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Saturday Daily Puck: Aho-me Improvement

Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.

We focus a lot on which players are having big years on the power play. In fact, I’ve written a weekly article all season about power-play contributors who can help your fantasy teams. However, we never think about which players have been scoring shorthanded. Sure, that’s probably because a lot of leagues don’t give you bonus points for that. Also, shorthanded points are much less common. Really, there’s no reason to look at who have been the top shorthanded scorers other than sheer curiosity. That being said, I’m curious.

Two players have scored four shorthanded goals: Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson and Ottawa’s Zack Smith. Both have actually had good fantasy seasons, although Arvidsson is the true breakout star. He’s notched 27 goals and 26 assists in 71 games, and he’s registered 218 shots on net. There’s a reason he was a recommended pickup on several occasions this season. Nobody else had more than three shorthanded goals. There are also two players who have had more than three shorthanded assists. Carolina’s Elias Lindholm has four, and New York’s Kevin Hayes has a whopping six. Combined with one shorthanded goal, Hayes leads the league with seven shorthanded points. That’s more points with a man down than he’s notched with the man advantage (six). So congratulations to Hayes for all his shorthanded success.

Featured Matchups

Flames (PP: 16, PK: 14) at Blues (PP: 6, PK: 3), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Brian Elliott (23-14-3, 2.50, .911), Jake Allen (29-19-3, 2.44, .913)
Key Injuries: Robby Fabbri (knee), Dmitrij Jaskin (upper body), Jori Lehtera (concussion), Paul Stastny (lower body)

While Elliott and Allen don’t have great numbers on the season, they’ve both been decidedly better goalies recently. In his last 19 games, Elliott has a 2.00 GAA and a .932 save percentage. Allen, meanwhile, has a 1.68 GAA and a .944 save percentage in his last 18 contests. Additionally, the Flames have only allowed 28.6 shots on net per game, and the Blues have given up a mere 28.1 shots per contest. Matthew Tkachuk has returned from suspension. On the season, he has 13 goals and 33 assists, and he’s also picked up 96 penalty minutes, which can be good for fantasy owners. Kris Versteeg only has 29 points, but 11 of them have been on the power play. Only two Blues have hit the 20-goal mark. One, of course, is Vladamir Tarasenko, who has notched 34 goals. The other is Patrik Berglund, who has tallied 21 goals, but he only has 10 assists.

Senators (PP: 21, PK: 13) at Canadiens (PP: 13, PK: 21), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Craig Anderson (22-9-2, 2.29, .928), Carey Price (33-18-5, 2.27, .922)
Key Injuries: Brian Flynn (upper body), Nikita Nesterov (undisclosed), Marc Methot (hand), Chris Neil (finger), Mark Stone (lower body)

Montreal and Ottawa are fighting for the Atlantic Division, and they will both be starting top notch goalies in this game. Despite the presence of Price, Montreal’s penalty kill numbers are concerning. However, post All-Star break, the Canadiens’ penalty kills ranks ninth. Brendan Gallagher has had a rough, injury-hampered season, but recently he’s starting to pick it up. In his last 10 games, he’s notched five points, and more importantly 40 shots on goal. Shea Weber has 21 power-play points, including 11 goals. Paul Byron has 20 goals, but also a 22.5 shooting percentage. Kyle Turris leads the Senators with 25 goals. Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman both have 25 power-play points, and they have both crossed the 200-shot threshold as well.

Rangers (PP: 17, PK: 23) at Kings (PP: 12, PK: 4), 10:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist (30-17-2, 2.65, .913), Jonathan Quick (5-2-1, 2.21, .922)
Key Injuries: Matt Greene (undisclosed), Nick Shore (upper body), Dan Girardi (ankle), Kevin Klein (back), Henrik Lundqvist (hip)

Lundqvist will be returning during this road trip for the Rangers, and perhaps it will be this one. New York has scored 3.14 goals per game, but they’ll be facing a tough matchup in the Kings. Los Angeles has allowed a league-low 25.9 shots on net per contest, and the Rangers’ 30.4 shots on goal per game is middle of the pack (14th). Don’t expect much luck for New York’s power play, which could particularly hurt Derek Stepan. He leads the Rangers with 16 power-play points, and he only has 49 total. Stepan also leads the Rangers with 188 shots on goal. Michael Grabner tops New York with 27 goals, and he is also a team-leading plus-26. Despite an 8.1 shooting percentage, Anze Kopitar is second on the Kings in points (46) despite having only played in 67 games. Jarome Iginla has four points in 10 games since becoming a King, but he’s only put 19 shots on goal in that time.

Other Matchups

Canucks (PP: 29, PK: 27) at Wild (PP: 10, PK: 7), 2:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Ryan Miller (18-23-6, 2.79, .915), Devan Dubnyk (37-19-3, 2.17, .927)
Key Injuries: Ryan White (illness), Loui Eriksson (lower body), Brendan Gaunce (undisclosed), Markus Granlund (wrist), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Jacob Markstrom (lower body), Anton Rodin (knee)

Markus Granlund might not be able to play, but Mikael Granlund, who leads the Wild with 66 points, will be taking the ice. Going up against a Canucks team that has allowed 2.92 goals per game, he could be adding to that total. Dubnyk has had a great season, but in his last 15 games he has a 2.92 GAA and a .900 save percentage.

Flyers (PP: 14, PK: 22) at Blue Jackets (PP: 9, PK: 10), 2:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Steve Mason (22-21-7, 2.73, .906), Sergei Bobrovsky (39-13-5, 2.02, .932)
Key Injuries: Oliver Bjorkstrand (undisclosed), Ryan Murray (hand), Nick Cousins (upper body), Michael Raffl (lower body)

Bobrovsky leads the NHL in GAA and save percentage, so don’t expect much from Philly’s offense in this game. Mason will try and get one over on his former team, but his numbers aren’t encouraging. Boone Jenner has seven points in his last 10 games. Wayne Simmonds is one goal away from hitting the 30-goal mark for the second season in a row.

Maple Leafs (PP: 1, PK: 9) at Sabres (PP: 2, PK: 28), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Frederik Andersen (30-15-14, 2.64, .919), Robin Lehner (20-23-8, 2.65, .921)
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), Rasmus Ristolainen (suspension), Eric Fehr (hand), Joffrey Lupul (abdomen), Roman Polak (suspension), Nikita Soshnikov (undisclosed)

This is quite the power-play matchup. The game will also likely feature a ton of shots. Toronto has allowed 32.8 shots on net per game, third most in the league. However, Buffalo has been even worse, as they’ve allowed a league-high 34.3 shots on goal per contest.

Blackhawks (PP: 15, PK: 25) at Panthers (PP: 25, PK: 1), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Corey Crawford (30-15-3, 2.52, .920), James Reimer (15-14-5, 2.59, .918)
Key Injuries: Artem Anisimov (lower body), Aaron Ekblad (neck), Roberto Luongo (lower body)

Florida’s penalty kill may be able to shut down Chicago’s power play. Perhaps that will hinder the defensive duo of Duncan Keith (15 power-play points) and Brent Seabrook (14 power-play points). Patrick Kane has taken a whopping 272 shots on goal. Jonathan Marchessault’s breakout season continues, as he has six goals in his last eight games. Overall, he has 25 goals in 66 games.

Hurricanes (PP: 19, PK: 2) at Devils (PP: 18, PK: 20), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Cam Ward (24-20-11, 2.72, .904), Cory Schneider (20-23-10, 2.71, .911)
Key Injuries: Jay McClement (lower body), Valentin Zykov (upper body), Michael Cammalleri (shoulder), Jacob Josefson (upper body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body)

Schneider has been disappointing this season, but Ward has been his usual below-average self. In his last 20 games, Ward has a 3.49 GAA and a .886 save percentage. There’s a Hurricane down in the recommended pickup section. Kyle Palmieri has 25 goals, 25 assists, and 19 power-play points. Pavel Zacha has a six-game point streak.

Bruins (PP: 8, PK: 5) at Islanders (PP: 26, PK: 15), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Tuukka Rask (33-20-4, 2.38, .910), Jean-Francois Berube (3-2-2, 3.42, .889)
Key Injuries: Johnny Boychuk (lower body), Mikhail Grabovski (concussion), Shane Prince (lower body), Ryan Strome (wrist)

Boston has taken a whopping 33.8 shots on net per game, and now they get to go up against an Islanders team on the second night of a back-to-back. If Berube is in net, that’d be quite beneficial to the Bruins. That’s especially true for the dynamic duo of Brad Marchand (37 goals, 80 points) and David Pastrnak (32 goals, 64 points).

Coyotes (PP: 27, PK: 26) at Capitals (PP: 7, PK: 8), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Mike Smith (18-23-8, 2.94, .914), Braden Holtby (38-11-6, 2.03, .926)
Key Injuries: Alex Burmistrov (upper body), Shane Doan (lower body), Brad Richardson (leg)

The Coyotes are near the bottom of the league in every major category, and now they have to face off with one of the best teams in the league. Outside of Radim Vrbata, who has 18 goals on 215 shots in 74 games, Arizona’s offense doesn’t have much going for it. T.J. Oshie has 30 goals in 60 games. Kevin Shattenkirk has six points (four on the power play) in 10 games since becoming a Capital.

Sharks (PP: 24, PK: 11) at Predators (PP: 11, PK: 18), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Martin Jones (32-19-6, 2.26, .916), Pekka Rinne (29-16-8, 2.49, .916)
Key Injuries: Mike Fisher (lower body), Miikka Salomaki (lower body), Melker Karlsson (lower body), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (illness)

The Sharks started Aaron Dell on Friday, so that leaves Jones for this matchup. Either way, the Sharks have only allowed 2.30 goals per game. It bears repeating just how good Arvidsson has been for the Predators this season. P.K. Subban and Ryan Ellis both have 35 points, although both have also missed time this season. Plus, Subban only has a 6.3 shooting percentage.

Avalanche (PP: 30, PK: 24) at Oilers (PP: 5, PK: 17), 10:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Calvin Pickard (13-25-2, 2.88, .909), Cam Talbot (37-21-8, 2.40, .920)
Key Injuries: Semyon Varlamov (groin), Nikita Zadorov (ankle), Andrew Ference (hip), Tyler Pitlick (knee)

The Avalanche have allowing a league-worst 3.34 goals per game. On the plus side, rookie Mikko Rantanen has 16 goals and 17 assists in 68 games. He’s also notched 10 power-play points. Connor McDavid leads the league with 87 points. Milan Lucic has perhaps been a disappointment to some this season, but he has 10 points in his last 12 games.

Recommended Pickup

Sebastian Aho, LW, CAR – Some rookies hit a wall. Aho is not one of them. Over his last 16 games, he’s notched 12 points, including five on the power play. He’s also put 46 shots on net in those contests. If you drill down even more, he currently has a five-game point streak. Overall, the 19-year-old has 21 goals and 23 assists in 73 games. Aho is going to be a player you want on your team in future seasons. However, why wait? He could help you out right now.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.