March Madness may be officially upon us, but the NHL season is coming to an exciting climax as well. With ten games on the docket tonight, there are plenty of favorable matchups to exploit. Here are my favorite picks for tonight’s action. Get your games locked in and then sit back and enjoy one of the best days of the year as a sports fan.
Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens – He may be the most expensive netminder on the board tonight, but here are some reasons why he’s worth his lofty asking price; 1) The Hurricanes are averaging only 2.40 goals per game on the road and Price has defeated them in both prior meetings this season, 2) Price sports a 21-7-3 record with a sparkling 1.92 GAA and .935 SV% in 31 starts at the Bell Centre, and 3) He’s been absolutely brilliant since the All-Star break, posting a 14-5-2 record with a 1.56 GAA and . 947 SV% in 21 starts (with five shutouts).
Other Options: Petr Mrazek, Semyon Varlamov, Eddie Lack, Brian Elliott
Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings – With Pavel Datsyuk temporarily out of commission, Detroit is really going to lean on their Captain to keep producing offensively. Zetterberg has tallied a goal and five assists over the last four games and scored a goal and added two assists in three previous meetings with the Florida Panthers this season. Mike Babcock is going to need him for 20+ minutes while Datsyuk is out and he’s set to see as much power-play time as he can handle. With the Red Wings owning the league’s second best power-play, he should have plenty of scoring opportunities tonight against Florida’s subpar 80.5% penalty kill.
Sean Monahan – Calgary Flames – Playing alongside Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau on the Flames top scoring line as well as their #1 power-play unit, Monahan is in the midst of a breakout sophomore campaign. The first round pick from the 2013 draft has amassed ten goals and seven assists over the last 15 games and now leads the Flames in shots on goal this season. He’ll square off against a Philadelphia team that is allowing 3.22 goals against per game on the road and that owns an atrocious 77% penalty kill. He lit the lamp against the Flyers in their only previous meeting and I really like his $5,600 asking price.
Other Options: Sidney Crosby, Joe Pavelski, Nathan MacKinnon, Tomas Plekancec, Logan Couture
Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadiens – Pacioretty has thrived at the Bell Centre this season, scoring 18 goals and adding 21 assists in just 35 home games. The Hurricanes are allowing 3.09 goals per game on the road and Max has lit them up for a goal and three assists in their two previous meetings this year. He’s second to Alex Ovechkin in shots on goal and should be well worth the $8,600 investment tonight.
Gabriel Landeskog – Colorado Avalanche – The Coyotes are doing their best to throw their hat into the Connor McDavid sweepstakes and, after dropping 15 of their last 16 games, they now sport the NHL’s worst goal differential (-1.46) since the All-Star break. Landeskog has been red-hot lately, scoring nine goals and grabbing seven assists over the last 15 games. He’s lit the lamp three times in the two prior meetings against Arizona this season and carries a very reasonable $6,500 price-tag.
Other Options: Jiri Hudler, Vladimir Tarasenko, Radim Vrbata, Jarome Iginla, Jaden Schwartz, Gustav Nyquist, Brad Marchand
Tyson Barrie – Colorado Avalanche – With Erik Johnson injured, Tyson Barrie has really stepped up for Patrick Roy to add some offense from the Colorado blue-line. He’s routinely logging north of 20 minutes of ice-time per game and will see plenty of run on the point of the Av’s #1 power-play unit against this terrible Arizona penalty kill. Barrie has racked up four goals and ten assists over the last 11 games and has tallied a goal and an assist in two prior meetings with the Coyotes.
Marek Zidlicky – Detroit Red Wings – The move to Detroit looks to have done wonders for Zidlicky as he now owns three goals and four assists in his first seven games with his new team. His right-handed shot was something Mike Babcock desperately wanted and he’s been utilized heavily on the point of Detroit’s lethal #1 power-play unit. He’ll bring a three game point streak into tonight’s game and while his asking price is starting to climb, at $4,400 there’s still plenty of value here.
Other Options: P.K. Subban, Brent Burns, Dennis Wideman, Kris Letang, Alex Piertrangelo, Alex Edler, Ryan Suter
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)