With the second round of the NHL Playoffs set to begin, here's a look at a handful of players that might provide good value in the Playoff Hockey Challenge, a contest in which you set your lineup under a $100 salary cap.
Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles (Cost: $6.8) - After scoring a point-per-game (1 G, 6 A) against San Jose in the first round, Doughty appears to be at his best, which means he's as valuable as any defenceman in the game and Doughty comes at a cost of $0.9 less than top-priced P.K. Subban and the same price as Matt Niskanen and Andrei Markov.
Dougie Hamilton, D, Boston (Cost: $4.7) - The second-year blueliner is emerging as a bigger contributor, getting more power play time late in the regular season and into the playoffs, putting up four points (1 G, 3 A) in five games against Detroit in Round One. Hamilton isn't yet as productive as the top defencemen, but he's dramatically cheaper, which could allow for more roster flexibility elsewhere.
Paul Martin, D, Pittsburgh (Cost: $4.6) - Opened the playoffs with four straight two-assists games, playing big minutes on the Penguins' blueline, including the power play. For the same price as Robyn Regehr and Raphael Diaz? Yes, please.
Justin Williams, RW, Los Angeles (Cost: $5.8) - Consider the Kings a good value team going forward, but Williams, who tied Anze Kopitar for the team lead with four goals, and led the Kings with 21 shots on goal in Round One, costs less than MatT Moulson, Nick Bonino, Brandon Saad or Reilly Smith (among many others).
Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston (Cost: $6.6) - Produced an efficient five points (1 G, 4 A) in five first-round games and is one of the game's premier two-way talents. He also has 17 goals and 43 points against Montreal in his career, tying for his best against any team, so grabbing Bergeron for the same price as Reilly Smith or Patrick Maroon is a gift.
Bryan Bickell, LW, Chicago (Cost: $3.4) - If you've maxed out your budget and are left perusing the bargain bin, don't overlook Bickell, who had three points (2 G, 1 A) in the first round, while ranking third on the Blackhawks with 19 shots on goal. He's back on the wing with Jonathan Toews, so for the same price as Justin Fontaine or Teemu Selanne, Bickell offers a favourable alternative.
Click here to set your Playoff Hockey Challenge roster for the second round.
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.