After an exciting nine game schedule last night, the NHL delivers another solid five game slate this evening. There are several massive mismatches on paper to work through tonight, and here are my favorite cash game options for tonight’s slate.
Scott Darling – Chicago Blackhawks – $8,100 – With Corey Crawford turning away 35 shots last night against Vancouver, we’re likely going to see Scott Darling between the pipes tonight when the Blackhawks take on the Buffalo Sabres. Not only is Darling rather cheap ($8,100) but he’s also been terrific this season, posting an 8-3-0 record with a 1.77 GAA and .941 SV% in 11 starts. The Sabres may have won two straight games, but they’re still the worst team in the league by Corsi standards and Chicago dominated Buffalo in their only previous meeting this season.
Others to Consider: Dustin Tokarski, Antti Niemi, Frederik Anderson
Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks – $6,200 – When the Sabres are in action, it’s hard not to pick on them a little bit. Toews enters tonight’s game riding a four game point streak and tallied a pair of assists against Buffalo in their only previous meeting this season. While he’s usually asked to slow down the oppositions most dangerous offensive weapons, that won’t be necessary tonight in Buffalo and it would be surprising to see the Sabres snap his scoring streak. Not only has Buffalo allowed the second most goals against in the NHL this season, but they also sport the NHL’s worst penalty kill.
Tomas Plekanec – Montreal Canadians – $5,700 – Skating alongside Max Pacioretty on the Canadian’s top forward line has really paid dividends for Plekanec this season as the talented center now owns 22 goals and 32 assists this season. He’s been red hot lately, scoring three goals and added six assists over the last ten games. Tonight he’ll face a New Jersey team that has dropped six straight games and who he’s already lit up for three goals in their two previous meetings this season.
Others to Consider: Ryan Getzlaf, Paul Stastny, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Antoine Vermette
Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars – $8,900 – He’s not cheap and the matchup against the St. Louis Blues in not ideal, but with two of St. Louis’ best defensive forwards likely out of action (Tarasenko and Steen), he’s an elite option tonight at one of your wing spots. He’s racked up five goals and five assists over the last seven games and has already recorded a hat trick against this St. Louis team this season. Benn owns 15 goals and 19 assists in 31 games since the All-Star break and teams up with Tyler Seguin to form one of the most dangerous forwards lines in the NHL today.
Jiri Sekac – Anaheim Ducks – $2,600 – Essentially sitting at the minimum price, Sekac is my favorite value play of the evening. The 22 year old rookie showed offensive promise last season in the KHL and now finds himself on the Ducks top forward line alongside both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. While he been very quiet lately he’ll take on a Colorado team tonight that has allowed the 4th most shots on goal against in the NHL this season and who he already owns two goals and an assists against in three previous meetings.
Others to Consider: Max Pacioretty, Corey Perry, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Jaden Schwartz, Patrick Marleau
Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks – $7,600 – He’s the most expensive defenseman on the board tonight, but for good reason. Burns enters tonight’s game riding a five game point streak and he’s amassed nine assists over the last nine games. He’s a mortal lock to see 20+ minutes of ice-time and should be salivating to get a crack at the Coyotes atrocious 77.3% penalty kill. Burns has already picked up three assists in the three previous meetings against Arizona and I’m expecting a multi-point game from the “defenseman” tonight.
Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks – $5,000 – Keith will certainly fall short of the 61 point season he posted last year, but he’s still an elite offensive defenseman. He’s a staple on the point of the team’s very dangerous #1 power-play unit where he should find an abundance of scoring opportunities tonight against the Sabres league worst penalty kill. Keith has tallied two goals and added five assists in his last 11 games and lit the lamp against Buffalo in their only previous meeting. His reasonable asking price makes him one of the safest cash game plays on the board.
Others to Consider: P.K. Subban, Alex Pietrangelo, Sami Vatanen, Brent Seabrook, John Klingberg, Kevin Shattenkirk
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)