Wednesday’s three-game slate gives you limited options to work with. Read on for some hints on where to find the best values.
Chad Johnson, BUF vs. CGY ($27)
Johnson has been absolutely stellar recently, compiling five wins over his last six starts, which includes getting two wins each over the Atlantic’s elite teams, the Lightning and the Bruins, plus another win over the division’s third-place team, the Maple Leafs. The journeyman goaltender posted a .937 save percentage and allowed fewer than two goals per game on average over that span, and he’ll probably be extra motivated to beat his former team Wednesday.
Goalie to Avoid
Darcy Kuemper, ARI @ VAN ($37)
The selection of goalies may be slim Wednesday, but Kuemper’s pricing is still ridiculous. The 27-year-old has allowed three goals or more in each of his last five appearances, with his Coyotes debut on Feb. 25 resulting in a three-goals-allowed loss to the Canucks. His save percentage over that time period was .878, while his percentage on the season lies at .889, so you definitely shouldn’t trust him at this price.
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Bo Horvat, VAN vs. ARI ($18)
Horvat is riding a three-game point streak that has seen him record two goals, both on the power play, and five points. Further though, the young center has exhibited a preference for home ice, as he’s recorded 16 more points and a plus-minus rating 13 points higher there than on the road. Vancouver’s power play has actually been one of the best in the league, so it’s nice to see Horvat getting more comfortable within it.
Center to Avoid
Sean Couturier, PHI vs. PIT ($23)
Couturier has not lit the lamp in eight straight games despite taking 28 shots on goal over that span. His shot just isn’t there right now, and that could really come back to bite him Wednesday against the Penguins -- in two previous games against Pittsburgh this season, the Arizona native has a goal, but also shows a terrible minus-5 rating, which could get worse considering the Penguins are one of the hottest scoring teams in the league.
Patric Hornqvist, PIT @ PHI ($21)
Since returning from a lower-body injury that kept him sidelined for eight games, Hornqvist has been furiously attacking the net, posting three points and 22 shots on goal in his last five contests. Notably, he’s also recorded exactly half of his points this season on the league’s most effective power-play unit, so that should make the fact that he’s facing a team that kills off only 75.1 percent of its penalties all the more appealing.
Clayton Keller, ARI @ VAN ($16)
Keller has been a steady presence on the power play this season, averaging 3:08 of ice time with the man advantage and compiling 14 of his points there, which is a great heading into this matchup with a Canucks team that kills off just 77.2 percent of its penalties. The fact that the rookie has managed a positive plus-minus in three consecutive games is a nice perk and it should compliment this matchup even further.
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Wings to Avoid
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY @ BUF ($28)
As is generally the case when he plays in small slates, Gaudreau takes the top pricing Wednesday, and that makes him virtually unjustifiable considering the way he’s been playing of late. Johnny Hockey has just one assist in his last five contests and shows a terrible minus-11 rating in his last 11. Usually against the Sabres, one might predict a bounce back, but the team has actually been great lately and beating some of the league’s best.
Bryan Rust, PIT @ PHI ($17)
This matchup for Pittsburgh will likely heavily favor the team’s power-play specialists, considering the proficiency of its unit and the deficiency of Philadelphia’s penalty kill. Rust notably does not see time with the man advantage, instead gaining most of his production at even strength. That production has been limited lately, though, as he is point-less in his last four contests, so don’t worry about him being one of your mid-to-low-priced option.
Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF vs. CGY ($17)
I like to pair goalies and defensemen on the same team when convenient, and the combination of Johnson and Ristolainen fits the bill to me here. Recently, the Finnish defenseman has compiled four assists in as many games, while also taking 11 shots on goal and blocking nine shots. That last stat could particularly come in handy Wednesday considering the Flames have been particularly shot-happy of late, firing off 33.6 per game in February.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI @ VAN ($15)
Ekman-Larsson has been making amends for his disappointing season of late -- in the last eight games, the Swede has notched eight points, but perhaps more importantly, he shows a plus-4 rating over that time period, suggesting that he may be able to improve that terrible season statistic. At this very low price, it should be worth finding out if he can take advantage of this juicy matchup.
Defensemen to Avoid
Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI vs. PIT ($26)
Gostisbehere is no doubt a great option, but it’s all about value, and considering he is priced four dollars more than the next closest blueliner, it’s hard to justify blowing up your budget for him. In the last five contests, Ghost has produced just a single assist and a minus-3 rating. Combine that trend with the fact that he has a minus-3 rating against the high-octane Penguins this season, and you shouldn’t reach for him at this price.
Justin Schultz, PIT @ PHI ($18)
Things don’t get much better on the other end of the ice, as Schultz is not proving to be a good enough offensive asset at the moment to justify his usage at this price. The veteran d-man has just two points in his last seven games, but it’s a bit unnerving to see that he has taken just nine shots on goal over that span. He could provide some defensive metrics, but at this price, you should expect offensive prowess.