Joel Dorcas | February 18th, 2020
Tuesday’s card can be dissected in many different ways. The three games my focus is on all include bottom-dwelling teams who have had their fair share of troubles this season. Buffalo visits Ottawa, the Blues play host to the Devils and the Kings travel to Winnipeg. Let’s get right to it and make some Ice Picks!
Buffalo Sabres (27-24-8) at Ottawa Senators (20-28-11)
The Ottawa Senators continue to fight it out despite a pretty poor record which was all but a forgone conclusion this year given the talent they have. The Sens are actually a slight favorite for this one as they have played way better on home ice(14-11-6). Overall they have compiled a 4-6-4 record with a goals-against-average of 3.14 in their last 14 games.
The Sabres have put together a slightly better record of late, 7-5-1 in their last 13 despite averaging just 2.69 goals per game.
If Buffalo can create some offense here, it is all but guaranteed that Jack Eichel will be leading the charge. Eichel has been a beast this season and has five goals, seven assists and 35 shots in his last 10 contests. Eichel has also been extremely effective versus Ottawa. Eight points(1G, 7A) in four games last year as well as five goals in just three games this year.
New Jersey Devils (22-26-10) at St.Louis Blues (32-17-10)
It’s difficult to imagine the West-leading defending champions going through any kind of struggle, but the long 82 game season almost guarantees each team to go through some sort of challenge. Despite averaging almost three goals per contest, the Blues are in a funk, compiling a 3-7-3 record in their last 13.
The Blues will look to get things back in order against a vulnerable club in the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have allowed the fifth-most goals per game in the league since January 13th at a tote of 3.54.
Two mid-tiered players to keep an eye on are defenseman Colton Parayko and Jaden Schwartz. Parayko has a high combination of shots and blocks that is just one less over the last 10 games than the more expensive Alex Pietrangelo. Parayko also has 4G, 2A compared to Pietrangelo’s 7A spanned over the last 10. As for Schwartz, his 31 shots over the last 10 games leads all Blues forwards.
Los Angeles Kings (21-33-5) at Winnipeg Jets (30-25-5)
Although the Jets haven’t played well recently, 6-7-1 since January 13th, they will be an obvious favorite at home to the L.A. Kings who are an abysmal 3-8-1 in their previous 12 giving up an average of 3.33 goals per contest. The Jets can’t afford to let their guard down as each game for here on out is crucial to their playoff aspirations.
Winger Andrew Copp has been flanking the number one trio with Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers. He is a nice lower-tiered value play. A goal and two helpers along with a respectable 17 shots throughout his last five games.
The higher-end priced players to consider are wingers Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. Connor has four goals, four assists in his last five. Laine has four goals and two assists with 23 shots in his last five. He has also registered six goals and two assists in eight games this month.
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