NHL Daily Plays: Wednesday, March 4th
It’s another “Rivalry Wednesday” on the ice tonight, which is basically the NHL’s way of saying that there aren’t many games.
Eight teams will lace up the skates tonight, with the first puck dropping 30 minutes later than usual (7:30 PM Eastern). Below are my top picks of the day.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings – After a grueling six-game road trip, the Red Wings return to Detroit tonight where Howard owns a 11-4-6 record with a very solid 2.16 GAA and .916 SV% at the Joe Louis Arena this season. Howard turned away 27 of the 29 shots the Rangers threw his way in a winning effort back in December. I expect this to be a hard fought, playoff-type game between two teams jockeying for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference, and with Mike Babcock utilizing the last line change to slow down the Rick Nash line, Howard is in a nice position to pick up a “W”.
Others To Target: Michael Hutchinson, Marc Andre-Fleury
Evgeni Malkin – Pittsburgh Penguins – Fade Malkin right now at your own risk. The sniper has tallied three points in each of the last three games and is now riding a five-game point streak that has seen him amass six goals and six assists. Only the Buffalo Sabres are allowing more shots on goal per game this season than the Colorado Avalanche, and Malkin picked up an assist and fired six shots on goal against them in their first meeting. He’s going to be a staple in my cash games.
Mark Scheifele – Winnipeg Jets – After a rather impressive rookie campaign last season, expectations were high for the former seventh-overall pick entering this season. However, he struggled out of the gate and only managed to pick up two points through the first 12 games on the season. However, he’s settled in now and is currently riding a four-game point streak and has now scored 7 goals and added 19 assists over the last 35 games. He picked up an assist in Winnipeg’s 2-1 shootout victory over the Senators earlier this season and sees a healthy dose of playing time on the team’s second power-play unit.
Others To Target: Ryan Getzlaf, Bryan Little, Henrik Zetterberg, Sidney Crosby, Derek Stepan, David Desharnais, Nathan MacKinnon, Martin St. Louis
Tomas Tatar – Detroit Red Wings – Entering tonight’s game, Tatar leads the Red Wings in both goals (25) and plus/minus (+12). The 24-year-old lit the lamp against the Predators on Saturday and, after a brutally slow start to the season, has tallied 21 goals and added 20 assists over the last 46 games. Tatar has already picked up a goal and an assist in two prior meetings against the Rangers this season and can still be found at a discounted price on several sites.
Mike Hoffman – Ottawa Senators – With 23 goals and 17 assists already on the season, it’s safe to say that Mike Hoffman has officially burst onto the NHL scene. The speedster enters tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets having tallied points in four straight games and racking up six goals and six assists over his last ten games. He’s seeing a healthy dose of playing time on Ottawa’s top power-play unit and should have plenty of scoring opportunities against the a Jets penalty kill that ranks dead last in the NHL since the All-Star break (72.6%). Hoffman is still underpriced on several sites and an excellent option on tonight’s short slate.
Others To Target: Corey Perry, Max Pacioretty, Chris Kunitz, David Perron, Gabriel Landeskog, Jacob Silfverberg, Kyle Palmieri, Brendan Gallagher
Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks – If you’re looking for a cheap defenseman tonight, then Fowler could be your guy. He’s routinely logging 20 minutes of ice-time per game and sees time on the point of the Ducks top power-play unit. He picked up an assist against the Coyotes last night and is a +7 over his last three games. He’s dirt cheap on several sites ($3,100 on FanDuel for instance), so give him a look.
Kris Letang – Pittsburgh Penguins – If I’m spending money tonight on a defenseman, it’s going to be Letang. He dished out a pair of assists on Sunday in Columbus and has now posted one goal and 16 assists in 16 games since the All-Star break. Letang routinely logs 25+ minutes of ice-time per game and quarterbacks the Penguins lethal #1 power-play unit. With Colorado being quite susceptible to taking penalties, it would be surprising if Letang didn’t find his name in the score sheet tonight.
Others To Target: Nicklas Kronwall, P.K. Subban, Erik Karlsson, Tyson Barrie, Tyler Myers, Marek Zidlicky