After an exciting 11 game schedule last night, the NHL follows up with a rather interesting five game slate this evening. With several of the games brightest stars in action, finding some quality value options will likely be the key to a profitable night. Here are my favorite picks for tonight’s action.
Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets – $7,500 – While I usually don’t like starting goalies on the second half of a back-to-back, I’m all over Bobrovsky tonight at home against the Edmonton Oilers. Bobrovsky stood on his head last night; turning away 41 of the 42 shots Detroit threw at him, on his way to a 3-1 victory. The Oilers enter tonight’s game having dropped six straight games and have won only eight of their 36 road games this season. Injuries may have de-railed his season, but Bobrovsky finally looks 100% healthy and is as fresh as any goaltender in the league, making his $7,500 price-tag look like quite the bargain.
Other Options: Devan Dubnyk, Braden Holtby, Jonas Hiller
John Tavares – New York Islanders – $9,000 – Tavares was held off the score sheet against the Rangers on Tuesday, but had erupted for three goals and four assists in the three games prior. The Islander’s Captain routinely logs north of 20 minutes of ice-time and is the catalyst of the team’s top power-play unit. He’s tallied nine goals and added 12 assists over his last 14 games and has posted seven multi-point games during that stretch. He’s expensive, but he leads the NHL in points this season and has been red-hot lately, so fade him at your own risk.
Sean Monahan – Calgary Flames – $6,100 – At just 20 years old, Monahan has already emerged as the offensive weapon the Flames were hoping for when they drafted him 6th overall in the 2013 draft. He brings a five game point streak into tonight’s game against the free-falling Toronto Maple Leafs that has seen him score four goals and add two assists. Over his last 12 games he’s lit the lamp eight times and dished out six assists. He clearly loves life alongside the offensively gifted Jiri Hudler and Johnny Guadreau on the Flames top forward line and logs a healthy dose of minutes on the wing of the team’s top power-play unit as well. This line is scorching hot and faced with a great matchup, so enjoy their reasonable asking prices.
Other Options: Nicklas Backstrom, Ryan Johansen, Anders Lee, Marcus Johansson, Frans Nielsen
Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals – $9,500 – It might be a struggle to get both Ovie and Tavares in my lineup, but I’m certainly going to try. Ovechkin scored his NHL leading 45th goal on Wednesday and has now scored at least one goal in four straight games. Tonight he’ll face a Dallas team that is allowing 3.29 goals against per game on the road this season and who he torched for a goal and an assist in their only previous meeting this season. He’s the most expensive player on the board tonight, but not only does he lead the league in goals this season, he’s also leads the league in shots on goal by 69 shots.
Cam Atkinson – Columbus Blue Jackets – $4,500 – Skating alongside Ryan Johansen on the Blue-Jackets top forward line, Atkinson is a solid value option tonight with the defensively inept Edmonton Oilers coming to town. The Oilers like to get up and down the ice and that should play right into the strengths of Atkinson, as his speed is his most dangerous weapon. Atkinson scored a power-play goal against Detroit last night and will look to extend his point streak to three games tonight. He leads this Columbus team in shots on goal this season (177) and should find himself with plenty of scoring chances against the Oilers 27th ranked penalty kill.
Other Options: Jiri Hudler, Zach Parise, Johnny Gaudreau, Bobby Ryan, Troy Brouwer
Kris Russell – Calgary Flames – $8,300 – Ok, his price is suddenly tough to swallow, but the Mark Giordano injury has opened the door for Russell to log as many minutes of ice-time as he can handle, and he’s thriving on the point of the team’s top power-play unit. After a three assist night against the Ducks on Wednesday, he’s now posted two goals and six assists over his current four game point streak. Over their last 12 games, the Maple Leafs sport a dreadful 71.7% penalty kill, so I expect Russell to keep rolling tonight.
Travis Hamonic – New York Islanders – $3,800 –With Nick Leddy sidelined with an upper body injury, Jack Capuano will be leaning on Travis Hamonic tonight against Ottawa. He’ll presumably slide into Nick Leddy’s role on the point of the Islanders very dangerous #1 power-play unit, where he was thriving when given the opportunity last month. He’s a near lock to see 25+ minutes of ice-time tonight, and his modest salary doesn’t reflect his new responsibilities with this team.
Other Options: Dennis Wideman, John Carlson, Jack Johnson, Ryan Suter, T.J. Brodie, Kevin Connauton, Matt Niskanen, Morgan Rielly
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)