In preparation for playoff hockey, and extra particularly playoff swimming pools, we now have already coated forwards who can present worth within the post-season. Now, it’s time to think about protection and goaltending.
On the blueline, the overwhelming worth is discovered with defensemen that get constant energy play time. It’s at all times useful to supply factors at even energy however, in the midst of a playoff run, energy play success can present the required juice to a defenseman’s level totals. For instance, among the many prime six scoring defensemen in final season’s playoffs, three of them had recorded greater than half of their factors on the ability play. That group was led by Washington’s John Carlson, who recorded 12 of his 20 post-season factors on the ability play.
As with forwards, at all times begin with the highest gamers on prime groups. Victor Hedman, Morgan Rielly, Kris Letang, John Carlson and so forth.
Listed here are another blueliners that could possibly present worth in your playoff pool:
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets: With Byfuglien lacking a lot time as a consequence of accidents, Jacob Trouba has taken over as the purpose man on Winnipeg’s first power-play unit, however Huge Buff is enjoying greater than 24 minutes per sport since getting again within the lineup and has 31 factors in 41 video games this season. Don’t overlook that he had 16 factors in 17 post-season video games final yr and it’s a secure assumption that he gained’t get intimidated when the play will get bodily.
P.Okay. Subban, Nashville Predators: Few defensemen include a highlight as massive because the one which tends to search out Subban, however 30 factors in 62 video games counts as Subban’s lowest per-game price (zero.48 factors per sport) since 2011-2012, and that may make him a bit simpler to amass. On the similar time, he’s nonetheless producing 2.6 photographs on purpose per sport and has a robust playoff observe file that features 59 factors in 90 profession post-season video games. The trick for the Predators is determining their woeful energy play, and the answer most likely rests in not so many photographs taken from the purpose.
Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes: Final summer time’s massive acquisition for the Hurricanes, Hamilton had simply 10 factors in 38 video games on the finish of 2018. Nevertheless, he discovered his offensive sport when the calendar flipped to 2019, placing up 15 targets and 13 assists in 43 video games. He’s a game-changer when he’s enjoying nicely.
Colin Miller, Vegas Golden Knights: Whereas Shea Theodore is the highest scorer on the Golden Knights’ blueline, Miller is the principle menace with the person benefit, the place he leads the group with 12 energy play assists. He’s been a wholesome scratch a number of occasions throughout the season, so Miller does include some danger, however that’s why he’s more likely to be accessible later in drafts.
Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders: The 24-year-old has a booming shot from the purpose, although he doesn’t have as massive an affect on the ability play as one would possibly anticipate, recording 9 of his 37 factors on the ability play. However, if the Islanders are going to make noise within the post-season, they may want somebody to step up and Pulock is establishing his credentials as an offensive defenseman.
Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars: John Klingberg is the big-name defenseman in Dallas, however this smooth-skating rookie could possibly be one thing of a wild card. His 12 targets and 179 photographs on purpose ranked first amongst all rookie defensemen and the Stars generated their highest price of excessive hazard possibilities (amongst Dallas’ blueline regulars) with Heiskanen on the ice.
Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa Bay Lightning: The sophomore blueliner has seven factors prior to now 5 video games and is much more vital to the Lightning with Victor Hedman nursing an harm late within the season. There may be additionally the hope, or expectation, that the Lightning will likely be enjoying deep into the post-season so they may have a couple of defenseman contributing to the assault.
Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs: The veteran blueliner returned to the lineup after lacking 5 weeks as a consequence of again troubles, however he’s a standout puck mover and if the Maple Leafs are going to have any post-season success this season then they may seemingly want Gardiner to maintain shifting the puck in the precise course. He might additionally use some redemption after a tough Sport Seven in opposition to Boston final yr.
Vince Dunn, St.Louis Blues: Whereas he’s often restricted to third-pair minutes, Dunn has been very productive for the Blues this season and has performed greater than 20 minutes per sport over the previous 11 contests, contributing three targets and 4 assists.
Tim Heed, San Jose Sharks: In search of a deep sleeper? The 28-year-old performed a career-high 37 video games this season and has chipped in 10 factors in his previous 20 video games. The chance with Heed is that his function with the Sharks appears to be on the mercy of Erik Karlsson’s well being and if Karlsson is sweet to go for the post-season, then Heed might have a tough time moving into the lineup.
As for goaltenders, there are a few points at play. The primary of which is discovering goalies on the precise groups. As in all playoff swimming pools, enjoying extra video games gives extra alternative to accrue factors, so that’s the first precedence in relation to discovering a goaltender.
The second difficulty, nevertheless, is a bit more nebulous, and that’s how safe the goaltender is in his No. 1 standing together with his group. final yr, Philipp Grubauer was the beginning goaltender within the first two playoff video games for the Washington Capitals, however he didn’t have anyplace close to the observe file of Braden Holtby and, after the Capitals fell behind two video games to none in opposition to Columbus, Washington turned to Holtby and rode him all the best way to the Stanley Cup. Primarily, some goalies are safer of their standing and that makes them extra interesting for fantasy functions.
As with all classes, it appears, begin with Tampa Bay, as a result of Andrei Vasilevskiy is a safe primary goaltender on the perfect group, in order that’s the most secure play, however scorching goaltenders could make a giant distinction within the playoffs.
Listed here are another netminders to think about:
Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals: Not solely did he win the Stanley Cup final yr, however Holtby has an distinctive playoff observe file, posting a .929 save proportion in 82 profession playoff video games. He’s additionally very safe in his place as Washington’s starter.
Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues: Would possibly as nicely trip this rookie whereas he’s on this outrageous scorching streak. The 25-year-old burst onto the NHL scene and has a .927 save proportion in 31 video games, driving the Blues’ push for the playoffs. Now, they’ve pretty much as good an opportunity as any to get by means of the Western Convention.
Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars: Not solely has Bishop carried out at a excessive degree when wholesome this season, however he additionally has a stellar, if restricted playoff observe file, posting a .927 save proportion in 36 profession post-season begins.
Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks: It is a lengthy shot, on condition that he has a disappointing .896 save proportion this season, however Jones does have just a few benefits working in his favor. The primary is that the Sharks could be a very robust group, particularly if Erik Karlsson is within the lineup, and the second is that Jones has performed nicely within the playoffs, recording a .926 save proportion in 42 profession playoff video games begins.
Need extra in-depth options, evaluation and an All-Entry go to the most recent content material? Subscribe to The Hockey Information journal.Tags: carolina hurricanes, dallas stars, fantasy hockey, nashville predators, ny islanders, nhl, san jose sharks, st. louis blues, tampa bay lightning, toronto maple leafs, vegas golden knights, winnipeg jetsAbout the AuthorScott CullenScott Cullen has been taking part in fantasy hockey for the reason that mid-1980s, nonetheless laces them up when he can and does a bit teaching, too.