We’re rapidly approaching the end of the season with realistically, only one playoff spot still up for grabs.  That will have some impact in fantasy as we’re starting to see some guys held out as precautions (mostly in Toronto), and open up some streaming opportunities.  Most of that will come into play later next week, but there’s still jockeying for position for home ice advantage as well.  Even matchups between teams that are out of the playoff picture can lead to great chances to be a difference maker in fantasy playoffs.  If you’re still in it, first of all, congrats, but mostly it’s time to get on in on everything in a micro sense and push every miniscule edge that you can.  Let’s take a look at some things that happened the last two nights and then preview the weekend, expanding on what I talked about earlier in the week.

Two massive wins from the Blues the last two nights to put a virtual strangle hold on the fourth West spot.  It was great to see Jordan Kyrou get two points in each game as he’s really fallen off lately.  I would still keep him in the middling streamer range, but I could see myself being super high on Kyrou next season.  With the Blues already locked out of getting higher than the four seed, we could see a decent amount of Ville Husso once they’re clinched which isn’t great.  There could be some good streaming options against them next weekend.

The Bruins win coupled with the Rangers loss effectively ended the East race.  There’s still a massive seeding battle, but it’s hard to see these teams really pushing for it.  Luckily for the Islanders, they still have four games left against the Sabres and Devils.  Kyle Palmieri has the chance to finally get going on the Island.

Sam Bennett scored the overtime winner on his eighth shot of the game on Thursday.  I’ve said it all week, but he needs to be owned everywhere at the moment.

With Toronto in firm control of the division, expect to see a lot of David Rittich as the season comes to a close, especially once they’re clinched.  Maybe Andersen comes back before then, but if you need a streamer, Rittich should be a viable option.

With there being 15 games on Saturday, you’re only looking for streamers on Friday and Sunday.  As noted on Monday, the only game on Sunday is Tampa and Detroit.  Get ahead of the curve and pick up Tampa guys to stream on Sunday today.  They also play Detroit Saturday so you can double dip.

As far as Friday goes, I’m expecting Colorado to curb stomp San Jose.  It’s hard to find a worse matchup for San Jose than Colorado, maybe Vegas.  With the players they have out due to COVID, Tyson Jost and Valeri Nichushkin are up on the second line and getting second power play time.  J.T. Compher is on the first power play unit so if you need special teams points, I’d take him over the previous two, but otherwise, I’d go Jost.

If you want a game to watch this weekend, it has to be the Stars against the Predators on Saturday.  The Predators are two points up on the Stars, but Dallas has a game in hand so the winner of the game controls their own destiny for that one playoff spot in limbo.  Both teams have had horrible luck this season, the Predators with injuries and the Stars with injuries plus COVID.  I’d give the Predators a slight edge, only because they still have two Columbus games left and the Hurricanes could have the top seed clinched before the last day of the season.  That said, Chicago is quite favorable for the Stars as well, so it should come down to the wire.  I’d be surprised if Nashville can even put a scare into the Central winner unless Juuse Saros plays at an all-world level.  On the other hand, Dallas has more upside, but the floor is quite low.

This season is a perfect example of why determining the playoff teams by division is a horrible setup.  There’s only one spot up for grabs with over one week left in the season, and why two of the best teams in the league will have to play each other when there’s still eight teams left in the playoffs is ridiculous.  We can only hope that they go back to the old format where it’s the top 8 in each conference.  I’d really like the top 16 overall, but I know that won’t happen.

That’s all for now guys.  Be sure to ask me any questions that you have in your title race below!  I’ll be back on Monday with some notes on the weekend and previewing the week ahead.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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    yeah there wasn’t ever a good reason to do division only playoffs, last year the corona thing made sense (from travel and canada being closed, still mostly is for NHL’s intents and purposes), but they f’d up the divisional playoff gibberish years before that. teams already play their division far more than anybody else in season forcing them to for the 1st 2 rounds play them again is silly.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      100% with you on that

  2. LG Baseball says:
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    Viz,

    Thanks for all your help this season! You are the best and all of your hard work has helped me get to the finals in a H2H weekly lineup league.

    Categories are G, A, P, +\-, Hits, SOG, PPP and Wins, GAA, Sv% and SO. Below is my team as well as matchups and would appreciate your help with finalizing my weekly lineup. We play 2 C’s, 2 LW’s, 2 RW’s, 4 D and 2 goalies:

    My locks are:
    C- Trochek – 5 games (CHI, CHI, CHI, @NSH, @NSH)

    LW – Fiala – 4 games (VGK, VGK, ANH, ANH)

    LW – Svech 5 games (CHI, CHI, CHI, @NSH, @NSH)

    RW – Marner – 3 games (@MTL, MTL, MTL)

    RW – Pasta – 4 games (@NJ, @NJ, NYR, NYR)

    D – Makar – 4 games (@SJ, @SJ, @LA, @LA)

    D – Hamilton – 5 games (CHI, CHI, CHI, @NSH, @NSH)

    Need 1 C from the following 3 options:

    Krejci – 4 games (@NJ, @NJ, NYR, NYR)

    Sam Reinhart – 4 games (NYI, NYI, @PIT, @PIT)

    Sam Bennett – 3 games (DAL, TB, TB)

    Need 2 D from the following 3 options:

    Chabot – 4 games (WPG, MTL, @WPG, @CGY)

    Sergachev – 5 games (DAL, DAL, @FLA, DAL, @FLA)

    M. Weegar – 3 games (DAL, TB, TB)

    Need 2 goalies from the following 3 options:

    Nedeljkovic – 5 games (CHI, CHI, CHI, @NSH, @NSH)

    Varlamov – 4 games (@BUF, @BUF, NJ, NJ)

    Talbot – 4 games (VGK, VGK, ANH, ANH)

    Also let me know if you would make any changes to my ‘locks’. Appreciate all your help and wish me luck!

    Thanks,
    LG

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks for the kind words LG, it’s appreciated. First off, I definitely agree with your locks. As for the center to play, I lean towards Krejci. He’s hot right now, all 4 of those games should lead to plenty of Boston goals (islanders are a bad matchup for Reinhart) and then the Bruins should be pushing to try and get home ice in the first round. The extra game v Bennett makes the difference there.

      For D, Sergachev has to be having 5 games, it’s just too big of an edge to get the volume. Now we have to decide between 4 games of Chabot, or 3 of Weegar. This comes down to your preference. The upside for Chabot is higher with the extra game, but Weegar should have more hits even with one less game, and Chabot could drag down your +/-. I’d lean towards Chabot because he’s shown some signs of late, and the matchups for Florida with Tampa should be tight games, but it’s close.

      As for the goalies, we can assume Varlamov gets two of those games in plus matchups. Maybe he gets three because they’re pushing for home ice, but I still doubt that. That said, I’d put him in first because those are two great starts. With the Wild having both Ducks games on a back to back, there’s no way Talbot starts both. So we’re looking at 1-2 starts vs Vegas (meh) and then a great Ducks start. Nedeljkovic should get 2 starts for sure to lock up RFA status for Carolina, both in solid matchups. I think I bench Talbot and start Varly +Nedeljkovic, but Talbot and A.N. are close, I would definitely start Varlamov.

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