There are just two more weeks remaining in the regular season, so some fantasy hockey leagues are having their semifinals or championship games starting this week. It is an exciting time of the season, and if you are still alive, congratulations on making it this far. Hopefully you make all the right moves and hoist your league's championship trophy. We're here to help, and if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail or shoot a note on Twitter.
The Bruins play all four of their games at home in the upcoming week, a schedule which sets up nicely for goaltender Tuukka Rask and his fantasy owners. C Patrice Bergeron (concussion) is making progress and traveled with the team for their most recent road game to Carolina, but he is still too risky to activate at this critical juncture.
Must start: Zdeno Chara, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask
The pickings are pretty slim in Calgary as far as fantasy options are concerned, although with his recent assist binge, right wing Lee Stempniak has pulled into a three-way tie with center Mike Cammalleri and left wing Alex Tanguay. He is worth a look in deeper leagues if available off the waiver wire.
Must start: Mike Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak, Alex Tanguay, Dennis Wideman (hits/blocked shots leagues)
At one point it appeared the Hurricanes would be a playoff team, and a very dangerous one. Then goaltender Cam Ward (knee) went down with a serious knee injury, and this team curled up in the fetal position, especially at home. The good news is that the Canes hit the road for three of four next week, but all four games are potential losses.
Must start: Alexander Semin, Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Jiri Tlusty
Columbus Blue Jackets
At one point this season, there wasn't one Blue Jackets player worth starting in leagues of 12 or fewer teams. Now, the cupboard is anything but bare, and this team still has a legitimate shot at the playoffs. In fact, the Jackets were buyers at the trade deadline for once, and they are a dangerous team at home.
Must start: Sergei Bobrovsky, Marian Gaborik, Mark Letestu, Vinny Prospal, James Wisniewski (hits/blocked shots leagues)
Goaltender Kari Lehtonen (groin) is a question mark heading into the upcoming week due to a sore groin, so it is a good idea to look elsewhere. Defenseman Alex Goligoski has picked up his scoring with two goals and seven assists with a plus-7 rating over his past 11 games, making him a nice addition at an important time.
Must start: Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, Alex Goligoski, Ray Whitney
The Panthers do not have a ton of fantasy options, but rookie Jonathan Huberdeau continues to be a shining light in an otherwise trying season for a young team. Right wing Tomas Kopecky has three goals with an assist over his past four games, making him a valuable short-term pick-up.
Must start: Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Kopecky, Shawn Matthias
Center Mikko Koivu continues to hum along with nine goals and 33 points with a plus-6 rating through 40 games. He remains a solid low-end No. 1 center. Right wing Jason Pominville has managed just one goal with two points and a minus-2 rating through four games. Despite the slow start with his new team, he remains a must-start.
Must start: Niklas Backstrom, Cal Clutterbuck (hits/blocked shots leagues), Matt Cullen, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville, Devin Setoguchi, Ryan Suter
Right wing Rene Bourque (concussion) and left wing Max Pacioretty (lower body) were dealing with injuries last week, but both appear to be fine going forward. Start them as you normally would. Defenseman Francis Bouillon might be a sneaky play, as he has been moved up to top-four defenseman status.
Must start: Alex Galchenyuk, Brian Gionta, Andrei Markov, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price, P.K. Subban
New Jersey Devils
Left wing Steve Sullivan has looked rejuvenated, posting a goal and assist in three games with the Devils. While he hasn't exactly re-emerged as a must-start, those in pools of 12 or more teams looking for a No. 5 or 6 forward could be pleasantly surprised.
Must start: Martin Brodeur, David Clarkson, Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Marek Zidlicky
New York Rangers
The Rangers are starting to piece it together again after a rough patch to start March. The team is 7-3-2 in the past 12 games, and it's mainly because goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been rock solid, and he is finally getting some offensive support.
Must start: Derick Brassard, Ryan Callahan, Ryane Clowe (PIM leagues), Michael Del Zotto, Carl Hagelin, Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan
The Senators looked to be fleecing the Tampa Bay Lightning when they grabbed center Cory Conacher in a deal for goaltender Ben Bishop. Bishop has been outstanding in Tampa, but Conacher has just one goal and a plus-2 rating in four games. The deal still might work out in Ottawa's favor, but right now, Conacher isn't even a fantasy must-start.
Must start: Daniel Alfredsson, Craig Anderson, Sergei Gonchar, Jakob Silfverberg, Patrick Wiercioch, Mike Zibanejad
It will be interesting to see who wins the two-horse race for the team scoring title. Right wing Jakub Voracek leads the club with 17 goals and 39 points, and right wing Claude Giroux has managed 12 markers with 39 points. Both have subpar plus-minus ratings to dampen their fantasy value somewhat, but they continue to be must-starts in all formats.
Must start: Ilya Bryzgalov, Claude Giroux, Nicklas Grossman (hits/blocked shots leagues), Jay Rosehill (PIM leagues), Luke Schenn (hits/blocked shots leagues), Jakub Voracek
St. Louis Blues
Right wing Chris Stewart was outstanding until March 23, and then suddenly someone flipped the off switch. He has just one goal and two points with an even rating in nine games since that date. As such, he is no longer considered a must-start in cumulative head-to-head formats, even with four upcoming games.
Must start: David Backes, Brian Elliott, Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alexander Steen
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks are a strange team to figure out, and that's what makes them dangerous heading into the postseason. They could be a four-game sweep victim in the first round, or they could hoist Lord Stanley's Cup. They have so much offensive firepower and talent but seem to have underperformed since the first week of the season.
Must start: Dan Boyle, Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau, Antti Niemi, Joe Pavelski
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs haven't clinched a playoff spot just yet, but they are certainly hurtling toward their first postseason appearance since 2003-04. The success lately has not come without difficulty. Left wing Joffrey Lupul (concussion) is back on the shelf with a concussion, and his status for the short term looks bleak.
Must start: Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf (PIM leagues), James Reimer, James van Riemsdyk
The Canucks are getting it done again and hitting on all cylinders. Goaltender Roberto Luongo has allowed just six total goals in his past three games. The Sedin twins, left wing Daniel Sedin and center Henrik Sedin, are also firing on all cylinders as they head toward the playoffs.
Must start: Jannik Hansen, Roberto Luongo, Cory Schneider, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin