NHL Daily Plays: Monday, March 2nd
We have a typically slow Monday in the NHL with just three games on tap. Building your cash game lineups will be a little more difficult tonight on this short slate with a couple of unpredictable games. In tournament play you can easily get a piece of all six teams hitting the ice.
The Chicago Blackhawks are the only big favorite on the board and will certainly be the most popular team in both your cash games and GPPs. None of the six teams in play this evening are playing on consecutive nights, meaning all teams should be well rested.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks – Crawford bounced back nicely to shut out the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, after allowing eight goals in his previous two games. The Chicago Blackhawks are a big favorite tonight and they will face a Carolina Hurricanes squad that has struggled mightily away from home this season. The Hurricanes have one of the worst road records in the league (10-19-4) and Chicago happens to be one of the NHL’s top teams on home ice (19-9-4). Carolina has been playing better hockey recently but they are still not an offense that I would fear, ranking 26th in goals per game this season (2.26). However, the Hurricanes do average over 30 shots per game, which means Crawford should see his fair share of shots, but isn’t likely to allow more the two goals tonight. This is the perfect goaltending scenario in your cash games. Crawford is the safest bet for a win tonight on this short slate.
Other Goalies To Target (Cash Games) – Pekka Rinne, Carey Price
Other Goalies To Target (Tournaments) – Antti Niemi, Cam Talbot, Cam Ward
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks – Toews has scored goals in three of his last four games and has fired 14 shots on net during that span. With the injury to Patrick Kane, it will now be up to Jonathan Toews to carry the Blackhawks offensively the rest of the season, and I think he is up to the task. Toews is moderately priced and makes a great play at center tonight in any format.
David Desharnais, Montreal Canadiens – Desharnais had a big game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night (2 G, +3, 2 PIM, 2 SOG) and now has 14 points in his last 14 games. The Montreal Canadiens have won four consecutive games and only have one regulation loss in their past 10 games. The San Jose Sharks are really struggling, winning just twice in their last 10 games and allowing the second-most goals per game (3.46) in the month of February. Montréal’s top line with Desharnais (and Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher) is one of the hottest lines in hockey right now, and I can’t see the Sharks slowing them down tonight.
Other Centers To Target (Cash Games) – Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, Mike Ribeiro
Other Centers To Target (Tournaments) – Mike Fisher, Brad Richards, Logan Couture
Rick Nash, New York Rangers – Nash has gone pointless in his last three games, which is not something that happens very often. Regardless of his mini-slump, Nash is an elite sniper, sitting second in the NHL in goals (37) and third in shots on goal (225). The matchup tonight is not ideal, but Nashville has lost consecutive games, allowing eight goals in the process. The New York Rangers are one of the league’s top teams on home ice (20-7-5) and they led the NHL in goals per game in the month of February (3.71). Nash has as much offensive upside as any other winger playing tonight.
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks – Pavelski has seven goals, 15 points and 46 shots on goal in his last 15 games and he is the only Shark that has been consistent all season long. Despite a down year for the entire San Jose offense, Pavelski has produced solid numbers (31 G, 57 PTS, +12, 201 SOG in 63 GP). The Sharks used to be a force to be reckoned with when playing at the “Shark Tank” but that is no longer the case. That being said, we only have three games in play tonight and Pavelski certainly has big game upside.
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators – The Nashville Predators have scored the sixth-most goals per game in the NHL this season and are a very steady and productive offense. Forsberg continues to put up great numbers in his rookie season and he is the Predators’ biggest offensive threat among forwards. With Forsberg back on the top line, he is the number one option in Nashville’s offense tonight in all formats.
Other Wingers To Target (Cash Games) – Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Marian Hossa, James Neal
Other Wingers To Target (Tournaments) – Patrick Marleau, Eric Staal, Patrick Sharp
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators – Weber had a goal and a ridiculous nine shots on net in the Predators 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. Defensemen are not known for piling up shots on goal and Weber has now produced an insane 23 shots on net in his last three games. Weber has 13 points in his last 18 games and has been a beast on defense all season long for Nashville. Despite his winning ways of late, Cam Talbot can be shaky in net and I think the Predators will score a few goals tonight. Nashville generates a lot of their offense from Weber and his partner in crime (Roman Josi) and I think that continues tonight in New York.
Other Defensemen To Target (Cash Games) – Roman Josi, Duncan Keith, Brent Burns, P.K. Subban
Other Defensemen To Target (Tournaments) – Justin Faulk, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Boyle, Andrei Markov
Good Luck Grinders!