NHL DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, March 2
There is only one more day until the NHL trade deadline of 3:00 pm EST, and the NHL has loaded up the schedule with 10 games on tap Thursday. There are three games involving a tired team playing a rested team as Toronto, coming off a 5-2 loss in Edmonton, travel down the highway to Calgary. Dallas plays a rested Chicago team, while the Rangers are home to the rested Senators. In other action, Florida hosts Nashville, Buffalo travels to Boston, Pittsburgh takes on Tampa Bay, Seattle is in Detroit, Vancouver hosts Minnesota, Montreal plays in LA while in the final game, St. Louis finds its way to San Jose. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. PIT ($37): Vasilevskiy has given up only three goals on 85 shots in his last two games, as he was outstanding in a 45-save effort versus Detroit on Feb. 25, shutting the Red Wings out 3-0. Vasilevskiy gave up three goals on 40 shots in his last start, a 4-1 loss to Florida, but he has had good success most of the season, going 28-15-2 with a 2.56 GAA and .919 save percentage. He will face the Penguins, who are 13th in NHL scoring, averaging 3.23 goals per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, BUF at BOS ($20): Luukkonen was the Sabres' No. 1 goaltender heading into February, but has started only three of the last eight games. He has gone 2-3-0 in his last five starts, giving up 21 goals on 148 shots. That includes being pulled nine days ago, when he gave up four goals on 10 shots in a loss to Toronto. Luukkonen is 15-8-2 with a 3.57 GAA and .892 save percentage this season. His peripherals have been mediocre and his season has been saved by the fact the Sabres are the second-highest scoring team in the NHL. Luukkonen will face the third-highest scoring team in the NHL, as the Bruins are averaging 3.73 goals per game.
Elias Pettersson, VAN vs. MIN ($30): Pettersson saw his four-game point streak come to an end Feb. 25, during which he had three goals and 11 points, but he started one anew Monday with an assist. He's been one of the hottest players in the NHL since the start of the calendar year as he has 11 goals and 21 assists in 23 games, giving him 28 goals and 76 points in 58 contests this season. He has already hit a career high in points and is only four goals away from equaling his career high in goals, set last season in 80 games.
CENTER TO AVOID
Cody Glass, NAS at FLA ($16): Glass sees action on the top line as well as first power play time in Nashville, but has only eight goals and 23 points in 48 games this season. The sixth overall pick by the Golden Knights in the 2017 draft, Glass is having his finest season in the NHL, but with only 23 points, that is not saying a lot.
David Pastrnak, BOS vs. BUF ($36): Pastrnak has 42 goals and 80 points in 60 games, hitting the 80-point mark for the fourth time in his nine-year NHL career. His 42 goals leaves him just six short of tying his career high, set in the 2019-20 season. The 26-year-old also has 14 goals and 29 points on the power play this season. Pastrnak takes on the Sabres, and he has had some success against them this season with a goal and two assists in two games.
Claude Giroux, OTT at NYR ($20): Giroux has been red hot of late with two goals and seven points in his last three games. Overall, the 35-year-old has 25 goals and 60 points in 60 games as he seems revitalized in Ottawa after floundering a bit in his last three seasons with the Flyers. Giroux has seven goals and 21 points with the man advantage, and his veteran leadership has been a huge bonus in his first season with the Senators.
WINGS TO AVOID
Joe Pavelski, DAL at CHI ($20): Pavelski has been in a prolonged slump with only four assists in his last 12 games. You have to go back to Jan. 14, a span of 17 games, to find the last time he found the back of the net. While his 14 goals and 51 points in 61 games look good, Pavelski got off to a great start this season, and at the age of 38, he is another player that you have to wonder if time has finally caught up with him.
Brad Marchand, BOS vs. BUF ($31): Marchand has struggled since Jan. 28 with only three goals and four assists in 12 games. He plays the game full speed ahead, and it has taken a toll on his 34-year-old body. Marchand also had offseason hip surgery that cost him eight games at the start of the season. He has 19 goals and 53 points in 52 games this season, not too shabby, but not worth his high price in DFS.
Moritz Seider, DET vs. SEA ($17): The youngster got off to a bad start this season but got a break in playing time as Filip Hronek was dealt to Vancouver on Tuesday. Seider is now the undisputed quarterback of the Detroit power play. While he has gone the last seven games with nary a point, he was red hot before that with two goals and 15 assists in his previous 18 games. Seider has four goals and 30 points in 60 games (he had two goals and 17 points in his first 38 contests), as he has returned to his 2021-22 form, when he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
Erik Karlsson, SJ vs. STL ($28): Karlsson is having a season for the ages as he has 19 goals and 58 assists in just 61 games. He is on pace for 104 points, which would be the 10th-best season by a blueliner in NHL history, as only Bobby Orr (five times) and Paul Coffey (on four occasions) have bettered the mark. Karlsson has a goal and three assists in his last five games after he was held off the scoresheet in his previous two outings. Previous to that game, he had three goals and nine points in his four contests. Karlsson has four goals and 19 points on the power play and is only six points away from tying his career high, set in the 2015-16 campaign.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Aaron Ekblad, FLA vs. NAS ($20): Ekblad has not had a point in his last seven games, as the defenseman has only nine goals and 27 points in 51 games. While he is capable of breaking loose at any time — he had 57 points last season in 61 games — he has not shown that kind of offensive output very often this season.
Tyson Barrie, NAS at FLA ($17): Barrie was dealt Tuesday from Edmonton and there is a good chance he will not even dress. But if he does, he goes from being the Oilers' top offensive defenseman to a supporting role in Nashville as Roman Josi is the undisputed King. Barrie has 10 goals and 43 points in 61 games, including four goals and 28 points on the power play, but he will not be playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl any longer, instead relying on the likes of Matt Duchene and Thomas Novak. That is quite the comedown.