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Fantasy X-factors, sleepers for 2019 Stanley Cup Final

Blues need more consistency from Schenn; Backes can bring physicality, offense for Bruins against former team

by Fantasy Hockey Staff @NHLFantasy

NHL.com has identified a potential X-factor and sleeper from the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final for playoff pools and FanDuel DFS contests. For more fantasy hockey coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

X-FACTORS

Charlie McAvoy, D, BOS -- The Boston Bruins defenseman has seven points (one goal, six assists) in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games and a higher offensive ceiling for the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues. McAvoy, who leads the Bruins in average ice time (24:20 per game) and blocked shots (34) and is plus-9 this postseason, is not only tasked with shutting down elite right wing Vladimir Tarasenko but also contributing offensively to match St. Louis' scoring defensemen; Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko have double-digit point totals this postseason (Pietrangelo: 13 in 19 games; Parayko: 11).

Brayden Schenn, F, STL -- The St. Louis Blues forward broke a 14-game goal drought in Game 6 against the San Jose Sharks and will look for more consistency against the Bruins in the Cup Final. Schenn has seven points (two goals, five assists) and is minus-5 through 19 playoff games and will need to contribute more offensively for the Blues to match the Bruins depth. Schenn ranks second among St. Louis forwards with 18:58 per game and could get a boost from linemates Tarasenko, who's on a six-game point streak entering Game 1, and Jaden Schwartz, who leads the Blues with 16 points (12 goals, four assists) in 19 games.

 

SLEEPERS

David Backes, F, BOS -- The Bruins wing will face his former team in the Cup Final. Backes quietly has five points (two goals, three assists) in 11 playoff games, including at least a point against each of Boston's first three opponents. Backes is skating on the second line with forwards Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci, who's third among Bruins skaters with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 17 playoff games. Backes will be relied upon to bring physicality against the Blues, who rank second behind the San Jose Sharks with 558 hits this postseason, and can also contribute offensively.

Sammy Blais, F, STL -- The Blues rookie wing has sneaky upside playing on the second line with center Ryan O'Reilly and wing David Perron. St. Louis does not have nearly as much Cup Final experience as Boston, so the Blues could use a spark from Blais and fellow rookie wing Robert Thomas. Blais, who was inserted against the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the second round, has three points (one goal, two assists) in eight games since and assisted on the opening goal against the Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.

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