The fantasy playoffs are here, and I wish I had someone to tell about my team in RotoWire’s Staff Keeper Hockey League. Oh, wait, I have a captive audience right here! Of course, since nobody likes hearing about other people’s fantasy squads, let's make this quick: I somehow have Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak, John Tavares, Carey Price and Devan Dubnyk on one team. Don’t you love keeper leagues?
Alright, cool. I feel great about myself. Let’s move on to Tuesday’s action.
Coyotes (PP: 27, PK: 27) at Lightning (PP: 5, PK: 18), 7:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Louis Domingue (8-14-1, 3.13, .903), Andrei Vasilevskiy (17-15-6, 2.64, .916)
Key Injuries: Alex Burmistrov (upper body), Kevin Connauton (upper body), Shane Doan (lower body), Brad Richardson (leg), Ryan Callahan (hip), Tyler Johnson (lower body), Cedric Paquette (lower body), Steven Stamkos (knee)
Whenever Domingue is expected in net for the ‘Yotes, I know I want a piece of the other side, and that’s especially the case in this mismatch against the playoff-contending Bolts. Tampa’s not a great team, but I expect Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov and the rest to show up at home against the Coyotes, who own the second-fewest points in the league. Kucherov will cost you dearly, but linemates Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point combine with him to form an affordable stack.
Hurricanes (PP: 23, PK: 5) at Panthers (PP: 24, PK: 1), 7:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Cam Ward (23-20-11, 2.71, .904), Reto Berra (0-0-0, 0.00, 1.000)
Key Injuries: Jay McClement (lower body), Valentin Zykov (upper body), Aaron Ekblad (concussion), Roberto Luongo (lower body), Denis Malgin (concussion)
Here’s a place where we can look for offense on both sides. Berra’s already been confirmed as the starter Tuesday, and as the owner of a less-than-mediocre .910 save mark in the AHL, he’s the kind of goalie the recently productive Carolina offense can beat repeatedly. Indeed, their generally unspectacular offense has been rolling along quite well lately, scoring 27 goals over the last seven games. Elias Lindholm (more on him below) presents wonderful DFS value, and it's not a bad idea to look in the direction of guys like Sebastian Aho and Victor Rask, who’s really coming dirt cheap in DFS these days. On the other side, Keith Yandle and Vincent Trocheck are attractive.
Blues (PP: 3, PK: 6) at Avalanche (PP: 30, PK: 25), 9:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Jake Allen (27-19-3, 2.48, .912), Calvin Pickard (13-24-2, 2.87, .909)
Key Injuries: Semyon Varlamov (groin), Nikita Zadorov (ankle), Robby Fabbri (knee), Dmitrij Jaskin (upper body), Jori Lehtera (upper body)
Red-hot lately, Allen owns a 5-1 record with a 1.17 GAA and .961 save mark over his last six outings, and the Avs don’t project to be the team that slows him down. In fact, he started this stretch by shutting them out on the road. As for Pickard, he's coming off a five-goal disaster against Detroit -- just another blowup in what's been a blowup-prone season for the Avs as a whole.
Senators (PP: 21, PK: 12) at Bruins (PP: 10, PK: 2), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Craig Anderson (21-9-2, 2.30, .928), Tuukka Rask (33-18-4, 2.32, .912)
Key Injuries: Tim Schaller (lower body), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Chris Neil (finger), Mark Stone (lower body)
Man, it’s been a nearly unparalleled pleasure to own Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak this year. And if you bought low on Patrice Bergeron, wow, has that ever paid dividends.
Penguins (PP: 6, PK: 19) at Sabres (PP: 1, PK: 28), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Matt Murray (27-9-3, 2.41, .923), Robin Lehner (20-22-8, 2.64, .922)
Key Injuries: William Carrier (knee), Justin Falk (lower body), Taylor Fedun (undisclosed), Cody Franson (undisclosed), Dmitry Kulikov (upper body), Johan Larsson (wrist), Kyle Okposo (ribs), Trevor Daley (knee), Carl Hagelin (lower body), Ron Hainsey (upper body), Kris Letang (upper body), Olli Maatta (hand), Evgeni Malkin (upper body), Bryan Rust (arm)
This is one hell of a long injured list, and it includes some big-time players, especially Malkin and Letang, both of whom remain out Tuesday. Nick Bonino’s seen a notable uptick in playing time as a result of Malkin’s absence.
Rangers (PP: 17, PK: 20) at Devils (PP: 18, PK: 15), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Antti Raanta (15-7-1, 2.30, .921), Cory Schneider (19-23-10, 2.72, .910)
Key Injuries: Michael Cammalleri (shoulder), Blake Coleman (upper body), Jacob Josefson (upper body), Nick Lappin (undisclosed),Marc Savard (concussion), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body), Miles Wood (undisclosed), Dan Girardi (ankle), Kevin Klein (back), Henrik Lundqvist (hip)
Raanta’s been solid with Lundqvist out; I expect a low-scoring game in Jersey.
Flames (PP: 14, PK: 13) at Capitals (PP: 8, PK: 8), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Brian Elliott (23-13-3, 2.46, .911), Braden Holtby (36-11-6, 2.05, .925)
Key Injuries: Micheal Ferland (illness), Ladislav Smid (neck), Matthew Tkachuk (suspension), Brooks Orpik (undisclosed)
Tkachuk’s sitting out for elbowing Drew Doughty in the face; he’s already earning a reputation as a dirty player, with Doughty having come right out and called him that in public after the game. This kid will become one of the most hated stars in the league; it’s gonna be great.
Red Wings (PP: 29, PK: 14) at Canadiens (PP: 12, PK: 17), 7:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Petr Mrazek (16-20-7, 3.01, .900), Carey Price (33-17-5, 2.26, .923)
Key Injuries: Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Johan Franzen (concussion), Darren Helm (lower body), Ryan Sproul (knee), Joe Vitale (concussion), Brian Flynn (upper body), Nikita Nesterov (undisclosed)
I'm fortunate that my fantasy team has had the guns to overcome Price's inconsistent play; that said, he’s been back in top form over the last month, posting a 1.56 GAA and .943 save percentage.
Flyers (PP: 13, PK: 23) at Jets (PP: 22, PK: 29), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Steve Mason (21-20-7, 2.76, .905), Connor Hellebuyck (23-18-4, 2.90, .907)
Key Injuries: Nick Cousins (upper body), Brandon Manning (shoulder), Michael Raffl (lower body), Toby Enstrom (concussion), Shawn Matthias (shoulder), Tyler Myers (lower body), Ondrej Pavelec (knee), Paul Postma (lower body), Jacob Trouba (upper body)
The best bet for two-sided offense that I failed to include in the Featured Matchups section.
Sharks (PP: 24, PK: 11) at Wild (PP: 9, PK: 7), 8:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Martin Jones (32-18-6, 2.24, .916), Devan Dubnyk (36-18-3, 2.18, .927)
Key Injuries: Victor Bartley (triceps), Christian Folin (arm), Jannik Hansen (undisclosed), Melker Karlsson (lower body), Chris Tierney (illness)
Dubnyk's been trashed for 14 goals in his last four starts (all regulation losses), but only one of those was a home game. He's 20-9-0 with a 2.04 GAA and .924 save percentage in Minnesota.
Canucks (PP: 28, PK: 26) at Blackhawks (PP: 16, PK: 24), 8:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Ryan Miller (17-22-6, 2.76, .915), Corey Crawford (29-15-3, 2.49, .921)
Key Injuries: Artem Anisimov (lower body), Marian Hossa (lower body), Derek Dorsett (neck), Loui Eriksson (lower body), Brendan Gaunce (undisclosed), Nikolay Goldobin (illness), Markus Granlund (wrist), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Jacob Markstrom (lower body), Anton Rodin (knee), Jack Skille (groin)
Mismatch, anyone? Start your ‘Hawks against Miller, who's given up four-plus goals three times in his last four outings.
Elias Lindholm, RW, CAR -- The fifth overall pick in 2013, Lindholm stagnated last year, matching the previous season's marks of 39 points and a minus-23 rating. However, he's gotten back on the right track this season -- 60 games through (he's missed a couple spells to injury), he's matched those 39 points again already, but this time with just a minus-4. Lindholm's reached that mark quicker this time around thanks to his ongoing seven-game point streak, which has seen him collect three goals and five helpers. He’s still widely available in fantasy, which shouldn’t be the case.