We’re back for part two of the Playoff Manifesto.  For those that didn’t read Part One, you can read that here.  Today, we will cover the Western Conference.  To see the template of which I’m working with, check out the details in the Eastern Conference post.  For this one, let’s get right to it!

ST. LOUIS BLUES: 4, 3, 3, 3

This is pretty much the worst streaming schedule possible.  There are only three teams that don’t have a back-to-back over the last four weeks.  We’ll get to them later in this post, but at least their games are more bunched together with a 4,3,4 in the first three weeks for both.  They’re every other night the first two weeks, then have two days off in the middle of the third week, before finishing every other day.  Honestly, there’s not much to say here.  Thirteen games is average so hold the usuals, and don’t stream Blues.

Holding Grade: C

Streaming Grade: F

COLORADO AVALANCHE: 4,3,4,3

This will probably be the shortest post of the entire league.  The Avs play every other day for the whole four weeks.  Fourteen games is very good for the holds, and the streamers you can at least pick out some nice pairs of games to get two games in three days, such as the Kings and Rangers to open the fantasy playoffs.

Holding Grade: B+

Streaming Grade: C+

DALLAS STARS: 3,4(1),3(1),4(1)

Dallas isn’t in the top tier of schedules, but it’s very good.  Three back-to-backs is very good, but the great thing is that they play on two light days in the last week of the season.  They also close with Vancouver, and all three California teams in the last week of the season.  It’s crazy to say, but Anton Khudobin could decide some leagues if he gets 1-2 starts in the last week depending on if the Stars are battling for playoff seeding.  Denis Gurianov and Roope Hintz will be elite streamers over the last month too.

Holding Grade: B+

Streaming Grade: B+

MINNESOTA WILD: 3(SS), 3(1), 4(SS), 3

The bad news is that this schedule isn’t great for holds.  The good news that you’re holding what, one forward on this team and 1-3 defensemen?  They don’t have any light days, but three back-to-backs are nice, and for those of you with one week playoff matchups, two Saturday-Sunday back-to-backs to finish the week are pretty great.  The question is who will we want to stream?  We’ll have to see how the minutes shake out, but besides Zach PariseLuke Kunin could be a nice surprise.  Also, Alex Stalock remembered he’s allowed to stop pucks now that Boudreau is fired, so he probably should be held.

Holding Grade: C+

Streaming Grade: B-

NASHVILLE PREDATORS: 4(SS), 3(SS), 4(SS), 3(1)

Now this is a strong schedule.  Fourteen games, four back-to-backs, three Saturday-Sunday finishes to start off with a light day in the last week.  This is an elite streaming schedule and a very good schedule for holds.  The big takeaway for me is that with all of these back-to-backs, Pekka Rinne is still going to get his fair share of starts even with Juuse Saros passing him in the pecking order.  I know that he hasn’t had the best season, but I’d still feel good about streaming Rinne, and Saros is worth holding.  Offensively, it’s hard to predict who to stream.  I’m holding Granlund right now along with Forsberg and Duchene obviously.  After that, shrug.  Viktor Arvidsson should be the top guy, but after that, I guess Ryan Johansen?  It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s Calle Jarnkrok either.

Holding Grade: B+

Streaming Grade: A

WINNIPEG JETS: 4(SS), 3,3,3

A poor schedule all-around.  Only thirteen games, only one back-to-back.  What’s the good news?  Well, if you own Connor Hellebuyck, he almost certainly starts 11-12 games down the stretch as long as they’re in the playoff hunt.  He has the upside to finish as the best goalie over the last month or, well, torpedo your playoffs.  I expect somewhere in the middle, but he is high variance.  On a side note, Cody Eakin is with Laine and Ehlers right now so if you’re streaming someone, it’s him.

Holding Grade: C

Streaming Grade: D

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: 3(1),4(SS), 3,3

Thirteen games for the holds is mediocre.  They have two back-to-backs, including the last two days of the first round of your playoffs if you do two week matchups.  Brandon Saad and Dylan Strome are really the only two guys I would consider streaming on this team at this point.  See how both are playing leading up to this point before deciding which one you want to stream if you need to choose between the two.

Holding Grade: C

Streaming Grade: C+

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS: 3,3(1), 3,3

Woof.  Twelve games is a low throughout the NHL, there’s only one back-to-back, and there are no light days in the last week.  The lack of back-to-backs gives the chance for one of the goalies to get hot and take over, but I don’t expect that to happen.  I’ve said repeatedly that it should be Robin Lehner‘s job, but I expect Marc-Andre Fleury to get his fair share of games.  As for who I would hold, the list is slim with only 12 games.  Max Pacioretty and Shea Theodore are obvious.  Jonathan Marchessault is close as is Reilly Smith, but I would cut bait with William Karlsson and Nate Schmidt.

Holding Grade: D

Streaming Grade: D

EDMONTON OILERS: 4,3,4,2

Man, does this schedule stink.  It’s every other day for the first three weeks plus, before having three days off between their last two games of the season.  Thirteen games, not great.  No back-to-backs, horrible.  It does set up nicely to hold the main guys until the last Tuesday, but after that day, I would be cutting everyone not named Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl.  It’s all about start volume and these guys won’t get it the last four days.

Holding Grade: C

Streaming Grade: D+

CALGARY FLAMES: 2,4(1),3,3

Somehow we found a worse schedule than the one before.  Two games the first week is awful, and it ends terribly.  The only good part is the second week with four games, including three in four against the New York teams and New Jersey.  Mikael Backlund could easily be the best streamer of the second week if he plays anywhere near to his current form.  Calgary is one of the easiest teams to use for fantasy because their players are all easy holds or unusable besides Backlund, so the schedule doesn’t make much of an impact.  That said, twelve games sucks, so if you want to cut someone like Sean Monahan early in the week and grab him later on, I can get behind it because the downside just isn’t really there if someone else grabs him.

Holding Grade: D

Streaming Grade: D

VANCOUVER CANUCKS: 4(1),3(1),4(1),3

Finally a good schedule for a Western Canadian team.  While they don’t have a back-to-back in the last week, they do play on one light day.  Their back-to-back in the second week is against the Ducks and Kings too, which is pretty amazing.  I’m really torn about Tyler Toffoli, but I think I would hold him for now given the shot volume since going to Vancouver.  As for who to stream, Tanner Pearson is clearly the best guy.  I have to acknowledge that Jake Virtanen has looked damn good lately having watched the Canucks a bunch lately, so he could be viable.  The Western playoff race is absolutely insane so Thatcher Demko could make a big difference for teams. at least until Markstrom returns.

Holding Grade: B+

Streaming Grade: B

ARIZONA COYOTES: 3,4,3(SS),3

And we are back to the dud schedules.  After two days off early in week one, they go every other day for a while.  The good news is that while they don’t have a back-to-back in week two, they do play Friday and Saturday against the Red Wings and Kings.  That’s a great streaming spot that isn’t as obvious because it’s not a back-to-back.  Christian Dvorak is the top streamer with Phil Kessel being full of potential on the second line, but I don’t really want to use him right now after his rough season.

Holding Grade: C

Streaming Grade: C

SAN JOSE SHARKS: 3(1),3,4,3

My biggest takeaway is that the Western Conference schedules are so much worse than the East in general.  Thirteen games isn’t good, and their back-to-back is at the Blues and at the Stars, two games that I have no interest in streaming Sharks guys in.  Honestly, I wouldn’t consider streaming any of their guys besides a goalie in a good matchup.  Hold the obvious and that’s it.

Holding Grade: C-

Streaming Grade: D-

ANAHEIM DUCKS: 4(2SS), 2,4(SS), 3 (1)

While it’s only thirteen games, this is an incredible streaming schedule.  Four back-to-backs, including two in week one, allow you to stream the guys for two days and then cut them for another streamer.  They also have the back-to-back to close week three, and even better, they finish the season playing three games in four nights.  Two of those nights are light days as well.  Obviously Getzlaf and Rakell are great to use, but we’ll have to wait and see which guys are the other best options.  My guess is Jakob Silfverberg, but time will tell.

Holding Grade: C

Streaming Grade: A

LOS ANGELES KINGS: 3,4(SS),4(1),3

Another good schedule for a bad team in California.  Those three games in the last week are better than it looked as they play the Ducks on the second last day of the season, a day with only two games.  I would only hold Anze Kopitar on this team.  As for who to stream in these good spots, Alex Iafallo or Gabe Vilardi are my guesses for who the best guys will be.  You can also gamble on Drew Doughty over another defenseman simply for volume if you want to go that route.

That’s all for now guys.  I hope that all of you find value in the playoff manifesto and it helps lead you to a championship.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  I will be back on Monday with a preview for the week, which will include some of the usual notes in it as well.  Thank you for reading, take care!

  1. Euroalien says:
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    Great job Viz! Thanks for all the hard work. My dynasty team is battling for the #1 seed heading into the last couple of weeks, hopefully I can find a gem or two in these posts to push me to a championship!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Glad to hear it! Here’s to hoping it works out for you, feel free to ask any questions you have, best of luck

  2. Euroalien says:
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    Hey Viz, I’m in a 12 team dynasty league with limited FAAB and no acquisitions during the playoffs. My weakest categories are H&B and PPP.

    The best FA defenders available with good recent H&B are: Irwin (Ana) Murphy (Chi), Ferraro (SJ), Hagg (Phi), Johnson (Pit), McNabb (VGK) and Mermis (NJ). Is it worth dropping Schmidt for any of these?

    Also, what do you think of droppng Milano or Amria for one of these for a playoff push: Grant (Phi), Kempe (LA), Namestnikov (Col), Fast (NYR)

    Or do I stick with what got me here?
    Thanks again Viz

    C Anthony Beauvillier NYI
    C Sean Couturier PHI
    C Max Domi MON
    LW Kevin Fiala MIN
    LW Alex Ovechkin WSH
    LW Artemi Panarin NYR
    RW Jesper Bratt NJ
    RW Jake DeBrusk BOS
    RW Bryan Rust PIT
    D Tony DeAngelo NYR
    D Aaron Ekblad FLA
    D Torey Krug BOS
    D Mikhail Sergachev TB

    C Nico Hischier NJ
    C Mark Scheifele WPG
    LW Johnny Gaudreau CGY
    LW Sonny Milano ANA
    RW Victor Olofsson BUF
    RW Joel Armia MON
    D Nate Schmidt VGK

    INJ – D Mike Green EDM

    MINORS
    RW Dominik Kubalik CHI
    C Ryan Poehling MON
    RW Emil Bemstrom CBJ
    RW Kevin Stenlund CBJ
    D Adam Boqvist CHI
    D Noah Dobson NYI
    D Dante Fabbro NSH
    G Ilya Sorokin NYI

    G Tuukka Rask BOS
    G Semyon Varlamov NYI
    G Corey Crawford CHI
    G Carey Price MON

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Man, this is tough. Irwin is getting the most minutes of his career and piling up the hits and blocks, but you’re getting literally no points from him. Are you not allowed to activate anyone from your minors until after the season? Assuming no, I think I would grab Kempe for Milano? Getting games on light days the last week when you can’t stream is pretty nice. As for Schmidt v the group, it really comes down to how badly you want the hits (Schmidt is solid in blocks) and potential of PPP v the guarantee of a lot of hits. If you want hits and blocks, I think I gamble that the Ducks keep playing Irwin because their schedule is great in terms of being able to play him on days where your main guys aren’t starting. Regardless, your team looks damn good and without seeing the other teams, I have to like your chances.

      • Euroalien says:
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        Thanks for taking the time to reply Viz! Hoping I can at least make the final of the playoffs. I especially need my goalies to come through for me. I’m 7th of 12 teams in H&B.

        I can move “minors eligible” players from minors to my regular roster on a daily basis, I just have to stay within the active roster limits. I currently only have one active minor slot in my daily roster (if that makes sense). If I drop a non minors eligible player (like Milano) and not replace him I could activate a second minors eligible player like Fabbro or Dobson.

        Maybe dropping Milano and rotating in Fabbro or Dobson is better than bringing in Irwin.

        *To be minors eligible a player needs to be 27 and below and have played less than 100 NHL games.

        Thanks again Viz!

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Gotcha, that is what I was wondering. Then yes, I think you’re probably better off rotating in Fabbro or Dobson over Irwin unless you desperately need the hits and blocks. No problem, best of luck!

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