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.
Poor Ottawa.  The Penguins were coming off six straight losses before Tuesday night and it wasn't hard to imagine them destroying the Senators.  They did just that scoring seven goals.  So what can we take away from this game?  Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are good! Oh, you meant besides the obvious.  Well, Bryan Rust had a hat trick after only two goals in the previous thirteen games.  This eliminates any doubt about Rust being a hold.  Jason Zucker had a goal and two assists with three shots.  He has ten points in the last ten games so yeah, he's an easy hold too as expected after his trade to the Steel City.  Conor Sheary also had a goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  I wrote during the Trade Deadline post that I don't believe in Sheary despite the move.  Honestly, I still don't, but getting to play with Crosby and Zucker right now just has to put him into the streaming realm.  The power play time will be minimal so it's mostly for deep leagues, but Sheary does have some relevance once again.  Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
At the time of his injury, Victor Olofsson was leading rookies in points.  That's not to say that he was the Calder favorite because he certainly was not, but he was in the race, albeit in the third spot.  Sadly he missed 15 games, but he picked up right where he left off.  Olofsson scored two goals on Thursday, including the game winner, in the 4-3 OT win over the Blue Jackets.  That gives him 18+19 in 43 games, a great season from my favorite preseason target for my last pick in drafts.  Sure, the PIM are non-existent and the shot rate is slightly below average, but Olofsson has lived up to expectations.  He's an old rookie at 24, but he should get a bit better going forward.  His role as a PP1 sniper and top six winger is locked in going forward and his chemistry with Eichel is outstanding.  If he was dropped in your league, grab him immediately.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Thursday:
Mark Stone has had a pretty good season by his standards, albeit not as great as I had hoped.  Perhaps that'll change now that he had his best game of the season.  Stone went off on Thursday scoring two goals and three assists while adding five shots on goal and two PIM.  That brings him up to 20+33 in 56 games while being +10 and well over 2.5 shots per game.  Stone used to be a two shot per game player, but it has taken a big jump since last season, and especially when he went to Vegas.  He should be a clear top 50 player going forward, and I think there's a good chance he ends up topping 80 points for the first time in his career.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
For years, Patric Hornqvist has been an easy hold in fantasy, but last season brought some doubt if the 32 year old would get back to that level.  Injuries have set back Honrqvist this season, but his first three games back have been strong, namely the last two.  On Thursday, Hornqvist scored two goals on eight shots in the 3-2 loss to the Sharks.  So why am I excited for Hornqvist?  One is the shots.  He's pushing three per game which brings plenty of value.  Two is the top power play time on a strong unit.  Three, and this is the main one, is that Sidney Crosby should be returning within a week or so, and given the injuries Pittsburgh has suffered, it seems likely that Hornqvist ends up playing on his wing.  This would do wonders for his value and give him the chance to be a solid hold again.  Hornqvist is available in almost two-thirds of leagues right now which makes him an incredible speculation add in all formats.  If he can stay healthy and plays with Crosby, we could get borderline top 100 value the rest of the way from Hornqvist.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:
We've seen this story before.  Last year, upper management called out Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin for poor play.  This year, it was Jim Montgomery.  Benn had one goal through 20 games, but he now has three over the last two games.  Benn scored two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM in the 6-1 win over the Canucks.  This came after a goal and an assist on four shots against the Oilers.  He wasn't going to shoot 2% forever, but Benn did not look good over the first six weeks of the season.  That said, we've seen a big hot streak from him before so there is hope he can do it again.  The schedule looks fairly good over the short term so I'm expecting Benn to turn this nice stretch into a hot streak.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I've been stubborn in terms of thinking Dougie Hamilton was going to have a massive fantasy season for years now.  Loyal Razzballers know my love for guys who hit all of the categories, and Hamilton has always done that.  It seems like Carolina is finally giving him the chance to be the #1 guy in all situations and he's off to a tremendous start.  On Friday, Dougie scored a goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  He followed that up with a goal on five shots Saturday, bringing him to 4+4 in 6 games with 19 shots, 6 PIM and +7.  Obviously he's not going to keep up this pace, but this is the kind of start that can allow Hamilton to finish as a top five defenseman.  In fact, gun to head, I'd bet on it happening right now.  If you follow my rankings, odds are that you have Hamilton on your team in redrafts or keepers.  If that's the case, don't even consider selling high because this isn't a fluke.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
On Monday, I wrote the following about James Neal: "As long as he’s on the first power play unit, Neal has a real chance to bounce back.  I wouldn’t hold him yet, but he’s a solid streaming option." And that's me quoting me copying what Grey does! Well, I hope that you streamed him on Tuesday.  Neal stayed on the first power play unit, and the time to hold him is now.  Neal scored four goals on eight shots on Tuesday, playing almost 21 minutes, in the 5-2 win over the Islanders.  Two of those goals came on the power play where it's clear Edmonton is using him as one of their primary shooters.  Am I saying Neal is going to score 40 goals again?  Definitely not.  However, the upside is too high to leave him on the waiver wire.  He's always had a quality shot rate and there's a chance of good penalty minutes on top of the goals.  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:
Hey guys! Sven back with another 31 in 31. 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 third stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we’re in Sin City covering the Vegas Golden Knights! After a movie-script-esque inaugural season, Vegas saw no Sophomore Slump, securing the #3 seed in the Pacific Division. Their recent stockpiling of former Atlantic division studs has left them cap-strapped, and they have had to deal away a couple of their players they absolutely SNAKED from opposing GMs. According to most sites, the Golden Knights have the highest odds to win the West. Here are the players that may make that possible: