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Fantasy Hockey Gauntlet - Week Twenty-Two: Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning

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Troy Langefeld runs the fantasy hockey gauntlet for week twenty-two of the NHL season!

If you're going to bet on someone this week, Killorn makes for a pretty good bet - Photo Credit
If you're going to bet on someone this week, Killorn makes for a pretty good bet - Photo Credit
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed out on the early entries into my weekly series, you can find it all right here: Fake Teams Fantasy Hockey.

In both the snake draft league - This was Made in Kariya - and the auction draft league - Don't Toews me bro! - I was able to secure second place and a bye week for the first round of playoffs. I feel pretty good about ensuring a top four finish in both and I hope to add a couple more trophies to my fantasy cabinet. I'd like to extend a thank you to everyone who participated in the two leagues this year, it's been fun. And of course as all leagues do, they've provided their share of challenges. I'm not going to specifically name names as people may want to remain anonymous, but I will congratulate the teams that made playoffs. In This was Made in Kariya, Too Bad So Saad finished with 267 points and the top seed and will enter the playoffs as the favourite to win. My team, four&half finished second with 247 points, Wanderers finished third with 244, Couture Clash fourth with 228, Clowe's Bench Pass fifth with 227, and FletcherG's Team sixth with 227. It was a bit of a fall from grace for Fletcher as he held the top spot for much of the year fighting of Saad and I, but he can redeem his late season with a few strong weeks. In Don't Toews me bro!, Trevor Philips Ind. finished first with 264 points, I (four&half) finished second with 254, Jomo & the Smoothies third with 253, Slackshot fourth with 226, Homer Knows Hockey fifth with 225, and Night Slugs sixth with 218.

Overall, it was a perfect week for me and I finished with a 6-0-0 record and improved my yearly record to 78-36-11 in head to head matchups on the year. My matchup winning percentage is 0.668 for the year among all leagues versus my category (points) winning percentage of 0.577. Four of my leagues start quarterfinals today and in three of them I was able to secure a first round bye (all are 6 team playoff formats) by finishing second in the regular season in each of them. In the other one I finished third, but it doesn't matter as there is no first week bye (8 team playoff). Two of my leagues are entering the last week of their regular season as they use a 4 team playoff format, so I'll have to report on them next week.

Week Twenty-Two (March 16-22) Preview:

Good luck to all of our playoff bound teams. In the playoffs, the best teams don't always win so don't despair if your team has an early exit. Anything can happen in the playoffs and anyone can go on a hot streak. That said, I'll do my best to try and help you increase the odds that your team plays well. We'll try and influence luck to turn in your favour. The best way to do this is by looking at your roster before the weeks starts and identifying how many man games you will get each night. If your team is stacked on certain nights (typically Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) and there is a player who you will consistently bench, it it time to drop them for someone who plays an off night (typically Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday). Increasing the amount of games you can play in a week increases the odds that your team will accrue more stats and hopefully sway lady luck in your favour. The attached NHL roster at the bottom of this article can help you structure your roster in such a way to maximize man games each week. Small things such as using a roster move at the tail end of the week previous (important for leagues with weekly acquisition limits) so that you essentially have a bonus move for the upcoming week can make a big difference in whether or not your team advances. The other important thing to remember is that someone playing on a hot streak or someone playing more games in the week is more important than a highly skilled player playing poorly. Now is not the time to keep injured players (unless you have an IR spot available). The focus in your league needs to be on the now, taking it week by week. Good luck to you as we enter the fantasy hockey playoffs!

4 Game Week: Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, St. Louis, Vancouver
2 Game Week: Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, New York Islanders
All other teams at 3 games

Week 22 does not have a very good distribution of games on each night and is heavily skewed towards Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. While Anaheim and Tampa Bay only play three games each, all three of their games are on off nights and will likely have more relevance than any other team in fantasy this week.

Waiver Pickups:

Jakob Silfverberg - LW/RW - ANH (17% owned), Kyle Palmieri - RW - ANH (4%), Patrick Maroon - LW, ANH (4%), Tomas Fleischmann - LW/RW - ANH 3%), and Matt Beleskey - LW - ANH (24%): Besides the three must own forwards in Anaheim (Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler), the rest of the top six (and therefore their linemates) have been filled with these five guys. Anaheim is often mixing up their lines which makes for a tricky environment to project forward (especially recently as they're not playing as well as they have all year), bu tthese would be the guys to consider. Silfverberg is the safest of the group as he consistently gets in the play and mixes it up and should be solidly on the Kesler line. He's also the one playing the best hockey right now. Maroon has the longest history on the Getzlaf/Perry line this year and is the best shot of keeping that role. Beleskey has had the most time on the Kesler line this year, but hasn't been playing well of late and hasn't recently been playing there. Palmieri and Fleischmann have both seen a lot of time of the second line lately, but have been inconsistent all year. Palmieri, Fleischmann, and Beleskey have been receiving the most powerplay time recently of the group with Silfverberg and Maroon receiving almost none. Good thing is that regardless of who you pick among these five, they all have three off night games this week so there are plenty of options.

Francois Beauchemin - D - ANH (20%) and Hampus Lindholm - D - ANH (45%): Beauchemin has always been a defensive specialist who will help you in blocks and plus/minus, but little else, but recently he's been paired with youngster Hampus Lindholm and both of them have been playing quite well. Neither are getting top powerplay with Getzlaf or Perry, but they man the second unit together so it's not as if they don't have opportunity. Quality defenseman can be difficult to find this late in the year, so you could do worse than just picking up more man games with these two.

Alex Killorn - C/LW - TB (9%), Vladislav Namestnikov - C - TB (0%), and Jonathan Drouin - LW/RW - TB (36%): So it's tough luck that Tampa Bay represents one of the better teams to add from this week as most of their players are already currently owned. The surprise here is Alex Killorn. He's widely available and has been consistently playing on the Steven Stamkos line for the last while. He's also on the top powerplay unit, so make sure you add this guy right away.  Jonathan Drouin has been teasing us all year with his potential. He's still getting to powerplay time, but he's also consistently getting third line minutes. Choice is up to you, but he plays on the off nights. Vladislav Namestnikov has been placed on the second line with Tyler Johnson as well as the second powerplay unit due to the injury of Ondrej Palat. He could make an intriguing option fo rthose in deeper leagues. Other guys who's ownership came in just above my threshold, Jason Garrison (58%) and Anton Stralman (59%) need to be owned this week as they're running the majority of the powerplay on the blueline.

Justin Abdelkader - LW/RW - DET (33%) and Erik Cole - LW/RW - DET (15%): Justin Abdelkader is firmly entrenched on the Henrik Zetterberg line and has seemingly been scoring at will lately. He's not offering much besides goals, penalty minutes, and shots, but he's making a significant impact in them all. Erik Cole has been bouncing back and forth between the Pavel Datsyuk line and the Zetterberg line, but I'm not worried either way. His contributions are a little more balanced, but he won't get you any penalty minutes. With two off night games this week (Friday and Sunday), they'll make a good mid week addition to your team.

John Gibson - G - ANH (47%): Yes Frederik Andersen is back now, but Gibson has been getting many starts lately and plays on those off nights. As I expected, we're back to a timeshare/hot hand situation.He needs to be owned.

Eddie Lack - G - VAN (40%): Lack may not have the off nights, but he's a widely available golaie, playing full time minutes on a decent team. That's hard to find. To top it off, he's playing very well in the last two weeks. Add him before your opponent beats you with him.

Hopefully there is enough here to help you get through the week and secure a playoff spot, but if not, here is a preview towards next week.

Week Twenty-Three (March 23-29) Preview:

4 Game Week: Anaheim, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Winnipeg
2 Game Week: Philadelphia, St. Louis
All other teams at 3 games

Calgary and Chicago are the two teams that play on all four off nights and should be your priority additions this week.

My NHL Schedule:

The NHL Schedule has not been revised for anything since last week but can be found here: 2014-15 NHL Schedule . Don't forget to change the time zone to your appropriate time zone. The one thing I ask of you is that you do not take my schedule and use it for your own personal gains. Please do not sell it, you can direct people here to find it, but do not sell it.

I'm new to the twitterverse, but I'd love to hear your feedback and questions. Follow me on Twitter @HockeyGauntlet for more of my thoughts and all of your fantasy hockey needs.