The 2017 Stanley Cup Finals are upon us and what better way to preview it than through the Razzball Hockey Podcast!? Reid and I break down this matchup from top to bottom. We provide you with injury updates on both sides, tentative lines / defensive pairs, along with potential tactical adjustments Peter Laviolette and Mike Sullivan can make throughout this series. These teams are nearly polar opposites which creates an excellent chess match. Will Pittsburgh become the first repeat champion in the post-lockout era or will Nashville bring home the first professional sports championship for the state of Tennessee? Our predictions come at the end of the podcast. All of that and more in the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast brought to you by SeatGeek!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Itâs Thursday in the final week of the regular season and that means you not only have to keep an eye on how many games each team has left over the next 72 hours, but you also have to track who is riding the pine and the opportunities that may create for streaming success. Oh yes, the brutal reality of those of us in leagues that use the final week of the season as the championship round comes back to bite us once again as many star players will be getting rested as the playoff picture is nearly complete. Frankly, Iâm against this policy in Head-to-Head leagues for this very reason. Do you really decide who is the better team when half your guys are benched? I suppose in H2H itâs more about being attentive and making sure your lineup is always fresh and stacked as opposed to the roto mentality that rewards the manager who puts the best team on the ice over the full course of the season rather than last week. At any rate, lets get into the games remaining business and Iâll et into who is sitting and who is starting after the jump because baby, thereâs almost no hockey left and you donât want to lose your league because you started Rick Nash and found out too late that heâs a healthy scratch. By the bye, heâs a healthy scratch tonight. Anyway, hereâs the list oâ games remaining by team:
Games Remaining for Week 25 Apr 6-Apr 11:
2 Games â Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets
1 Game â Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals
Thatâs a lot of teams with two games left, but bear in mind that there are only four teams playing two games after today; the Sabres, Jackets, Isles and Pens. The other twenty-some teams play a game today and one more for the rest of the week. If youâre trying to stack your lineup for this weekend those are the teams to target for streamers. Every team plays on the final day, so it wonât be hard to stack for Sunday. Good luck, yâall! Anyway, hereâs what else I saw in the world oâ fantasy hockey recently:Please, blog, may I have some more?
At this point in the season the wire has been picked clean and then picked clean again like so many bones days after Thanksgiving. Sometimes youâll get lucky and an owner who dumped some key guys who had no games remaining last week but lost so theyâre still sitting there for you to bolster your roster with in the championship round, but normally there isnât much to work with. Given that, the emergency recall of high scoring prospect Stanislav Galiev might be worth your attention. A former third round pick in 2010, Galiev posted 45 points (25 G, 20 A) in 64 games with the Hersey Bears this season and gets a chance late this season due to the mounting injury woes the playoff bound Caps are facing. Theyâll want to rest some of their key guys and that gives Galiev a chance to play a couple games on big ice. You canât expect a ton from the kid given his past struggles; he bounced back and fourth between the ECHL and AHL in two seasons prior to his successful campaign this year, so he hasnât exactly torn it up and skyrocketed to big ice as a result, but like I said to open this little blurb, itâs slim pickings right now and you can expect Galiev to get decent minutes and maybe pot a goal or two over the next two games and at this point in the season that can make all the difference. If youâre in a deep league heâs absolutely worth streaming. If youâre in a more shallow league I might hold off, but not too long as the Caps only play two more games this week and if youâre going to get anything from this kid youâll need both games to make it worth your while. Anyway, hereâs what else I saw in the world oâ fantasy hockey recently:ÂPlease, blog, may I have some more?
So here we are folks. Itâs been a great year and some of you are reading this and feeling just as salty as I am after having been burnt by Pekka Rinneâs horrible week and wondering what might have been otherwise. Ah yes, the fickle mistress of fantasy hockey has lured you in with her siren song with high hopes in October only to dash them on the rocks of despair in April while pointing and laughing. Hey, just like your senior prom! Ah, memories. I digress, itâs the final week of the season and all your moves count more now than they ever have. The wire has been picked clean by guys stacking their lineups for yesterday and many of them didnât survive. Guess what happens to the guys they picked up? Theyâll languish unused on those abandoned teams, so your wire might be thinner than youâd expect. In that case, knowing who plays when and how often this week is again central to success because if you canât beat âem with quality, beat âem with quanitity. This strategy becomes especially important this week because many actual hockey teams have already clinched their playoff spots and theyâre not going to risk their Stanley Cup dreams for your fantasy title hopes, so keep a close eye on the counts and good luck! Iâll be here all week with updates an advice to hopefully guide you through the final leg of this long, grueling, beautiful marathon we call fantasy hockey. Without further ado, hereâs the final breakdown of games remaining for the year:
Games Remaining Week 25Â Apr 6-Apr 11
4 Games â Los Angeles Kings, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets
3 Games â New York Islanders, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Arizona Coyotes, Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Avalanche
2 Games â Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning
As you can see there arenât many teams with four games this week and at the halfway mark in the week there will be even fewer so snatch up guys playing on those teams while you can. Iâll be back again on Thursday with an update on games remaining for the weekend push. Good luck to all of you that are still alive, go win that title and make us here at Razzball Hockey proud! Anyway, hereâs what else I saw in the world oâ fantasy hockey recently:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you hadnât already seen or heard about the hit yet youâre about to get a heavy dose because the league has levied a four game suspension against Dustin Byfuglien todayÂ for his brutal cross-check to the back of the head of the Rangersâ J.T. Miller earlier this week. No one can deny it was a dirty play. It happened away from the puck and Miller was completely defenseless, so the suspension is absolutely warranted. I like Buff but I think he can get a bit out of hand sometimes and this is one of those times. This sort of thing is a risk with his style of play so itâs to be expected in small doses, but to pull this kind of crap when his team is fighting for their playoff lives and worse, fantasy owners are fighing for their own playoff lives and championship dreams this garbage costs his owners in the biggest way at the worst possible time. There aren’t many options at this point in the season, but there are moves you can make to mitigate the damage.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As promised weâre halfway through the week and Iâm back with a quick update to help you track games remaining this week for all 30Â teams. What? You think Wednesday is halfway through the week? Wrong you are, math majors! Iâll let you figure that one out but in the meantime pay attention. If one of your guys on a team with only a game or two left this week are hurt you have some tough decisions to make as we approach the weekend. Remember what I wrote about knowing when to cut bait on the right guys at the right timeÂ and with a little luck youâll be just fine.
Games remaining by team for the Week of March 30 â April 5:
3 Gamesâ Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues, Washington CapitalsÂ
2 Gamesâ Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks
1 Gameâ Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets
Remember that those totals include tonightâs games and there are 12 teams with two left right now that only play one game from Friday through Sunday and they are the Ducks, Bruins, Flames, Blue Jackets, Oilers, Kings, Wild, Preds, Isles, Rangers, Canucks and Jets. So keep these numbers in mind when making your moves and make sure to choose wisely my friends. Good luck to all and hereâs what else I saw in the world oâ fantasy hockey recently:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For most of the season Rasmus Ristolainen, D (1 G, 2 SOG, +2) has been largely forgettable on a forgettable team. His season line currently sits at 8/9/17/-29 in 73 games played and thatâs going to make most owners laugh and look elsewhere for blue line help at this point in the season, but if you did that youâd be making a mistake. As my mantra goes, at this point in the season it doesnât really matter what has happened, it only matters whatâs happening now and right now the talented young rearguard is starting to catch fire and is definitely worth a look in most formats now and should absolutely be on your radar for a breakout campaign in the next season or two.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So youâve survived the first round of the playoffs and youâre feeling good, but the game isnât over so donât slack now. Last week I touched on a few key bits of strategy to help you win your league and promised an update on one of the most important aspects to victory in the playoffs, trackingÂ games remaining for all 30 teams. SinceÂ its Monday it should really be âgames this weekâ but you mean what I know. There are a good amount of teams with four games this week, so thatâs good, but some key players like Devan Dubnyk and the Wild only get a couple this week, so itâs as important as ever to keep your eyes on the schedule and make sure your key players arenât left putting up goose eggs on off nights when you need them the most. Anyway, you know Iâve got your back so I wonât waste more time with a bunch of blah blah hoopla, youâve got lineups to set and moves to make, so without further adieu heâs the breakdown for games remaining this week:
Games By Team For The Week of March 30 – April 5:
4 Gamesâ Washington, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, St. Louis, Colorado, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Buffalo, Chicago, Florida, Edmonton.
3 Gamesâ Calgary, Dallas, Carolina, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Columbus, Arizona, San Jose, New York Rangers, Boston.
2 Gamesâ Minnesota, Anaheim, Winnipeg, New York Islanders, Nashville.Â
Iâll update this list halfway through the week and be back again next Monday with another reminder. Good luck this week! Also, hereâs what else I saw in the world oâ fantasy hockey recently:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It can be hard to pivot away from the strategy that helped carry you this far and into the playoffs, but often you have no choice but to leave behind the ways that got you this far and adopt a more drastic approach in the playoffs. When your season starts you must be patient. Have patience withÂ the elite veteran you know will get up to speed to actually get up to speed and start producing. Have patience withÂ for the budding superstar you know will produce, he just needs time to adjust to the North American style. That works if you have the discipline, but now itâs do or die and the moves you make are as critical to your success as the moves you don’t make. Now you need to act and learning to know when it’s time to cut bait on a guy you really, really donât want to. It gets a bit hairy in keeper leagues when you have to decide between now and next year, but in redraft leagues it gets pretty simple, pretty quickly; as the clock ticks down on your first round matchup you may have to bite the bullet and ditch your idle big guns for long shot streamers, and thatâs okay so long as you make the right moves.Please, blog, may I have some more?
One of the most important variables to consider when making moves during the fantasy hockey playoffs is games remaining. How many games are your guys playing this week? You might be feeling confident with Vladimir Tarasenko slotted in on your right side, but he only plays two games this week and one of them is already done and gone so unless Vladdy blows up against the Jackets on Saturday he isnât going to do much for you this week. Ah, head-to-head, sheâs a fickle beast. Does that mean you should you drop the Tarasenko Express? Absolutely not, especially if youâre in a keeper league, but it does illustrate a point cannot be ignored at this point in the season; you absolutely must pay attention to games to be played on a weekly basis and how many games are left to be played in the second half of the week. When you canât beat them with quality, beat them with quantity. To aid you in this effort Iâve compiled a list of the games remaining for each team this week (including today):
THREE GAMES LEFT â Anaheim, Boston, Carolina, Detroit, Florida, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Isles, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Washington.
TWO GAMES LEFT â Arizona, Calgary, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg.
ONE GAME LEFT â Edmonton, Philadelphia, St. Louis.
Clearly you want to avoid guys that skate for the Oil, Flyers and Blues for the rest of the week. Thatâs a bummer considering how beastly the Oilâs top line has been playing, but it is what it is. Manage your guys well and make sure you get more games in than the other guy and you should be okay. Next week Iâll post a more comprehensive list like this at the beginning of the week and update again mid-week with remaining games to keep yâall on track. Donât fall apart now; the championship is within your grasp! Anyway, hereâs what else I saw in the world oâ fantasy hockey recently:Please, blog, may I have some more?