If last night’s action is any indication, we’re set for some wild nights on the ice for the rest of the season. Tonight, twelve teams will lace up their skates and hit the ice and there are plenty of favorable matchups to exploit.
Cory Schneider – New Jersey Devils – The Devils play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at the Prudential Center where Cory Schneider owns a sparkling 1.79 GAA and .935 SV% on the season. Columbus has dropped seven straight games and Schneider has dominated the Blue Jackets in both prior meetings including a 33 save shutout last week. Schneider has stood on his head since the All-Star break, posting a 8-4-2 record with a 1.51 GAA and .951 SV%,
Others: Andrew Hammond, Corey Crawford, Jimmy Howard
Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks – With Patrick Kane out of commission, the offensive burden for Chicago shifts much more heavily to their Captain. Toews responded accordingly in their last game, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist against Carolina. He’s torched this defensively inept Edmonton team this season to the tune of two goals and two assists in their two meetings. Toews has picked up six goals and five assists over the last 11 games and sports some of the league’s most dramatic home vs road splits (13 goals and 23 assists in 33 games on home ice, versus “just” 8 goals and 9 assists in 31 road games). He’s not cheap, but should have no trouble paying off his salary tonight.
Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings – Zetterberg returned to action on Wednesday Night and his presence was immediately felt. He dished out a pair of assists against the Rangers and looked fresh and sharp during his nearly 18 minutes of ice-time. The Calgary Flames had no answer for Zetterberg in their first meeting this season as Hank scored a goal and added an assists in Detroit’s 3-2 victory. Much like Mr. Toews above, Zetterberg boasts some drastic home vs. road splits; in 30 games at Joe Louis Arena he’s posted 10 goals and added 23 assists (versus just 5 goals and 13 assists in 28 road games). At just $5,800, he’s a tremendous value.
Others: Kyle Turris, Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique, Mika Zibanejad, Antoine Vermette, Ryan Kesler
Mike Hoffman – Ottawa Senators – With the Buffalo Sabres invading the Scotiabank Place tonight, Ottawa Senators will be popular selections tonight. The speedy Mike Hoffman comes with an affordable asking price ($5,000) and has racked up eight goals and nine assists over the last 17 games. Hoffman has tallied three assists and fired 11 shots on goal in three games against Buffalo this season. Hoffman skates alongside Bobby Ryan and Mika Zibanejad on the team’s top power-play unit and should thrive against Buffalo’s league worst penalty kill.
Gustav Nyquist – Detroit Red Wings – While he hasn’t scored a goal in any of the last five games, it hasn’t been due to a lack of opportunities. A few bad bounces and dings off the goal post have cost Nyquist several points over the last week and he’s proven to be too offensively gifted to be kept quiet for long. “Gus” dished out a pair of assists against Calgary when these teams met earlier this season and has been terrific at Joe Louis Arena all season where he owns 15 goals and 12 assists in 30 home games. He’s now $2,400 cheaper than he was two weeks ago, so enjoy the temporary discount.
Others: Michael Cammalleri, Bobby Ryan, Marian Hossa, Zach Parise, Tomas Totar, Kris Versteeg, Corey Perry, David Perron
Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks – As the work horse on the Blackhawks blue-line, Keith is a terrific cash game option tonight against the Edmonton Oilers. Keith is routinely logging 25+ minutes of ice-time this season and quarterbacks the Blackhawks dangerous #1 power-play unit. With Edmonton entering tonight’s game sporting the league’s 26th ranked penalty kill, he should have no trouble paying off his modest $5,400 salary. Keith has picked up seven assists over the last ten games and has already found the back on the net once against Edmonton this season.
Eric Gelinas – New Jersey Devils – With Marek Zidlicky shipped off to Detroit on Monday, the door opened for Gelinas to see an increased role with the Devils. In the first game since the trade-deadline, Gelinas saw the lion’s share of the work on the point of the team’s #1 power-play unit where he scored his fifth goal of the season. Tonight he’ll square off against a Columbus Blue Jackets team that is allowing 3.20 goals per game on the season and sports the leagues 24th ranked penalty kill. He’s dirt cheap ($3,200) and a solid punt option on the blue line.
Others: Erik Karlsson, Justin Faulk, Nicklas Kronwall, Cody Ceci, Brent Seabrook, Kris Letang, Cam Fowler, Marek Zidlicky
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)