Monday night is a four-game slate, but there are a lot of high-end options to use. With that in mind, let’s focus on the mid-to-lower tier of pricing to find those values that let you fit extra stars in your lineup.
Peter Budaj, LAK vs. DAL ($8,500): The Kings have gotten about as good a goaltending performance from Budaj as they could have hoped for during Jonathan Quick’s injury absence. In fact, his .919 save percentage is actually a tick higher than any of Quick’s full seasons since 2011-12. With Jamie Benn out of the lineup in conjunction with the other injuries the Stars are enduring, they’re pretty much a one-line team currently, and they’ve struggled to a 5-10-4 record on the road as it is. As long as that line is shut down by Anze Kopitar, Budaj should earn himself a win in this matchup. The shot volume may not be there due to the stout Los Angeles defense, but that 12-point win bonus should be.
Vincent Trocheck, FLA at NJ ($6,300): Saturday night’s game was the first time Trocheck played less than 20 minutes in nearly four weeks, and he still skated 19:36. With injuries to Nick Bjustad and Aleksander Barkov, Trocheck has been playing significant minutes for a while now. That’s led to a lot of shots on goal; in the 11 contests since his 20-plus-minute streak began, Trocheck has averaged nearly four shots per game (43 in all). Going into New Jersey isn’t a tough matchup, given that the Devils have seen their adjusted shot attempts allowed rise every month this season, up to 58 per 60 minutes since Dec. 1.
Phillip Danault, MON vs. WAS ($4,400): It’s been exactly 10 games since Danault has taken over pivot duties alongside one of the most consistent scorers of the last half-decade, Max Pacioretty. In those 10 games, the 23-year-old center has managed seven points while averaging 16:46 of ice time. When Danault and Pacioretty have been on the ice together this season, Montreal has generated more than 69 shot attempts per 60 minutes at five-on-five. The team as a whole only generates about 61.5. It’s a small sample, but the duo has worked well together. This is a tough matchup, so getting exposure to Pacioretty through Danault is an appetizing alternative to paying up for the Canadiens’ pricy star winger.
Tanner Pearson, LAK vs. DAL ($5,400): The Kings have had their trouble scoring this year, but Pearson’s quietly on a 24-goal pace. He’s managed at least two shots on goal in 10 straight games, a span in which he’s averaged 16:11 of ice time and notched seven points. Pearson is also playing alongside Jeff Carter; with those two on the ice, the Kings are creating more than 66 shot attempts per 60 minutes – a huge number for a team that generates less than 60 overall. With the Stars – who’ve allowed the fifth-most adjusted shot attempts per minute at five-on-five – in town, this is a good matchup for Pearson, Carter and their center, Anze Kopitar.
Brett Connolly, WAS at MON ($3,200): An injury to T.J. Oshie has forced the Caps to shuffle their lineup a little bit. Notably, Justin Williams took Oshie’s spot on the top power-play unit, while Connolly took his spot alongside Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin at five-on-five. To be sure, there’s nothing special about the 24-year-old’s game despite his first-round pedigree, given he has 64 points in 235 career contests. That said, he’s skating alongside one of the NHL’s premier distributors in Backstrom and one of its premier goal scorers in Ovechkin. He should be targeted if a punt play is necessary in any format.
P.A. Parenteau, NJ vs. FLA ($5,100): The Devils are one of the worst teams in the NHL. With that caveat out of the way, the line of Parenteau, Travis Zajac and Taylor Hall has been excellent this year – per Corsica, that trio has generated the seventh-most shot attempts at five-on-five relative to their team, putting them in the same neighbourhood as the Patrice Bergeron line in Boston and the Eric Staal line in Minnesota. Despite having spent just 46 percent of his time alongside Hall, Parenteau has generated more than half of his points (eight of 14) and shots (31 of 60) at five-on-five when he’s been with the star winger. Given all the injuries that Florida is enduring at the moment, this is a matchup worth capitalizing on.
Michael Frolik, CGY at WPG ($4,900): While we’re on the topic of top lines in the NHL, the line of Frolik, Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk is one of the few trios ahead of the aforementioned Hall line in terms of generating shots relative to their team. This has allowed Frolik to put together one of his best offensive years; his current point-gathering pace is his best since his rookie year in 2008-09. Crucially, he’s a major factor for the Calgary power-play, as Winnipeg’s penalty kill has given up the third-most scoring chances per 60 minutes while shorthanded. To make it even more appealing for Frolik, the Jets have also given up the fourth-most power plays.
Jacob Trouba, WPG vs. CGY ($4,900): After starting the season late due to a contract dispute, it took Trouba a while to get going offensively. Through his first 10 contests, he had zero goals and three assists while averaging just two shots on goal per game. In the 17 games since, he has two goals and eight assists while averaging 2.3 shots. He’s also getting power-play minutes with the Mark Scheifele unit, which is particularly important against the Flames, who are one of the most heavily penalized teams in the league and don’t kill them well. Add in the nearly two blocked shots per game he’s averaging over those 17 contests, and there’s a reasonable floor with good upside for Trouba in this matchup.
Nathan Beaulieu, MON vs. WAS ($3,800): Beaulieu has been seeing considerably more ice time over the last month than he did earlier in the season. Since Dec. 9, he’s skated well over 23 minutes per game; before that, he was averaging just 17:11. Part of this is due to injuries on Montreal’s blue line, but regardless of the reason, that’s a lot of ice time for a defenseman on the top power-play unit, and he’s still attractively priced under $4,000. While the Caps’ penalty kill has been very successful, they’re also allowing the fifth-most power plays per game. That gives Beaulieu value in an otherwise tough matchup.