While you might be an avid fan of a particular NHL team -- and keep up to date on all the news and rumors regarding that franchise -- there are 29 others playing in 2016-17.
As a fantasy owner, it can be a bit daunting to keep tabs on everything.
That's where the Fantasy 30 comes in -- it's a rundown of the most fantasy-relevant updates on every team. Here's what's happening around the NHL this week:
Anaheim Ducks: Goalie Jonathan Bernier is providing the Ducks with an remarkably cushy crash mat while John Gibson recovers from his second-consecutive lower-body injury. Winner of four straight, the club's backup has appeared particularly impressive in his three most-recent victories, stifling the Capitals, Blues, and Blackhawks -- three playoff-bound teams -- with a grand total of three goals allowed. Spoken for in just 27 percent of ESPN leagues, Bernier should be fully exploited while Gibson recuperates.
Arizona Coyotes: With little else to appreciate from the Coyotes' current lineup -- Max Domi and Radim Vrbata are among the few fantasy-friendly exceptions we turn to young Brendan Perlini and his impressive wrist shot. Quietly posting 13 goals in 44 games, including three in his past four (plus 14 goals and five assists through 17 AHL contests), the former first-rounder taken 12th overall in 2014 is making a strong case for a prominent role going forward. Owners in deeper dynasty leagues might want to get a jump on this 20-year-old rookie before he makes too much noise.
Boston Bruins: After missing a portion of Wednesday's eventual 5-2 victory over the Flames, David Backes should be monitored ahead of Thursday's follow-up in Edmonton, and beyond. It wouldn't be the first time a player missed successive games, despite returning to action during the contest in which he suffered the injury in question. Skating on a top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, the experienced power forward has scored in consecutive games, while also contributing an assist.
Buffalo Sabres: We still have little clue as to when Kyle Okposo is anticipated back for the Sabres. Although the dangerous winger hasn't been placed on injured reserve, the club has yet to provide an updated timetable. As it stands, veteran Brian Gionta -- an underwhelming fantasy asset all around -- continues to serve as Okposo's regular fill-in on a top line with Evander Kane and Ryan O'Reilly.
Calgary Flames: It doesn't matter that Chad Johnson isn't exclusively to blame for Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Bruins. The fact is, Calgary's little used No. 2 failed to help his club with its 11th straight contest. Assuming the illness sidelining Brian Elliott isn't serious, we don't anticipate seeing much of Johnson during the Flames' final stretch.
Carolina Hurricanes: However unimpressed he is with his current four-game streak, Elias Lindholm nonetheless deserves some attention for his under-the-radar collection of 26 points in 30 games since Dec. 23. Owned in only 11 percent of ESPN leagues, the top-six forward has tangible value in fantasy leagues where goals (of which he has but a precious few) and assists are treasured equally.
Chicago Blackhawks: Projected to miss what's remaining of the regular season, center Artem Anisimov (lower-body injury) is no longer of use in any and all seasonal leagues. Dump the top-six centerman immediately, and turn your attention to Nick Schmaltz, who takes over between Artemi Panarin and a sizzling-hot Patrick Kane. Also consider giving Yale boy John Hayden a look, as he subsequently fills in for Schmaltz on a scoring line alongside Jonathan Toews. Signed last week, the 22-year-old is set to make his NHL debut on Thursday in Ottawa.
Colorado Avalanche: Looking beyond this season's garbage fire in Denver, J.T. Compher is one to watch as he loosely auditions for a prominent role starting next autumn. A top-six spot with the rebuilding Avalanche isn't out of the question, especially if Matt Duchene and/or Gabriel Landeskog are indeed moved this offseason. Dynasty owners might keep an eye on how Compher builds off scoring his first NHL goal this week. While college numbers don't serve as a sure-shot professional barometer, last year's 63 points in 38 games at the University of Michigan reflect well on the 2013 No. 35-overall draft selection nonetheless. Plus, he's been consistent with the Rampage this campaign, as well.
Columbus Blue Jackets: After missing Monday's game with an illness, Nick Foligno is expected back in action for Thursday's tilt with the Panthers. Skating on a top line with Brandon Saad and Alexander Wennberg, the 29-year-old recently snapped a six-game drought by scoring goals in back-to-back games against the Sabres. Make sure he's active versus Florida.
Dallas Stars: Tuesday's 'embarrassing' 7-1 to the Oilers won't do much to dissuade Patrick Sharp from prematurely packing up his locker. Expected to bolt for season-ending surgery once his club is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, Sharp wouldn't be faulted for pulling the ripcord even before the arithmetic works out. With 13 games left, the Stars remain 13 points back of the last Wild Card spot in the West. Besides, the veteran winger has already been bumped from the top-six. Cut him loose. Additionally, as anticipated, Ales Hemsky has inched his way up the lineup in joining a top-six scoring unit. Desperate fantasy owners might consider wagering on a strong fantasy conclusion to 2016-17 from the 33-year-old UFA-to-be.
Detroit Red Wings: If you're looking to capitalize on Thursday's date with the relatively porous Coyotes, check for any last-minute lineup adjustments from coach Jeff Blashill beforehand. The club wouldn't have bothered with recalling forward Brian Lashoff if playing him wasn't a real possibility.
Edmonton Oilers: Coach Todd McLellan hints at having little inclination to break up his club's second scoring line (Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic) now that they're genuinely coming together in a productive fashion. Such news should serve as relief for those enjoying Lucic's recent run of three goals and four helpers in seven games. Oh, and it merits mentioning that the ex-Bruin is super pumped to host his former team in Edmonton on Thursday.
Florida Panthers: Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman proposes that the Panthers might consider shutting down Aaron Ekblad -- loosely projected to miss 7-10 days with a concussion -- for the remainder of the season. Since a postseason berth appears realistically out of reach for the Florida club, such a strategy is hard to argue against. So, if the 21-year-old, third-year defenseman is a member of your own fantasy seasonal league, you may choose to do the same. Now.
Los Angeles Kings: Perhaps the pressure of battling for a playoff spot from outside-looking-in is the reason Tyler Toffoli has been so motivated of late. Despite sitting well behind the pace of last season's 31-goal, 27-assist campaign, the 24-year-old is showing signs of heating up. He's tallied four points in three games, including two goals (six shots) against the Coyotes on Tuesday. Skating on a scoring line with Jeff Carter -- who has showed no signs of letting up -- and Tanner Pearson, Toffoli is a DFS asset with plenty of upside down the stretch.
Montreal Canadiens: Forward Alexander Radulov has the flu. Beyond yanking Montreal's top winger from your fantasy lineup if he's still convalescing come Saturday in Ottawa, keep an eye on his potential stand-in on a top line with Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk. Our guess is that Brendan Gallagher earns another go if Radulov is hasn't yet recovered.
Minnesota Wild: Fantasy owners invested in Nino Niederreiter shouldn't sweat the forward's lack of goals of late. In turning down his head coach's offer to shift from right wing to left, Niederreiter clearly believes he's in no need of an adjustment to help him break out again. This speaks to the young forward's confidence and, as Bruce Boudreau notes, the versatile winger tends to score in bunches, once he gets going. Despite the current dry spell, Niederreiter still has 20 goals an 28 assists this season.
Nashville Predators: Forward Colin Wilson is projected to miss time with a lower-body injury. Craftier fantasy competitors might target dark-horse Kevin Fiala as a second-line and secondary power-play asset in Wilson's absence. Sitting idle the Predators' past two contests as a healthy scratch, Fiala will feel especially motivated against the Capitals on Thursday.
New Jersey Devils: The Record's Andrew Gross notes one reason why you might turn to your favorite fantasy Devils in DFS action versus the visiting Flyers Thursday when he points out that "No. 1 G Steve Mason is 0-8-0 with a 3.77 goals-against average and an .854 save percentage lifetime against the Devils." If you're concerned about wagering against Mason -- as yet still unconfirmed to start Thursday -- following Wednesday's shutout of the Penguins, know that the Flyers' goalie has been both good (Mar. 2 vs Florida) and not-so-good (Jan. 31 vs Carolina) following two earlier blankings this campaign.
New York Islanders: How long before the Islanders turn to Jaroslav Halak? While Thomas Greiss has struggled this March (3.46 GAA/.893 SV%), and Jean-Francois Berube hasn't fared any better, the veteran netminder has been flat-out terrific for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL. Scrapping with the Maple Leafs and Lightning for the final Wild Card spot in the East, Islanders' management won't hesitate to call Halak up from the minors if Greiss continues to falter in the slightest. Thursday's game versus the visiting Jets is a huge one. Adjust your own goaltending roster accordingly.
New York Rangers: Don't sweat Monday's dismal loss to the Lightning, which was more the fault of those out front than the individual between the pipes. Antti Raanta (2.29 GAA/.921 SV%) endures as a precious fantasy commodity for the next couple of weeks, at a minimum. With Henrik Lundqvist (hip) on the shelf until late March, the Rangers' backup resides as the club's go-to goaltender for the bulk of their next eight contests. It's worth repeating, because Raanta still remains available in more than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
Ottawa Senators: It seems Mike Condon won't not be long for the starter's role in Ottawa. Casually forecast to serve as understudy over the weekend, Craig Anderson is expected back in the Senators' crease as the starter in Boston Tuesday. Before then, Condon is in relatively rough waters against the Blackhawks Thursday, and Canadiens through this weekend's home-and-home. Tread carefully.
Philadelphia Flyers: Just as we were getting excited about Jordan Weal competing on a top line with Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, the 24-year-old rookie suffers an injury and tumbles right out of the lineup. Bummer. Look for Brayden Schenn to again fill in on the left side of Giroux and Simmonds.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Progressing in his concussion recovery, Patric Hornqvist may return to game action in the near future. However, a third-line role likely awaits the 30-year-old winger, considering how Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel have impressed on either side of Sidney Crosby. While Sheary (eight point in six games) is unattainable in the majority of ESPN leagues, Guentzel (three goals and three assists in six games) is available in more than two-thirds.
San Jose Sharks: As predicted, coach Pete DeBoer is going all-in on his tandem approach to netminding through the waning days of 2016-17. As such, backup Aaron Dell is slated to make his fourth start in eight games against the visiting Blues Thursday. The Sharks' backup has been nothing short of superb of late -- boasting a .958 save percentage and 1.25 goals-against average in four recent games -- and all season long (.938 save percentage). Need help in net? Bewilderingly, Dell remains available in more than 90 percent of ESPN leagues.
St. Louis Blues: Following Jake Allen's tight 2-1 loss in Anaheim the previous evening, Carter Hutton feels favored to get the nod in San Jose Thursday. While the Sharks have potted nine goals in their past couple of games (vs. the Sabres and Stars), Hutton has been fairly formidable himself in limited action though February and March. Even more conspicuous, the Blues' No. 2 backstopped his squad to a 4-0 shutout of San Jose at their last meeting, on Jan. 14. That makes for two potentially potent contrarian DFS selections between the pipes in northern California Thursday, with Dell in the opposing nets.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Are you on board with Brayden Point yet? If not, why not? Projected to once again fill in for an injured Tyler Johnson, the rookie center has three goals in his past couple of contests. Unsurprisingly, playing between Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat has its productive perks.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Understandably, coach Mike Babcock is expecting a "huge response" versus the Lightning following Tuesday's ugly 7-2 loss to the Panthers. Demanding his best players be his best players, the Leafs head coach is openly challenging team leaders James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri, along with star rookie Auston Matthews. We'll see if it has its desired effect in this game and, more importantly, beyond.
Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks hope to have prospect Nikolay Goldobin (illness) back in the lineup Saturday in Edmonton. Those looking ahead to next season and beyond should keep an eye on what the 2014 first-round draft selection does with the rest of 2016-17. The 21-year-old forward already strikes as a future dynasty-league gem, albeit still in sedimentary form.
Washington Capitals: Following his two-game suspension, Kevin Shattenkirk is tapped to reclaim his spot on the Capitals' top power-play unit. Enlist him as you usually would, beginning Thursday in opposition with the Predators. Shattenkirk earned an assist in each of the four games leading up to his league-mandated break, including two with the extra skater.
Winnipeg Jets: Defenseman Jacob Trouba is pegged to miss his second straight game with an upper-body injury. As a result, rookie blueliner Josh Morrissey is once again projected to see increased even-strength minutes in Trouba's absence, in addition to his role with the secondary power-play unit. The 13th-overall selection in 2013 collected an assist in Monday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Predators. He might be worth a gander in deeper redraft and dynasty leagues, depending on need.