The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Weekly Wrap: Fantasy Hockey Playoffs Week in Review

We are down to two teams. The offensive juggernaut, Edmonton Oilers, knocked off the Dallas Stars in six games. Similarly, the balanced attack of the Florida Panthers defeated the New York Rangers in six games.

During your fantasy hockey playoff draft, the Panthers and Oilers were likely among the first teams selected. For intrigue’s sake, hopefully, the stars of each team were split among several fantasy teams. If someone managed to draft more than two of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Evan Bouchard, and Zach Hyman, there’s a strong possibility the pool was decided two weeks ago.

Fantasy Hockey Playoffs Week in Review

When I say the Oilers’ scoring is top-heavy, I mean it. Take a look:

  • Connor McDavid: 31 points
  • Leon Draisaitl: 28 points
  • Evan Bouchard: 27 points
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 20 points
  • Zach Hyman: 18 points
  • Evander Kane: 8 points
  • Mattias Ekholm: 7 points
  • Brett Kulak: 5 points
  • Five players tied with 4 points

Evander Kane is sixth in playoff scoring for the Oilers and only played 4:26 of game six. The Oilers’ head coach confirmed after game six that Kane didn’t play more due to an injury. How healthy Kane will be for the Stanley Cup Finals is uncertain.

The top of the Oilers’ lineup is elite. Through three rounds, the Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, and Dallas Stars couldn’t slow them down.

If your fantasy hockey pool is close and you don’t have at least two of the Oilers’ top five-point producers, winning your pool will be difficult. They will need someone from the bottom six to step up and produce at a similar level to that of the Florida Panthers.

Speaking of the Panthers, let’s look at their point distribution through three rounds:

  • Matthew Tkachuk: 19 points
  • Aleksander Barkov: 17 points
  • Carter Verhaeghe: 17 points
  • Anton Lundell: 12 points
  • Sam Reinhart: 12 points
  • Gustav Forsling: 11 points
  • Sam Bennett: 10 points
  • Brandon Montour: 9 points
  • Evan Rodriguez: 8 points
  • Vladimir Tarasenko: 7 points
  • Eetu Luostarinen: 6 points
  • Aaron Ekblad: 5 points
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson: 4 points

From game to game, you’re less likely to predict who will score Florida’s goals. They don’t have a player with double-digit goals; Carter Verhaeghe leads the team with nine.

At first glance, it appears the Oilers hold a large edge in goals. It’s closer than you might think. The Oilers have scored 63 goals in 18 games (3.5 goals per game), while the Panthers have scored 55 goals in 17 games (3.24 goals per game).

To win your fantasy hockey playoff pool, it likely comes down to the quantity of Panthers players versus the quality of Oilers players.

The Oilers’ path to victory rests squarely on Draisaitl, McDavid, Bouchard, Nugent-Hopkins, and Hyman.

The Panthers’ path to victory is a ‘by-committee’ approach. Your late-round Panthers draft picks will be integral to winning your hockey pool. Tarasenko, Rodriguez, and Luostarinen hold more value than Connor Brown, Corey Perry, or Mattias Janmark.

Sure, there’s a possibility Perry, Brown, or even Warren Foegele will have a big series and double their playoff production to date. But it’s more likely the depth players of the Panthers will produce at that level. Vladimir Tarasenko is likely to sign with a team next season where he will undertake a regular top-six role once again.

We can’t forget about the goalies.

Sergei Bobrovsky has been nothing short of clutch. He’s played every playoff game and holds a 2.20 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. The save percentage may be mildly misleading as the Panthers have only allowed 24.4 shots per game.

Stuart Skinner has been very sharp since his mid-series rest against the Vancouver Canucks, especially in the final three games of the Conference Finals, only giving up four goals. His numbers aren’t as good, with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage. He has been good enough, and that has been good enough. The Oilers are only allowing 2.51 shots per game.

This has the makings of a close, long series.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs aren’t the only playoffs taking place. The CHL’s Memorial Cup wrapped up over the weekend.

CHL Memorial Cup

Owen Beck, C, Montreal Canadiens – Drafted 2022, Round 2, 33rd Overall

Beck walked away with Memorial Cup MVP honors with the CHL Champions, Saginaw Spirit, with five points in five games, including two goals in the Championship game. Canadiens fans have to be excited about his development. He was traded to the Spirit midseason and took off, producing 51 points in 32 games.

Easton Cowan, C, Toronto Maple Leafs – Drafted 2023, Round 1, 28th Overall

Cowan’s London Knights lost to Beck’s Saginaw Spirit in the Memorial Cup finals. That loss likely stripped him of pending MVP honors. He did win the Ed Chynoweth Trophy as the tournament’s leading scorer, with eight points in four games. Three of those points came in the Championship game, in a losing cause.

Denton Mateychuk, D, Columbus Blue Jackets – Drafted 2022, Round 1, 12th Overall

Mateychuk was the tournament’s leading scorer among defensemen, with seven points in four games. He was also selected to the tournament All-Star team. He’ll challenge for a roster spot with the Blue Jackets in the fall.

AHL Calder Cup

Zach L’Heureux, LW, Nashville Predators – Drafted 2021, Round 1, 27th Overall

He leads the AHL playoffs in scoring with 14 points in 12 games. His 1.17 points per game is a big step up from his regular season 48 points in 66 games (.73 points per game). To go along with his 14 points, L’Heureux also leads the AHL playoffs in penalty minutes with 48. Unfortunately, the AHL doesn’t track hits, but he looks like a future multi-cat beauty.

Hendrix Lapierre, C, Washington Capitals, Drafted 2020, Round 1, 22nd Overall

With the elimination of the Capitals from the Stanley Cup playoffs, Lapierre joined the Hershey Bears for their playoff run. He’s proven invaluable with 11 points in nine games to date. After these playoffs, it’s likely his AHL days are done. He played 51 games with the Capitals in 2023-24 and looks to have established himself in the NHL.

The additional AHL playoffs are simply priming him for a bigger role with the big club next year.

Hunter Shepard, G, Washington Capitals

Shepard is a little different than the others mentioned. At 29, he’s coming off a dominating AHL season. His record of 27-4-3 is only bested by his 1.76 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. To top it off, he’s 8-1 in the playoffs with an almost identical 1.83 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Darcy Kuemper is under contract for three more years and Charlie Lindgren for one more year. It is unlikely Shepard gets a shot without an injury to one or the other. He’s a dark horse for even a backup job, even if traded. Intriguing, nonetheless.

That’ll do it for this week. Thanks for reading.

Follow me on X/Twitter: @doylelb4

Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.