IIHF Fantasy Hockey: QF edition
IIHF Fantasy Hockey: QF edition
Where do you fit into the equation?
In previous rounds, you had a lot of matchups and double the amount of teams to pick from. That is no more, with half of the teams moving onto the quarter-finals. Here is what to watch out for ahead of Thursday’s games.
ON FIRE: Artemi Panarin, forward, Russia
The Russians keep adding to their team. Last week they added Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov and Yegvgeni Kuztnetsov. But it’s been the ones that have been on their team from Day 1 that have really been shining. You can add Artemi Panarin to that list. He started off slow but he has been on fire through the last four or five rounds of competition. Panarin should continue to grow his points output as Russia goes for gold.
WARMING UP: Patrick Hager, forward, Germany
The Germans have been the darlings of the 2016 IIHF World Hockey Championship. They got the better of Slovakia before a surprising regulation win against the United States. They were neck and neck with Canada for much of their contest, before the Canadians pulled away in the third period. Much of this has been due the success of Patrick Hager. He’s definitely a consideration for your team.
ICE COLD: Brendan Gallagher, forward, Canada
He started the tournament well, grabbing 25 fantasy points in his first game. He has since dropped off and managed a measly -1 in his last game against Finland. Picking someone on Canada is usually a pretty safe bet, but I’d stay away from this forward for awhile.
Czech Republic vs USA: You’ll want to select Michal Birner of Czech Republic. He puts a lot of pucks on the net, he’s on the ice while shorthanded and he can score. He’s been consistent while many on team USA have not been.
Canada vs Sweden: Taylor Hall has been the most consistent Canadian. His only bad game came is in Canada’s loss to Finland. You can say the same thing about Gustav Nyquist and Sweden’s game against Russia. And maybe to some extent, Switzerland. Ultimately, you should go with who you think will win this match as the tiebreaker. Go with Hall in this case.
Finland vs Denmark: Patrik Laine has been rock solid for the Finns. He has 10 points in seven games. Six of those points are goals. He’s been a big part of why Finland is undefeated in this tournament. On the flip side, Sebastian Dahm is the reason Denmark has made it this far. His team consistently gives up a lot of shots, which means a lot of saves and fantasy points. I’d pick both of these guys if you can.
Russia vs Germany: Apart from the Russian and German player mentioned earlier in this piece, a good strategy would be looking for big-game players who could potentially break through. Alex Ovechkin could be that player for Russia, having now been with the team for a week. Korbinian Holzer is a good selection on defence.
FANTASY TIP: Don’t let one game judge how you feel about a player the next time around. Remember: These are the knockout stages. There is a lot more pressure to produce than the preliminaries. Look for players who have shown they can perform when the pressure is on.
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