Hey guys! I’m going to recap all of the action for the first eight days of the playoffs. I’m not going to hit on every thing that’s happening in each series but this is more of the big picture for the current season and then some smaller things that could have a fantasy impact going forward. Let’s get right to it!
Rangers vs. Canadiens
- The Rangers are an enigma. When they’re on, they’re as good as anyone in the league. When they’re off, it’s really, really bad. How they play is going to determine this series.
- A lot depends on what the Rangers do in the offseason but if they don’t add a big name on the blue line e.g. Shattenkirk, I’ll like Brady Skjei as a late round pick in 12’ers. It may be AAGNOF but at least there’s decent PIM and more than likely a good plus-minus. The Rangers are dominating possession with Skjei on the ice in this series.
- Alexander Radulov has earned a massive payday this summer. He’s been the best player in this series on either side and I don’t think it’s particularly close. His fantasy value can slightly shift depending on where he ends up but given the low shot volume, it’s be fringe top 100.
- It may only be stream worthy but I do think Artturi Lehkonen can have some value in 12’ers next season. If his minutes go up (which they should given the lack of offensive talent on the roster, especially Radulov leaves), he could score 25-30.
Bruins vs. Senators
- I expected the Bruins top line to dominate and while they have possession-wise, they can’t buy a goal. I can’t help but think that the Bruins will be in much better shape, if not winning the series, if they had Torey Krug. Overall, not a good week for Boston fans.
- Charlie McAvoy is going to be really good. As talked about on this podcast, he should be 12’er worthy next season.
- Bobby Ryan has come back to life in this series. Still have no faith in him sustaining it over a full season.
- Erik Karlsson is amazing. That is all.
Capitals vs. Maple Leafs
- Nothing can ever be easy for Washington. Toronto deserves some credit for that but the Caps are also busy shooting themselves in the foot. Game 3 and 4 shouldn’t have been close after their excellent starts but they pissed away Game 3 and almost did yesterday.
- T.J. Oshie is going to get a massive contract this offseason. Best case for his fantasy value is staying in Washington. It won’t drastically hurt him no matter where he ends up but he’ll go from fringe top 50 to barely in the top 100 if he goes to an unappealing situation.
- Assuming Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner leave, I am going to want a bunch of Dmitry Orlov stock next season.
- The amount of goals he’s giving up doesn’t accurate describe how well Frederik Andersen is playing. Borderline #1 fantasy goalie next season.
- The Leafs are another defenseman or two from being a powerhouse. Their forward core is absurd and only going to get better.
Penguins vs. Blue Jackets
- Where the hell does Jake Guentzel get ranked next season? If we knew he would stick with Sidney Crosby, is it top 100? You could make a compelling argument. Conor Sheary is clearly top 100 playing with Crosby, I don’t see why it would be any different. Five goals in the first four games, including a hat trick. Good for Guentzel.
- Marc-Andre Fleury has been mostly good in this series which is all Pittsburgh can ask for. I still can’t help but assume he’s going to implode eventually.
- It’s a shame that Zach Werenski took a puck to the face because he was playing very well. Hopefully he avoids the sophomore slump next season. He’ll be a borderline #1D for me.
- His minutes are limited but I’m still loving Oliver Bjorkstrand long-term.
- Sergei Bobrovsky is always a mess in the playoffs. Obviously he’s played Pittsburgh the last two times but he’s giving up some brutal goals due to horrible positioning. Hopefully he can steal Game 5 and make it somewhat of a series.
Predators vs. Blackhawks
- I will not count the Blackhawks out until they’re dead but this one is looking good for the underdog and the picks of our podcast hosts. Please stay good Pekka Rinne.
- This group of defensemen is incredible. To limit Chicago to two goals through three games is nothing short of incredible.
- Viktor Arvidsson has been an animal. Feeling even better about having him in my top 50 for next season.
- Artemi Panarin is the biggest bright spot for Chicago. He’s one of the only Chicago forwards posing a threat on most shifts. Marian Hossa is as well.
Wild vs. Blues
- Where the hell has this Jake Allen been all year? He was the biggest mistake I made in my preseason rankings for goaltenders (I talked about this in my Year in Review, Part One). I assume we’ll be able to get him as a #2 next season and I will probably be sucked in again. It’s very early but it seems like I’ll be waiting on goalies more than usual next year.
- Ivan Barbashev will only be a streamer next season but I like him a lot in dynasties.
- Alex Pietrangelo is solidifying himself as one of my favorite defenseman for next season. He’ll be a bottom end #1 / top end #2.
- I still think the Wild can win this series. They’ve dominated all four games and if Allen slips at all, the door is wide open.
- It’s being overlooked because of how well Allen has played but Devan Dubnyk has been solid.
- There’s a good chance that the best player on Vegas’ roster next season comes off this Wild roster. Chuck Fletcher will have an incredibly difficult decision deciding who to expose. The Wild are arguably the most likely team to make an offseason trade before the expansion draft.
Ducks vs. Flames
- It looks like Nate Thompson is going to be the random depth guy who has a massive playoffs.
- This was a far more even series than a sweep indicates. Brian Elliott did not do his team any favors.
- Ryan Getzlaf is still a monster.
- Massive for the Ducks to get this series done quickly since this gives them a great opportunity to get Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen and now Hampus Lindholm back for the next round.
- Despite the loss, it was nice to see Sean Monahan score in every game. I’m a big fan of his game in real life despite always being lower on him in fantasy.
Oilers vs. Sharks
- Leon Draisaitl is fortunate that the league is gutless and doesn’t suspend players for spears.
- Shutouts for everyone! Both goalies are middling to bottom end #1’s for me next year.
- Joe Thornton returning is enough for me to slightly lean towards the Sharks from here on out. Obviously I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oilers won but that top line is causing some issues.
- Marc-Edouard Vlasic is really damn good. It doesn’t translate much to fantasy but he’s an elite defenseman.
- Zach Kassian scoring two game-winning goals is funny to me. The former first-round pick has bounced around and failed to ever develop a scoring touch. Despite that, he’s made a massive impact. Good for him.
That’s all for now guys. Please leave any questions or comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them. Thanks for reading, take care!