Puck Picks: 2/23/16

Lets get right into it ladies and gentleman. There are nine games on the schedule tonight and five of the six worst teams in the NHL at goals allowed in the last month are playing.

Here are the teams that ALLOW the “biscuit in their basket”

Edmonton Oilers: 31 goals/8 games vs. Ottawa Senators

Dallas Stars: 30 goals/8 games @ Winnipeg Jets

Calgary Flames: 31 goals/8 games @ Los Angeles Kings

Toronto Maple Leafs: 33 goals/7 games vs./ Nashville Predators

Tampa Bay Lightning: 27 goals/8 games vs. Arizona Coyotes

All of these teams are allowing between three and a half and four goals per game. Here are the players that can take advantage of the premier match up

Who to like:

Zach Smith: $6,500 Center vs. Edmonton Oilers

Stats: 5 goals – 3 assists – 23 Shots on Goal = Last 10 Games

He has scored in back-to-back games and is having a nice February to go along with a bargain $6,500 price tag. Under the new scoring system I recommend starting the high-end stars and Smith allows you to do that.

Cody Ceci: $8,000 Defenseman vs. Edmonton Oilers

Stats: 3 goals – 2 assists – 18 SOG = 10 Games

Ceci has scored in two of his last four games, the match up is in his favor and the price tag is affordable. He isn’t a “must-start” play, but if you are scrambling to find a player that fits your budget so that you can start someone you really like, Ceci is a viable choice.

Andrew Ladd: $10,300 Wing vs. Dallas Stars

Stats: 6 goals – 25 SOG = 9 games

He is on a two game hot streak, scoring three goals to go with nine shots on goal. He was pointless in the four games before that and had three goals in three games the stretch before that, so Ladd is a streaky player. The match up is in his favor while the price is a little rich for my blood. I am fine with putting him in your lineup, but he isn’t quite a must start. I would like to see him under $9,000 before I call him a “must-start.”

Blake Wheeler: $14,300 Wing vs. Dallas Stars

Stats: 3 goals – 3 assists – 33 SOG = 9 games

A very good player in a very good match up is always a solid choice and I won’t blame you for starting him, but at $14,300 he isn’t a “must-start” player. He has two goals and three assists in his previous five games and he takes a lot of shots. His consistent shot totals make me like him more.

Anze Kopitar: $13,200 Center vs. Calgary Flames

Stats: 4 goals – 5 assists – 20 SOG = 8 games

A hat trick against the Rangers on February 12th skews what are pedestrian scoring totals and most of his points have been assists. The salary is a little high for a player struggling to score goals, but he is playing well and the Flames allow a lot of goals.

Flip Forsberg: $11,800 Wing vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Stats: 6 goals – 3 assists – 31 SOG = 10 games

Forsberg has been the Predators best goal scorer in February and the Maple Leafs is the worst team in hockey in goals allowed. His salary isn’t a bargain, but the best scorer in the best match up of the night has to be considered.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson: $13,000 Defense vs. TB Lightning

Stats: 3 goals – 9 assists – 37 SOG = 10 games

37 shots on goal in 10 games from a defenseman is unreal and makes Ekman-Larsson’s salary much more acceptable with the recent scoring changes. The shots on goal alone ensure that he will produce something for those dollars. He isn’t a bargain, but he is only the fifth most expensive defenseman of the night, $3,400 cheaper than Erik Karlsson.

Martin Hanzal: $8,600 Center vs. TB Lightning

Stats: 4 goals – 5 assists – 25 SOG = 10 games

All but one of those assists has been in the previous seven games. He brings his hot play to a great match up at a very affordable salary. He is one of the better combinations of performance and cost in tonight’s slate of games.

 Max Domi: $10,300 Wing vs. TB Lightning

Stats: 4 goals – 5 assists – 25 SOG = 10 games

Domi is on fire with four goals and two assists in his last four games and he gets a nice match up to keep it going. The salary isn’t a steal, but his performance justifies the start. He is a mini-stack consideration.

Anthony Duclair: $8,100 Wing vs. TB Lightning

Stats: 3 goals – 5 assist – 16 SOG = 10 games

He has two goals and five assists in his previous seven games, but it’s the salary and the match up that makes him an intriguing option.

Mini- Stack of the Day:

Max Domi $10,300 and Oliver Ekman-Larsson $13,000

 Bargain Mini-Stack of the Day

Martin Hanzal $8,600 and Anthony Duclair $8,100

Standard Mini-Stack of the Day

Martin Hanzal $8,600 and Max Domi $10,300

Bargains:

Calle Jarnkrok: $6,500 Center vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Stats: 4 goals – 1 assist – 17 SOG = 10 games

That salary against a Maple Leafs team that is allowing almost five goals per game in the month of February is all you need to know.

Viktor Arvidsson: $6,100 Wing vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Stats: 3 goals – 1 assist – 21 SOG = 10 games

A bargain price in a prime match up that allows you to afford the star players that you want to make room to afford makes him a viable consideration.

Dustin Brown: $8,100 Wing vs. Calgary Flames

Stats: 3 goals – 4 assists – 27 SOG = 9 games

Brown hasn’t scored a goal and has only two assists since February 9th (vs. Boston Bruins). The reason why he is here is because of his salary and the match up, his performance doesn’t justify a start.

Kevin Connauton: $5,800 Defense vs. TB Lightning

Stats: 3 goals – 3 assists – 16 SOG = 10 games

He is a bargain basement play that has some wind in his sails – three goals and two assists in his last four games. From a defenseman that’s extremely interesting. A flier like Connauton is always a risk but it is difficult not to make him your “must start” bargain of the night.

Strangest Mini-Stack of the YEAR:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson $13,000 and Kevin Connauton $5,800

I have been screaming for players to pay for the big-ticket scorers because of the recent scoring changes so lets look at those plays for the night.

Full Price Picks of the Night

Tyler Seguin: $18,000 Center

Stats: 1 goal – 1 assist- 10 SOG = 4 games

Players I just plain like:

 Brayden Schenn: $10,00 Center

Wayne Simmonds: $14,300 Wing

Shayne Gostisbehere: $12,300 Defense

Hot Streak Picks to Play

Jordan Staal: $8,800 Center

Stats: 3 goals – 2 assists – 9 SOG = 4 games

Derek Brassard: $12,100 Center

Stats: 3 goals – 9 SOG = 3 games

Jason Pominville: $8,800 Wing

Stats: 3 goals – 3 assists – 8 SOG = 3 games

Under the new scoring system I am looking to start affordable Team G’s that have a good chance to win (5 points for a Win) instead of the most expensive choices of the night. The one problem tonight is that I like a lot of affordable players and there aren’t a lot of high-priced stars on the slate tonight. Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and the Bruins entire roster are all off tonight. Lets look at the goalies.

TEAM G

New York Rangers $17,200 @New Jersey Devils

I finish my shtick about how I like to pick affordable goalies and my first recommendation is chalk, the highest priced Team G of the night. The Devils are last in goals scored over the previous 10 games. The Devils match up and the lack of high priced offensive stars playing tonight and the Rangers are an affordable play.

Detroit Red Wings $15,800 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets have scored just over two goals per game in their previous ten and they are in the second game of a back-to-back. Detroit is middle-of-the pack when it comes to goals allowed in February, but the match up is friendly and the price is affordable.

Dallas Stars $14,000 @ Winnipeg Jets

The Stars are the cheapest of the viable Team G’s on the slate and they face one of the worst offenses in the month of February, the Winnipeg Jets, who have scored only 21 goals in their previous nine games.

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell has been playing Fantasy sports for over twenty years. He contributed to RotoWire.com in their early days before contributing as a writer and doing Fantasy sports Podcasts for Seamheads.com. Three seasons ago he brought his writing and his Fantasy sports Podcast to RotoExperts.com and the Fantasy Sports Television network and this past season he wrote a weekly Fantasy sports column for BaseballAmerica.com. He also writes about Minor League prospects for RotoExperts. Chris has no more access to the site than the typical user. Follow him at Twitter @CJMiitch73.

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