For some we’ve reached the final week of the playoffs – others are looking at the semi-finals. No sweeter time than late round fantasy hockey. Congrats if you’ve made it this far – I am going to take a little time and spew some helpful insight on Eastern conference players that can help you the rest of this week. It’s about that time to be treating your lineup like DFS – trying to hit some homeruns amongst your big guns, otherwise you’re waiting for your opponent.
It’s a pretty tough week out there for Wednesday and Friday games – the best you could be looking at from a man games perspective are players from the Washington Capitals. Maybe Jakub Vrana is available in your league? Perhaps the irreplaceable Brett Connolly?
Here are my plays of the week for Eastern Conference players:
Radko Gudas – not the stalwart PIM producer of his past but he plays three games in four days starting on Thursday – here’s to hoping he loses his mind and gets ejected with 2 min left in one of those games.
Brendan Gallagher is rostered in most deep leagues, but otherwise he does have a nice weekend schedule and his shot output and goals should be enough to make him worth a roster spot, at least on Sunday.
Oskar Lindblom disappointed on my last recommendation but like Gallagher his shot volume is entertaining and he’s seeing great deployment at 5v5 with Giroux. While his lineup spot may not be guaranteed my guess is if your considering someone like Lindblom he’s your best option for games played if you’re about to spin to roulette wheel for goals.
William Nylander – As Mike Clifford said in the Ramblings last week when Kapanen went down: Nylander is a must own alongside Auston Matthews. Since Nylander has gotten his sea legs back under him he’s producing at a 65-point pace and winning faceoffs from the wing. Don’t let a bad start after his contract negotiations cloud your judgment on his current production and deployment.
Zack Smith is recommended for those in FW and PIM leagues as a nice stream on Wednesday. Again, there isn’t a lot of fantasy worth option on Wednesday and Friday this week, so you’ll have to pick your spot. Two penalty minutes and five faceoff wins would be a nice start for those looking to increase their counting stats.
Louis Domingue looks to be a sure starter on the upcoming back to back with Washington and Carolina. He’s about as close as you can get to a sure-fire win when he starts, he’s worth a stream for those teams that need some goaltending support. This is about as good as you’ll get for a streaming goalie from the East this the week. Your other options Brian Elliott vs the Isles or Washington – no thank you. Montreal vs Buffalo or Carolina – Mr. Saturday Night likely will take Buffalo; meaning Carolina will likely feast on Niemi in a matchup with playoff implications.
Torey Krug’s concussion bout looks to be coming to a close soon – he was on the ice on Monday and if he continues to progress my bet is that he’ll be back on the ice Thursday with a revamped Bruins squad with the help of David Pastrnak returning. They play two defensively challenged teams in Florida and New Jersey so the points should be coming if Krug can get back into the lineup.
Jake DeBrusk has returned to the Bruins lineup as well and in case he was dropped by an owner – he’s worth picking up if you have the space on Thursday and Saturday this week.
Boone Jenner’s hat trick last week gives him five points in his last four games. With every game having playoff implications for the Blue Jackets it’s nice knowing that you can pick up a player who will be going hard. CBJ plays Vancouver on Sunday so Jenner will be a nice option for multi-cat leagues.
Anthony Cirelli is the latest Lightning forward to get in on the scoring action. He’s picked up eight points in his last nine games. He doesn’t have the best deployment but when someone is wielding a hot stick you better be paying attention this time of the year.
Will Butcher and Damon Severson have been the lone bright spots in New Jersey during the fantasy hockey playoffs. Butcher strung together four straight games with an assist and Severson has four points his last four games. If you’re lineup is set on Thursday and Saturday with forwards these are two blueliners to try out. If I had to choose though I would pick Gudas still in PIM leagues only because his SOG and PIMs seems more likely than Butcher or Severson continuing their point spree.
That’s all for this week – I hope you find good luck in the playoffs this week.
See you next week
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