Tips on how to pick your Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Playoff Pool team

lightnings-nikita-kucherov-celebrates-goal-against-red-wings

Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Detroit. (Paul Sancya/AP)

The Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool: Playoffs Edition is back, baby!

Enter now for your chance to win big! $50,000 in cash prizes up for grabs. Grand prize includes: A new 2019 Ram Power Wagon.

How to enter: 1) Fill out your roster within the cap (30), 2) Click the Ram shield to mark one forward, one defenceman and one goalie as your three Ram Capable picks to earn double points, 3) Answer the tie-breakers, and 4) Click the SAVE button.

Also, make sure to base your selections on the players you think will tally the most points during Round 1, not the entire post-season. You’ll be able to select a new roster before each round.
Excited? Good.

In order for your dreams to come true, you’ll need a defined draft strategy:

1. Know the Rules

This particular contest permits you to select six players (three forwards, two defencemen and one goaltender) from each conference for 12 total roster spots.

Like the regular-season pool, you’ll have to adhere to the strict 30-point salary cap system. Players have already been assigned a point value of 1-4. Your task is to put the puzzle pieces together and extract as much production value as possible out of your roster. Additionally, you must select one player from each position to act as your Ram Capable player (more to come).

In general, the scoring system is weighted similar to most standard playoff pools: one point per goal or assist, two for goalie wins and an additional one for a shutout.

Please note that the entry period ends at the scheduled start time of the first game of Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (ET).

2. Player Selection Process

Generally, I like to fill out my Stanley Cup Playoffs bracket before proceeding with selecting a team. That will allow you to map out specifically what you see playing out over the next couple of months.

In this specific contest, you’ll have the luxury of redrafting each round so don’t worry as much about that. This way if your team bombs, you can start fresh and still have a shot at our great prizes!
Remember – you’re trying to pile up as many points as possible. Target players from series that you envision going the longest. It’s all about maximizing value.

Also, I’d have an extended look at players with money motivation on the mind. Never underestimate the power of a contract year. Here’s a list of pending UFAs and RFAs taking part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Just some food for thought.

Livestream every game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, blackout-free. Plus stream the Blue Jays & MLB, Raptors and NBA Playoffs matchups and more.

3. RAM REMINDER

Building a great team is like building a great truck. The pillars of your squad are your three Ram Capable picks; the strength of your best forward, the luxury of your elite defenceman and the safety of your most dependable netminder.

These designations are not only important but also super valuable. The selected players will earn you double the points so choose wisely.

Don’t mess around. Identify the cream of the crop to fill these roles. Of note, there are only eight skaters accompanied with a four-point value (Kucherov, Crosby, Marner, Matthews, Gaudreau, MacKinnon, Rantanen and Wheeler). It’s imperative that you hit on these selections. They will define your squad.

4. Salary Cap Manipulation

Finding low-cost value and hidden gems will help set you apart from other contestants. With 30 points to spend and 12 roster spots to fill, you’ll have to be resourceful with your point allocation.

Be sure to stay on top of up-to-date information such as line assignments and injury news before locking in your selections. Mixing in a few bargain buys will allow you to spend bigger elsewhere.

Additionally, have a glance at the pick-percentage module that Sportsnet has graciously outlined for all of you. This way you’ll have a ballpark of where most people have been leaning with their selections.

5. Line Stack

It wouldn’t be the worst strategy to roll with an entire line or at least two pieces from one. It’s no coincidence that most of the league’s top teams feature a prolific No. 1 line. From Tampa to Boston to Calgary to Winnipeg, there are no shortage of enticing options.

Here’s a breakdown of the salary cost of each team’s top line:

Team Line Total Points
COL Gabriel Landeskog (3) – Nathan MacKinnon (4) – Mikko Rantanen (4) ** 11
CGY Johnny Gaudreau (4) – Sean Monahan (3) – Elias Lindholm (3) 10
TBL Yanni Gourde (2) – Brayden Point (3) – Nikita Kucherov (4) 9
BOS Brad Marchand (3) – Patrice Bergeron (3) – David Pastrnak (3) 9
WPG Kyle Connor (2) – Mark Scheifele (3) – Blake Wheeler (4) 9
CBJ Artemi Panari (3) – Matt Duchene (3) – Cam Atkinson (3) 9
TOR Zach Hyman (1) – John Tavares (3) – Mitch Marner (4) 8
WSH Alex Ovechkin (3) – Evgeny Kuznetsov (3) – Tom Wilson (2) 8
SJS Timo Meier (2) – Logan Couture (3) – Joe Pavelski (3) 8
DAL Jamie Benn (2) – Tyler Seguin (3) – Alex Radulov (3) 8
NYI Anders Lee (2) – Mathew Barzal (3) – Jordan Eberle (2) 7
PIT Jared McCann (1) – Sidney Crosby (4) – Jake Guentzel (2) 7
VGK Max Pacioretty (2) – Paul Stastny (2) – Mark Stone (3) 7
NSH Filip Forsberg (3) – Ryan Johansen (2) – Viktor Arvidsson (2) 7
STL Brayden Schenn (2) – Ryan O’Reilly (2) – Vladimir Tarasenko (2) 6
CBJ Nino Niederreiter (1) – Sebastian Aho (3) – Justin Williams (1) 5

Again, base your decisions around what you see happening. There’s a lot of value to be found here, especially in Pittsburgh, Vegas and St. Louis, respectively. Power-play deployment is key too.

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