NBC & NBCSN recently released their NHL broadcasting schedule for the upcoming season and honestly, it’s a schedule filled with errors and incompetence.
Detroit Red Wings
We are now coming into the month of May and are starting up the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For many teams, their post-season will consist of many rounds of golf down in sunny Florida.
Thomas Vanek is one NHLer who is getting used to being traded. The 13-year veteran was dealt at the trade deadline back in 2014 to the Canadians and became an essential part of their playoff run that season. During his brief time in Montreal, Vanek put together 15 points in 18 regular seasons games. Along with that, he also scored 10 points in 17 playoff games which will make him extremely appealing to playoff bound teams.
Since joining the Red Wings this off-season, Vanek has become an important part of Detroit’s offence. Despite only playing 36 games, the Austrian is currently second on the Red Wings roster with 31 points and is second on the team in power-play points with seven.
Vanek has openly come out and said that he has no desire to leave Detroit at the deadline, but for a player of his ability, he will be a much-wanted asset. He will also become a free agent this coming off-season.
These next three teams would really benefit from the offensive threat that Thomas Vanek brings to the ice.
The Senators are sitting second in the Atlantic division and have played for games less than Boston who are in third place. A pretty crazy stat for the Sens right now is that they have only scored two more goals than they have conceded. It may seem like Ottawa have terrible goaltending but that is not the case, they actually rank sixth in goals-against. Vanek could be the missing piece that Ottawa need to make a run since they have only scored 123 goals this season. If Ottawa were to make a move for Vanek, as of right now he would have their best points per game numbers with 0.84. The Red Wings forward would slide nicely right into the Sens roster and would be a welcome addition to their average power-play.
Boston is in the same situation as the Ottawa Senators, excellent goaltending but a below average offence. For a team that has the worst offence amongst teams in playoff spots, an inform winger like Thomas Vanek will bolster their playoffs chances. The Bruins are clearly suffering from the loss of Loui Eriksson but Vanek is in significantly better form than Eriksson this season so maybe Boston could see the move as an upgrade. The Austrian would fit in perfectly on the Bruins second line alongside David Krejci and David Backes; he could even help Backes get back to his normal self. It may be tough for the Bruins to acquire Vanek due to them being in the eastern conference.
The Predators have a roster with plenty of talent, yet only four players have more than 10 goals this year. Luckily for them, they do have enough depth scoring to keep them going with eight skaters with 20 points or more. As the Preds would love to add a natural goalscorer to their roster, Vanek would be a great answer. If Vanek was to join this team right now he would only trail Ryan Johansen (36) and Flip Forsberg (32) in points whilst playing 12 games less than both of them. Bringing in Vanek would give Nashville a legitimate scoring threat on their top three lines.
Week four is over which means we are now one month into the NHL season.
Whether you’re in a dynasty or basic format league you’re probably looking for new additions to your team to help you bring home the W.
This week’s list will contain some returning stars and somebody to sort out your goaltending situations.
After being told that he now has a full-time job with the Flames, Tkachuk let us know what it meant to him. He came out on the same day and potted two goals against Western conference powerhouse the San Jose Sharks. The youngster has also seen a growth in playing minutes in the last week. Definitely, a player you want to have on your dynasty team.
There is not too much more appealing in fantasy when a player gets moved to the same line as Connor McDavid. During his first game alongside him, Maroon managed to get himself on the scoresheet and grab an assist on the same night. Along with that, the night before, against the Rangers, Maroon got himself on the scorecard again. It would seem that the Oilers forward is becoming fantasy relevant.
Since his return two games again, Kronwall is yet to tally a point. However, he is playing a little under 20 minutes whilst averaging two shots a game. Kronwall has been immediately throwing onto the top line of both 5 v 5 and the 1st powerplay unit. He’s averaged almost half a point per game for the last four seasons so if you’re looking for help on defense he’s a player you should be looking at. Especially if you are a Travis Hamonic or a Seth Jones owner.
With the terrible circumstances going on with Craig Anderson right now, his availability is up in the air. Although he did play Saturday night in a losing attempt against Buffalo. Mike Condon, recently came over in a trade from the Penguins, making his debut on Tuesday night where he shut the door on the Vancouver Canucks making 27 saves. Condon is somebody you’re going to want to pick up if you’re an Anderson owner. He’ll be more effective for you in a daily league rather than weekly.
One of the hottest players to start the months of November was awarded the NHL 3rd star of the week. Hayes got himself on the scoresheet on four different occasions with two assists to go along with that. The Rangers forward is also part of one of the most explosive offenses in the NHL, yet he’s only owned in 29% of fantasy leagues. Hop on the Hayes train and enjoy the ride.
Every year there seems to be a new crop of players that are overrated by the fantasy hockey community for various reasons. Whether it’s a shiny new contract, the team they play for or simply putting too much stock into past seasons numbers.
I’ve looked into a few names that you should avoid until later on in your the draft, or leave off your fantasy roster entirely.
(photo via calgaryherald.com)
Now 3 days from the NHL draft, rumours are flying around and it’s hard to tell which ones are real and which ones are started by an “NHL Rumours” twitter account with 300 followers.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the bigger rumours that have been tossed around in the last 48 hours:
photo via likesuccess.com
With the end of the regular season here and fantasy playoff hockey talk hot, let’s countdown the top ten players you should pick up for success in your pool.
10 Tyler Seguin – I do have the Minnesota Wild taking down the offensive heavy Dallas Stars but it’s too tough not to have a natural goal scorer in Tyler Seguin on this list.
9 Vladimir Tarasenko – It’s hard to pick between the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues on who advances to the next round but it’s always better to take a superstar on a team that may potentially get knocked out in the first round than a depth guy on a team that may go far.
8 Pavel Datsyuk – It’s a going away party for the Magic Man as this his going to be his last crack at Lord Stanley. Find his silky mitts putting up points and for the Detroit Red Wings to take down the banged up Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of playoffs.
7 Aleksander Barkov – It’s a toss up in my opinion between Jagr and Barkov and just out of sheer instinct Barkov will lead the way for his team in the playoffs.
6 Corey Perry – Many people are saying the Anaheim Ducks are the best team in the NHL right now and Corey Perry will lead the way with what I feel is a simple first round matchup for the Ducks
5 Zach Parise – The Minnesota Wild will knock out the Dallas Stars in the first round of playoffs and find none other than Zach Parise leading the way for the Wild. They upset the St. Louis Blues a year ago and I feel they can do the same against Dallas this playoff campaign.
4 Sidney Crosby – Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are arguably the hottest team in the NHL. Crosby since the All-Star break has been the NHL’s best player and look for Pittsburgh to keep up their momentum and take down the difficult New York Rangers in the first round of playoffs.
3 Anze Kopitar – There’s no doubt that Anze Kopitar is LA’s go to machine. Look for LA to advance to the next round of playoffs and for Kopitar to be in on many of their goals.
2 Alexander Ovechkin – I believe Ovechkin is interchangeable with the number one spot on this list. It really comes down to who you favor winning the cup this year. Ovechkin’s importance to the Washington Capitals offense is heavy. He’s a natural sniper and is the best powerplay player in the league. Averaging just over five shots per game you can’t leave The Great Eight off this list. With Washington a true top three cup contender look for Ovechkin to really step up his play in the playoffs to try and capture his first Stanley Cup ring.
1 Patrick Kane – It’s hard not to have the NHL’s leading scorer on the top of this list. With Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks roster you can’t sell them short of taking home yet another Stanley Cup. Look for Chicago to go deep in this year’s post-season and don’t be surprised when you see Patrick Kane leading the way in points for his team and possibly capturing a Conn Smythe if the Blackhawks take home another Stanley Cup.
The brackets are filled and the most exciting time of the year is just around the corner. The first round of the playoffs, where you get 4 hard hitting, fast paced games every night. The match-ups this year are all very intriguing, so here are the four guys from BTI to take you a little bit deeper and give you their predictions.
(ranking are based on where they are in conference standings)
Washington Capitals (1) vs Philadelphia Flyers (7)
Tyler Yaremchuk: Washington might have a history of choking, but this should be a series they walk through. It concerns me that Washington hasn’t had a must win game all year and Philly has been essentially playing playoff hockey for months now. Washington is just too deep, have a great goalie as well as one of the best coaches in the game. Washington in 5.
Taylor Paniccia: Out of the three teams that were battling for those last two spots in the Eastern Conference race I believe the Capitals got the toughest matchup in the Flyers. That been said I don’t think the Flyers can beat a well-rounded Presidents Trophy team in the Capitals. Holtby is at a level no other goalie has touched this season and the Capitals offence is just too overpowered. Capitals in 5 games.
Josh Goodings: Washington in 5
Niti Krasniqi: Washington Capitals in 6.
BTI PREDICTS: Capitals in 5 is the consensus.
Tampa Bay Lightning (6) vs Detroit Red Wings (8)
Tyler Yaremchuk: This one is the least interesting out of all of the playoff series in my mind. I like Tampa Bay’s goaltending and back end more, even without Stralman. Drouin will also play a huge role in this series, if he shows up and plays well then it gives Tampa some really good secondary scoring. The Lightning had a better GA/60 in the regular season, while the Wings have a healthier forward group. Its Tampa’s goaltending vs Detroit’s offense in my opinion. I’ll take Tampa Bay to win this one is 7 seven games.
Taylor Paniccia: The Detroit Red Wings will expose a beat up Tampa Bay team and take them down in the first round even though they just barely squeaked in to keep the longest playoff streak record alive at 25 years. This is also Datsyuk’s going away party which means fortune could be in their favour. Wings in 7 games.
Josh Goodings: Tampa Bay in 6.
Niti Krasniqi: Tampa Bay in 5.
BTI PREDICTS: Tampa in 6 is our decision on this one.
Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs New York Rangers (4)
Tyler Yaremchuk: Pittsburgh is hot. That second line of Hagelin-Bonino-Kessel has been one of the best lines in hockey as of late. I really like the Rangers forward group, but with no McDonough their defense is suspect. Lundqvist could steal this thing, but word is Fleury could be ready for game 1 so goaltending should not be heavily favoured to either team. This really should be one of the most entertaining series from. These teams have both had really good regular seasons and know how to score goals. They rank 3/4 in GF% at 5v5. But in terms of possession the advantage goes to the Pens and it isn’t even close. Pittsburgh is top 3 in both SF% as well as CF%. Pittsburgh has that ability to dominate games and I don’t see that with the Rangers. Penguins in 6.
Taylor Paniccia: A great first round Eastern Conference matchup. The Penguins are hotter than ever and so is Sidney Crosby and when Sidney Crosby is hot the rest of the team feeds off it and produces as well. With great depth players the Pittsburgh Penguins will knock out a big, fast, New York Rangers hockey club in the first round. Penguins in 6 games.
Josh Goodings: Pittsburgh in 7
Niti Krasniqi: Fleury is concussed and a little shaky. Lundqvist could steal this one even though Pittsburgh has a better team. Rangers in 7.
BTI PREDICTS: We can’t agree here either, but Pittsburgh in 7 is our democratic choice.
Florida Panthers (3) vs New York Islanders (5)
Tyler Yaremchuk: No Halak, a beat up forward group and Hamonic isnt 100%. Florida is young and should have a lot of energy going into this series. Luongo has been great all season and Gerard Gallant has this team going every night. Florida has one of the easiest paths to the Eastern Conference Finals and they really deserve to be there. The Panthers start their run with a 4 game sweep of the Isles.
Taylor Paniccia: The Florida Panthers have a veteran netminder in Roberto Luongo who has been there done that. While I think the Florida Panthers fluked through most of the season I like this matchup for them against a weak Islanders roster. With Halak out look for the Islanders to be out as well. Panthers in 6 games.
Josh Goodings: Panthers in 7.
Niti Krasniqi: Florida in 7.
BTI PREDICTS: Panthers in 6 games in our choice.
LISTEN TO THE OVERTIME PODCAST PLAYOFF PREVIEW HERE: