Fantasy Hockey Playoff ONE (5/8)
by Chris Wassel
It just seems as a sign of the times that players get hot for 2 to 4 games in these playoffs then vanish for almost an entire series for whatever reason. That just seems to be the going pattern. Last night, Joel Ward (NSH) and Ryan Kesler (VAN)were hot again but will they stay that way? They have been for the last few games but one guy that likely will not is David Legwand, who seems to only score during moon shifts.
Look at the leading scorers in the playoffs. Most points per game is around 1.25 at the highest level for players who have not been eliminated. Remember when players were up near 1.5 or even 2 in some cases? Well this could be another year where your leading point scorer may have 25-30 points at the max. It is just how it is.
Goaltending has leveled off other than in the East where Dwayne Roloson and Tim Thomas have been the class of netminding in the playoffs. Roloson has a .941 save percentage and Tim Thomas has a .937 save percentage. Thomas actually had the higher save percentage in Round 2, go figure. Also the likely Vezina Winner played a little more contained in Round 2 against Philly and did not get rattled at all. Thomas will need more of that with Tampa’s 1-3-1 that creates more chances and not quite as many shots on net.
Back to Detroit and San Jose, goaltending has been very good in spots but the offenses have taken over a bit in the last two contests. We almost fully expect the over to hit again tonight since it is at 5 1/2. Mike Modano is likely to see action tonight and is an obvious asset on the man advantage. “The Mule” has not been at all, actually he has been a liability. Now for San Jose, Ryan Clowe has been their most consistent playoff performer with 12 points in 10 games. The Sharks need that consistency and perhaps a strong showing from Devin Setoguchi and Joe Pavelski tonight. The usual fantasy poolie suspects will have to strike for San Jose while Detroit may need help from unlikely sources. That is just how it may roll tonight.
SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2011
|Detroit||at||San Jose||8:00 PM | Gameday|
Jimmy Howard has played well in this round and was consistent in Round 1. Detroit fans cannot really blame him but the offense has been inconsistent in Round 2, not cashing in on golden scoring chances. The Red Wings have had plenty of those in this series and the likes of Todd Bertuzzi and even Pavel Datsyukhas to cash in more. Injuries have hurt Detroit offensively in this round but they have the firepower to keep up with San Jose. It is why I flip flopped quite a bit with the series prediction then ultimately went with San Jose in 7.
Fantasy wise tonight, how does it look to shape up? We will try to give you an idea of how this “MAY” go.
Jimmy Howard (DET) — 4 GA on 39 shots
Pavel Datsyuk (DET) — 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 SOG
Nick Lidstrom (DET) — 2 assists, 3 SOG
Antti Niemi (SJ) — 3 GA on 32 shots
Ryan Clowe (SJ) — 1 goal, 1 assist 3 SOG
Dany Heatley (SJ) — 1 goal, 1 assist 5 SOG
Will there be some totally unexpected contributions? Of course. Do not be shocked if Kyle Wellwood does it again. He finds a way to make impacts in games like these for San Jose. For Detroit, it will be Mike Modano if he plays. Something tells me Modano wants to go out in a blaze of glory or at least in his own way.
There is one other guy to watch out for and I think that could be Dan Boyle. Very quietly, he has been the X Factor in this series. Again binge scoring has been “IN” in these playoffs but sustained two way play has been especially fleeting for a guy like Boyle but he has improved this year. Good luck fantasy poolies and remember 8pm ET on Versus tonight will tell the tale and do not forget The Program tonight.