Joel Dorcas | February 13th, 2020
Today’s featured games should provide us with plenty of entertainment as all of the teams are right in the thick of the playoffs races. The red-hot Lightning face the McDavid-less Oilers. The Flyers travel to Florida and the Capitals square of with the Colorado Avalanche. Let’s jump right into it and make some Ice Picks!
Edmonton Oilers (30-20-6) at Tampa Bay Lightning (37-15-5)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have now cemented themselves as the hottest team in the league. They have compiled a 16-2-1 record since January 1st, tops in the NHL. They are averaging 3.42 goals per game and are clocking in at a rate of 24% on the powerplay over the time frame. The Oilers have been solid killing penalties this season with a 5th ranked penalty kill percentage of 83.5. They will be without the services of the league’s biggest star, Connor McDavid. Winger James Neal will continue to sit as well with a foot injury.
Brayden Point will cost you less than Nikita Kucherov(who exited the last game with a lower-body ailment, he is a game-time decision). He has been good for 2G, 6A, 11 shots and seven blocks over the last five games.
Erik Cernak is a sneaky value play. He has averaged just over 22 minutes per game while compiling an assist, 15 shots, and 11 blocks over his last five games.
Philadelphia Flyers (31-19-7) at Florida Panthers (30-20-6)
This will be a crucial test for both squads as they are both considered “bubble” teams vying for playoff spots. They have split the head-to-head so far with the home team prevailing in each game. Florida was victorious 5-2 November 19th. The Panthers are averaging 3.82 GF/GM and are converting on 24.47% of powerplay opportunities on home ice this season.
The Flyers road struggles have been well documented this season. They are allowing 3.66 GA/GP and have killed off penalties at a rate of just 76.7%.
The Panthers are 10-6-1 with a 3.47 GF/GM average since January 1st, while the Flyers are 9-6-2 with a goals against per game mark of 3.06.
Mike Hoffman has been great for the Cats over his last 17 games. He has eight goals and 11 assists and is getting first dibs for powerplay time.
Another great mid-tier player is defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Just five assists in his last 10, but the peripherals and heavy minute totals are very good. 25 shots, 14 blocks, and an average of 22.49 minutes of ice per game.
Washington Capitals (36-15-5) at Colorado Avalanche (33-16-6)
Targeting against a powerhouse team like the Capitals might be considered risky but a closer look at numbers of late tell us that they are somewhat vulnerable here.
The Caps are a decent 9-6 since Jan 1st but they have surrendered a 24th ranked GA/GM of 3.33 over the time frame.
As for the Avalanche, they have put together a record of 10-3-2 since the calendar switched over to 2020. They are tied with the Caps for second over the time frame with a goals per game average of 3.73.
Defensemen Ryan Graves and Nikita Zadorov have flown under the radar with super rookie Cale Makar getting so much buzz and attention(deservedly so). Graves has 2G, 6A, 23 shots and a hefty 28 blocks(21 more than Makar) over the last 10. Zadorov is dirt cheap on DK($2.6 K as of Wed night), he has 3G, 5A, 17 shots and 9 blocks in his last 10.
Andre Burakovsky continues to impress as well. He is getting minutes on the top line with MacKinnon and Rantanen. A very respectable 3G and 10 helpers over his last 10.
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