Fantasy Playoffs: Week 1

The regular season is over, the match-ups are set and so its time to get the second season started.  The Chicago Blackhawks just squeaked into the playoffs and get a chance to defend their Stanley Cup title.  This is the most exciting time to be a hockey fan as every game means something now.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.

First round series – Games to be played in week 1:

Washington (#1) vs. New York (#8)
Games: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
Season Series: New York won 3-1-0 and outscored Washington 16-6
Season Home Records: Washington (25-8-8) – New York (20-17-4)
Season Away Records:
Washington (23-15-3) – New York (24-16-1)
Season Powerplay Rank: Washington (16th) – New York (18th)
Season Penalty Kill Rank:
Washington (2nd) – New York (10th)
Key Injuries: Jason Arnott (day-to-day), Dennis Wideman (indefinitely), Mike Green (could play game 1), Tom Poti (indefinitely), Ryan Callahan (indefinitely), Alexander Frolov (will miss playoffs)

Philadelphia (#2) vs. Buffalo (#7)
Games: Thursday and Saturday
Season Series: Tied 2-2 and Philadelphia outscored Buffalo 17-14
Season Home Records: Philadelphia (22-12-7) – Buffalo (21-16-4)
Season Away Records:
Philadelphia (25-11-5) – Buffalo (22-13-6)
Season Powerplay Rank: Philadelphia (19th) – Buffalo (9th)
Season Penalty Kill Rank:
Philadelphia (15th) – Buffalo (13th)
Key Injuries: Chris Pronger (day-to-day), Nick Boynton (day-to-day), Jochen Hecht (indefinitely), Jordan Leopold (indefinitely), Derek Roy (indefinitely), Tim Connolly (questionable)

Boston (#3) vs. Montreal (#6)
Games: Thursday and Saturday
Season Series: Montreal won 4-2-0 and Boston outscored Montreal 22-20
Season Home Records: Boston (22-13-6) – Montreal (20-19-2)
Season Away Records:
Boston (24-12-5) – Montreal (20-19-2)
Season Powerplay Rank: Boston (20th) – Montreal (7th)
Season Penalty Kill Rank:
Boston (16th) – Montreal (7th)
Key Injuries: Marc Savard (will miss playoffs), Josh Gorges (will miss playoffs), Andrei Markov (will miss playoffs), Max Pacioretty (indefinitely)

Pittsburgh (#4) vs. Tampa Bay (#5)
Games: Wednesday and Friday
Season Series: Tied 2-2 and Pittsburgh outscored Tampa Bay 17-9
Season Home Records: Pittsburgh (25-14-2) – Tampa Bay (25-11-5)
Season Away Records:
Pittsburgh (24-11-6) – Tampa Bay (21-14-6)
Season Powerplay Rank: Pittsburgh (25th) – Tampa Bay (6th)
Season Penalty Kill Rank:
Pittsburgh (1st) – Tampa Bay (8th)
Key Injuries: Sidney Crosby (indefinitely), Evgeni Malkin (will miss playoffs), Victor Hedman (day-to-day)

Vancouver (#1) vs. Chicago (#8)
Games: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
Season Series: Vancouver won 2-1-1 and Chicago outscored Vancouver 12-9
Season Home Records: Vancouver (27-9-5) – Chicago (24-17-0)
Season Away Records:
Vancouver (27-10-4) – Chicago (20-12-9)
Season Powerplay Rank: Vancouver (1st) – Chicago (4th)
Season Penalty Kill Rank:
Vancouver (3rd) – Chicago (25th)
Key Injuries: Manny Malhotra (will miss playoffs), Andrew Alberts (day-to-day), Troy Brouwer (day-to-day), David Bolland (indefinitely)

San Jose (#2) vs. Los Angeles (#7)
Games: Thursday and Saturday
Season Series: San Jose won 3-1-2 and outscored Los Angeles 18-15
Season Home Records: San Jose (25-11-5) – Los Angeles (25-13-3)
Season Away Records:
San Jose (23-14-4) – Los Angeles (21-17-3)
Season Powerplay Rank: San Jose (2nd) – Los Angeles (21st)
Season Penalty Kill Rank:
San Jose (24th) – Los Angeles (4th)
Key Injuries: Anze Kopitar (indefinitely), Justin Williams (questionable), Ryane Clowe (day-to-day)

Detroit (#3) vs. Phoenix (#6)
Games: Wednesday and Saturday
Season Series: Tied 2-2 and Phoenix outscored Detroit 12-11
Season Home Records: Detroit (21-14-6) – Phoenix (21-13-7)
Season Away Records:
Detroit (26-11-4) – Phoenix (22-13-6)
Season Powerplay Rank: Detroit (5th) – Phoenix (23rd)
Season Penalty Kill Rank:
Detroit (17th) – Phoenix (26th)
Key Injuries: Niklas Kronwall (day-to-day), Henrik Zetterberg (questionable)

Anaheim (#4) vs. Nashville (#5)
Games: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
Season Series: Nashville won 3-1-0 and outscored Anaheim 17-11
Season Home Records: Anaheim (26-13-2) – Nashville (24-9-8)
Season Away Records:
Anaheim (21-17-3) – Nashville (20-18-3)
Season Powerplay Rank:
Anaheim (3rd) – Nashville (26th)
Season Penalty Kill Rank:
Anaheim (19th) – Nashville (5th)
Key Injuries: Ray Emery (day-to-day), Jonas Hiller (questionable), Martin Erat (day-to-day), Steve Sullivan (on IR)

If you participate in any type of head-to-head hockey pool, you are likely dressing a lineup for each scoring period, which usually ends on Sunday.

As the week comes to an end, and you find yourself in a close battle for those wins, you want as many players as possible playing for you.

Here are the teams that play on Sunday (record for Sunday games during regular season):

Anaheim (9-7), Chicago (9-5), Nashville (5-4), New York (7-5), Vancouver (6-3) and Washington (10-1)

Knowing which team is on a hot streak or cold streak will help in making your lineup decisions.

For example you definitely want to dress a goalie from teams that are on a hot streak. Here is the top five and bottom five playoff bound teams up to the end of the regular season:

TOP FIVE: Buffalo (8-1-1), Pittsburgh (8-2-0), Washington (7-2-1), Nashville (7-2-1) and San Jose (7-2-1)

BOTTOM FIVE: Philadelphia (3-4-3), Detroit (4-4-2), Montreal (5-4-1), Chicago (5-4-1) and Phoenix (5-3-2)

Most elite stars are consistent scorers, but there are several players who are very streaky so keep an eye on their stats so that you can dress them while they are on a hot streak.

Here are the top five playoff bound scorers for each skater position (positions based according to CBSsports.com) up to April 11, 2011 for the past seven and fourteen days:

CENTERS PAST FOURTEEN:

Vincent Lecavalier-TAMPA BAY (GP-seven G-five A-three)
Danny Briere-PHILADELPHIA (GP-five G-two A-five)
Kyle Wellwood-SAN JOSE (GP-six G-one A-six)
Tim Connolly-BUFFALO (GP-seven G-two A-five)
Ryan Getzlaf-ANAHEIM (GP-six G-one A-six)

RIGHT-WINGERS PAST FOURTEEN:

Corey Perry-ANAHEIM (GP-six G-six A-six)
Martin St. Louis-TAMPA BAY (GP-seven G-four A-six)
Drew Stafford-BUFFALO (GP-seven G-three A-four)
Patric Hornqvist-NASHVILLE (GP-six G-two A-five)
Jason Pominville-BUFFALO (GP-seven G-three A-four)

LEFT-WINGERS PAST FOURTEEN:

Thomas Vanek-BUFFALO (GP-six G-six A-three)
Patrick Marleau-SAN JOSE (GP-six G-four A-five)
Alex Ovechkin-WASHINGTON (GP-six G-three A-five)
Simon Gagne-TAMPA BAY (GP-seven G-one A-seven)
Daniel Sedin-VANCOUVER (GP-six G-one A-seven)

DEFENSEMEN PAST FOURTEEN:

Dan Boyle-SAN JOSE (GP-six G-three A-three)
Lubomir Visnovsky-ANAHEIM (GP-six G-three A-three)
Andrej Meszaros-PHILADELPHIA (GP-seven G-two A-four)
Brent Seabrook-CHICAGO (GP-seven G-three A-three)
John Carlson-WASHINGTON (GP-six G-one A-four)

Here are the top five goaltenders and bottom five playoff bound goaltenders up to April 11, 2011 for the past 14 days:

HOT GOALTENDERS PAST 14:

Antti Niemi-SAN JOSE (GP-five W-four SO-one GAA-1.61)
Carey Price-MONTREAL (GP-five W-four SO-zero GAA-1.71)
Dwayne Roloson-TAMPA BAY (GP-five W-four SO-one GAA-2.00)
Jhonas Enroth-BUFFALO (GP-six W-four SO-one GAA-2.66)
Pekka Rinne-NASHVILLE (GP-six W-three SO-zero GAA-2.33)

COLD GOALTENDERS PAST 14:

Jonathan Quick-LOS ANGELES (GP-six L-four GAA-2.75)
Corey Crawford-CHICAGO (GP-seven L-three GAA-2.53)
Henrik Lundqvist-NEW YORK (GP-six L-three GAA-2.63)
Jimmy Howard-DETROIT (GP-five L-two GAA-2.98)
Marc-Andre Fleury-PITTSBURGH (GP-four L-two GAA-2.95)

For more fantasy hockey analysis, check out FantasyHockeyCoach.com.

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