We head into Hump Day with a simple three game slate. Let’s play!

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Goalie

This will be fun! Let’s go!

Corey Crawford ($8,600) – There will be maybe one or two other choices and that is it. This is one of those limited nights where there is good pick, gamble, and oh god! Crawford has seen over 32 shots a night for the last dozen games and still has a more than respectable .926 save percentage. Vancouver comes in more than capable of making this a game but they could also completely lay down and quit quickly. Even this pick has its risks but likely Crawford gets the W.

Others to consider: Marc-Andre Fleury ($9,000). — Watch for Braden Holtby as a possible sneaky play.

Center

Pavel Datsyuk ($5,400) – The price is still right around the average slot and yet Datsyuk finds way to stay productive. Even though he only has one goal in his last ten games, he has scratched across eight assists. With 15 goals in 41 games played, one has to figure the goals are coming soon. His half a shot a game drop has been quite noticeable along with about a full scoring chance less per contest. That is the problem as we go forward. Is this a blip or is this a trend? Maybe the Penguins can coax the old Datsyuk out.

Joe Thornton ($4,800) – Few players can be this big of a gamble even when they are on a pretty hot streak. However, Jumbo Joe is that type of player. His price has slid back below $5000 and that makes him even more valuable. It also allows players to slide the cap around into their favor. People seem to forget that Thornton has 45 points in 51 games and just seems to keep producing on the power play no matter the opponent. Washington’s penalty kill is right around 80% so they are vulnerable.

Others I like:  Sidney Crosby ($8800), Nicklas Backstrom ($6,700), Jonathan Toews ($5,200).

Value: Jay Beagle ($2,700), Marcus Kruger ($2,600).

Winger

Patrick Kane ($8,000) – The showtime center is ready and almost priced 10% lower on a night where there are some inflated prices for wingers. Kane has 12 points in his last nine games but strangely he has no power play goals or short handed goals in that span which surprises a lot of people. His shots on goal are down by about 3/5 and his scoring chances are probably one lower per contest. Balanced with the higher shooting percentage, there are a lot of contradicting numbers. He has in the past played really well against Vancouver.

Tomas Tatar ($5,600) – The wrath of Tatar is being felt by opposing teams throughout the league. Seven goals in his last nine games and 12 points in his last ten are not enough. Add in the fact that he has two power play goals and several posts hit while on the man advantage and people realize just how good this young player has become and the potential that still indicates even more upside. 23 goals in 52 games means a possible 35 goal season on the way. This is only the beginning.

Others I like: Patric Hornqvist ($6,100), Patrick Marleau ($5,900), Gustav Nyquist ($4,900).

Value: Tyler Kennedy ($2,800), Steve Downie ($2,800). — Watch out for Matthew Nieto!

Defence

John Carlson ($5,500) – If you do not want to spend $7000 on Brent Burns then John Carlson is a pretty good alternative that will allow you spend again, on other positions. His blocked shots and shots on goal are right around his season averages in the last month but his points have been a little off his 2/3 target. A game against a depleted San Jose defense may be just what Carlson needs. You might be able to even sneak in Mike Green if you feel like taking a decently priced tandem. It is risky but short slates produce different pairings.

Brent Seabrook ($4,100) – This is like going back to the old days and trying to add a bit of extra value while hoping he just gets one assist or goal tonight. Seabrook and Duncan Keith is another wacky pairing to try on a short Wednesday night with a favorable match-up against a Vancouver team that is very much up and down. The Blackhawks know they have to play better than they did against Arizona. That goes especially for Seabrook and Keith who were repeatedly burned by Arizona’s forwards.

Others I like: Niklas Kronwall ($3,900), Matt Irwin ($3,300).

Value:  Ryan Stanton ($3,000), Danny DeKeyser ($2,500).

Thanks for reading guys and hopefully the picks help you out. If you have any questions, fire them away at me on twitter @ChrisWasselTHW and i’ll do my best to answer them.

Good luck today!