The Hockey News Playoff Fantasy Guide 2007

Lesedauer: ca. 3 Minuten

On the verge of another

post-season, The Hockey News presents our annual playoff guide. Pick up  Part

1 of our Playoff Preview for tips you’ll need to win your

fantasy playoff pool.

To kick things off, let’s

take a look at under-the-radar sleepers.

A “sleeper”, in fantasy

pool terms, is a player who comes alive and scores much more than expected.

That doesn’t necessarily

include players sleepwalking through the regular season, but it could. We also

want to look for players who have missed time with injuries; players in new

situations; and, those performing well late in the season.

The best sleepers, though, are

those who replace a key injured teammate. If a top player goes down, somebody

has to pick up the slack – which could mean better linemates and more power

play time. That happened with Alyn McCauley of the Maple Leafs when he replaced

an injured Mats Sundin in 2002. McCauley scored 15 points in those playoffs; in

his other 32 playoff games, he has four points. 

Is the next Chris Kontos on

the list below? Well, no. Players like that come from (way) off the charts. But

here are 10 players who should be available in the later rounds – and might

make all the difference.

 

GARY ROBERTS

This could be the final

curtain call for the 40-year-old Penguin. And, with the determination he has

shown in past playoffs, he’s a player the coach will want on the ice as much as

possible. Late in the regular season, he was earning points on the top power

play unit.

RYAN GETLAF

Getzlaf plays on Anaheim’s strong, young,

energetic second line of future big scorers with Corey Perry and Dustin Penner.

The top defensive checkers on opposing teams will be focused on the

Kunitz-McDonald-Selanne line, leaving Getzlaf & Co. to do some damage of

their own.

BRENDEN MORROW

The Dallas captain is mentioned not because he’ll

be undervalued, but because he missed so much time (42 games) with injuries.

TODD BERTUZZI

Bertuzzi, at 32 and coming

off a seven-game season, has to prove himself all over again. Playing on the

Red Wings with some talented linemates isn’t going to hurt.

KEVIN BIEKSA

It’s been a shockingly

surprising offensive season for the Canucks D-man – and there’s no reason he

shouldn’t keep surprising us.

TAYLOR PYATT

It all comes down to which

player is lined up beside the Sedins. Pyatt has been the man at even strength

recently. The danger is he’s not always with them on the power play and he can

be replaced at any time.

MARCEL HOSSA

First, the Rangers have to

make the playoffs; second, Hossa has to recover from a knee injury. He was

starting to score regularly before the setback. 

SHEA WEBER

The Preds defenseman is

only in his first full NHL season so he’s not that well-known – but he might be

after the playoffs. The all-round defenseman makes the big hits and is also a

big hit on offense. Not many of those guys around.

DAVID MOSS

Although he battled

injuries at the end of the regular season, Moss made a surprising impact on Calgary’s second line. He

played only 37 games, contributing nine goals and 17 points since being called

up from the minors. He’s definitely under the radar.

ANDREI KOSTITSYN

The Canadiens have to make

the playoffs first, too. But if they do, look out. The 2003 first-rounder has

been playing well since his recent call-up from Hamilton (AHL) and was second

behind Tomas Plekanec in March scoring.


To read the rest of this story and other great features from the world of

hockey, you can buy this issue

http://www.zinio.com/singles?issn=0018-3016U&ns=zno

or subscribe at


https://secure.indas.on.ca/care/hnc/digital.php?key=W06LDN73


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