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Fantasy: Rankings for 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs lists most valuable forwards, defensemen, goaltenders for basic postseason pools

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / Fantasy Editor

The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs are almost here, meaning fans in fantasy postseason pools need to translate their bracket predictions into the overall player landscape.

Below are fantasy player rankings by position (forwards, defensemen, goalies) for basic postseason pools counting points (goals, assists) for skaters, as well as wins and shutouts for goalies. Whether you're doing an offline snake draft or another format, use this list as a basis for your decision-making.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round schedule

Penguins, Golden Knights eye history @NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Vegas Golden Knights are looking to make history in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team to win three straight Stanley Cup championships since the New York Islanders from 1980-83, while the Golden Knights are seeking the title in their inaugural season.

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Sharks Sign Forward Ivan Chekhovich

by San Jose Sharks @sanjosesharks /

SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has signed Forward Ivan Chekhovich(@Chekhovich_Ivan) to a standard, entry-level contract, to start in the 2018-19 season.

"Ivan had another productive season in juniors and took his game to a whole new level when he joined the Barracuda this season," said Wilson. "He has proven in his short stint of professional hockey that he can keep up with the pace and physicality and, with help from Scout Gilles Cote, has already become a difference maker in the Barracuda's improbable run to the Calder Cup Playoffs. His offensive instincts and creativity make him a dangerous player in the opposing team's end and we look forward to seeing him develop with our organization."

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Inside the Cage: #DuckHunted

by Ross McKeon @rossmckeon /

And on the eighth day, the Sharks rested.

In the span of exactly one week San Jose won four pressure-packed games against a big, strong, veteran, postseason-tested rival to advance beyond the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 13th time. It marked only the second time in 37 all-time playoff series' that the hosts swept an opponent.

"Any time you sweep a team it's a lot closer than you realize," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "There were some key moments guys made some big plays. Definitely it gives us confidence we can win."

As important as closing out the Anaheim Ducks with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday at SAP Center is the fact the Sharks matched what their next opponent accomplished when Vegas dispatched the Los Angeles Kings in a minimum amount of games as well. Earning the same rest as the Golden Knights puts San Jose on similar footing in preparation to face the surprising expansion team in Round 2 next week.

"You never expect sweep, you always want sweep," Sharks alternate captain Logan Couture said. "You always want to win every game you play. They're a very good team over there. They didn't have their best in a few games. We took advantage of that and it's good to get some rest now."

With Vegas looming on the horizon, here's what went right to allow the Sharks to beat an Anaheim team they met for only the second time in postseason.

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The Buzz

Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz: Bruins, Blue Jackets eye 3-1 series leads

Sharks sweep Ducks; Predators, Penguins look like dominant selves @NHL

Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, a daily look at the 2018 NHL postseason. There were four games Wednesday, including the second series-clinching victory of the first round. 

Here are the scores from Wednesday:

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Sharks keyed by four-line balance, discipline in sweep of Ducks

Play of trade acquisitions Kane and Fehr, strong defensive effort helped San Jose advance to second round

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks didn't need home-ice advantage in the Western Conference First Round against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Sharks won the first two games of the series on the road at Honda Center, then finished a four-game sweep with a 2-1 win in Game 4 at SAP Center on Wednesday. It's the second time San Jose has swept a Stanley Cup Playoff series, following a four-game win against the Vancouver Canucks in the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals.

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Sharks expect challenging series from Golden Knights

Finish sweep of Ducks in Western First Round one night after Vegas swept Kings

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer was an early believer in the Vegas Golden Knights.

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Sharks will play Golden Knights in Western Conference Second Round

San Jose advances after sweeping Ducks; Vegas swept Kings

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

The San Jose Sharks advanced to the Western Conference Second Round and will play the Vegas Golden Knights.

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