Connor Timmons from the Arizona Coyotes for forward Curtis Douglas. The move gives the Leaf’s D some depth after they have been decimated by injuries
    • How about a Jason Robertson appreciation post. 31 points (16 goals (leads the League, 15 assists) in 20 games. Also is on a 15 game point streak.

Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 8

The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues! 

Need To Know: 

The NHL schedule FINALLY has a bit of balance in week 8, with a minimum of 3 games played every day, and just 2 particularly slow days. There are a total of 51 games on the schedule; and a total of 3 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Wednesday (4), Friday (3) and Sunday (5) being quieter days. Thursday and Saturday will be the busiest days on the schedule, with 11 and 13 games respectively. 

In terms of optimizing the schedule, Buffalo, Detroit and New York (Rangers) all play 4 games next week, with 3 of those games taking place on “light days”. Of those three teams, the Rangers have the best strength of schedule rating at -16 as they take on New Jersey, Ottawa twice, and Chicago. Detroit also has a reasonable schedule at a -6 rating, with games against Toronto, Buffalo, Vegas, and Columbus.

Anaheim, Edmonton, Florida, San Jose, and Tampa Bay also all play 4 games this upcoming week. The Oilers and Sharks play two games on light days; and it should be noted that the Blue Jackets play all 3 of their games next week on light days, but have the toughest schedule at +11.

According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Montreal Canadiens have the most favourable schedule at -21; taking on San Jose, Calgary and Edmonton.

Arizona again find themselves on the lean end of the schedule with just 2 road games on packed nights (Thursday and Saturday). Boston is the other team with just a pair of games on the schedule, and they are whoppers, with home matchups against Tampa Bay and Colorado. 

  • Monday – 6 Games
  • Tuesday – 9 Games
  • Wednesday – 4 Games
  • Thursday – 11 Games
  • Friday – 3 Games
  • Saturday – 13 Games
  • Sunday – 5 Games

NHL Reverse Retro Collection at Lids.com

Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 8

Waiver wire targets will be focused on players with ownership ~50% or less. SOS = Strength of Schedule, according to Left Wing Lock. Lower number = Easier Schedule, Higher Number = Harder Schedule.  

Top Waiver Wire Targets

🎯 Jeff Skinner (C), Buffalo | Rostered: 46% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.TB, @DET, Vs.COL, Vs.SJS, +8 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Thompson & Tuch, PP1) 
  • We’ve covered Jeff Skinner before, but he is criminally under-rostered right now. Buffalo’s top left-winger has erupted the past two games, posting 4 goals, 7 points and 9 SOG (14 iCF, 7 iSCF, 4 iHDCF)! With 21 points and 9 goals on the season, Skinner is on-pace for a career-best 86 points and 37 goals! Somehow available in 60% of leagues, absolutely mind-boggling!   ALSO: Jack Quinn (LW/RW, 4%). 9 points (3 goals) in last 11 GP. Dylan Cozens (C, 11%). 9 points (1 goal) in last 10 GP. 

🎯 Mikael Granlund (C), NSH | Rostered: 14% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.ANA, @NJD, @NYI,  +3 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Forsberg & Parssinen, PP1) 
  • 5 points and 1 goal in his last 7 games played. Granlund is on-pace for 62 points this season and seeing some massive minutes right now – no less than 20:23 TOI over his last 3 games played. Locked in at LW1 next to Filip Forsberg, and PP1. NOTE: 6.7 iSH% well below 3-year (11.8) and career (10.5) averages. 8.1 tEVSH% 
🎯 Jordan Eberle (RW), SEA | Rostered: 15% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@LAK, Vs.WSH, Vs.FLA, -12 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Beniers & McCann, PP1) 
  • The 32-year old veteran is off to his best offensive start since 2014-2015 when he posted 63 points and 24 goals as a member of the Edmonton Oilers! 7 points (4 goals) in his last 5 games played, and 15 points (5 goals) in 20 games overall. Interestingly, Eberle’s shot volume has dipped below 2.0 SOG/GM for the first time in his career, he’s converting above his 3-year (12.8%) and career (13.1%) individual shooting percentages, and his TOI is at a career-low 15:55. All that said, he’s getting deployment in the top 6 and first-unit power play, so not all hope is lost.🤷‍♂️
🎯 TJ Oshie (C/RW), WSH | Rostered: 43% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@VAN, @SEA, @CGY, +3 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Milano & Kuznetsov, PP1) 
  • Oshie returned from injury on Wednesday night against the Flyers, posting 2 assists, one on the power play. The Caps winger is on-pace for 57 points with 2 goals and 5 assists through 10 games; but his shot volume has left much to be desired at just 1.5 SOG/GM. To make up for the lack of shots though, Oshie does offer nearly 3 hits per game, and solid power play production on the top unit. NOTE: Oshie’s 6.9 tEVSH% is below league average, and his 13.3 iSH% is below his 3-year (17.7%) and career averages (14.7%).
🎯 Max Domi (C/LW/RW), CHI | Rostered: 22% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (EDM, @NYR, @NYI, +6 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Kane & Athanasiou, PP1) 
  • 7 points and 1 goal in his last 7 games played. The 27-year old is having a productive season in Chicago, playing top line, and top power play next to Patrick Kane. On-pace for 60 points, and winning more than 58% of his face-offs to date. 
🎯 David Krejci (C), CHI | Rostered: 20% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (Vs.TB, Vs.COL, +10 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Pastrnak & Zacha, PP1) 
  • With 2 goals on Friday, David Krejci is up to 8 points (6 goals) in his last 5 games played; and on-pace for 77 points, after posting 17 points and 8 goals in 18 games played to date. As long as Krejci sticks with Pastrnak in the top 6, we can expect a reasonable level of production. Boston’s schedule is less than ideal next week, but don’t risk losing out on a very valuable fantasy piece for the remainder of the season. NOTE: Near career-low 1.4 SOG/GM and 30.8 iSH%
🎯 Kirby Dach (C), MTL | Rostered: 37% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.SJS, @CGY, @EDM, -21 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Caufield & Suzuki, PP1) 
  • The former Blackhawk is absolutely buzzing with his new club, posting 10 points and 2 goals in his last 10 games played. On-pace for 66 points this season, and there is certainly more potential there playing alongside captain Nick Suzuki and “Goal” Caufield! Dach took a jab at his former team and their fans on Friday after scoring the game-winner in the shootout…👇ALSO: Sean Monahahn (C, 3%).

🎯 Filip Hronek (D), DET| Rostered: 68% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.TOR, Vs.BUF, Vs.VGK, @CBJ, -6 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Maatta, PP2) 
  • This is your friendly, weekly reminder to go grab the Red Wings Dman while he is still available. 12 points and 6 goals in his last 9 GP!🥵. Unfortunately, Mo Seider appears to have reclaimed the top spot on PP1, but that shouldn’t deter you from picking up a nice streaming option in Hronek, who is on-pace for 74 points this season with 18 points (6 goals) in 20 games played! NOTE: 10.8 tEVSH% elevated, as is his 11.6 iSH% (4.1% 3-year avg. and 5.3% career avg.). Expect some offensive regression.
🎯 Mark Giordano (D), TOR | Rostered: 20% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@DET, Vs.SJS, @TB, +5 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Holl, PP2) 
  • The Toronto blue line is absolutely decimated right now, which has presented an opportunity for Giordano, who finds himself on the top pairing and 2nd power play unit. Rasmus Sandin has been manning the top unit, but that is far from guaranteed, and the former Norris Trophy winner has the experience and skill set to take the top spot if needed. Offensive production has been limited to date, but Gio can contribute blocked shots (3/GM) and hits (1/GM).
🎯 Mike Matheson (D), MTL | Rostered: 14% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.SJS, @CGY, @EDM, -21 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Savard, PP1) 
  • Mike Matheson has posted a goal and an assist in 4 games since returning from injury, but finds himself manning the top power play for the Habs and playing on the top pair. Averaging nearly 24 minutes a night, and just shy of 3 minutes with the man advantage; Matheson could be a productive streamer. 
🎯 Jonas Siegenthaler (D), NJD | Rostered: 7% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@NYR Vs.NSH @PHI, -10 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Hamilton) 
  • Not a big offensive contributor, but playing on the top pairing with Dougie Hamilton provides some great exposure to New Jersey’s top 6. Additionally, Siegemthaler is leading skaters in November with a +21! Looking to fill that category, look no further than the Devil’s Dman!

ALSO: Justin Schultz (D, 10%). 6 points and 2 goals in his last 4 games played.

🎯 John Gibson (G), ANA | Rostered: 45% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@NSH, @DAL, @MIN, @WPG, +1 SOS) | Role: Starter (80% Net Share)
  • John Gibson has been far from ideal this season, but if there is one thing he brings consistently, it’s volume. With 80% net share through 20 games, Anthony Stolarz rarely sees time in the crease. Gibson’s rate stats leave plenty to be desired; but with 4 quality starts in his last 5 games played, now may be the time to take a flier on the long-time Ducks netminder. 3.00 GAA, .914 SV%, 1.32 GSAA, 3.32 GSAx in his last 5 GP.
🎯 Karel Vejmelka (G), ARI | Rostered: 44% (Yahoo) | GP: 2 (@LAK, @VAN, -4 SOS) | Role: Starter (72% Net Share)
  • The Arizona net minder is an impressive 5-2-0 in November with a 2.06 GAA, .939 SV%, 8.62 GSAA, and 10.48 GSAx. The schedule isn’t ideal with just 2 games, but both contests are winnable, and not back-to-back. The Yotes have 4 games the following week, making Vejmelka a little more appealing. 
🎯 Pyotr Kochetkov (G), CAR | Rostered: 27% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@PIT, @STL, @LAK, +6 SOS) | Role: Starter (% Net Share)
  • 2-1-3, 1 SO, sporting a 2.33 GAA, .913 SV%, 1.04 GSAA, and 3.27 GSAx. The 23-year old has been solid for the Hurricanes, and was rewarded with a 4-year extension with the big club. Antti Raanta has been fine, and news on Frederik Andersen has been sparse to date. Kochetkov has started 6 of Carolina’s last 8 games.

Edge Work | Weekly Rankings (Powered By Left Wing Lock)

New to Edge Work this season, the Hacks will provide weekly player rankings, powered by our partner, Left Wing Lock! The full weekly rankings list can be accessed here; and each episode we’ll work our way through the risers and fallers in fantasy.

Rankings Risers

📈Vitek Vanecek (G), NJD | +60 | #37
  • In what might turn out to be one of the biggest steals of this year’s fantasy drafts (ADP of 172 and undrafted in 13% of all leagues), Vanecek is now 10-2-0 with a 2.05 GAA and 0.923 SV%. While Vanecek’s PKSV% is a little high at 0.885 (league average is 0.865), New Jersey is for real and Vanecek has run away with the starting job.
📈Charlie McAvoy (D), BOS | +11 | #69 – Nice.
  • McAvoy, who returned early from off-season shoulder surgery, has blown the doors off in terms of production with 10 points in 8 games (a ridiculous 102-point pace). He already has 5 power play points in 8 games. This is an outstanding start for managers who took the risk in drafting him this Summer (ADP: 136). Managers should be aware that luck metrics suggest future regression. His SH% is 11.8% (nearly double his career average) and his IPP is a whopping 81% (his career IPP is 51%).
📈Brock Boeser (RW), VAN | +12 | #113
  • Boeser has points in nine straight games, including 3 points in 3 games since the last rankings update. He has 5 power play points in 15 games despite seeing a reduced role on the man advantage this season (Boeser has mostly played on the 2nd unit).

Rankings Fallers

📉Nazem Kadri (C), CGY | -7 | #31
  • After an 87-point season last year (100-point pace; he played in just 71 games), Kadri is off to a lukewarm start with just 15 points in 21 games (59-point pace). Managers who made the mistake of drafting him with a 6th-round pick (ADP: 67) are paying a heavy price for not trusting the models that predicted a significant regression. There is some hope out there though; Kadri’s tEVSH% is a hair low at 8.1% (typically this value is 8.5%) and his IPP sits at just 58% (normally 72% for Kadri). The one, irreplaceable stat that keeps Kadri from falling too far in these rankings is his current pace of 32 power play points for the season (he has 8 PPP in 21 games).
📉Bryan Rust (RW), PIT | -15 | #101
  • Rust is off to a slow start with just 10 points in his first 22 games. Of particular concern is his power play production which sits at just 3 power play points — putting him on pace for just 11 power play points for the season (he’s averaged 24 power play points per season over the past three years). Rust has recently been demoted to the 2nd line and 2nd power play unit (as Pittsburgh has experimented with a 3F/2D setup in the past three games). Note: late in Saturday’s game against Toronto, Coach Sullivan reunited Rust with his colleagues on the top unit in their typical 4F/1D deployment. 
📉Ryan O’Reilly (C), STL | -34 | #135
  • O’Reilly drops 34 spots in this week’s rankings after failing to produce points in 4 of his most recent 5 games. On the season, O’Reilly has just 10 points in 21 games (including just a single power play point). His face-off win totals have also declined year-over-year as his ice time drops and his win-rate declines (O’Reilly is winning just 53.3% of his face-offs this season after several, consecutive seasons in the 56%-59% range).

New To The List (NTL)

📈Spencer Knight (G), FLA | NTL | #128
  • Coach Maurice (on Saturday) mentioned that he split the starts between the goalies through the first 20 games. He was looking for one of the goalies to get on a roll so that a higher start share could be assigned to that particular goalie. He then noted that Knight has been good so far this year. Managers should expect Knight’s start-share to increase from the current 48% to something closer to 60%. Through today, Knight’s SV% sits at 0.916 while Bobrovsky’s SV% sits at 0.888.

Contest Announcement | Hacks Holiday!

Help the Hacks celebrate 100 episodes of fantasy fun! We truly appreciate all the support we’ve received from listeners, partners, and guests, making this first 100 episodes a genuinely enjoyable experience. All of us on the podcast enjoy creating fantasy hockey content, and will do so for as long as people will listen. To show our appreciation, we are sending one listener and a guest on a “Hacks Holiday” to Las Vegas next February! Thank you to our partners – Lucky Bastard Distillers & Left Wing Lock – for their support in making this contest possible. Winner will receive: 

  • 2 tickets to a Vegas Golden Knights home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning – Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • 2 round-trip tickets to Las Vegas
  • 3-night accommodations at a hotel near T-Mobile Arena
  • 1 year FREE subscription to the Left Wing Lock iPhone app! 

Go to the contest page – FantasyHockeyHacks.com/HacksHoliday – and follow the directions to enter the contest. 

“HACK THE CODE” Number For Episode 90: 12

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