The NHL regular season may be over, but that is no reason to stop being a fantasy addict now! Several excellent websites such as Office Pools, Rinkotology and HockeyDraft.ca offer tailored pools that satisfy the need of the biggest hockey-crazed addicts, so stop biting your nails get your playoff draft on. We currently offer a free playoff pool of our own, so don’t forget to sign up!
\The size of the first tier is a testament to just how important it is in the NHL to have a marquee centre (or two) anchoring the offense.
Henrik and Kesler have a tough matchup in round one against the Hawks, but if they can get past the defending champs, they hypothetically should have the easiest route through the West. Backstrom had a down season, but if Washington can finally put it together in the playoffs, he is a Conn Smythe candidate. Toews’ ranking depends entirely on if you think he can help upset the Canucks in round one. If you don’t, stay away. Thornton and Stamkos are two guys with something to prove, Stamkos as a first timer and Thornton as the guy who can’t lead his team deep in the playoffs. However, both are capable of putting up gaudy totals.
Mike Richards is the heart and soul of the Flyers, and they proved last year that they can make a deep run even with unproven goaltending. Datsyuk is the most talented player on arguably the most talented squad in the playoffs, so it’s hard to go wrong there. Getzlaf came on strong at the end of the season, and I can’t picture the Ducks losing to Nashville in the first round.
In tier 2, it is hard to know what to expect. When will Crosby play? Will Carter disappear like he has been known to do on occasion? Which Vinny will show up; the 100 pt version or the 70 pt version?
Tier 3 is a couple of unsung players matching up in the first round. I like Plekanec better as a player, but Krejci’s team has a better chance of advancing.
Tier 4 is a pretty big drop. Pavelski and Couture both had great regular seasons but have the dreaded “choke” label attached to them by association with the Sharks. Bergeron faded badly down the stretch with only 7 pts in his last 19 games, so it’s hard to know what to expect from him.
The final tier is comprised of complimentary players who you really shouldn’t be counting on to help win you your pool. They all could be golfing after round one, so tread lightly. In some cases, you may be better of taking a grinder on a team you think will go deep rather than a second liner on a one and done team.
We hope you enjoyed our latest as much as we enjoyed writing it. If there are glaring omissions let your voice be heard in the comments. Regardless, make sure to take all of the advice in and continue to check our renowned starting goalies section, which is updated all day until game time and follow us on Twitter @DailyFaceoff