We are approaching the end of the NHL regular season and in turn hockey pools are either in their playoffs or finishing out the regular season. Now more then ever is the time to stay focused on the end prize and dig deeper. The final weeks of the NHL season can make or break your fantasy season, which is why it is so important to keep up your research.
Get a twitter account and follow all of the NHL teams and big name reporters, as this is your best source for instant information. Key information will be tweeted before it gets posted on any website giving you a heads up earlier then any fantasy GM who is waiting for it to pop up on a website.
Stay on top of injuries, especially for teams that have clinched a playoff spot. Look at the Washington Capitals for example who are now resting Alexander Ovechkin. If you didnít know that information before the week start you could have dressed him with the expectation of big points. Teams will not take chances with injuries and will sit players out who would have normally played through the pain. Another example is the Detroit Red Wings who are sitting Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Todd Bertuzzi and a few others to give them a chance to heal up some nagging injuries.
As we get closer to the end of the season teams will look to rest their veteran players to prepare them for the higher intensity of a playoff battle. If you have an older player on your roster this is something to consider, especially if that team is playing in any back-to-back games that week. Teams will also give their starting goalie a few more nights off so that they are fresh and ready for the long haul of the playoffs. Keep this in mind when dressing your goalies for the final weeks.
On the flip side teams that are battling for a playoff spot will continue to dress their regular line-up in hopes to make the playoffs. Star players will play through a little pain in order to help their team win. Teams will dress their starting goalie more as that gives them the best chance to win. So look at the standings before you dress your line-up and dress players that are battling for a playoff spot, as they should be playing the best hockey of the season or at least giving it 110%.
Finally look at dressing players from teams that have been officially eliminated from playoffs. These teams have nothing left to play for and are simply playing out the season; having nothing left to play for means there is no pressure on them to succeed. These teams are just going out to play hockey and have fun, they are loose and playing the game they love. With no pressure sometimes these players end up producing at a slightly higher then normal rate.
As we approach the end of the season do let up, keep the pedal down. Keep up the research so that you give yourself the best opportunity to win.