Make Sure Your Picks Stick

Mike Commodore's Nice Playoff Beard

The intensity of NHL playoff hockey is phenomenal, and picking players for your pool becomes a bit more tricky. Playoff hockey takes an already fast and intense sport, and adds an extra dimension.

Certain players seem to be able to elevate their game to the next level, others fade into the background. In picking players for your NHL playoff pool, you want to make sure your player picks belong to the former category, not the latter. 

Look At Their Track Record

Picking For Your NHL Playoff Hockey Pool

Check out how well your player has done in the playoffs. For whatever reason, certain players tend to play at a different level during the post-season. Fortunately for us, the internet provides us with player statistics on demand. I recommend checking out a player's track record in the playoffs.

Sometimes heavy point producers totally fizzle in the playoffs, and sometimes low scoring role players become key contributors. 

This doesn't mean that someone with a poor track record won't elevate their game in the future, but it can be a good indicator of what to expect.

It's surprising how many players are pretty good in the regular season, but struggle when it comes to the faster, harder hitting and more defensively-styled playoff game. 


Picking Tough Players For An NHL Hockey Pool

Hockey is a gritty sport, and it gets more so during the playoffs. You'll hear commentators talk about how there's 'less space' out there. What they mean is, the players will rush the puckholder, called 'forechecking' in hockey terminology, with a greater level of intensity, giving the players less time to think and move. They all want to win, so they play harder and their hits are more punishing. 

Tough players thrive in this environment because they can take a hit and keep on playing, or deliver a hit and throw the opposing team off their game. You can check out the track record of particularly hard-nosed players and see how much success they've had in playoffs past. 

Avoid players with an injury history. When you lose a player in your NHL playoff hockey pool, they usually don't come back before the cup is handed out. 

#Winning Is Important

Pick NHL Hockey Players With Winning Teams

Your NHL hockey pool pick's success is largely determined by the success of their team. You can have a great, high scoring player, but it won't do you any good if their team is eliminated. The longer a team is in the playoffs, the longer your player has an opportunity to earn you points. Try to choose players from a team that's more likely to go the distance. More time playing = more points.

Likewise, a good player is made even better with a good supporting cast. If your pick plays next to other good players on a successful team, they should be more successful themselves. Some players perform despite who they play with (see Sidney Crosby), but these guys are rare.

Lord Stanley Here I Come...

Ok you're set. It's very gratifying to make successful picks, especially if you find a diamond in the rough. Nothing is guaranteed, but when you do win the bragging rights are pretty sweet. 

Good Luck!