Week 24: The Habs and the Hab Knots

…in my stomach…

Not that I mind singing the Blues, just not the Marty St. Louis type. 

The Process

This is the third installment in my series looking back at fantasy hockey from Week 21 through the playoffs, my thinking process behind the moves I made, and the pluses and minuses. 

Hopefully, you can gain some insight into how these moves impacted my matchup and more importantly, how you can use my experience + analytics to help you be more successful in fantasy hockey.

On Repeat

Use resources like Apples and Ginos for their expertise with regard to analytics. Nate and his crew are masters at getting into the weeds and digging up the numbers and rationale to help you with your decision making. 

Ultimately, no one knows your team better than you do and you’re going to have to make the moves that you think will help you best. However, their information and insights can help stack the odds in your favor. They’ve done the heavy lifting, all you have to do is hold the door open. 

The Sitch

For this second to last playoff article, I’m going to switch over to my Points League team, where I made it to the finals….by the skin of my teeth (whatever that’s supposed to mean. Skin on teeth?) 

Anyway, my other team (Catagories League) lost in the semi-finals during Week 24, so I figured I’d have more to discuss if I focused on my Points League Team. 

Week 24 was my week’s semi-finals with the winner moving on to our league’s finals which will run during Week 25.

For context, I finished the season in first place out of ten teams, so this is what would be considered a shallow league. Therefore, the players on my league’s waiver wire may be unavailable in deeper leagues. Don’t judge. Nonetheless, it is a generally competitive league and one in which, as an Apples and Ginos contributor, I feel a higher degree of self-imposed pressure. 

My overall objective for Week 24:

1. Do whatever it takes to maximize games played. 


Unless we’re talking Connor McDavid, none of my players were off limits as potential drops if it meant I could maximize games played. 

In the end, I was able to set up my roster (with a little good fortune) so that I had 61 games played to my opponents 55. And I can assure you that he threw everything but the kitchen sink at me so I needed every one of those games. 

The categories in my league are pretty typical for a Points League and include: Goals, Assists, +/-, PPP, SOG, and Blocks for Skaters and Wins, Saves, Goals Against, and Shut Outs for goalies.


Nick Suzuki, Montreal Canadians, C: I’ll start with this add because I’m still beating myself up for whatever semblance of decision making I’m claiming went into this pickup. 

Look, I’ve been playing fantasy hockey on Yahoo since 2007 and I cannot think of a more disastrous add at a more inopportune time. And while I have nothing against the Montreal captain, I’m not sure I can ever emotionally recover (fantasy hockey-wise) from the havoc his lack of performance wrought upon my team. Good thing I’m not bitter right? But this one’s on me folks. I should have known better. And who’d I drop to pick up Suzuki….again, don’t judge…but Dylan Larkin. Dylan Larkin?! Are you nuts?! And this guy’s supposed to know what he’s talking about? Ugh. 

Here’s why I did it. 

I knew that Suzuki would be playing the Monday and Tuesday back to back games to start the week. Additionally, the Canadians had a decent schedule with four games and one off night (Monday). The plan was to see how things shook out and to reevaluate after the Tuesday game. Knowing my league had a decent amount of options at the center position, I decided to roll the dice. At worst, I could drop Suzuki and pick up a Dylan Cousins, a PLD, or a host of other players as a replacement. Plus, I might be able to sneak Larkin back into my lineup once he cleared waivers even if it meant getting up at 3:00 am to do so. I was really trying to get off to a good start to the week, I wanted to maximize games played, and I was playing against the only other team to have beaten me this year. The crazy-er thing was, I knew that Detroit had a really good schedule in Week 24 with four games played, two off-nights, and a Sunday game which is always a huge draw for me. Looking back, I’m not sure what I was thinking. Even so, I found it hard to drop Suzuki after the Tuesday game because, like the gambler I’m not, I kept hoping he’d turn it around.

What a disaster. 

Not only did Nick have a hideous week (I ended up dropping him on Sunday. Couldn’t take it anymore), but to add salt to the wound, my opponent beat me to the punch and snatched up Larkin before I could do so. 

Oh and by the way, did you see what Larkin did last week? Or how about what he did on Sunday night? 

Let me remind you in the form of a comparison: 

Suzuki in three games…-6.2 and yeah, that’s a NEGATIVE 6.2 and yes, I’m in a league that counts plus minus. Larkin, on the other hand, in four games…70.40 points with 29.80 of those coming on Sunday alone. Seriously, I blew this one and probably should not have won my match up. This was bad.

Filip Chytil, New York Rangers, C/RW: This was a dicey move for me because it meant having to drop Alex Tuch (who I love) after Buffalo’s Monday game. Buffalo would not play again until Friday and Saturday. Like the Larkin ill-logic, the hope was that I could pick him up again after he cleared waivers on Friday. Chytil, after being so sneaky productive early on, had sort of fallen off my radar especially after the Rangers traded for Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane. 

But I listened to the advice on Blake Creamer’s excellent podcast Fantasy NHL Today regarding Chytil and with the Rangers solid Tuesday through Sunday schedule (four games and two off nights including Sunday), I took another fantasy playoff leap. 

Unlike the Suzuki debacle, picking up Chytil just might have propelled me into my league’s finals. He ended the week with 32.90 points including 12.60 points for the crucial Sunday slate. 

Like I’ve mentioned so many times before, listen to the experts and don’t be afraid of changing course. And thank you Blake! By the way, I was able to pick up Tuch for the Friday and Saturday back to back games at the end of the week. More about him below…

Jake Sanderson, Ottawa Senators, D: With my last pick up of the week, I added Sanderson on Sunday. I only had room for a defensemen add and he was what I thought to be the best option for filling a spot. I decided to drop Mike Matheson (see the Suzuki add comments above…) to get the extra game. This was sort of a bummer because I wanted another “Professor” to be my new guy. 

Results for the one game were very meh to the tune of .70 points with a -3, 3 SOG, and 4 BLKs. At this point, I’m trying to be extra judicious with my four adds for the finals because Week 25 is actually a week and a half, so I may hang on to Sanderson for next week. The only scenario where I could see myself dropping him is if I can substitute in a “better” player that plays the same schedule… 

Alex Tuch, Buffalo Sabres, RW: Best for last? Or better yet, not for the faint of heart. As mentioned above, I dropped Tuch on Tuesday for Chytil with the hope of picking him back up after he cleared waivers. Surprisingly, he was available when I woke up on Friday morning and after a quick chug of some Tim Horton’s, I took the plunge and dropped one of my all-time favorite fantasy players over the past two years to pick up Tuch. That player? 

Tage Thompson!

I know, more insanity. But it’s the playoffs and, as I’ve learned over the years, it’s just different this time of year. Also, I had no choice because Tage had been DTD all week and the prospect of him returning for the Friday and Saturday back to back games was seriously in doubt. I just couldn’t chance it. With a quivering finger and a heavy heart, I pushed the drop button and immediately had dropper’s regret. 

Friday’s night game had Tuch earning me .90 points in a 3-2 win over the Rangers. Not what I had in mind Alex. To add to my consternation, my opponent picked up Jeff Skinner (oh to be in a shallow league!), for the Saturday night game, so I’m thinking, oh great, the dreaded block move. Now what. 

Well Tuch went bananas in Saturday’s game against Philadelphia with 32.40 points on a hat trick, +4, 6 SOG, and 1 BLK. To be sure, Skinner had a great game too with 22.30 points, but Tuch was better. And like the Chytil add, getting Tuch back in my mix was one of the keys to me hanging on. 

April Fools? Waking up on Saturday April 1, I was confronted with a scenario that even Poe on a bender couldn’t have conjured up. O.k, that’s a bit much, but I’m in full drama mode here so let me run with it a bit. 

About a month ago, I dropped Travis Konecny when he went on IR with another upper body injury. Like Timo, Tage, and Shesterkin, T.K. has become one of my favorite fantasy players for his explosive potential on any given night and for the fact that he had gone undrafted in my league and yours truly stumbled upon him floating on the wire. And he was unreal for a large part of the year before going ice cold just before the IR stint. When he did go out, I reluctantly pulled the plug. 

Just for the heck of it, I picked him back up a few weeks ago for an IR stash. You never know, right?

And I waited with absolutely no expectations. Until April Fools Day when he came off IR and lo and behold…T.K back for a Saturday and Sunday back to back in a tight semi-final matchup against my nemesis? Let’s go!….I hope.

Now, who to drop? 

Call it redemption perhaps, and with no disrespect to Montreal, but Nick Suzuki, and Mike Matheson,…the Habs nots. 

Thanks for reading and best of luck this week and for the rest of the season. 

Mike@Fantasy Hockey Professor

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