Where to play
Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers
It appears that the Flyers season is just about over. They are playing awful hockey right now, and are in danger of falling completely out of the race. After blowing a two goal lead against the New York Islanders, they get to take on one of the Cup favorites in the Boston Bruins. The big bad Bruins own the Flyers, going 9-1 in their last ten meetings. Look for the Bruins to continue that today.
Puck Play #1 - The Bruins are led by Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron, both of whom have been playing great. They should find little resistance in the Flyers, who appear to have packed it in.
Puck Play #2 - I don’t really like anybody on Philly today, especially if Tuuku Rask is in net for Boston. The only guy I would even consider would be Claude Giroux, who has been playing well, but I think you can find better options with the full slate of games today.
New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins
The biggest question in the NHL right now is whether anyone can stop the Penguins? Somebody will eventually beat them, but it won’t be the Islanders. Pittsburgh should roll big in this one.
Puck Play #1 - There isn’t much to like on the Islanders side of things, other than possibly John Tavares. I wouldn’t advise playing anybody from the Islanders because the Pens have been playing great defense, to go along with their potent offense.
Puck Play #2 - Who’s not to like on the Penguins today? You can feel confident in rolling out just about any of their guys, especially Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz and James Neal. Jarome Iginla is still trying to get his work visa, so you will want to avoid him until you hear otherwise.
Carolina Hurricanes at Winnipeg Jets
Carolina is another team that appears to be just about out of it. They came back from a two goal deficit in Toronto on Thursday, taking a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period. However they quickly saw that lead turn into a 6-3 loss, for their seventh loss in a row. The road team has won four straight in this matchup, and I think that Carolina snaps their losing streak in this one.
Puck Play #1 - After being ice cold for a few games, both Eric Staal and Alex Semin had pretty good outings against Toronto. They should put up some good numbers in this one as well.
Puck Play #2 - Winnipeg is led by Evander Kane, who should be able to use his great speed to lead him to a lot of success in this one. Blake Wheeler is another guy I like in this one because he is a big body, with good speed and a great shot. Even if he doesn’t score, he should get plenty of shots on goal. Dustin Byfuglien is one of the top defenseman playing today.
Nashville at Colorado
Nashville struggles on the road, and is coming off of an abysmal game at home on Thursday. Colorado is pretty good at home, and won the previous matchup in Colorado 6-5. The Preds are a great 9-1 in the last their last ten matchups, and this has the makings of another high scoring game.
Puck Play #1 - Nashville doesn’t boast any superstars in their lineup, but they do have some pretty steady players such as Martin Erat and Patric Hornqvist. They are both steady players who should be able to take advantage of the shoddy Colorado defense.
Puck Play #2 - Matt Duchene and PA Parenteau will lead Colorado tonight. They have been the best players for the Avalanche all year, and are especially good on home ice. The other player I really like is Ryan O’Reilly, who has been producing at a point per game clip since ending his hold out.
Washington @ Buffalo
Both of these teams come into the game off of losses, and both hold a 3-2 record over their last five games. This is a couple of mediocre teams going head to head, and it’s likely that this game will stay pretty close. The home team is 6-1 over the last meetings, and the games in Buffalo are usually pretty low scoring. Both teams also tend to give up a lot of shots.
Puck Play #1 - The Capitals really only have two options that I would consider, and Mike Ribiero is having an outstanding season. He is putting up points almost every night. Of course it helps to be playing with Alex Ovechkin, who will be the best player on the ice for either team. Mike Green is also a good option on defense, if healthy.
Puck Play #2 - The Sabres are dealing with some major injury problems. I really like Tomas Vanek, but we need to make sure he is playing before putting him in the line up. Also, Cody Hodgson has been playing well recently and provides another good option. On defense we have Christian Ehroff, who should be available at a decent price.
New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens
Yet another season that the Rangers go out and spend like the Yankees. Unlike the Yankees, the Rangers season is most likely going to end with them missing the playoffs, unless they turn things around quickly. It will be tough to accomplish that tonight against a Montreal team that ranks near the top of the conference. The Rangers have lost their last seven games in Montreal, and that will likely be eight after tonight.
Puck Play #1 - I don’t like anybody on the Rangers, and they are truly in danger of getting shutout tonight.
Puck Play #2 - Montreal boasts a balanced attack led by Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty, both of whom should have good night. Brendan Gallagher makes for a good value play, and PK Subban is perhaps the best defenseman playing tonight. Carey Price is one of my top goalies for the evening.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators
The Battle of Ontario resumes tonight in what should be a great game. It may not be from a fantasy perspective, but it should be one of the most entertaining games of the evening. Ottawa has won six of their last seven overall, while Toronto hasn’t lost in regulation over their last five games. Both teams are playing well coming in to this one, and the Leafs have won four of the last five meetings.
Puck Play #1 - Toronto boasts perhaps the hottest player in the NHL in Joffrey Lupul, and he is as close to must play on Toronto as there is. Phil Kessel is another player I like, and he’s been playing really well for the last couple of weeks.
Puck Play #2 - Ottawa is another team that doesn’t have any superstars, but they just get the job done with balanced scoring throughout the lineup. Three players to look at tonight are Guillame Latendresse, Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg.
New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers
This promises to be the most boring game of the evening. New Jersey has played a defensive style for as long as I can remember, and Florida is just awful.
Puck Play #1 - With Ilya Kovalchuk injured, New Jersey doesn’t have any must plays on their team. However, Andrei Loktionov and Adam Henrique are a couple guys that make decent value plays tonight.
Puck Play #2 - There is nobody on Florida to target, especially if Martin Brodeur is in net for the Devils.
Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild
Both of these teams have been playing high scoring games recently, so this promises to be another exciting game. The Wild have been beating everybody in sight, and the Kings are coming off big wins in Chicago and St. Louis.
Puck Play #1 - The Kings have lots of offensive firepower. Anze Kopitar leads their attack, and Dustin Brown could make for a good value play as well.
Puck Play #2 - With Minnesota it all starts with Zach Parise, who has been on fire since getting accustomed to his new surrounding in Minnesota. Defenseman Ryan Suter is another play that I really like, and Mikko Koivu is a decent value tonight.
Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers play much better at home than they do on the road, but not against Vancouver. The Canucks are 5-2 in their last seven trips to Edmonton and on a mini roll right now, but not scoring many goals. Look for the Canucks to win in a low scoring game.
Puck Play #1 - The Canucks are led by the Sedin twins (Henrik and Daniel), and any scoring will likely involve one or both of them. However the only play I really like is Vancouver’s goalie, either Corey Schneider or Roberto Luongo.
Puck Play #2 - The Oilers have a really tough matchup tonight against a Canuck team that is playing great defense. The two guys I would think about are Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.
Phoenix Coyotes at San Jose Sharks
The Coyotes are in for a long night, and will be hard pressed to find the net. The Sharks seem to have turned things around, and are coming off a shutout win against the Red Wings.
Puck Play #1 – There isn’t anyone that I like on Phoenix tonight.
Puck Play #2 - As mentioned above, the Sharks are turning things around and are playing much better recently. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have both dropped in price, and make good plays tonight. Antii Niemi also makes for a great play in the net.