A Closer Look at the 2021-2022 NHL Schedule

2021-22 NHL schedule featuring Mika Zibanejad
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Fantasy Hockey success is a combination of various factors. In competitive leagues, every detail matters. Every advantage helps. Every piece of information that your opponents don’t have that you do is valuable. Knowing the  schedule is an extremely important part of what you’re trying to do – win your fantasy hockey leagues. Here is an in-depth look at the 2021-2022 NHL schedule.

NHL Schedule by Day

Like previous seasons, the NHL season will continue to see the heaviest slate of games on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Assuming each team plays a full 82-game unchanged schedule, there will be 1,312 games played this season. Tuesdays will see 245 games (18.67% of the schedule), Thursdays will have 253 games (19.28%), and Saturdays will feature 278 games (21.29%). On the flip side, the lighter game days are Mondays (113 games – 8.61%), Wednesdays (126 games – 9.60%), Fridays (145 games – 11.05%), and Sundays (152 games – 11.59%).

NHL free agent frenzy

In detailed fantasy leagues, maximizing your man-games using the schedule to your advantage could be the difference between winning and losing. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to bench a good player on heavy nights because your team wasn’t constructed properly. Consider letting the schedule help you decide between players later in the draft.

Using the 2021-22 NHL Schedule to Your Advantage

  • The Ducks play the most games on off-nights with 45. The Capitals (44), Rangers (44), Coyotes (43), Jets (41), Blackhawks (41), and Avalanche (41) are the only other teams above 40.
  • The Canadiens play the fewest games on off-nights with 21. The Sharks (22), Flames (23), Panthers (24), Predators (24), and Lightning (24) are the only other teams below 25.
  • The Kings play the most Monday games with 11. The Sharks play the least with three.
  • The Lightning play the most Tuesday games with 21. The Kings play the least with nine.
  • The Kraken and Oilers play the most Wednesday games with 14. The Hurricanes play only twice on Wednesday.
  • The Sharks play the most Thursday games with 22. The Rangers and Coyotes play the fewest with 10.
  • The Jets and Ducks play the most Friday games with 15 each. The Canadiens only play three times on Fridays.
  • The Canadiens play a league-leading 24 games on Saturday. The Ducks play the fewest with nine.
  • The Islanders play the most Sunday games with 14. The Canadiens and Flames tie for the least with 5.

Based on the day-of-the-week breakdown, the best players to target are from the teams that play the most times on off-nights. If you have a decision between Mika Zibanejad and Brayden Point, Zibanejad would be the way to go.

2021-22 NHL Schedule by Month

It’s important to stream players throughout the season. If your league allows for multiple weekly moves, utilize them to your advantage and maximize your games. Always look ahead to see which teams are playing each other and pick up players accordingly. The makeup of your roster will determine how you fill the gaps on off-nights. The monthly breakdown of each team’s schedule can also help you in the draft. Here are some notes to keep in mind:

  • The Islanders will play their first 13 games on the road before playing their home opener at the new UBS Arena on November 20th.
  • There will be no NHL games from February 3-22 as the All-Star game leads into the Olympic break.
  • The Blackhawks play 17 times in March – the most games by any team in any month this season.
  • The Avalanche only play 18 times through the end of November – the fewest of any team in the NHL.
  • The Wild play 32 times over the last two months of the season – the most of any team in the NHL.
  • The Sabres, Stars, Sharks, Blues, Lightning and Wild all play 16 times in the final month of the season. The Canucks, Canadiens and Kings play the fewest with 12.

Back-to-Back Games

Back-to-backs are important to be aware of when it comes to your goalie selection. The 70-game starter era is a thing of the past. Back-up goalies matter, and almost always play one of the back-to-backs for their team. Check out these interesting notes from the schedule.

  • The Islanders play the most back-to-backs in the league with 19. That’s fine for them as they have two very capable goaltenders in Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin.
  • The Oilers play the fewest back-to-back games with nine. They decided to go back with a tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen and clearly got a favorable schedule.
  • The Blackhawks play 21 games against teams coming off a back-to-back. Playing a tired team that many times could really benefit Marc-Andre Fleury and the Blackhawks.
  • The Senators play only five games against teams coming off a back-to-back. Unfortunately, a growing team in a very difficult division didn’t get any favors with the schedule.

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Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images