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:
It's my favorite day of the year!  It's the NHL Trade Deadline, and I'll be updating this post throughout the day with instant analysis on every single move.  I'm starting this post now with moves over the weekend and will start up again around noon EST and be here through the hour after the trade deadline.  Let's get to it!
Hey everyone!  I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and got to enjoy some hockey over the long weekend.  There's been a lot of action since I last wrote, so I'm going to hit on every team quickly and write about anything notable that's taking place that will impact us for fantasy.  Today, I'm going to hit on the first 15 teams alphabetically and then I'll post about the next 16 on Tuesday. Let's get to it! ANAHEIM DUCKS There are only three skaters that are owned in more than 50% of leagues, and I think that's correct.  However, I think two of the people are incorrect.  Jakob Silfverberg is in the midst of a cold streak and I wouldn't be holding him any more.  On the other hand, Cam Fowler is an easy hold at the moment.  The minutes are huge and while it's not exactly exciting, it's plenty good enough to hold in a 12'er.
Since returning from injury, David Krecji has been on a tear.  That continued on Saturday with two goals on five shots in the win against the Wild.  That brings him up to 4+11 in 17 games this season.  We know the deal with Krejci by now.  He is always on the fringe of holding and streaming because of his shot rate.  Right now, the shot rate is still poor with 28 SOG in 17 games.  However, he's +15 and 15 points in 17 games is too good to ignore.  Obviously it can change, but for now, I'm holding Krejci since he has four games in six nights, including a back to back on tuesday and Wednesday this week.  It's hard to ask for better opponents to play than Ottawa, the Rangers, and Montreal twice.  It's not going to be exciting, but Krejci's on the first power play and that puts him over the edge.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the 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:
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:
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 14th stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we visit the Windy City – Chicago baby! There weren’t huge expectations for this Hawks squad heading into 2018-19, but their young offensive weapons helped them fight till the bitter end, ending up just six points out of the playoffs. With an interesting free agent pickup and some moves to stabilize their D core, what will the Hawks do this season?
Yesterday, I wrote about the winners of the NHL Offseason, so I think you can see where this is going.  For those that missed yesterday's post, you can check that out here.  Now let's go to the other side of the spectrum and get some Beck in here, or Three Doors Down if you're into that kind of thing.  Here's a breakdown of the biggest losers!
One of my favorite late round gambles on the blue line this season was Erik Gustafsson.  Gustafsson played 35 games last season and has 16 points and two shots per game.  That doesn't sound great, but that was with zero power play time and limited minutes.  Keith and Seabrook were falling off a cliff giving Gustafsson prime opportunity.  He took advantage of it and then some.  Gustafsson dished three assists on Monday night while putting a shot on goal and adding 4 PIM.  That brings Gustafsson up to a whopping 17+42 with 34 PIM and almost exactly two shots per game.  That's with 18 STP, a number which could be higher if he played on PP1 all year.  So what do we make of Gustafsson for next season?  Well, it's early to say.  I think these numbers are mostly sustainable as long as Chicago doesn't add a PP specialist in the offseason.  I don't expect them to with the young guys they have coming, especially Jokiharju, but there's always a chance.  Gustafsson looks like he'll be a solid #3 next season, possibly a bottom end #2.  The goals will probably come down a bit, but 40+ assists should be a near lock with Chicago's style and strong PP, and he's average in PIM and shot rate.  If he's going to be better, it's because he takes a few more shots.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Monday night: