The field of players is all over the map Thursday with 10 games in the NHL. There are lots of interesting games including the St. Louis Blues hosting the New York Rangers with Blues goaltender Jake Allen ($7,300) beginning a lengthy stretch shouldering the load as the team’s primary goalie after Brian Elliott was placed on long-term injured reserve Tuesday with a lower-body injury. The Dallas Stars, the NHL leader in team goals, are in action with a favorable home game against the Winnipeg Jets, while the Florida Panthers are likely to have offensive spark plug Aleksander Barkov ($6,100) back in the lineup when the Arizona Coyotes visit Sunrise. Here are some players that can help get your teams in the money.
Cory Schneider ($8,100) – An elite fantasy goalie doesn’t come cheap and Schneider is worth every penny. If coach John Hynes goes with the All-Star at the Columbus Blue Jackets, then owners should not hesitate snatching up the NHL leader in goals-against average (2.06). Schneider has been good enough against Columbus in his career with a 9-5-2 record including two shutouts and a 2.10 GAA and is always a must start when he’s in the crease. Owners must keep in mind that the Devils return home tomorrow against the Tampa Bay Lightning but backup Keith Kinkaid ($7,200) would be a serviceable value pick tonight should he be called upon for the spot start.
Cam Ward ($6,800) – With reports that the Hurricanes will face struggling Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier in Toronto, rolling the dice with Ward could bring a decent return at a bargain price. While a 16-9-3 record with a 2.59 GAA in 27 career starts against Toronto are good enough reason to take the affordably priced veteran, the drawing point here is that Ward’s opponent Bernier is 6-15-3 with a 3.17 GAA and .896 save percentage this season.
Others to Consider: Jonathan Quick ($8,400), Roberto Luongo ($8,200), Jake Allen ($7,300)
Erik Karlsson ($8,000) – Owners have enough mid to lower-priced options Thursday that they could splurge on Karlsson. The NHL leader with 54 assists in 61 games, Karlsson is also racking up fantasy points with 186 SOG and 125 blocked shots. Karlsson is a safe selection no matter who the opponent but especially at the Vancouver Canucks tonight; the Swedish defender had six fantasy points against Vancouver in a 3-2 win at home on Nov. 12.
John Klingberg ($6,400) – If most of your money is spent on a goalie and forwards, then Klingberg is a good choice as a mid-priced defender who can lead your pair. The Stars defender is tied with Montreal Canadiens P.K. Subban for second among NHL defensemen with 41 assists this season and puts up great numbers across the board. A home game against Winnipeg is a great situation for Klingberg as he has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in eight career games against the Jets, including three assists in a 5-3 win at the Jets on Tuesday.
Others to Consider: Mark Girodano ($6,700), Shayne Gostisbehere ($5,900), Colton Parayko ($4,900), Matt Dumba ($4,400)
Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,400) – The young Russian superstar is just a goal away from reaching 30 for the second straight season and it would be fitting that he makes that mark against the Rangers. The Blues leader with 29 goals, 54 points and 219 SOG through 60 games, Tarasenko will seek a three-game point streak when he faces a Rangers team that he has three goals and two assists against in five career games. Tarasenko is also looking to build off two goals, three assists and 14 SOG in the past two games.
Aleksander Barkov ($6,100) – Conservative owners will likely give Barkov a game or two before investing again, but lightning can strike when he makes his expected return against Arizona tonight. Barkov has 12 of his 16 goals in 22 home games this season and had seven points (four goals, three assists) over six straight games before sustaining an upper-body injury against the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 8.
Others to Consider: Patrick Kane ($8,700), Anze Kopitar ($6,400), Jason Spezza ($5,900), Mikael Granlund ($4,100)