This article is part of our Neutral Zone Wrap series.
Welcome to the most magical time of the year. The chase for hockey's Holy Grail is on and every team believes it can go all the way (yes, even you, Ottawa!). If you thought the final few weeks were exciting, then get ready for the next two months.
Playoff pools have become just as popular as their regular-season counterparts since they don't require as much evaluation and are, therefore, by definition, more fun.
So how do they work?
Most setups allow players to pick a set number of NHLers to see who can earn the most points based on predetermined categories. The rest are carried out as drafts similar to the standard procedure. Unsure who to take? Don't panic. Below, you'll find four player tiers and an explanation for each.
The majority of your players should come from the four teams you believe will make it to the Conference Finals. Top-level skaters from the other clubs will fill the remainder of your roster, unless you have a hunch a someone else will make a significant impact.
Your job is to analyze each position and see what's available. It's also important to check the latest news and injury updates. You don't want to fall behind immediately from a lack of trying.
If you don't see someone, then it's either because they're injured, inconsistent or indefinite (i.e. fall in between categories). However, a lot of these missing examples are still worthy selections; it ultimately depends on your team preference and risk tolerance.