Odds: NY Islanders (-190) Montreal (-169) and St. Louis (-180) are your biggest favorites of the night.
Schedule: The only team that is playing any sort of a tired game tonight is Detroit playing their 3rd game in four nights. Everyone else is rested. The Winnipeg Jets are playing a get-away game and has lost five straight. They can’t wait to get back home to Manitoba.
Goalies: Eddie Lack is in for the Canes. This team is really frustrating to use at times. They are a good Corsi team at home but they just cant seem to win the PDO battle. Their PDO is low again this year. You expect them to win more games at home simply due to their Corsi advantage, but at what point does a low PDO simply mean you aren’t getting good quality shots? They have the third highest SCF/60 of any team playing tonight. Go figure.
Jacob Markstrom is in for the Canucks against the Canadiens. I’ve been following this guys career since he was thrown to the wolves in Florida. He’s figured it out in the AHL and is back in the show. I’m pulling for him. That doesn’t mean he’s a good play here tonight though. I think the Canucks can hang in there, but there are rumors that Carey Price could play. I’m sure we will know more later in the day.
Rickard Rakell is still on the first line even with Ryan Getzlaf back in the lineup. This is a pretty good spot for him at a real low price.
The Staal’s are back together in Carolina with Skinner-Rask-Versteeg on the second line. You never know what you are going to get from Carolina. The only given here is a guy like Justin Faulk.
Detroit is shuffling their lines again with Pavel Datsyuk back. Dylan Larkin found himself back on the top line with Abby and Zetterberg. Line two had Tatar with Datsyuk and Helm, and for some reason Gustav Nyquist was on the third. I’d love me a mini-stack of Tatar-Nyquist but you just cant do it now. Look for line rushes to see if this is a possibility.
The Panthers slotted the ageless wonder with Trocheck and Jokinen on the second line. I dont know if this is a case of him getting his legs back under him after the injury or of the Panthers are trying to get scoring from more than one line with Barkov out. Reilly Smith makes for an interesting play on the first line. He was serviceable on Bergeron’s wing last year.
The Islanders seem to be settled, at least for now with Nelson and Okposo skating with Tavares and a second line of Lee-Nielsen-Bailey. That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch for the Isles. I think they get back in the scoring groove tonight after a few off games.
I’m shocked how well St. Louis continues to play through all these injuries. If their second line is Brouwer-Gomez-Paajarvi or Upshall-Backes-Fabbri, that’s something I’d expect out of Edmonton circa anytime between last year and Gretzky. The questions always looms; is this finally the year for the Blues?
The Canucks have been line shuffling a bit too. The Sedins seem to have some good chemistry going with Jannik Hansen lately. The second and third lines have been pretty split in ice time with the kid line of Baertschi-Horvat-Virtanen seeing about the same amount of ice time as Higgins-McCann and Vrbata.
Lastly Winnipeg mixed it up a bit, but that could be more of them getting shellacked by the Preds than anything else. This team has been very consistent with it’s lines all year long. Don’t expect panic here. It’s just a poor stretch of hockey. Look for Little-Ladd-Wheeler to be line one and Perrault-Scheifele-Ehlers to be the second line.
Highest Owned Player: I’m going with John Tavares
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