Eastern Edge: Preparing for Head-to-Head Playoffs

by Cam Metz on February 12, 2019
  • Eastern Edge
  • Eastern Edge: Preparing for Head-to-Head Playoffs


The last couple weeks the Eastern Edge column has focused on expectations for the rest of this season, including low ownership players for the weeks leading up to the playoffs. This week I wanted to show readers how I deal with my teams in one year leagues and throw out some numbers on teams who you can expect to have particularly juicy matchups in the playoffs.


First things first, I have broken down my team by position on where the player will slot on that day for the week of 3/11/19 – 3/17/19.  Most importantly I make sure to write down the players who will not be cracking the lineup.  In the case below Gaudreau and Hall are going to hog my left wing slots and won’t allow Pacioretty to see any time during the second week of the playoffs.  That’s not a great way to utilize an asset, especially as my team is first in this 14 team league.

To that point Vincent Trocheck won’t be seeing any time this week either unless I make room for him. 

From two weeks ago you’ll remember that I landed Auston Matthews for Matt Duchene, Max Pacioretty, and Victor Hedman.  To me Duchene was the obvious player to trade out of my centers since his shooting percentage was extremely high.  Pacioretty became a toss in – since he wasn’t going to play and Hedman was the piece that was needed to get the deal done.  I bought Rickard Rakell in the deal since his tri-eligibility slots well into all of the open off night slots too (let’s take a moment and will Rakell’s shooting percentage to regress quickly).

I like to use conditional formatting to highlight the blank spaces so that I can quickly see what positions I am looking to fill during the playoff weeks.  For example I am looking for a center that’s playing Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of that week – enter Matthews.  Building this tool now for all three to four weeks of playoff action will get you primed for analyzing your moves during the week and fitting the pieces together to maximize your games played.

One last wrinkle – I like to project out my average stats per player and multiply them by their games played so that I can get an idea on what I can roughly expect in total points for each category.  It’s another way to narrow in on the players before the matchup starts to free up an area like SOG that might be tough to beat a superior opponent in a head to head matchup.

Now that you get the whole visual – let’s take another moment and hope that Hall returns to form by 3.11.19.



Below I highlight the top teams in the East (obviously with some predictability), for the first week of the playoffs from 3/4/19 – 3/10/19.   You’ll be looking to capture players with the most games played so your Detroit, Florida, Boston, and Pittsburgh players will have a fair amount of value.  The ~GF is the summation of the average of the average goals scored by the team being evaluated and of the average goals against by the team that they will be playing.  I guess the biggest take away from this is that a team like the Islanders actually is trending towards sneaky week one value. With only three games this week they play Ottawa 2x, and Philadelphia as their third opponent; it looks like a great team to add a secondary piece if they can fit into your lineup.

Additionally the Hurricanes have a tough week against the Bruins, Jets, and Predators making their three games a lot less appetizing compared to the Sabres.






So how am I using this table? I’m looking at the other weeks as well (You can’t expect to go out in the first round, right?), but I can see from my open slots on my roster that I’ll want to be focusing on my off night and seeing what depth players are on the waiver wire fit into the narrative that the above table provides.

Alright next week I’ll show the next couple weeks of the playoffs and focus on some more recent line trends in the east.


Have a nice week.