By Chris Morgan
Now we know which teams are in the Final Four, and the Frozen Four, but you should be focused on 12 other teams Monday — the 12 NHL teams that are in action. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, from those six contests.
James Reimer, FLA at BUF ($31): Reimer has a 2.51 GAA and a .920 save percentage on the season, and in his last six games he has a 1.98 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Buffalo has only scored 2.48 goals per game, so they don’t seem likely to threaten him too much. Additionally, the Sabres have allowed 2.80 goals and 34.3 shots on net per game, the latter of which is the most in the league. That likely increases Reimer’s chances of getting some offensive support, which in turn increases his chances of winning.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Corey Crawford, CHI at TAM ($33): It’s not a particularly large sample, but over his last three games Crawford has a 3.94 GAA and a .873 save percentage. Now he has to head on the road to square off with a Lightning team fighting for a playoff spot. Crawford has had a fine season, but he’s the third most expensive netminder Monday. If you want to spend a pretty penny on a goalie, both Brian Elliott ($40) and Jake Allen ($35) have much easier matchups, and if you want to try and get a good bargain, Crawford isn’t that.
Jonathan Marchessault, FLA at BUF ($17): As was mentioned earlier, the Sabres have allowed 2.80 goals and 34.3 shots on net per game. That’s more shots allowed on average than any NHL team. Buffalo also has the 28th-ranked penalty kill. Marchessault, who has started 37.1 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, has notched nine goals on 35 shots in his last 10 games. Additionally, he’s tallied 16 power-play points in 67 games.
CENTER TO AVOID
Nathan MacKinnon, COL at CGY ($18): Bad puck luck has limited MacKinnon to 15 goals in 74 games, but there’s not much time left for him to turn that around. It will also be difficult for him to find much success against the Flames. Calgary has only allowed 28.6 shots on net per game, and since the All-Star break they’ve only allowed 2.30 goals per game. Elliott has been even better than that, as he has a 1.84 GAA and .938 save percentage in his last 15 contests.
Jeff Skinner, CAR vs. DET ($22): Since the Wings played Sunday and started Jimmy Howard, there’s a good chance Petr Mrazek (2.99 GAA, .901 save percentage) will start this game. Skinner, who has started 42.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, has been a prolific puck shooter this season, as he’s tallied 239 shots on net in 70 games. He’s scored 30 goals on those shots, making this the third 30-goal season of his career.
Jaden Schwartz, STL vs. ARI ($17): In his last 18 games, Schwartz has notched 12 points, and he’s also registered 56 shots on goal. He’s also averaged 2:31 per game on the power play, which is a good sign heading into a matchup with the Coyotes’ 26th-ranked penalty kill. On top of that, Arizona has allowed a whopping 33.8 shots on net per game, so Schwartz should get plenty of opportunities to put the puck on the net once again. Considering the Coyotes have also allowed 3.17 goals per game, that could really pay off.
WINGS TO AVOID
Tomas Tatar, DET at CAR ($19): While the Hurricanes have allowed 2.78 goals per game, which is not great, they’ve also only allowed 28.2 shots on net per contest. Tatar will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and Detroit is the only team in such a position Monday. Additionally, he has only averaged 4.9 fantasy points per game. There are numerous cheaper players who have averaged more points than that. This isn’t a terrible matchup for Tatar, but there are better values out there.
Ryan Hartman, CHI at TAM ($17): Hartman has had a surprisingly good year, but despite that he’s still only averaged 5.2 fantasy points per game. On top of that, he only has three points in his last 14 contests. He’s also only averaged 0:25 per game on the power play, so Hartman isn’t going to help you there. In his last 10 games, Andrei Vasilevskiy has a 2.29 GAA and a .931 save percentage, which is another point against Hartman on Monday.
Keith Yandle, FLA at BUF ($16): Yandle has averaged 3:09 a game with the extra man, tallying 15 points in that time. The Sabres, meanwhile, have the 28th-ranked penalty kill. Buffalo has also allowed a league-high 34.3 shots on net per contest, and Yandle has tallied 162 shots on goal in 74 games. However, much of his fantasy value has come from his playmaking, as he’s tallied 32 assists.
T.J. Brodie, CGY vs. COL ($15): Brodie hasn’t had a great season, but he’s started 31.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, the second most of any Flames defenseman. He’s also averaged 2:43 per game on the power play, notching nine points with the extra man. Besides, you don’t have to be having a great season to have a big game against the lowly Avalanche. They have, after all, allowed 3.35 goals and 31.9 shots on net per game, and their penalty kill is ranked 27th. Defensively, Brodie has also blocked 106 shots, so he could add a little fantasy value there.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Brent Seabrook, CHI at TAM ($19): Seabrook hasn’t quite been up to his usual standards this season, as he has averaged 5.7 fantasy points per game. That’s a solid average, but it’s not in the upper echelon. Tampa has been middle of the pack in shots allowed per game (30.3) and also on the penalty kill, where they rank 15th. Seabrook also doesn’t have a goal in 28 games. On top of that, as previously noted Vasilevskiy has a 2.29 GAA and a .931 save percentage in his last 10 games.
Alex Goligoski, ARI at STL ($17): Goligoski has only averaged 4.7 fantasy points per game, and he’s notched a mere 100 shots on goal in 75 games. St. Louis has allowed only 28.1 shots on net per contest, and their penalty kill is ranked fourth overall. Plus, in his last 19 games Allen has a 1.74 GAA and a .941 save percentage for the Blues.
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