Fantasy Hockey

2021 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 Planner

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Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 Planner!

The hockey world was shocked this week with the passing of the hockey dad of all hockey dads. Walter Gretzky, father of The Great One, Wayne Gretzky passed away at age 82. Hundreds of people paid tribute to Walter by tapping their sticks on the road as the funeral procession made its way from the church in Brantford, Ontario.

He was a man with a heart of gold and loved inviting people into his home to show off his son’s trophies and accolades. He’ll certainly be missed.

For the first time this season, the NHL’s schedule will not be altered as a result of COVID-postponements.

The advent of a normal schedule is certainly welcomed by Fantasy Hockey managers as this semblance of normalcy brings hope to a world that has been largely affected by the pandemic. It’s also a lot easier to set your fantasy lineups when games aren’t being rescheduled left, right and center.

With that being said, it’s still important to set yourself up for success. With the 2021 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 Planner, we’ll take a look at the latest NHL trends to set you up for fantasy success.

2021 Fantasy Hockey Week 8 Planner

Weekly Streaming MVP

Rickard Rakell, LW/RW, Anaheim Ducks (25% Rostered)

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The Ducks have been loving the offensive production from Rickard Rakell and have awarded him with a spot on the power play.

Rakell is currently riding a five-game point streak, recording three goals and six helpers during this span. Most recently, the Swedish winger helped snap Anaheim’s nine-game losing streak with a goal and two assists versus the Colorado Avalanche. Two of his points were on the man advantage.

Rakell has been a bright spot for the Ducks despite sitting near the bottom of the West Division. In the last five games, the 27-year-old has a +3 rating, eight hits, and 20 shots on goal. Fantasy managers should think about picking up Rakell especially if he continues to shine on the power play.

Honorable Mention

Last Week’s MVP:

Scheduled Starts

Most

  • Anaheim Ducks: 4
  • Arizona Coyotes: 4
  • Columbus Blue Jackets: 4
  • Colorado Avalanche: 4
  • Dallas Stars: 4
  • Edmonton Oilers: 4
  • Los Angeles Kings: 4
  • Minnesota Wild: 4
  • Montreal Canadiens: 4
  • New Jersey Devils: 4
  • New York Islanders: 4
  • Ottawa Senators: 4
  • Toronto Maple Leafs: 4
  • Vegas Golden Knights: 4

Least

  • Calgary Flames: 2

Teams to target

Pittsburgh Penguins

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Notable Players:

The Penguins have darling matchups slated in Week 8 and Fantasy managers should take advantage of their soft schedule. The Penguins will play the New York Rangers before playing the lowly Buffalo Sabres twice.

Although the Rangers have talented players, they’ve largely underproduced. As off-ice controversies have piled up, an inability to close out close games has been one of the Rangers’ biggest hurdles in the 2021 season.

The Sabres have inexplicably been one of the NHL’s worst teams, despite winning the Taylor Hall sweepstakes during the free agency period. The Sabres have the worst goal differential in the East Division with -23. In their last three outings, Buffalo has allowed at least five goals against.

Fantasy managers may want to take a chance on Kasperi Kapanen (18% Rostered), who plays on the wing of Evgeni Malkin on the second line, or hit machine Brandon Tanev (36% Rostered) who’s 110 hits is second only to Florida’s Radio Gudas.

Carolina Hurricanes

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Notable Players

Not only are the Hurricanes one of the most entertaining teams to watch, they’ve got a Mickey Mouse schedule ahead of them in Week 8. 

The Nashville Predators are teetering on the edge of a rebuild, while the Detroit Red Wings are more worried about securing a top draft pick than they are winning hockey games.

The Storm Surge is back in Raleigh as fans are allowed back in arenas at 15% Capacity. 

The presence of fans gives the Canes a boost while at home— a variable that hasn’t been relevant for over a year. 

Jordan Staal (52% Rostered) has been one of the biggest surprises in the league this season as the 32-year-old is on pace to score just under a point per game. Prior to this season, his most points in a single season was in 2011-2012, where he scored 50 points in 62 games. He’s a must-add in all formats and is especially valuable in leagues that count face-off wins.

Martin Necas (38% Rostered) is also trending upward, scoring seven points in his last four games.

Teams to avoid

Buffalo Sabres

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Notable Players

The Sabres are a laughing stock. Not only have they been bad, they’ve been deplorable.

Buffalo has lost their last seven games and it doesn’t seem like they’re going to be able to turn things around anytime soon. 

With a 6-14-3 record, the Sabres are last-place in the entire league.

Jack Eichel has been especially disappointing for Fantasy managers. Expected to be one of the premier players in the league, Eichel was in top-10 territory on most draft boards. Add former MVP Taylor Hall into the mix, and it seemed like a match made in heaven. Through 20 games, Eichel has just two goals to go along with 15 assists and a -9 rating.

Hall has been even worse, with a pair of goals and 12 assists through 23 games.

Fantasy managers might be able to buy-low for Hall and Eichel in trades but will have to hope that Buffalo can straighten the ship before crashing into a titanic iceberg.

Calgary Flames

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Notable Players

With the Flames playing only two games this week, Fantasy managers should steer clear of Calgary’s players.

In their last 10 games, Calgary has a 3-6-1 record and will face the Montreal Canadiens twice in Week 8. So far this season, Calgary and the Habs have split the season series at a game apiece.


While Montreal’s goaltending issues have been problematic as of late, Montreal has been hot offensively, scoring 13 goals in their last three contests. Also, fantasy speculators shouldn’t rely on Montreal’s goaltending to guide their decision-making process. Carey Price is an elite goaltender and can catch fire at any time. 


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About Tyler Mulligan

Sports Journalist from Toronto, Canada. Fantasy hockey, basketball and football aficionado.

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