Upcoming Fantasy Hockey Schedule – Players Who Could Win Your Playoff Game
This column is the opposite of “evergreen”, as they say in the world of writing. We are at that point in the fantastic season where there is no tomorrow without winning today. It’s time for the competitive playoff managers, who must first overcome this week’s head-to-head hurdle before settling for the penultimate round, if not the final battle of the marathon to determine the champion. of this campaign. No one cares whether or not you’ve dominated by now. Now it comes down to a handful of one-on-one games over about 75 hours, starting Thursday night. Trying to move forward, NHL schedule to wrap up this week matters a lot.
Only six teams are expected to play three games each over the four days of Thursday and Sunday, when this round concludes. Which means members of those next six teams have a higher chance of making fantastic hay when it matters most. Especially for fantasy managers in tight combat. As usual, the focus is on the numbers available more than not in the fantastic spectrum of ESPN.com.
Any vying fantasy manager with current goalie issues (vested in Carey Price, Philipp Grubauer, Maple Leafs goalie maybe?) Should at least consider joining “Team Tokarski” in the near term. The Sabers’ only (essentially) healthy goaltender is 0.938 SV% and a very respectable 2-2-1 record in five straight starts, including a back-to-back game with the Penguins. Average 4.1 fantasy points per game during that span, Dustin Tokarski is expected to start all three games before Sunday – a tilt with the Rangers in addition to a pair against the Bruins – unless a Carter Hutton recuperates. does not heal faster than expected. Up front, Buffalo center Casey Mittelstadt continues to seduce as a widely available asset while enjoying his most productive month (by a colossally wide margin) of his NHL career.
Not buying on Tokarski? Next, see if second row forwards David Krejci or Craig Smith are still missing in your H2H league. On defense, Matt Grzelcyk hits like dangerous – and healthy again – commodity on the Bruins’ top pair and No.1 power play. Grzelcyk is only spoken to in 28% of ESPN.com leagues. After facing Buffalo twice, Boston will face the Penguins on Sunday. The B’s scored seven goals (one empty net) in their last meeting with Pittsburgh in early April.
Sadly, aside from the timeline, there isn’t much to like about most of the fantastic Flyers backers lately. As of March 31, the team have won three of 11 contests, averaging just two goals per game. An exception, for managers who need a boost from the blue line, could be Travis Sanheim. Through shots, blocked shots, hits and odd goals / assists, the Philly top four defenseman has averaged 1.9 fantasy points since April 5. While it’s not an incredible amount, it translates to almost six points in three games. A manager who lost a week by a point or two – isn’t that all of us? – should appreciate the potential difference that even such a light cushion can offer. Sanheim is available in almost 84% of ESPN.com leagues. Looking beyond their pair with the Rangers, it’s also worth noting that the Flyers will face New Jersey in four straight games, starting on Sunday. No team has come close to giving up as many goals as the Devils (4.64 per game in 11 games) in April.
After “edging” the Devils 7-6 on Tuesday, the Penguins will face New Jersey again Thursday and Saturday before hosting the Bruins on Sunday. Fantasy managers who remain reluctant to connect with members of the Pittsburgh second line should quickly reconsider – especially Jeff Carter and Jared McCann. The former scored his first as a Penguin on three shots on Tuesday, gaining 3.8 fantasy points. McCann, meanwhile, functions as an added threat on the team’s No.1 power play. As long as Evgeni Malkin stays out – and the center’s return from a lower-body injury before next week would be a big shock – the Carter / McCann combo holds great potential for fantasy over the next few days. Extremely available Mike Matheson comes across as an intriguing, albeit volatile, asset on the blue line.
New Jersey Devils
On the subject of those Devils, who face the Penguins twice and the Flyers once between Thursday and Sunday, Nico Hischier deserves to be thought of as a fantastic end-of-season addition. The second-row center and best player on the power play has scored two goals on 11 shots in his last two games. Forward Yegor Sharangovich is enjoying another productive mini-stretch with two goals and three assists in three games. It might come in handy in deeper H2H leagues. Only please avoid all Jersey goalkeepers under all circumstances. Once again, this club allows nearly five goals per game in April.
New York Rangers
With Jacob Trouba sidelined until at least Thursday due to a suspected concussion, K’Andre Miller becomes even more important to the Rangers’ blue line. A quality boost in minutes is guaranteed for the rookie defenseman, who is already in New York’s side power play. Collected in just 5.6% of ESPN.com leagues, Miller could be in for a quality weekend. Of those available in the fantasy game, striker Colin Blackwell has the biggest advantage. Skating a goal line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome, the lesser-known entity has registered six goals and six assists in their last 13 games. The Rangers host the Flyers twice over the next 24 hours before hosting the Sabers on Sunday.
For those who won’t read this material until after Thursday night, it’s worth mentioning the Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings are set to play twice Friday through Sunday, as well as the Half-Dozen. of clubs mentioned above. . Most of the league is scheduled for a solo outing during this period. The Edmonton Oilers don’t play until Monday at all.
One final note: The Colorado Avalanche returns to action Thursday after being inactive since April 14 in the wake of the league’s COVID-19 protocol. Colorado have 13 games remaining on their schedule before ESPN.com’s fantastic competition concludes on May 13, tied for most in the NHL. With Mikko Rantanen still out, Andre Burakovsky – registered in 33% of ESPN.com leagues – is set to skate on the front row of the Avalanche with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. Another interesting asset is veteran Carl Soderberg as a participant in the club’s best power play and second scoring line. The Avs will face the St. Louis Blues twice to wrap up the week and once again on Monday.