- Sean Allen is a fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He was the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hockey Writer of the Year. You can tweet him @seanard.
There are four teams among the six games on Monday that are also playing on Tuesday. This will make projecting the starting goaltender well in advance a difficult task. The Dallas Stars may give Scott Wedgewood a turn against Ottawa on Monday and save Jake Oettinger for the Bruins on Tuesday. The Pittsburgh Penguins will have to decide whether it’s better to roll Tristan Jarry against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday or the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. The New Jersey Devils could give Mackenzie Blackwood the Washington Capitals on Monday, but that would mean saving Vitek Vanecek for the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday — and it’s the Red Wings that tuned up Vanecek for five goals in his one start. Finally, the Vegas Golden Knights will likely use Logan Thompson against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday and Adin Hill against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, but that’s no sure thing as both have been very good.
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All times Eastern.
Favorable scoring match-ups
Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils
7 p.m., Prudential Center, Watch live on ESPN+
The Devils are playing right into the advanced metrics’ wheelhouse this season, but without the results. The Devils are second in Corsi for percentage and first in expected goals percentage this season, but rank 25th in goals for per game. Still, they are throwing a lot at their opponents and the Capitals are both banged up and defensively questionable (Darcy Kuemper sports a rough .907 save percentage at five-on-five). But if Kuemper has a troubling five-on-five save percentage, what do we say about the Devils goalies? Mackenzie Blackwood sits at .897 and Vitek Vanecek is dead last in the NHL for allowing four goals on 15 shots at five-on-five in his one game.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers
8 p.m., Rogers Place
It doesn’t look like a long-term injury, as Jake Guentzel was at practice in a non-contact jersey on Sunday, but Monday should offer one more game for Danton Heinen to play on the top line with Sidney Crosby. Rickard Rakell also would be elevated a step to the top power-play unit — facing an Oilers team that is among only five teams taking more than five penalties per 60 minutes (per Evolving-Hockey.com). All of that makes Crosby’s line a great play in this showdown with Connor McDavid and the Oilers.
Carolina Hurricanes at Vancouver Canucks
10:30 p.m., Rogers Arena, Watch live on ESPN+
Still looking for a win, the Canucks don’t get an easy visitor here in the Hurricanes. Same ol’ Canes are leading the NHL in Corsi for percentage, so will keep the pressure on. But it’s not as if they’ve been shutting things down in their own end on this trip, allowing nine goals in the past two games in Calgary and Edmonton.
Mid-tier fantasy forwards
Chandler Stephenson, C/W, Vegas Golden Knights (57.0%): Trailing the Avalanche on Saturday, the Knights shook up the lines to put Jack Eichel and Mark Stone together (at last!). Stephenson was the third member of the line. Coach Bruce Cassidy hinted to The Athletic after the game that the line might stick.
Rickard Rakell, C/W, Pittsburgh Penguins (60.7%)
Brayden Schenn, C/W, St. Louis Blues (59.7%)
Ondrej Palat, W, New Jersey Devils (59.2%)
Mason Marchment, W, Dallas Stars (56.5%)
T.J. Oshie, W, Washington Capitals (54.2%)
Martin Necas, C/W, Carolina Hurricanes (38.0%)
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value forwards
Stefan Noesen, W, Carolina Hurricanes (0.1%): Need a guaranteed available winger to take a chance on because you play in a deeper league? Noesen has been getting the job as muscle on the Hurricanes top power-play unit. The Canucks are atrocious on the penalty kill, with Thatcher Demko allowing a league worst seven power-play goals on 19 shots.
Derick Brassard, C/W, Ottawa Senators (0.1%): Speaking of ultra-deep options, Brassard may make his season debut for the Sens. Certainly someone has to take the injured Josh Norris’ place on the second line with Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux. Given the chemistry of the third line to date, Brassard might go from press box straight to top six (according to the Ottawa Sun). Brassard played 80 minutes with Giroux last season in Philadelphia, so there is some familiarity.
Danton Heinen, C/W, Pittsburgh Penguins (1.3%)
Seth Jarvis, C/W, Carolina Hurricanes (19.2%)
Nicholas Robertson, W, Toronto Maple Leafs (7.7%)
Tyler Motte, C/W, Ottawa Senators (4.2%)
Dawson Mercer, C/W, New Jersey Devils (4.0%)
Marcus Johansson, C/W, Washington Capitals (0.3%)
Mason Appleton, C/W, Winnipeg Jets (0.1%)
Mid-tier fantasy defensemen
Torey Krug, D, St. Louis Blues (54.6%): As we might see for as lot of Krug’s scoring this season, both of his points have come on the advantage. The Jets are 26th on the kill so far, with the Blues top 10 on the power play, so we’ll give them the advantage.
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value defensemen
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Vancouver Canucks (12.1%): With Quinn Hughes day-to-day and questionable to even play Monday, OEL gets a chance to run the power play. The Hurricanes haven’t been their typical selves, allowing four goals on 21 penalty kills so far this season. While the Canucks are almost as likely to allow a goal while on the advantage so far this season (three PP goals, two shorties against), it’s still an upside play for Ekman-Larsson here.
Dmitry Orlov, D, Washington Capitals (15.7%)
There’s a lot of dangerous matchups here from a slate perspective. But in season-long fantasy, you have to put some trust in your goaltenders for the big picture, even when the matchups feel troubling. The four teams starting a back-to-back sets also makes it tricky to be sure who’ll be in each crease — especially with some additional teams, such as the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers, just due for a start from the backup to shake things up.
But if you have Jordan Binnington, Tristan Jarry, Connor Hellebuyck or Frederik Andersen on your fantasy team, you should probably roll with them.
Anton Forsberg, G, Ottawa Senators (20.7%): If you really feel the need to pickup a streamer goalie here, Forsberg is probably the choice. The Stars aren’t a great matchup, but the Senators are perfect at home and the visitors may save Oettinger for their Tuesday matchup. That gives Forsberg a decent shot at the W points.
Jack Campbell, G, Edmonton Oilers (93.8%): We’ll see if he even gets the start of if the Oilers throw a game to Stuart Skinner to see if there’s more to explore there. But if Campbell does draw the start, the visiting Penguins are a force t be reckoned with.
Darcy Kuemper, G, Washington Capitals (93.6%): As discussed above, the Devils keep their opponents very busy and, while Kuemper has been good from the perimeter (49 saves on 49 low-danger shots), he’s fared less well at close range (11 goals on 61 medium- and high-danger shots).
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