Wild West: First Round Predictions Review

by chriskane on April 23, 2018


With the first round in the books I thought it was appropriate to check in on the predictions made in the earlier columns.


First up we have the Sneaky Value adds that were depth or under-the-radar considerations once the top players for each team were off the board. The idea being that these players would help your team by providing decent fantasy production if the team went a few rounds in the playoffs.


Vegas – Shea Theodore

Vegas advances in a sweep, though anyone who drafted Vegas players for their playoff pools is likely a little frustrated. 7 goals over four games doesn’t exactly create a wealth of opportunity. Shea Theodore ended up with one goal and one assist for two points and 11 shots. No power play points, though his goal was a game winner.


Before we go ahead and say his performance was underwhelming I think it is worth taking a look at what the rest of the team did for comparison. Theodore’s 2 points tied him for second on the team with several players, and only James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault had more shots than him. The next most productive defensemen were either Nate Schmidt with one assist and 4 shots, Colin Miller with 8 shots, or Brayden McNabb with one goal on one shot. Any way you slice it he was at least as valuable as Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault. For a value pick defenseman, I would say he did just fine.


San Jose – Evander Kane

San Jose also advances in four games, which is fewer than you might hope to get points, but their 18 goals leaves a little more to spread around. Evander Kane managed three goals and one assist for four points over the series. Two of the goals were on the power play, and he also managed 21 shots. I am going to go ahead and say this series was as success for him, but let’s also see about some team context.


Evander Kane, Tomas Hertl, and Marcus Sorensen paced the team with three goals a piece, but Kane takes the cake because of his shots. His four points also ties him with Hertl and Sorensen for third on the team as Pavelski and Couture each had 5. With the second highest point total on the team, the highest goal total, and the largest shot count by far, again I think we can count the series a success.


Winnipeg – Kyle Connor

Kyle Connor got to play in 5 games before Winnipeg advanced. He did not register a goal or a power play point, but did have two assists and 10 shots. It seems like his performance was a little lackluster here, at half a point per game, and only 2 shots per game, but let’s check the context.


Winnipeg managed 16 goals over the 5 games, which should have been an opportunity for points. In fact it was with 7 players totaling more points than Kyle Connor, and four players with more shots. The points were pretty evenly spread with no player averaging more than a point-per-game. Given the spread I would have hoped for a bit more from Connor this round.


Minnesota – Matt Dumba

Minnesota got 5 games in this series before losing to Winnipeg, so hopefully your playoff pool didn’t contain too many Wild players. Matt Dumba managed a goal, an assist and 10 shots on goal in the series. None of the points came on a power play, but his goal was a game winner.


For a little context, the Wild managed only 8 goals over the course of those 5 games. They had no point-per-game players, with their top point producer Mikko Koivu, rounding out the series with 4 assists. Dumba then was tied for third overall in point production, and for shot production. While none of the totals were mind blowing, given the general team performance I think I have to give Dumba the win here as well.


LA – Jeff Carter/Dustin Brown

So LA lost in 4 games, and I had thrown out Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown as potential options. Carter managed 11 shots over that time span, while Brown accumulated one assist and 15 shots.


Hopefully you did not invest in LA Kings this playoff season. They played four games and managed just three goals, with Anze Kopitar being the only player to scrape more than one point (he had two). Given that we can say Dustin Brown getting an assist and managing the second highest shot total on the team might be a win, and Jeff Carter having the third highest shot total for the team is decent, but overall the King’s performance for your playoff pool was abysmal.


Nashville – Craig Smith

Craig Smith and the Nashville Predators had 6 games before advancing against the Colorado Avalanche. Craig Smith put together a stat line of two goals, zero assists and 16 shots. One of his goals was also on the power play.


Nashville scored 17 goals over the six games, and their point leaders thus far as Auston Watson and Colton Sissons, each with 7 points. Nick Bonino, who has been rounding out the third line has 5. All in all there are 9 players who scored more points than Craig Smith. The one redeeming factor might be that he has the third highest shot totals, though even there he isn’t reaching three a game. Overall not a great fantasy showing for Smith.


Anaheim – Adam Henrique

Anaheim also managed to lose in four games, which certainly reduces the fantasy potential on the team. I wasn’t all that excited about Anaheim players in the preview, but I threw out Adam Henrique as an option. He played in all four games and totalled 9 shots.


Like with LA, Anaheim did not give much to work with. Over the course of the four games they scored four goals. Unlike with LA though seven players managed to get points, with the top four point producers scoring two. Henrique was not one of the seven though, and he also does not compare well in the shots department as he was tied with three other players for 6th most for the team. This was a short series, and hopefully you did not add Henrique or really any Anaheim players to your team.


Colorado – Gabriel Landeskog

Gabriel Landeskog and the Avs got to play 6 games and Landeskog certainly made the most of his time. He put together four goals and three assists for seven points during his postseason. He also added 17 shots and two power play points.


His 7 points ties him for the lead in the Western Conference with points with Austin Watson and Colton Sissons. I am not sure that anyone would have predicted those as the top three scorers in the west after round one (In another surprising side note 7 of the top 8 scorers from round one are from either the Predators or the Avalanche). The Avs did not advance so that certainly hurts his playoff pool value, but Landeskog was a great own for round one.   




For our second piece for this column, let’s check in one how accurate the various prediction models proved to be for round one. For a quick reminder on what each of the models was check out last week’s article.



Number of Correct Predictions

Number of Incorrect Predictions




Goal Differential



Matchup Chance Diff







It is hard to read too much into anything with such a small sample size, but we can check back in later and see how it changes.



Round 2 Predictions


Here we also have the predictions for for the Western Conference in round two. Some of the models did not come equipped with a tie-breaker so I had to make my best guess in the spirit of the prediction strategy. 




Goal Differential

Matchup Chance Diff.


Nashville v. Winnipeg





San Jose v Vegas




San Jose

*this prediction is actually an inference from the last article (more experts selected Vegas as conference champion than San Jose) as no new posting was available in time for this article

**differential was exactly tied (57), but Nashville had a better goal differential in their matchups against Winnipeg specifically

***Nashville outscored Winnipeg, and won 3 of their five matchups, but Winnipeg did out chance them, so I put Winnipeg here, though it is essentially a draw.


We will follow up on these predictions as well in later articles.


Thanks for reading, enjoy Round 2!



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