We've reached the final week of the season with every team having 2-3 games left. Hopefully you're all still in contention in your leagues so these games matter to you. In this post, I'm going to take a look at each day to see how you can plan accordingly to maximize starts and stream the best players possible. Let's get to it!
The Panthers have won 11 in a row, and 14 of their past 15 games. There's been plenty of crazy games in this stretch that has them tied for the league lead in points. On Tuesday, they tied the game with less than four minutes left before they won it 20 seconds into overtime, and it was the usual suspects. Aleksander Barkov scored all three goals in the 3-2 OT win, with Jonathan Huberdeau assisting on all three goals. Barkov has a new career high in goals, 37, despite playing in only 63 games to this point. Additionally, Huberdeau now leads the league in points. Yes, that's correct, he leads the league in points. Both of them will be in the discussion to be first round picks in drafts next season. It's going to be great to see them in the playoffs, hopefully for longer than last time around. Let's see what else happened on Tuesday:
Every season, Kevin Fiala finishes on an absolute tear. This season, he's found another level. Fiala had a goal and three assists on Sunday against the Sharks, bringing his totals to 29+44 in 75 games with over three shots per game, all career highs. I've been driving the Fiala bandwagon forever, and I still think it could even get better. He's still only averaging 17:23 per game, a number that's low for a player of his caliber. The Wild have a massive decision this summer with Fiala. They will have to trade players away in order to be able to keep him, and it seems like Guerin has been hesitant to do that since he's taken over. What if Fiala goes somewhere and plays for 20 minutes on somebody's first line? To my amazement, Fiala is still only 25 years old. There are a lot of things that are working in Fiala's favor. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last few days:
It wasn't that long ago that Vladimir Tarasenko requested a trade from the Blues. It wasn't that long ago that Tarasenko could have went to Seattle in the expansion draft. Now, St. Louis has to be thanking their lucky stars that he's still on the roster. Tarasenko had his biggest game of the season on Thursday, scoring a hat trick on four shots and adding two more assists in the 6-2 win over the Sabres. Tarasenko now has 31+41 in 67 games, with a great chance of setting a career high in points. It's a remarkable turnaround for the Russian who is certainly a top 100 player for drafts next season. I don't see him cracking the top 50, but it's great to see Tarasenko playing great hockey again. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I've been aggressive ranking Matthew Tkachuk for years, but I never expected this type of offense from him. Tkachuk had a hat trick on Tuesday, bringing his season totals up to 37+55 in 73 games. He has a chance for 100 points, he's +49, the PIM are strong, and his shot rate is over three per game. Tkachuk is pretty much having a Marchand-esque season. That's the Marchand who has been a top five player for the past 4-5 years. Now, I'm not quite going there with Tkachuk for next season. Gaudreau could leave and this is an outlier in terms of past performance. That said, he's firmly in the first round pick discussion because he smashes every category. I can't wait to see what he does in the playoffs. Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
We've reached the home stretch with three weeks left in the season. Today, I'm going to hit on some notable things that'll help you for your fantasy playoffs and other things just to watch for future gain. Let's get to it! Owen Power signed with the Sabres and should make his NHL debut on Tuesday against the Maple Leafs. It's not the best matchup obviously, but if you need defensemen help, I'm good with adding him. The Sabres finish the week with a back-to-back against the Flyers which is pretty advantageous.
Fifty-six goals. That's how many Auston Matthews has on the season after another two goal performance on Thursday. Not only does he have the most goals in a season in Maple Leafs history, he now holds the record for most goals in a season by an US-born player. Matthews has 49 goals on 49 games, a run that hasn't happened in this millennium. He's locking up the Hart Trophy with this run, and the fantasy question is where he goes in drafts next season. I still couldn't bring myself to take Matthews over McDavid because the floor for McDavid is the highest we've seen in the fantasy hockey era, but I think Matthews has played himself into tier one being worthy of the second pick overall. Can't wait to see how Toronto performs in the playoffs this year. Let's take a look at what happened over the last two nights:
There's been plenty of bounce back players this season across the NHL. One of them who hasn't received the attention of others is Ryan Johansen. Johansen's career was strongly trending in the wrong direction the previous two seasons, including only 22 points in 48 games last season. He has been decent most of the season, but really took once he moved to the top line. His best game of the season was on Tuesday night, scoring his first career hat trick on seven shots in the 6-2 win over the Wild. Johansen now has 20+34 on the season with 51 PIM. Yes, Johansen's career has turned out to be a big disappointment with the way it was trending early on in Columbus, but it's nice to see him score 20 goals for the first time since 2014. Remarkably, he's still 29 years old, so this level of play can be repeated next season. For the rest of this one, Johansen is an elite streamer in standard leagues and a hold if your league doesn't include SOG as a category. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As a Sabres fan, the last decade has been bleak, to say the least. There's starting to be some light at the end of the tunnel, and the newest example came on Monday night. The Sabres did something they hadn't in 33 years: win a game after being down by four goals. The Sabres came back from 4-0 to tie the game at 4, then went down 5-4 before Alex Tuch tied the game with 2:14 left, then Tage Thompson won it with 11 seconds left. The team is 6-1-2 in the last nine games with plenty of encouraging signs. We should see Owen Power sooner than later as well. From a fantasy perspective, the biggest story has to be Thompson. He's up to 28 goals on the season and over three shots per game. The jump he's made this season while moving to center is remarkable. Thompson is still available in over 50% of leagues and quite frankly, I don't understand it at all. He's a clear hold. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
This will be the last hold/stream list of the season as we're about a month away from the end of the regular season. My plan is to start working on the Playoff Manifesto on Tuesday with the hopes of having it ready on Friday for everybody. Per usual, there will be notes in the list where necessary. Assume a 12 team league and I'm holding the starting goalie only unless noted. Let's get to it!
We've seen every team since the Trade Deadline occurred, which means we have information on what has changed for each team. Today, I'm going to the players whose value has changed, either by being traded, or by replacing somebody who was traded. Let's get to it! Claude Giroux stepped right on the first line and first power play unit for Florida. Giroux had two assists and four shots on goal playing 17 minutes in the 4-3 win over Montreal. Giroux is obviously a hold, but there's top 50 upside getting to play with Barkov.
For those that didn't see part one of my recap of the trade deadline, you can read it here. I'm going to get right into Part Two below. And away, we go! Arizona acquires the right to Jack McBain from Minnesota for a second round pick. All indications were that McBain wasn't going to sign in Minnesota so the Wild tried to get something for his rights. I assume Arizona will do him the favor of burning a year off his ELC for him to sign. There's some upside here long term, but nothing for now.