There are only four games on the NHL slate Sunday, the first set to go off at 4 p.m. (EDT).
When the slate is small you should concentrate your funds on just a couple big guns, supplementing those with much lower-priced picks.
Cam Talbot, EDM vs. DET ($33): Talbot is the most solid play of the night. Despite a 4-6-1 record, 3.09 GAA and .905 save percentage, Talbot has played better lately and should have little trouble against the fading Red Wings.
Goalie to Avoid:
Carey Price, MTL at CHI ($26): Finally a reason for Price's poor play has surfaced – a lower-body injury. Even so, any other goalie with a 3-7-1 record, 3.77 GAA and .880 save percentage would have found himself benched, or worse, banished to the AHL. Do yourself a favor and wait until his next enviable hot streak begins before you begin investing is this train wreck.
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John Tavares, COL at NYI ($23): Tavares is the other high-price target I a looking at starting. Tavares has had great chemistry with linemates Anders Lee and Josh Bailey, and the trio makes for a high-value stack. Tavares has 14 points in his last six games.
Center to Avoid:
Jonathan Toews, CHI vs. MTL ($21): Back-to-back games have been difficult for the Blackhawks this season and that goes double for Toews, who still leads Chicago forwards in taking the most demanding shifts possible every night (against the other team's top line, defensive zone face-offs, penalty kill, etc.). He has been cold lately with just one point in his last four games.
Anders Lee, NYI vs. COL ($19), Josh Bailey, NYI vs. COL ($18): Lee (five points in last two games) and Bailey (five points in last two games) complete your Islanders stack. Linemates of John Tavares, these three have been playing particularly well together and should have little trouble in what should be a wild affair in Brooklyn.
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Wings to Avoid:
Patrick Sharp, CHI vs. MTL ($12), Brandon Saad, CHI vs. MTL ($24): Saad started strongly enough but has slumped lately with no points in his last three games, and he is over-priced at $24. More concerning is Sharp, who has only four points in 13 games since being back in a Blackhawks jersey. It is beginning to look like a long year for Sharp if he does not start producing soon.
Calvin de Haan, NYI vs. COL ($15): Last season, de Haan set career highs in goals (5), assists (20) and points (25) in 82 games during his fourth season with the Islanders. He ranked second on the team in assists and points among defensemen. This year, de Haan is off to an even better start with five points in 13 games.
Nick Leddy, NYI vs. COL ($17): Leddy anchors one of the league's better power play units (13th). He also plays almost 22 minutes a night, which is exactly what you need from an offensively minded defenseman when there are so few games on tap. Leddy had 46 points last season and has been solid this season with seven points in 13 games.
Defensemen to Avoid:
Brent Seabrook, CHI vs. MTL ($18): Seabrook has had a lot of trouble finding the scoring sheet lately with no points in his last four games. Even more telling he is a minus-2. Give him a skip on the back end of a back-to-back set against the hard-charging Canadiens.
Shea Weber, MTL at CHI ($21): Weber's not off to as bad a start as Carey Price, but he's still not being included in the offensive flow enough, especially when it comes to power-play opportunities. Weber should be driving the power-play not merely along as a passenger. He has heated up recently with five points in his last three games, but not enough to justify the high price.