For the majority of this season, we have been reviewing the league’s best line combinations and highlighting the numbers behind their success. At this point, many of us are fighting for championships without any regard for fancy stats. You need a good performance tonight, not consistent production for the next month. Who cares if William Karlsson can sustain his 23.8 shooting percentage over a full season, the real question is can he score in the next game? If you’re looking for short-term value you’ve come to the right place! This week we breeze through some low-key options who could help you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Buffalo Sabres have three games remaining this week – none of which are against playoff teams (Coyotes, Canadiens, Rangers). To sweeten the deal a little, two of those games are on off-nights (Wednesday & Friday). Don’t read too much into their shutout loss against the Predators on Monday – Pekka Rinne is 21-2-1 in 2018 with a 1.90 GAA and .939 SV%. Not many teams are scoring against Nashville. Sam Reinart has 29 points in his past 32 games! Ryan O’Reilly has eight points in his past 10 games. They’re owned in 45% and 58% of Yahoo! Leagues respectively, but an impatient owner might have dropped them last week considering Buffalo only played two games. Jack Eichel’s return certainly makes that power play unit more dangerous.
The Capitals play three games this week, and while the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule isn’t favourable, their opponents sure are. Washington takes on Dallas – a team riding a five-game losing streak during which they’ve conceded 20 goals, Montreal – a team riding a three-game losing streak during which they’ve been outscored 11-3, and Detroit – a team on a 10-game losing streak. Lars Eller could see an increased role as Evgeny Kuznetsov is out with an injury. While Eller’s season totals don’t scream superstar, he could very well put up a couple of points for you this week. Owned in just 4% of leagues! Burakovsky is also available in most leagues and is currently seeing time on the top power play unit!
Sidney Crosby good. Sidney Crosby get points. You play with Sidney Crosby you get points. Jake Guentzel is owned in 58% of leagues and Bryan Rust in just 11%. Look, by no means am I telling you to draft Bryan Rust next season because he’ll play with Crosby, but for the next four games he could bring you those extra points that push you over the top. The Penguins have one of the most favourable schedules for the rest of the week with a little Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday Sunday action. Pittsburgh’s opponents this week include the Islanders, Canadiens, and Flyers –three teams that struggle to keep the puck out of their own net. Now, the Habs and Isles are among the worst defensive teams this season, but the Flyers haven’t been much better recently. Philadelphia has allowed more than two goals in eight of their last 10 games.
The three lines listed above include players you can work into your lineup for the rest of the week, but here are some quick thoughts to keep in minding when browsing through the waiver wire…
- The Calgary Flames have conceded 47 goals in the past month (February 20th – March 20th) – a span of 14 games. Only the Blackhawks and Red Wings have allowed more (50) in that span.
- The Nashville Predators (54), Colorado Avalanche (52), Boston Bruins (51), Minnesota Wild (50), and Columbus Blue Jackets (48) have scored the most goals in the last month.
- The Blue Jackets are currently on an eight-game winning streak, Cam Atkinson has 13 points in his last 14 games and is owned in just 61% of Yahoo! Leagues.
- Over the past month, Evgenii Dadonov sits 13th in NHL scoring with 17 points in 14 games. His 65% ownership is the lowest among the top 25.
- The Arizona Coyotes have been one of the best defensive teams recently, allowing an average of 2.54 goals against in their last 13 games.