After a historic first round that saw five Game 7s for the first time in decade, we are now down to just eight remaining teams in the playoffs. With so many tight first round series, there was some major fantasy names that went crashing out of the playoffs after only a few games.
Picking your fantasy team for the playoffs is much different than picking a team for the regular season. It’s not just about picking the most talent, it’s about maximizing your roster to ensure you have the most players still playing deep into the playoffs. In other words, don’t load up on Maple Leafs.
With that said, there’s always going to be some major disappointments who only manage to get into a few games before their postseason ends. Let’s take a look at some of those names who are already out, or whose underperformance is already risking their team’s quest for the Stanley Cup.
John Tavares – C – Toronto Maple Leafs
Next year right? It’s become the Maple Leafs’ motto at this point. If you took any Maple Leafs in your pool you’re feeling the pain right now. Selecting John Tavares in particular would’ve come at the expense of other top end players. Unfortunately once again, the Leafs managed just seven games.
Now Tavares wasn’t bad by any stretch, as he picked up three goals and three assists in those seven games, but let’s be realistic here. No one was selecting a player in Tavares who managed nearly a point per game in the regular season on one of the NHL’s top teams to play in just one round.
With the Maple Leafs failing to advance past seven games again, those who selected Tavares are left without one of their higher picks going into the second round.
Marc-Andre Fleury – G – Minnesota Wild
The Wild were pretty big favourites in their first round series after their best regular season in franchise history. They also went out and acquired seasoned playoff veteran Marc-Andre Fleury at the deadline to solidify their situation in net.
It was fair to suggest the Wild were finally set to get over the hump and go on a deep playoff run for the first time in quite some time. Unfortunately not only did the Wild only last six games, Fleury was downright brutal in the first round. He even lost his starter’s role to close out the series.
Fleury would go just 2–3 with a .906 save percentage and 3.04 GAA in his five games. Definitely not what fantasy managers were expecting if they took Fleury as a dark horse goalie pick.
Sergei Bobrovsky – G – Florida Panthers
Now this pick may still end up working out well, but it’s not looking great right now. Not only are the Florida Panthers down 2–0 to the back-to-back champs, Sergei Bobrovsky just hasn’t been very good all playoffs. He posted a 4–2 record in the first round, but just a .906 save percentage.
Now in a massive hole in the second round already, Bobrovsky is 0–2 and is once again sitting on a .906 save percentage. Anyone selecting the Presidents’ Trophy winning team’s goalie was expecting a deep playoff run with a lot of wins. Yet just a couple weeks into the playoffs, Bobrovsky looks in real danger of getting knocked out in the second round and managing only a few wins.
Perhaps he turns it around and the Panthers get back in this series, but heading on the road already down 0–2 doesn’t exactly bode well. Game 3 will be critical in determining the Panthers and Bobrovsky’s fate.
Jonathan Huberdeau – W – Florida Panthers
Another one of the Panthers’ top players, Jonathan Huberdeau has been a massive disappointment thus far after a career regular season that saw him finish second in league scoring. Like Bobrovsky, anyone picking Huberdeau was expecting a long playoff run, but the odds of that are getting lower by the day.
Huberdeau’s offence has completely disappeared as he’s managed just one goal and four points in eight games thus far. Huberdeau would’ve been one of the very first picks in a fantasy pool, so his 0.5 points per game through eight games is nowhere near where he needs to be.
Like with Bobrovsky’s potential, perhaps Huberdeau can contribute to the Panthers finding their way out of their 0–2 series deficit and move on to the next round. If not though, Huberdeau is looking like one of the biggest busts of the playoffs this year.
Still some room to recover
Picking a team for the fantasy playoffs is always a massive gamble, so seeing some of the names on your team in the group above will hurt. Picking in the playoffs is impossible to predict with so many tight series and upsets every year, and this year was no different.
That said, at the very least there’s still some room to recover and improve for a couple names on the list. Here’s hoping you didn’t pick any Maple Leafs, and if you picked some Panthers players they manage to get back into their series as they’ve been one of the bigger disappointments as a team thus far.
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