We've finally reached the final four weeks of the regular season.  That means fantasy hockey playoffs!  This post is meant to help you plan for this specific week on a micro-sense.  For the macro picture, check the the Eastern Conference Playoff Manifesto here and the Western Conference here.  We'll take a look at every day this week and point out the best streamers to use or what games to target.  Let's get to it!
Injuries this time of year are the main thing we are trying to avoid.  This season probably hasn't been as bad as last year, but unfortunately two of the best players in the world are going to be out for a while.  Steven Stamkos needed core muscle surgery which will put him out for 6-8 weeks.  That's right into the first round of the playoffs, so for those of you in redrafts, you can safely cut Stamkos at this point.  Stone is week-to-week with a lower body injury, but DeBoer could only say that he is hopeful that Stone will be back before the regular season ends.  In other words, I'm not counting on it and it would be a bonus if Stone does return.  So who are the beneficiaries?  In Tampa, it's clearly Ondrej Palat right now as he took Stamkos' place with Point and Kucherov.  I would own Palat in all formats.  In Vegas, Nicolas Roy is currently with Patches and Karlsson.  Will it stick?  Who knows, but he did score a goal against the Sabres on Friday.  He's a solid streamer for the time being until we see if he keeps that role.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last few nights:
I hope that all Razzballers had a great festive period!  It's time for an updated hold/stream list, so I'm going to get right to it! ANAHEIM DUCKS Hold: Getzlaf, Gibson, Fowler Stream: Rakell, Silfverberg, Lindholm, Kase Rickard Rakell is right on the fringe, but he has missed the last three games.  He's not good enough that he's a must hold, so I cut him on one of my teams.  I will probably look to stream him when he returns, but if someone else picks him up, it's not the end of the world.  Cam Fowler is super boring but he's doing just enough to be a bottom end hold.
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:
While general sports fans were watching playoff baseball (Go Braves!) or Sunday Night Baseball, hockey fans saw one of the best performances of the season take place on the first weekend.  Anthony Mantha scored four goals on eight shot, including the winner in the last minute of the game, to beat the Stars 4-3.  This comes after an incredible performance in his season opener in which he scored a goal and two assists with five shots and four penalty minutes in the upset win over Nashville.  In both games, the players on the top line were at or above 20 minutes each.  That's extremely encouraging for their long-term success.  Obviously we're not expecting Mantha to be a top 25 player all of a sudden, but the potential is there for 30 goals, 50 PIM and a very good shot rate.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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 21st stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we’re shuffling off to Buffalo to talk about the Sabres! 50 years of existence for the Sabres, and what a time it should be to be rooting for them. With some interesting offseason moves to add some much-needed depth, will this be the year Buffalo claws for a wildcard spot?
We're pushing through the halfway point today in terms of forwards as I get through the top 60.  To see my posts for the top 40 forwards, you can check that out here.  Let's get to it! 41) Jake Guentzel - Guentzel had his big regular season breakout with 40 goals and 36 assists last season.  At first, I was a little hesitant to rank Guentzel this high, but now I feel really good about.  One, he was stapled onto Crosby's wing all season.  I don't expect that to change.  Two, the shot rate took a huge jump forward in year three.  I wouldn't be surprised if he gets to 3+ per game this year.  Three, and the biggest thing, is that there's a spot for him on the first power play unit with Kessel's departure.  Guentzel had only 6 PPG and 5 PPA last season.  He could easily get to 20 PPP if he earns that spot in the preseason (his competition is Galchenyuk I guess?).  Sure, we can't expect 17.6% shooting again, but I don't expect much regression getting to play with Crosby.  I think Guentzel is a solid bet to get back to 40 goals again and boosts his assists to get up to a point per game.  He should be a solid value at this point, especially if he falls between last season's 26 PIM and his 42 in 2017-18.
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!
On January 3rd, the St. Louis Blues were in last place of the entire NHL.  Here we are six weeks later and they're safely in a playoff position.  The Blues have matched the longest winning streak in the NHL this season at 10, winning two games this weekend in convincing fashion.  First, Jake Allen shutout the Avalanche, then Jordan Binnington shut out the Wild on a back to back.  Right now, Binnington is as hot as it gets in the league.  I don't expect this to continue, but for now, he's a must start every time out.  I still view Allen as somewhat of a desperation play, but with how well the team is playing in front of him, I'm fine with streaming him for the time being.  Looks like a coaching change was what they needed to right the ship.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: