Hey guys. Thanks for all the well wishes; I’m starting to get over this sickness. For those of you who are still battling for the last four days of the regular season, I’m going to do a preview of tonight along with some streamers. It’s a massive 13 game slate so you might not have the need to stream unless you own a bunch of Sabres, Blue Jackets, Wild or Oilers but with some injury piling up around the league, it’s good to have some options. I’m going to give you my top 5 options for tonight next, then add in a quick preview of all of the games since you’ll more than likely have to bench some of your players. Here we go!
Jonathan Drouin (17.2%) – With all of the injuries, Drouin has been recalled by the Lightning. His situation this year was a mess but now it’s a thing of the past. He belongs in your lineup in a game that Tampa should control against the Devils.
Bo Horvat (13.6%) – Bo has points in four straight, the minutes are huge and the matchup with the Flames is great.
J.T. Miller (19.8%) – Going back to the well here. Big game for playoff positioning and Miller is still in a nice position to succeed.
Elias Lindholm (16.5%) – He’s been struggling but the Canadiens are giving Charlie Lindgren his first career NHL start tonight. Getting some exposure against a kid fresh out of college is a solid move.
Riley Sheahan (2.1%) – He’s hot right now and in a crucial battle for one of the last two playoff spots in the East, I expect the Wings to come out on top.
Quick preview of tonight’s games:
The game with the most on the line tonight is certainly the Red Wings at the Bruins. The Red Wings can extend their playoff streak with any win. I expect this to be a tighter game so I like Jimmy Howard to stay hot in this one. If you have some fringe guys in this game, it would be reasonable to sit them.
Tampa is playing for home ice in the first round so expect them to come out firing against the Devils. Ben Bishop is probably the best goalie option on the slate tonight. The majority of the studs for Tampa are injured but expect the guys they have playing e.g. Nikita Kucherov to force their will on the game.
As far as playoff seeding goes, the Rangers Islanders game tonight will have a big impact; one team is going to play the Penguins while the other is going to cross over and play the Panthers in the first round. I like both Thomas Greiss and Henrik Lundqvist in this one and give the slight edge to the Isles with Ryan McDonagh injured.
Get all of your Flyers in tonight against the Leafs. While the Leafs are playing better, one loss in their last two clinches 30th place to give them the best lottery odds while the Flyers need every point they can get to get one of the wild card spots. Steve Mason could also be considered the best goaltending play of the night.
The Pens vs Caps game means nothing for the Caps outside of Alex Ovechkin pushing for 50 goals while the Penguins can clinch home ice in the first round with a win. I expect the Pens to stay hot and win this one on the road.
As mentioned above, Montreal is giving Charlie Lindgren his first career start tonight. I’d look to play the guys you own in this game; I could see this being one of the highest scoring games of the night.
Florida and Ottawa both have nothing to play for in this one. Get your skaters in your lineup in this one as those games usually tend to be higher scoring. Unless the Devils are involved, of course.
The Predators are locked into the first wild card spot while the Coyotes aren’t playing for anything. Another game ripe for a lot of goals, especially since both teams are inconsistent in net.
The Blackhawks will almost certainly be the third place team in the division unless Chicago wins both and the Blues or Stars lose both in regulation. To be honest, I don’t think Chicago cares one bit about home ice while it would mean a lot for the Blues to be the #1 seed. I expect this game to be tight but I’d still play my studs on the Blues and Hawks.
Dallas is playing for home ice as well and Colorado is now eliminated. I could see this being the highest scoring game of the night or Dallas just steamrolling the Avs. Get all of your Stars into your lineup.
Joni Ortio and Ryan Miller are both nice options tonight as both are playing well and the teams lack consistent firepower. I would still play the studs on both teams (there aren’t many) but stay away from most of the fringe.
The Ducks and Kings tonight could very well decide first place in the Pacific, especially if the Ducks can get the road win. I expect a very tight game making whoever starts in net (both are unconfirmed right now but I assume John Gibson and Jonathan Quick) elite options.
The Sharks have a slim chance at catching either of their California foes but with that possibility alive, expect them to come out and steam roll the Jets. Definitely play the Sharks that you own and I like Martin Jones since he is likely to get a win. I’d still play the Jets on the first line plus Dustin Byfuglien.
That’s all for now guys. There’s only one game tomorrow night so what I plan on doing is writing a preview like this for the entire weekend. This way, I should be able to give you guys who are still playing a nice guideline with how to proceed the rest of the way. As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below. Take care everyone!