Coming up to a busy Friday and Saturday nights in the NHL we will take a look at who is hot and who is not. There are 4 games Friday night and 13 games Saturday night, with 7 teams playing back to back. Here is the breakdown of Friday night games.
NY Islanders at Pittsburg Penguins
Tavares, Okoposo, and Brock Nelson should be good bets to light the lamp for the Islanders, for the Penguins Crosby is now the #2 ranked scorer trailing by one point, look for him to come out strong as well as fellow forwards Malkin and Hornqvist. Pittsburg defenseman Ollie Maata is back after missing 2 weeks with a cancerous tumor removal.
NY Rangers at Buffalo Sabres
Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis are looking good for the Rangers as well and their center Derick Brassard. Look for a great game from the Ranger’s goaltender but don’t be surprised if Lundqvist gets the night off against the lowest scoring team in the league
Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets
Look for Ryan Johansen and Nick Folino to try and beat Tukka Rask who has been mediocre of late. On the Bruins side of the puck look for Brad Marchand and Dougie Hamilton to lead plays and put up a couple points if they can solve Sergei Bobrovski
New Jersey Devils at Edmonton Oilers
Jaromir Jagr and Mike Camalleri are leading the low scoring Devils with Cory Schneider in net. Oilers should be looking for the kid line of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to lead the team, Viktor Fasth maybe in net as the host the Chicago Blackhawks in back to backs.
Saturday night plays host to 13 games and with 26 teams in action it might be hard to choose which skaters to ice and which to bench. Also pay careful attention to starting goaltenders leading up to game time; there are 7 teams playing the second half of back to backs and 4 teams playing in the first half of back to backs. Here are some players of note that were not mentioned for Friday night.
St. Louis Blues at Ottawa Senators
I don’t know anyone who can watch this game and not be excited for Vladimir Tarasenko unless he is not in your pool. Also look for T.J Oshie, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera on the Blues. Clarke MacArthur, Bobby Ryan and Erik Karlsson are players to watch for Ottawa.
Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals
Look for Nickolas Backstrom to set up Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin for some chances and possibly some goals. Also of note is Capitals wing Joel Ward.
Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs
Original six match-up should feature Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk against Henrik Zetterburg and Pavel Datsyuk. Look for the stars to shine in this game.
Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins
The Canadiens forward line of Pacioretty, Desharnais and Parenteau is starting to find some life giving them a second reliable scoring line. Look for Lucic to make a stronger appearance for the Bruins then the last time these teams played.
Minnesota Wild at Tampa Bay Lightning
Other than Steven Stamkos, look for the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson and Valtteri Filppula to notch a few points. On the wild side Nino Niederreiter has been hot of late and defensive leader Ryan Suter who will play about 30 minutes on the back end.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Philadelphia Flyers
The new NHL Leading scorer Jakub Voracek will be on the ice, there are no outright goal scorers on the Flyers but the setup men are clearly defined as Voracek and Giroux.
Pittsburg Penguins at NY Islanders
Both teams playing back to backs look for starting goalies towards game time, and keep and eye on the top lines of both teams.
Los Angeles Kings at Dallas Stars
That 70’s line consisting of Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson is the top scoring line for the Kings. This will be matched up against Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakins, but also look for Jason Spezza on the second line to get some room to work.
Florida Panthers at Nashville Predators
Roberto Luongo will have a hard time trying to stop the Predator’s James Neal and Filip Forsberg. Florida’s second points leader is rookie Aaron Ekblad look for him to put up some points from the back end.
Carolina Hurricanes at Colorado Avalanche
Carolina has been on a role lately with Riley Nash and Justin Faulk leading the way; look for them to get the most chances on the Avalanche’s goaltender. Colorado will be lead by Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene, with Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay providing secondary scoring.
New Jersey Devils at Calgary Flames
Mike Camalleri’s first game back at the dome since signing with the Devils in the off season. The Flames are being lead from the back end look for this to continue and Giordano, Brodie, Wideman and Russell possibly picking up points.
Chicago Blackhawks at Edmonton Oilers
Jonathon Toews and Patrick Kane will lead the Blackhawks past the Oilers, the Oilers are playing the second half of a back to back and will ice a similar line up to Friday with the only major change in net.
Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks
Look for the big guns of the Sharks to strike at home against the coyotes, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau will all be hungry. On the Coyote’s side look for the defensemen to step up and produce, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle should have strong games.
Scoring leader for the weekend will be Sidney Crosby followed by Jonathon Tavares and defensive points leader Mark Giordano and Brent Burns. Keep an eye on the goaltending situation for your fantasy team and find out which goalie is most likely to start depending on the match up and the number of back-to-back games this weekend.