Wild West: Playoff Value Picks 2020
The Play-ins begin August 1st and here is a look at players in the West on each team that are taking part in the Play-ins or Play-offs that might be value picks in your playoff pool.
Not involved are Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose. Dallas and Vegas are through automatically to the actual playoffs. First-round matchups are Arizona against Nashville, Calgary against Winnipeg, Chicago against Edmonton, Colorado against St. Louis and Minnesota against Vancouver.
All of us will need to keep informed when players are unfit to participate, as no information will be available outside of an obvious injury that everyone witnesses. I'm going to assume at least 10-14 days if a player is deemed unfit to play once in the bubbles.
Phil Kessel is a player that might drop to fifth or sixth in the Coyotes list of players selected in a pool. He has 87 career playoff games with 33 goals and 44 assists, albeit with much better teams and admittedly being a better player. Kessel still can be a point-per-game player in the post-season. If your pool goes deep enough to grab Arizona players, elevate him on your list.
In the last 19 games before the stoppage, Andrew Mangiapane had nine goals and eight assists, playing with Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund. He has certainly solidified his spot in the top six and should be taken accordingly.
There is a chance that Kirby Dach, could surpass Dylan Strome and get some time with Patrick Kane on a regular line and more importantly more power playtime. Chicago has nothing to lose and might be willing to let Dach sink or swim. Another player to consider is Duncan Keith who quietly put up 13 points in the final 19 games (seven on the PP).
Gabriel Landeskog is going to fall on a few people's lists as he only had 21 goals and 44 points in 54 games. He did have 23 points in his last 21 games and is rested and healthy now (knock on wood). In his career, he has played 25 playoff games with 10 goals and nine assists.
Joe Pavelski has played 118 NHL playoff games and has 47 goals and 51 assists. Even though he is slowing down at 36 years of age, he is worth taking a flyer on if you are picking Stars. He still is on the first unit of the power play and should be well-rested.
Unfit to play: Ben Bishop
Even though he faded this season, I'm going with James Neal as my John Druce (14 goals in 15 playoff games in 1989-90) pick this season. Druce was picked every season after in playoff pools and had three goals in his next 37 career playoff games. Neal has 104 playoff games with 31 goals and 24 assists in his career. He can get hot on the power play and will get chances.
Alex Galchenyuk has only played 14 games in Minnesota and posted three goals and four assists which is not that impressive. He did see an increase in ice time with the Wild and saw almost 15 minutes per game. He does have 28 games of NHL playoff experience with four goals and nine assists and could see some second-line minutes and some power playtime.
Mikael Granlund hasn't been what the Predators were hoping for when they sent Kevin Fiala the other way. He finished this regular season with 17 goals and 30 points in 63 games. The good news is that he finished the regular season with 10 goals and five assists in his last 24 games. He is on the first unit of the power play and penalty kill and averages almost 18 minutes per game.
St. Louis Blues
Zach Sanford had his most productive year in the NHL so far with 16 goals and 30 points in 58 games. The big winger lit it up in the last 22 games of the season with 12 goals and 4 assists on 48 shots on goal. His PDO is a little high at 102.8 and his 5 on 5 shooting percentage of 10.5 is high as well, so temper your expectations. The Blues have a chance to get very deep again this season and a player like Sanford should benefit.
Brock Boeser appears to have been surpassed on the depth chart by Tyler Toffoli and is coming off only 16 goals in 57 games. Currently, he is on the second unit of the power play, but he will probably fall in most pool drafts. If there is any player on the Canucks that gets hot and stays hot it could be Boeser and he appears healthy, fit and motivated right now.
It is interesting to note that J.T. Miller in his career has played 61 games in the playoffs and only has three goals.
Vegas Golden Knights
If Vegas goes as far as some people believe they might this year, the players picked from their roster will be many. Chandler Stephenson had 11 goals and 26 points in 65 regular-season games for a 0.4 points per game pace. In his final 22 games, he had 12 points which is 0.54 points per game pace. He has won the cup with Washington in 2018 where he had seven points in 24 games that playoff.
With only 15 points in 48 games, Cody Eakin will be passed over in most pools. He was acquired by Winnipeg at the trade deadline and had five points in eight games with the Jets while on the second line with Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrick Laine. He does have 46 career playoff games with eight goals and 19 points, so if the Jets go deep he should be 0.5 to 0.6 points per game.
As always, thanks very much for reading and if you have any comments or suggestions please let me know below or follow me on Twitter @gampbler15.
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