Fantasy Hockey Playoffs

Eastern Finals Preview

The best team in the NHL over the past two month just defeated the best team this season. Now, the Pittsburgh Penguins are off to face last years Eastern Champions Tampa Bay Ligthning in the Eastern Finals. Fantasy hockey playoffs (click to join) doesn’t get any bigger than this. Game 1 starts Friday night at the Consol Energy Center, and will be presented on NBCSN starting at 8PM ET. The Penguins went 14-2-0 to end the regular season before knocking off the New York Rangers and, offcourse, the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in the postseason.

The Pens made the conference final for the first time since 2013 with balanced scoring, improved defense and rookie goalie Matt Murray’s solid play that has kept veteran Marc-Andre Fleury on the bench. They still must find a way to contain a dangerous Tampa Bay offense that is led by Nikita Kucherov (nine goals, 12 points) and Tyler Johnson (13 points). The Lightning lineup could even become more lethal, potentialy having back top-pair defenseman Anton Stralman (broken fibula) and captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot)at some point in the series. Tampa Bay has beaten the Penguins three straight in the regular season, despite being outshot 109-74 combined.

Stralman has gone through full practice over the last few days, but he doesn’t look like he’s a 100% percent yet. Versatile forward J.T. Brown (upper body) could be back in the lineup after missing almost a month. Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn (nine points) and the emergence of Jonathan Drouin (eight assists) stepped up to take the offensive reigns during superstar Steven Stamkos’ absence. In defence, 6-foot-6 Victor Hedman was the key figure during the second-round series victory over the New York Islanders. He stopped captain John Tavares clean, denying him of a point for the last four games while recording eight points for himself.

It will not be an easy task for Lightning coach Jon Cooper to decide which line his best D-Man, Victor Hedman, will go up against. Pittsburgh’s four forward units have all produced in the postseason with three of them represented among the top four scorers. Captain Sidney Crosby (10 points) and Evgeni Malkin (nine) each center a line while the trio of Phil Kessel (five goals, 12 points), Nick Bonino (eight assists) and Carl Hagelin may be their best in the playoffs thus far.

Posted in NHL

With a handful of NHL games on the schedule tonight and virtually every Saturday night, there is a big opportunity to make a lot of cash in fantasy hockey. The season is more than halfway done, so don’t miss out on every chance you have to win big daily fantasy hockey bucks!

I will take a look at who the NHL’s hottest players are and who could be on the mend to break out of a cold streak. Taking the league’s biggest names can pay off with some consistency, but you need that wildcard performer to separate you from your peers. Let’s see who it could be…

Here is my Saturday night lineup:

CAleksander Barkov (FLAvsPIT) $6,200

CNathan MacKinnon (COLvsWPG) $6,500

W Carl Hagelin (PITvsFLA) $5,500

W James Neal (NSHvsSJ) $6,000 

WLinden Vey (VANvsCGY) $2,700

DDustin Byfuglien (WPGvsCOL) $6,900

DCody Ceci (OTTvsTO) $4,400

GSemyon Varlamov (COLvsWPG) $7,600 

UTJonathan Toews (CHIvsDAL) $4,900H

I opted for defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and Cody Ceci over big ticket items like Erik Karlsson and John Klingberg. It was tough because those two are hot and on another level with the puck on their sticks. But Big Buff and Ceci get you tremendous value at their price tags in comparison. They could easily have multi-point games themselves and match the output.

Barkov is just a tower of power, while MacKinnon could feast on a vulnerable Jets team. Hagelin‘s been on fire, while Neal had a great All-Star weekend and looks to have rediscovered his elite scoring touch.

Linden Vey  is your wildcard (should be available in your league), and he is the key to this contest. Now a fixture in the Canucks top-six, Vey has been lighting the lamp regularly since his recall from the minors and flanking the ever-developing Bo Horvat.

Varlamov just won 126K in civil court and had the week off, so if he’s not relaxed enough to pitch a shutout against once again; this lowly Jets squad, I’d be very surprised.

Jonathan Toews is on sale on all your DFS sites due to his recent cold-streak and injury and you MUST PLAY HIM. A well rested All-Star weekend has him finding the back of the net again, and a matchup with the NHL’s best offense and duo (Seguin and Benn) will bring out the best in Captain Serious.

 

 

 

Posted in NHL