NHL Puck Picks

The season is in a sprint to the finish line and every game counts, both in the NHL and DFS so get your dollars down in as many contests as you can before they run out.  The better values are still in the mid-tier and bargain salary plays rather than the big-ticket items and that lack of high salary values has never been more apparent than at the blue line where Brent Burns is about as must a must-start as you will find because of a lack of alternatives. A few big-ticket items I do like are Sidney Crosby, Joe Pavelski and Patrice Bergeron.

There are a few very good match ups tonight, but a lack of big-ticket players to exploit them. Lets look at the “Pucks to Pick” for tonight.

Alex Galchenyuk, Canadiens Center $11,000

Opponent: Detroit Red Wings

Stats: 10 Goals – 3 Assists – 31 Shots on Goal = 13 Games Played

The Red Wings and Canadiens lead hockey in goals allowed over the last 14 games making this a dream match up. Unfortunately, there isn’t anyone to dream on in the game. Galchenyuk has been one of the best players in Hockey in March, but he has cooled considerably since the middle of the month. You want to own a share in this game somewhere and Galchenyuk is pretty much it, but it isn’t a great play.

Victor Rask, Hurricanes Center $8,500

Opponent: New York Islanders

Stats: 4 Goals – 0 Assists – 20 SOG = 7 GP

The Islanders are fourth worst in goals allowed in their last 14 games and Rask is on a nice run at a bargain price. The shots on goal are also there to think tonight could be a solid night with upside to dream on against a weak goalie – Thomas Greiss.

Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes Wing $11,600

Opponent: New York Islanders

Stats: 4 Goals – 6 Assists – 47 SOG = 12 GP

Skinner is too pricey to be considered a great value, but his salary isn’t prohibitive and he has had a bushel of shots on goal lately that suggests a few biscuits could go in the basket tonight verse the goal-friendly Islanders. A Rask-Skinner mini-stack is a solid play because of the opponent and the weakness of Thomas Greiss between the pipes.

Zach Parise, Wild Wing $14,700

Opponent: Chicago Blackhawks

Stats: 5 Goals – 2 Assists – 14 SOG = 3 GP

Parise is on fire at a salary that isn’t a bargain, but it isn’t prohibitive either. His hot play is the key here. Ride it while you can. He is one of my better plays of the night.

Nino Niederreiter, Wild Wing $8,800

Opponent: Chicago Blackhawks

Stats: 7 Goals – 4 Assists – 30 SOG = 13 GP

The name is tough to spell and the goals and assists are tough to ignore. A Parise-Niederreiter mini-stack is a flavorful share to own tonight. At $8,800 with his recent performance he is one of the best bargains of the night. Must-start.

BARGAINS

Riley Sheahan, Red Wings Center $6,000

Opponent: Montreal Canadiens

Stats: 3 Goals – 6 SOG = 4 GP

Sheahan is a risky play and I get concerned when I see so few shots on goal. But, three goals in four games in one of the best match ups of the night at $6,000 is a bargain basement option if you need to cut costs to afford a big-ticket item somewhere else in your lineup.

Sam Reinhart, Sabres Center $9,200

Opponent: Pittsburgh Penguins

Stats: 2 Goals – 2 Assists – 12 SOG = 3 GP

The price is reasonable, the production has been good and the shots on goal are high. That’s a mix of conditions that we like to see when we are looking for a bargain to take a chance on a mid-level player in a mid-level match up.

Jared Spurgeon, Wild Defense $9,700

Opponent: Chicago Blackhawks

Stats: 2 Goals – 7 SOG = 3 GP

The price isn’t dirt-cheap and the production isn’t awe-inspiring. If you can afford Brent Burns I recommend you spend the salary, but if you’re determined to cut costs Spurgeon is one of the better bargain alternatives.

Justin Braun, Sharks Defense $7,200

Opponent: Vancouver Canucks

Stats: 2 Goals – 5 SOG = 4 GP

Another ho-hum offensive producer, but he has a great match up and is a bargain salary. If you want to take a risk Braun and his salary is one of the better options you have on the slate.

 

BIG TICKET PLAYS

Sidney Crosby, Penguins Center $16,000

Opponent: Buffalo Sabres

Stats: 1 Goal – 1 Assist – 13 SOG = 3 GP

With all the potential bargain plays you can afford to spend on a few big ticket plays and Crosby has been one of the best since the All Star break. He isn’t lighting the ice on fire with his play, but he has been consistently good and is a reliable start.

Joe Pavelski, Sharks Center $15,400

Opponent: Vancouver Canucks

Stats: 7 Goals – 5 Assists – 40 SOG = 14 GP

Pavelski is putting it all together down the stretch with goals, assists and shots on goal. The Canucks are a team you want shares against and Pavelski is worth the price. A Burns-Pavelski mini-stack is a pricey one, but a solid play.

Patrice Bergeron, Bruins Center $15,100

Opponent: New Jersey Devils

Stats: 6 Goals – 4 Assists – 49 SOG = 13 GP

The Bruins are in free fall and the playoffs are in question, but Bergeron has been consistently good in March. The Bruins are due for a big night and I have a hunch that tonight is the night. I can’t confidently recommend a mini-stack partner to go along with Bergeron, but his high shots on goal totals and scoring consistency makes him a viable start.

Brent Burns, Sharks Defense $17,400

Opponent: Vancouver Canucks

Stats: 5 Goals – 10 Assists – 63 SOG = 14 GP

Burns is one of the best blue line scorers in the game to go along with an insane 63 shots on goal and 10 assists in his previous 14 games. You pay a price for the privilege but it’s worth it to get production from a defenseman in a great match up against the Canucks.

 

TEAM G

St. Louis Blues $17,200 vs. Colorado Avalanche

Brian Elliot is on fire with three straight shutouts while the Blues defense has suffocated offenses over that period. The Avalanche average 31 shots on goal per game, making this one a battle to see which team can dictate the play. The Blues are heavy favorites to get the win as well. There is some risk of a low saves total but there is a good chance of a low amount of goals and a win for the Blues Team G.

San Jose Sharks $14,300 vs. Vancouver Canucks

The match up isn’t anything to write home about because the Sharks defense is good at preventing shots on goal while the Canucks are below average at taking them. The Sharks are huge favorites to get the win making the floor high, but the potential for a low number of shots on goal makes the ceiling low. If the Canucks can sneak a few behind the goal line the saves won’t be there to make up the difference. The Sharks are still a solid play at a bargain salary.

Florida Panthers $16,900 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs take a lot of shots and the Panthers are huge favorites to get the win. There is some risk that Toronto throws a few in the net, but the upside and the high floor and even higher ceiling makes this one of the better all around plays on the night.

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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