Andre Burakovsky has gone back and forth between bottom end hold and elite streamer for most of the season.  Right now, we're in one of his upswings again.  Burakovsky had a goal and three assists in the 6-1 Colorado win over the Sabres on Tuesday.  That's a whopping 10 points in the last 4 games and 14 in the past 8 for Burakovsky.  He also has Ottawa, the Kings twice, and Buffalo again over the next three weeks.  He's an easy hold while he's on fire and the schedule remains incredibly soft.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Last season, Leon Draisaitl had a massive breakout with 50+55.  It seemed naive to expect better, but he's going to blow 105 points out of the water.  Draisaitl scored two goals on six shots on Friday before dishing four assists with three shots on Saturday.  That brings him to 29+54 in 52 games.  That's over an assist per game!  Sure, the penalty minutes have dried up and he's -7, but who cares!?  He has four points more than his teammate for the most in the NHL and is now over three shots per game.  It's not a lock that the Oilers make the playoffs, but they're a clear favorite to make it now, mostly on the backs of Draisaitl and McDavid.  Even with the poor plus-minus and PIM, Leon is still the fourth best skater for the season.  At this point, his floor is a top ten forward which puts him in a class of the world's truly elite.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
There wasn't a lot of action the last two days after the All-Star Break, but sadly we saw what certainly appeared to be a severe injury.  Linus Ullmark has established himself as the clear #1 goalie for the Sabres this season playing at a league average level.  He collapsed to the ice on Tuesday against the Senators with what appeared to be a bad leg injury.  There hasn't been an update yet, but I would be surprised to see if he ends up out for the season.  So what does that mean for the Sabres and for us fantasy hockey players?  Well, the Sabres are far from the best situation, but Ullmark has been serviceable.  Carter Hutton has been one of the worst goalies in the league, so unless he has a bunch of good starts in a row, I have no interest in using him.  I suspect that Jonas Johansson is called up from Rochester.  Johansson is a former third round pick who was an AHL All-Star this season.  He's taken a huge jump forward as he was serviceable in the ECHL last season but that's about it.  However, goalies are strange and perhaps he catches lightning in a bottle.  I wouldn't rush to add him, but he's a name worth monitoring.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The last lottery pick for the Washington Capitals has really come into his own.  Jakub Vrana had an incredible weekend, starting with two goals on eight shots against the Sabres.  He followed it up with a hat trick on five shots against the Flames on Sunday.  That brings Vrana to 9+5 in 16 games with just under three shots per game.  He's a main stay on the second line and second power play unit, so the question is whether or not he's a hold.  For now, I lean towards yes.  I don't think it'll last all season, but Vrana is playing excellent hockey right now and I want to take advantage of it.  The 23 year old has made a jump in every season of his career and looks to be down that path again.  Given that he had 24+23 last season, another slight improvement will get right right onto the fringe.  Vrana isn't an automatic add given that Washington has only two games this week, but I'm holding onto him while Vrana has his foot on the accelerator.  Let's take a look at what else happened this weekend:
To say the start of the season for Dallas has been disappointing is an understatement.  It looked like it was going to continue being 3-0 late in the second against Minnesota.  To quote Lee Corso, "not so far my friend!"  The Wild scored six goals over the last 21 minutes of the game to win 6-3, and they were led by Alexander Radulov.  Radulov entered the game with only 1+3 in 13 games, and he managed to match those four points in this one.  Radulov had three goals and an assist with a whopping 10 shots on goal.  This game might have blown the chance to buy low on Dallas players, but I would still attempt to do so given the opportunity.  These guys are too talented to not have strong seasons, Radulov included.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Hat tricks aren't that uncommon in the NHL.  First period hat tricks are.  Evander Kane became the first player in Sharks history to do so, scoring three goals and adding an assist with five shots in the 5-2 win over the Hurricanes on Wednesday.  Kane has long been a player that I rate higher than consensus because of his shot rate and penalty minutes.  Kane has four goals and two assists in four games since returning from suspension to go along with four PIM and 13 shots.  Pretty, pretty good.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the Sharks went 0-3 without Kane and are 3-1 since.  With their current depth issues, Kane should be leaned on heavily giving him a great chance at a top 50 fantasy season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Not sure David Pastrnak even knows who Christopher Columbus is, but he sure dominated on his day Monday.  Pastrnak won the game for the Bruins scoring all four goals on five shots.  Two of those goals were on the power play, he chipped in two penalty minutes, and finished +1.  I generally don't like to lead off posts talking about superstars, but I feel obligated to give Pasta props for a four goal game.  The top seven going into the season were pretty clear for me but who was eighth was a debate.  I ultimately decided on Draisaitl but went with Pastrnak in the nine spot.  So far, so good.  Look for the Bruins top line to dominate on a nightly basis.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The first draft pick in Vegas history, Cody Glass, scored the first goal of his career in his first game, a 4-1 win over the Sharks.  First, the good news.  He played with Mark Stone (G+A) and Max Pacioretty (A, 5 SOG) which puts Glass in a great position to succeed going forward.  He also played with these guys on the power play.  The bad news: his minutes were down because Gallant doesn't trust him defensively yet.  Whenever they had a defensive zone start, Stastny started on the ice and would go off for Glass if they exited the zone.  Yes, it's only a defensive zone start, but on a team that transitions as well as Vegas does, the more minutes the better, and Glass didn't cross the 15 minute mark.  I'm good with picking him up if you want the upside, but let's not go crazy spending a lot of FAAB on Glass.  I like him plenty long term, and perhaps Stone drags him into be a hold all season, but it's far from a guarantee.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the first two nights of the season:
We're at the end of individual rankings!  Almost 15,000 words later, we've ranked the top 100 forwards and 40 defensemen.  Now, we conclude that with my goaltending rankings.  I'm going to start by talking about my goaltending strategy for drafts, then split the goalies into tiers.  I'm not going to go in-depth on every goalie, just the ones that I feel are worth talking about, mostly because I'm higher or lower on somebody.  The reason I don't want to go very in-depth on every goalie is that the variance on goaltending from season to season is massive.  In other words, even the best goalies have poor seasons from time to time, and guys will come out of nowhere to have excellent seasons.  Did anyone know who Jordan Binnington was a year ago?  The public certainly did not.  Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss were afterthoughts for most.  Darcy Kuemper was the backup and wasn't drafted outside of deep leagues.  Those goalies were the 3rd-6th ranked goalies at the end of the season.  This is why I never draft goalies in the first two rounds, and never more than one in the first 7-8 rounds.  If you like to have one presumed top end goalie, that's fine, go for it in the 4th-5th rounds if they're still there.  Just do not reach, because the range of outcomes in goalies is incredibly wide, while forwards and defensemen are much more certain.  Any other questions on this, let me know in the comments section below.  Here are my tiers:
For those of you doing well in your head to head leagues, this is the most important post of the year.  This is my annual playoff manifesto where I break down every team's schedule for the last four weeks of the season.  I tell you who are the best teams and players to stream from, who you should look to trade for or away if your deadline hasn't passed, and it allows you to plan ahead with ease.  For those who haven't read it in the past, the numbers in the parentheses are how many games the team plays in each of those weeks, with the last number being the last week in the season and preceding accordingly.  This is going to be a massive post so let's get right to the 2019 Playoff Manifesto!