Alright, we are finally done with that gauntlet of three game nights.
Odds: Tampa (-207) and Pittsburgh (-218) are your biggest favorites on the night. Only Montreal is favored on the road in Edmonton.
Schedule: Anaheim is playing their fourth game in six days. This team is desperate for goals and wins. I expect an up-tempo effort from the Ducks. Let’s see how that plays out against a Ken Hitchcock defense. This is also a getaway game for the Ducks. If they flop again will Bruce Boudreau return with them? I’ve always liked the guy. I hope the team sticks with him.
Pittsburgh is playing back to back. After defeating the Caps 3-1 last night they get the Sabres at home tonight. Travel issues are never as big of a concern in the eastern conference. Narrative street for the Sabres here as Dan Bylsma returns to Pittsburgh.
Carolina is on the last leg of a seven game road trip. They are 3-3 but will face the Islanders at the Barclay’s Center tonight before heading home for a four game home stand.
Goalies: It hasn’t been confirmed but you could see Jeff Zatkoff in net for the Pens. If he starts, he’s a surefire value play, but you always have to worry just a little bit when playing a below average goaltender, even if it’s against the Sabres.
Jake Allen is in again for the Blues. I don’t even know if you can consider one of these guys a backup and the other the starter. They will split the starts pretty evenly unless he or Elliott really get hot or blow up.
Mike Condon could see the start against Edmonton.
Rickard Rakell will be on the top line in the absence of Ryan Getzlaf. Ryan Kesler should stay on the 2nd line. I’d assume Boudreau will try to get him out there as much as possible against the Tarasenko line, which isn’t as easy on to do on the road. If they want to score I think they will put Rakell out with Perry. Bump him up if you are looking to go contrarian. The Ducks might be tossing Chris Stewart back on the power-play too. They might as well just tell the timekeeper to take two minutes off the clock and go back to evens.
The Eichel line saw the biggest chunk of power-play time last time out. They saw their share of even strength time go down but this is something to watch for tonight against Zatkoff if he goes. This isn’t the same Buffalo team as last year, they are at least a little better.
Colorado really gave top six time to Dennis Everberg and Jack Skille? Can Bishop shut these guys out?
Cody Eakin skated with Seguin and Benn yesterday. That will be something to watch today as we get closer to game time. Sharp was put on a line with Spezza and Nichushkin. I’ve liked Eakin’s game for a few years now. If he can get any time at all there it will really boost his output. He’s already produced in that spot earlier in the year.
Colonel Klink is out for Edmonton. Not that he was any good but it will give someone else the chance to skate with Hall and RNH. I expect it to be Teddy Purcell.
Pull David Perron back off the dustbin. He’s back on line two with Geno and Phil. His price is pretty low if you want to combine him with either in a tournament play. Malkin is especially enticing again due to his price.
Over in St. Louis, it looks to be Ty Rattie as the second line right wing. He can be had at minimum price. Kevin Shattenkirk might find himself back in the lineup today. If he does, see what happens with Colton Parayko. Temper expectations just a bit if Shatts is in.
Victor Hedman is back as the rightful owner of top power-play time on the first unit in Tampa. His price has dipped a bit which means you can get him in at nice value.
Top Expected Stacks: I’m guessing there will be a heavy dose of Pittsburgh, followed by Montreal, Tampa and the Isles