With almost the entire league in action on Monday, we were hoping for some entertaining hockey.  We got that and then some.  We had the Sabres come back from 2-0 down with an ECHL goalie who hasn't played any game in over a year to beat the Islanders.  Colorado came back from two down in the third twice to beat the Sharks.  Montreal scored in the last minute of the game before winning in OT against the Leafs.  The Wild were down 2 with 10 minutes, then tied the game with the goalie pulled and won in regulation against Vegas.  Even for teams that didn't finish them off, the Stars came back from two down in the third to get a point.  Also, Columbus came back from 3-0 down in the third to tie it and lose in overtime.  Nights like Monday are a reminder of why hockey is incredible during the regular season.  Let's take a look at what happened in each game on Monday night:
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.
In their last two games, Florida has put a whopping 94 shots on goal.  Incredibly, they only scored two goals.  Anton Khudobin was robbed off a win on Monday stopping 49 of 51 shots so he decided to one up that performance on Wednesday.  Khudobin posted a 43 save shutout to get the Stars back on track.  I was high on Khudobin going into the season because of the absence of Bishop.  The one problem for Khudobin is with the Stars being delayed for COVID, that's more games later in the schedule when Bishop should be back.  Regardless, Khudobin should be the workhorse for at least one more month and should be a #1 goalie in the meantime.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
Injuries and COVID absences didn't stop Carolina from shutting down the Lightning on Tuesday night.  It started with Petr Mrazek in net who stopped all 32 shots that he faced to earn the win.  That's two shutouts already in three starts already for Mrazek.  It's to the point where I feel comfortable playing him in every start where going into the season, I didn't want to use him against the other top teams in the Central.  We've seen the upside before in Detroit and even though that was a while ago, the system in place in Carolina should make Mrazek's burden relatively easy.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
With no exhibition games this season, it's going to be harder to predict what lines and pairing teams are going to use.  Thankfully, there are some coaches, such as Ralph Krueger in Buffalo, who made it clear from Day 1 of practices who would be playing together.  In this post, I'm going to hit on some notable decisions around the league and how they impact fantasy hockey.  Let's get to it!
We're moving to the last part of my rankings before my top 200 list today with the second part of the forward rankings.  You can read part one here.  I'm going to go about this part of the rankings a bit different than usual.  I'm going to do a "best of the rest" section to start off, then I'm going to break down the rest of the forwards into three categories: safe, upside, and specialists.  Once you get through the "best of the rest" forwards, we'll be well past the top 100 overall, so at that point in the draft, you need to be targeting what you need.  Therefore, following a strict rankings list wouldn't really be the best thing you could do for your team.  Obviously ask any questions you have in the comments section, but I suspect that this help quite a bit in the later parts of drafts as a supplement to my top 200 list.  Let's get to it!