Playoff Prep – Eastern Conference 2015

Eric Daoust

2015-04-07

PKSubban

 

Looking at Eastern Conference players to key on and avoid in playoff pools.

 

Even with most of the year's hockey pools coming to a close this week, the beginning of the NHL playoffs is a very important time in fantasy hockey. Player values change all the time and the postseason is no different in that regard. This week we will look at the top two teams from each division in the Eastern Conference, with analysis being done from the perspective of playoff pools or keeper leagues (or both).

 

In playoff pools, the drafts usually go unfold in similar fashion. People will try to get a hold of multiple players from teams they think will survive at least a couple rounds. As we are going to see, the majority of players produce similarly during the regular season and playoffs which makes player valuation much easier. However, there are always outliers that cannot be ignored. While focusing on the right teams is essential, the choices that you make within those clubs are equally important, especially in the later rounds.

 

In keeper leagues the impact of the NHL playoffs is completely indirect. People can be very emotional and overreact to sudden changes in player performance. In fantasy hockey that means there will be opportunities to buy low and sell high. While playoff performances could be a sign of things to come, the regular season is what really matters in most keeper leagues and many of the odd production changes will ultimately amount to nothing.

 

Montreal

 

Player

POS

Season

Playoffs

DIFF

P.K. Subban

D

0.62

0.70

0.08

Sergei Gonchar

D

0.62

0.64

0.02

Andrei Markov

D

0.58

0.41

-0.17

Nathan Beaulieu

D

0.15

0.29

0.14

Tom Gilbert

D

0.37

0.00

-0.37

Jeff Petry

D

0.25

N/A

N/A

Tomas Plekanec

F

0.65

0.61

-0.04

Alex Galchenyuk

F

0.54

0.60

0.06

Lars Eller

F

0.36

0.60

0.24

Brendan Gallagher

F

0.57

0.59

0.02

Max Pacioretty

F

0.70

0.52

-0.18

P.A. Parenteau

F

0.66

0.43

-0.23

Devante Smith-Pelly

F

0.29

0.42

0.13

David Desharnais

F

0.62

0.37

-0.25

Dale Weise

F

0.22

0.32

0.10

Brandon Prust

F

0.24

0.14

-0.10

 

Sergei Gonchar – Gonchar has been out of the lineup in recent weeks and has been largely forgotten after doing a respectable job in a depth role alongside youngster Nathan Beaulieu. At this point he is nothing more than a dark horse with a history of big offensive production. If the Canadiens suffer an injury on the back end this week Gonchar could suddenly be worth consideration.

 

Andrei Markov – While Markov has a history of bouncing back from major injuries to remain a high-end NHL defenseman, his production has not translated to postseason hockey. The fact that Markov is so heavily-utilized (24:49 this year) does not help this late in the season. Keep this in mind when making your selections for playoff pools.

 

David Desharnais / Lars Eller – Desharnais has struggled mightily in postseason play, in part due to his lack of size and his predictability as a pass-heavy centerman. Eller came up big last year when the Canadiens made it to the conference final. History could repeat itself if Desharnais struggles yet again.

 

In keeper leagues, even if the two swap places this postseason look for things to return to normal in October. Eller has simply never been able to keep a spot in the top-six and will likely disappoint again next year barring a major change in his consistency, making him a potential sell-high candidate this summer. Meanwhile, Desharnais has shown that he can be a serviceable playmaker and his chemistry with Max Pacioretty will help keep him in a favorable role.

 

Devante Smith-Pelly / Dale Weise – The Canadiens are a team that needs added bulk and secondary scoring help, which may become a more alarming need depending on the severity of Pacioretty's injury. While Smith-Pelly has not performed well to date since being acquired from the Ducks, his young age must be taken into account. There is still time for the power forward to develop. His strong playoff performance last year in Anaheim (five goals in 12 games) can be considered a sign of encouragement. A second strong playoff performance would actually make him more appealing in keeper leagues. Again, Smith-Pelly brings the size and physical play that the Habs need and will get opportunities to grab a hold of a top-six spot if he is showing signs of breaking out.

 

Meanwhile, Weise is having a career year and has had success in the Canadiens' top-six earlier this year. His willingness to go to the net and grind along the boards could lead to some surprising production. Long-term he is unlikely to be anything more than a depth player so his value mainly lies in playoff pools where owners can take advantage of Weise's strong play this year.

 

New York Rangers

 

Player

POS

Season

Playoffs

DIFF

Keith Yandle

D

0.56

0.70

0.14

Dan Boyle

D

0.57

0.65

0.08

Ryan McDonagh

D

0.43

0.40

-0.03

Dan Girardi

D

0.30

0.29

-0.01

Kevin Klein

D

0.23

0.25

0.02

Marc Staal

D

0.24

0.24

0.00

Martin St. Louis

F

0.91

0.94

0.03

Derrick Brassrd

F

0.59

0.69

0.10

Chris Kreider

F

0.51

0.54

0.03

Mats Zuccarello

F

0.65

0.53

-0.12

J.T. Miller

F

0.29

0.50

0.21

Derek Stepan

F

0.70

0.48

-0.22

Rick Nash

F

0.81

0.44

-0.37

Carl Hagelin

F

0.49

0.39

-0.10

Dominic Moore

F

0.33

0.35

0.02

Kevin Hayes

F

0.52

N/A

N/A

 

UPCOMING GAMES

Mar 29 - 12:03 PHI vs PIT
Mar 29 - 15:03 CHI vs L.A
Mar 29 - 15:03 N.J vs CAR
Mar 29 - 15:03 WPG vs VGK
Mar 29 - 19:03 STL vs MIN
Mar 29 - 20:03 EDM vs ANA
Mar 29 - 21:03 COL vs NSH
Mar 29 - 22:03 S.J vs ARI

STARTING GOALIES

  • No data at this moment.

HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency BUF Players
30.4% JACK EICHEL SAM REINHART JEFF SKINNER
24.2% ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS JOHAN LARSSON KYLE OKPOSO
20.1% CURTIS LAZAR WAYNE SIMMONDS JIMMY VESEY

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