Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins

The Bruins come into this series at -160 favorites while the Blue Jackets are sitting as +140 underdogs but are the much more rested team. Columbus was able to take care of the Tampa Bay Lightning in a very quick 4-0 and have been off since April 16th. On the other side, the Bruins wrapped up their series the other night over the Leafs 4-3 and have just two days off before this series. The Bruins have significantly more playoff experience on their roster, which tends to come into play the longer series go on.

The Bruins were one of the better defensive teams in the league this season, but had a few slips ups in the first round. They didn’t look as sharp when clearing the puck which put Tuukka Rask in a bad spot. If that continue in this series, the Columbus forwards will have a field day. Speaking of forward, the Bruins are led by Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak on the first forward line. If you are playing DFS, they always bring the most upside since they have the correlation on the first power-play unit. The Bruins got plenty of production out of their depth forwards in the first-round, Marcus Johansson, Charlie Coyle, Danton Heinen and even guys on the fourth line, Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly, and Noel Acciari all stepped up at times. Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci are a bit better than those depth players and are both on the second power-play unit.

When it comes to their defense, Zdeno Chara might be one of the most experienced players left in the playoffs, but he is clearly not their best defender anymore. Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy are the two best for the Bruins, producing similar numbers in the first round. Matt Grzelcyk is a sneaky DFS option since he is cheap and on the second power-play unit. When it comes to the net minder for the Bruins, Tuukka Rask posted a .928 save percentage in the first round, with a 2.32 GA/G. He’s been deep into the playoffs plenty of times before but can struggle from inconsistency at times, which had him allow three or more goals three times in the first round.

On the Blue Jackets side, they were the talk of the town since they shockingly swept the Lightning in the first-round. No one, no one, saw that coming. Even Columbus fans knew they were the underdog, but I guess Torts had something up his sleeve and they were able to pull out the victory.

Sergei Bobrovsky was simply amazing in the first-round with a .932 save percentage while only allowing 2.01 goals per game. He held the league’s best offense to three or fewer goals in each game, while only allowing one goal twice. If the Blue Jackets are going to advance past the Bruins, a lot of it will come down to Bob in net.

The Blue Jackets forwards were buzzing in the first round and they had six different players with three points or more, and two with five points or more. The names should be familiar, Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson, Matt Duchene, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Oliver Bjorkstrand. The scoring can always be there for them, but their strength comes from their defense.

In the first round, they had a 53.21 Corsi Against, while allowing the fourth fewest high-dangers scoring chances per 60. Seth Jones and Zach Werenski lead the way for the Blue Jackets blue, who had four and five points respectively in the first round. David Savard and Scott Harrington, surprisingly, shouldn’t go overlooked in DFS if you are looking to get different. The Blue Jackets haven’t played over a week and will be full healthy to take on the Bruins who are the “better” team.

Series Prediction: Bruins in 7

Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders

The Islanders swept the Penguins in the first round and have been off since April 16th, making them another team who is fully rested and has home-ice in the second round. The Hurricanes are coming off a Game 7 overtime winner to defeat the Capitals and will be interesting to see how they carry that into the second round.

For the Islanders, everything starts with goaltending and defense for them. Robin Lehner was simply stellar in the first-round with a .956 save percentage and 1.47 GA/G. Lehner is up for the Vezina Trophy this season, best goalie in the league, and that is shown by his numbers to star the playoffs. If we take a larger look at the Islanders, we know that the Islanders scored only 2.41 goals per 60 minutes in the regular season, in the bottom half of the league. But that changed quickly in the playoffs, as they were up at 3.17 goals per 60 minutes. Clearly, a small sample size from the playoffs, but they will need that to continue as they move forward.

Their first forward line, Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, and Anders Lee are clearly their best forwards on paper, but they got plenty of production from their depth options, who were average at best during the regular season. Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, and even Valtteri Filppula had strong first rounds against the Penguins, but always a riskier options since that is their ceiling of production.

Johnny Boychuk is going to be out for a few weeks, which means Nick Leddy will continue to be on the second power-play unit, while rookie Devon Toews should be on the first power-play unit. Ryan Pulock is a legit good defensive option in DFS, since he can add plenty in shots and blocked shots, helping him reach value on a nightly basis.

For the Hurricanes, they are known to be a bunch of jerks, but have done so the same way they did things in the regular season, Corsi Gods. Carolina finished the regular season second in Corsi For per 60 at 64.67 and are now at 63.91 after the first round. They like to shoot the puck and that shouldn’t be a secret to anyone. The Canes have won four of the past five games and are coming off of short rest, but have the momentum.

The Canes had six skaters with five or more points in the first round, but they did play seven games, while the Isles only played four. They also have seven players with 15 shots or more in the first round, that’s all over an average of two per game. Sebastian Aho, Jordan Staal, Justin Williams, Teuvo Teravainen, and even Warren Foegele led the way in terms of scoring for them against the Capitals. They are also very strong on defense with Dougie Hamilton, Jaccob Slavin, Justin Faulk, and Brett Pesce having three points or more.

From a top-down view point, we have two teams at the opposite ends of the spectrum, the Isles who simply don’t allow goals vs the Canes who love to take shots. Now, that doesn’t tell the whole story since the Islanders are actually last of any team in the first round with a 70.8 Corsi Against per 60. So they are giving up an insane amount of shots, but those shots are barely converted into goals for the opposing teams. Two teams with limited playoff experience are forging new paths for themselves in what will be a wild second round.

Series prediction: Islanders in 6