The season has less than a week left in it and people are starting to prepare for their playoff pools. Here are some players who are at the bottom of everybody’s lists (if they even appear at all), who you should take a flyer on in the later rounds:
(Original posted by The Hockey News on March 31)
Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim – The lanky Swede got well-deserved Conn Smythe consideration a year ago. Not just because he shut down the other team’s top center, but because he chipped in offensively with 12 points in 21 games. His 15 points so far this year will ensure your competitors ignore him at the draft table. If you like the Ducks to go far this year – as many do – Pahlsson would be a perfect final selection.
Ryan Carter, Anaheim – As a rookie, his name is virtually unknown. The fact Carter has been sidelined for the past five weeks with a broken wrist also helps to make sure his name is nowhere near anyone’s draft list. But the former college star really clicked with Teemu Selanne and Chris Kunitz for a handful of games before the injury – he had four goals and five points in seven games prior to getting hurt. The team has struggled to get a second line going and Carter is expected back very soon.
David Krejci, Boston – Marc Savard is out with a fractured bone in his back and although the team continues to hold out hope for a quick return, that may not happen. Meanwhile, Krejci has eight points in four games with Savard sidelined, so if you think the Bruins will sneak out of the first round, the rookie is a solid candidate to give you 10 points.
Patrice Bergeron, Boston – He has been out for all but 10 games with a terrible concussion, but he is back skating and doing full workouts. He has not received clearance to take contact in practice, but that could happen at any time. Bergeron is worth nearly a point per game and a lot of poolies will shy away from him next week. He is the type of player who will give you zero points because he does not play at all, or give you a dozen points and take the team two rounds. For what it’s worth, I think he’ll play.
Justin Williams, Carolina – Out since December with a torn ACL, Williams is back skating hard and trying to return before the end of the season. While that is unlikely, he should be back for the second round of the playoffs – if the team gets that far. In fact, if the Canes go down 3-1 or 3-2 in the first round, it would not surprise me if he came back earlier. He is a point-per-game player your competitors will stay away from.
Tuomo Ruutu, Carolina – The talent is there and he has th