With only a couple weeks left in the season, it's time to lock down and make that final push.  In this post, I'm going to highlight some notable things around the NHL and their fantasy impact, along with looking at the schedule for the week ahead and what we can do with that.  Let's get to it! Alex Nedeljkovic is only three games away from becoming a restricted free agent instead of an unrestricted free agent.  It's easier for Carolina to do with Petr Mrazek banged up (he could play if necessary, but Carolina won't push him), so expect Nedeljkovic to start at least three times down the stretch.  He's still available in almost 70% of leagues which I do not understand.  I would add him immediately if he's available.
Playing time has been the only thing that has stopped Alex Tuch from breaking out in the past.  It looked like he was going into the top six two seasons ago, but then the Golden Knights acquired Stone keeping Tuch on the third line.  Well, this season that has finally changed even though Stone is still on the team, mostly because the Karlsson line plays less minutes.  On Saturday, Stone left the game with a minor injury which led Tuch to being double shifted.  Even before that, Tuch was on a tear and it'll only get better with his increased workload.  Tuch scored two goals on six shots on Saturday after scoring a goal on Friday.  That brings Tuch up to 12 goals in 21 games, an excellent mark.  Sure, his shooting percentage is unsustainable, but the increase in minutes could counteract that a bit.  Tuch is still available in over 40% of leagues, so if you're lucky enough to be in one of them, grab him now.  Let's take a look at what else happpened over the weekend:
Nino Niederreiter's first season in Carolina couldn't have gone any better with 14+16 in 36 games.  Last season really couldn't have gone worse with 11+18 in 67 games.  Well, this year has certainly been closer to 2018-19 and we can be thankful for that in fantasy.  Niederreiter scored two goals and an assist with three shots on Friday before dishing an assist on Saturday, adding six shots.  That brings Nino to 9+3 in 16 games with over three shots per game, 13 PIM, and a great +11 rating.  The second line in Carolina has been incredible, sparked by Niederreiter and Trocheck's revival.  He's an easy hold in all formats for the time being.  I wish that the minutes were a bit higher, but considering what Nino is doing with what he's getting, there can be some growth with additional minutes, namely in the assist department.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
One of my bold predictions from the season that already looks awful is that Chicago would be the worst team in the league.  Their season has turned around on the back of somebody who was expected to be a tertiary option.  Kevin Lankinen was third fiddle going into the season behind Delia and Subban, but that has changed quickly.  Lankinen stopped 34 of 35 shots that he faced on Tuesday in the 2-1 OT win over the Stars.  That brings Lankinen's save percentage to above .930 and a GAA approaching two.  I didn't imagine a Chicago goalie would even be worth streaming this season outside of playing against Detroit, but Lankinen has played his way into being an easy hold.  Will it last?  It's impossible to say with goalies.  Either way, he should he held until he cools off, assuming that eventually happens.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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.
Another trade domino fell on Sunday as Blake Coleman was traded to Tampa Bay for a first round pick (Vancouver's conditional first from the Miller trade) and Nolan Foote.  Coleman is in the midst of a breakout season with 21+10, 40 PIM and over three shots per game.  So how much will this move help him?  On one hand, going to Tampa Bay is good for any player.  On the other hand, his ice time is surely going to decrease.  While he won't play Monday, I'd still hold Coleman to see what develops.  He's signed for only 1.85m for next season which I assume is a big factor in the price.  This is a great return for New Jersey, as Foote should end up as a second line winger who is a goal scorer.  He has an elite shot and knows how to use his big frame.  For now, I assume Jesper Bratt moves onto the first line, but he's still only a middling streamer.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
For years, I've been predicting the big breakout from Filip Forsberg.  All of the talent is there, but for whatever reason, be it injury or just inconsistency, it hasn't happened yet.  Can it still happen?  Absolutely.  Forsberg is still only 25 years old and we've seen the upside over long stretches.  Forsberg dished two assists against Washington on Wednesday before scoring two goals on four shots against the Devils on Thursday.  That gives Forsberg nine points in his last nine games.  The shot rate is elite and the points are around a 70 point pace.  I'm still hopeful that he can have a season where he stays healthy and goes for 35+45 or even better.  Nashville is about to start a crucial road trip so I'm expecting Forsberg's minutes to increase and the points to keep flowing.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two days:
Hey guys! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2019-20 fantasy hockey season. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to streamers, deeper league holds, even to rookie-eligible prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season. Last year my previews went alphabetically, but this year we’re going to go division-by-division, starting with the top team. On our eighth stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we’re finishing up the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Kings. The aging Kings had a 2018-19 to forget. The Kovalchuk experiment was underwhelming, Quick missed a big chunk of the season, and the team struggled for offence all season long. Expect a bit of a rebound for this team and their veteran core, but don’t expect playoffs.
I hope all of you Razzballers that celebrate had a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to everyone!  The three day hiatus without games is over, so I'm going to do a quick preview of Thursday's games with some streamers, DFS options, and other things I'm looking for.  I'll get back to daily notes tomorrow recapping all of these games, so this will be an opportunity to get my thoughts on games out there and either look smart, dumb, or both.  Let's get to it!