Fantasy Hockey Stanley Cup Playoff Outlook: Eastern Conference (Puck Daddy)

Dobber checks in every Thursday to force-feed you the latest fantasy hockey trends. The founder of and a columnist for The Hockey News website, he long ago immersed himself into this roller coaster world and is unable to escape. Well that was fast. Just four days of regular season hockey left (three if you're not a Boston or Ottawa fan). You know what that means? Playoff pool time! This weekend, sit back with a bunch of your buddies, draft list in one hand, a beer in the other, and pick your winning team. To help you on your way, I've assembled a little primer for you. We'll tackle the Eastern Conference today, and the West tomorrow. To get things started, I ran a quick report on Frozen Pool listing the top PP ice time per game among defensemen over the last three weeks. Because everyone knows that playoff scoring revolves around Bryzgalov and Fleury being in the nets the power play. Boston Bruins The Obvious - Brad Marchand, Jaromir Jagr, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara. The Sleepers - Carl Soderberg is seeing plenty of ice time and playing with Jagr. He's been a highly-coveted prospect for close to a decade - when he was drafted in the second round, Dougie Hamilton was celebrating his 11th birthday. Soderberg has played just three games, but has two assists and could have a Ville-Leino-type (circa the Flyers, 2010) of impact. Rookies to Watch - Soderberg is too old for rookie status, making defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski the only rookie regulars. Neither are worth drafting, unless your league is deep and you have several Bruins already - then Hamilton is worth grabbing in the final round. Don't Overrate - Hamilton has been a healthy scratch in three of his last six games. Most rookies are hard to trust in a playoff draft, because the coach tends to keep a tight leash on them. Just nine rookies in the last two postseasons have tallied more than five points… Also Milan Lucic. Big, bad Bruin has a reputation for playing a 'playoff' type of game. But pools don't give points for reputation, or player types. They give points for goals and assists. And Looch hasn't been getting many of them - just 15 points in his last 32 playoff contests. Montreal Canadiens The Obvious - Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, Michael Ryder, Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Andrei Markov and Brian Gionta. The Sleepers - Lars Eller has improved dramatically, in each of his three seasons in the NHL. Although his playoff experience is limited, he has plenty of experience on the world stage… Raphael Diaz is going to slip through the draft unnoticed due to his point total, which is low because of the games missed with a concussion. If you need a defenseman in the late rounds, he's your guy. Rookies to Watch - Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher are key reasons why the Habs are even in this position. Adding a pair of young, energetic 50-point (pro-rated) players does wonders for a team. Galchenyuk has 10 points in his last 11 games and is the No.4 player on this team I would draft (after Pacioretty, Subban and Ryder)… Gallagher is worth drafting, if you like the Habs to go deep, but he's certainly not a high pick. He has slowed down, with just four points in his last 11 games. Don't Overrate - Rene Bourque has two points in his eight games since returning from a concussion… Markov has just 18 points in 49 career playoff games. He also has just three points in his last 11 games.

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