Six games! Six games until playoffs! I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. Seven of the sixteen teams have clinched with a few more looking like sure things. Since every night’s games seems to have playoff implications these days I know reading and researching is probably the last thing on your mind as the season comes to a close. Luckily for you, my team is already eliminated so it’s been helping me keep my mind off things. So allow my misery to become your success and read on!
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The Bargain Bin features dirt cheap players who are in a good opportunity to snag a point or two. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid adding the odd scrub or two to your lineup so you may as well the one with the best opportunity to succeed!
Zajac: It’s most likely been a very long and very frustrating season for Travis Zajac but he’s finally back from his latest injury and in his third game finds himself in a familiar spot between Kovalchuk and Parise. Tampa has been finding a way to win lately but that has been despite, not because of, the play of Roloson. In the last 7 games the Tampa Bay goaltenders have allowed less than 3 goals just once when they beat Edmonton 3-2 on March 22nd. The Devils have an excellent opportunity to go off tonight and Zajac is in the perfect place to pick up a couple points if this does happen. At 51k he’d be well worth a line-up spot against a hot goaltender, against Roloson and the Lightning he’s a steal.
Zidlicky: Zidlicky is in the same situation as Zajac tonight. Logging huge minutes and prime PP time, playing with Kovalchuk and Parise (on the PP at least), and facing a very cold goaltender. Zidlicky is technically in a mini-slump with no points in his last 3 games but he still has 7 in his last 11. As long as he has the job of feeding Kovalchuk’s one-timers on the PP he’ll continue to put up points. At 52k you’d be crazy to not dress Zidlicky tonight.
Green: One of these days the real Mike Green is going to show up. The one who would put up 5 point nights with ease and leave fans in awe. That night probably won’t be tonight, but he’s still capable of breaking his slump with a point or two for those of you willing to roll the dice. He’s still seeing 20 minutes a night and a hefty chunk of PP time so the opportunity is there. Also, the Boston goaltending tandem has allowed exactly 2 goals against in each of their last 4 games played so Washington should be able to find the back of the net a time or two tonight. At 63k the reward of Green finding himself in on one or two of those goals is well worth the risk.
Economical Opportunities are players with a slightly higher price tag but a much higher chance to succeed. They’re the players who are in the right situation at the right time and have the potential for a huge night at a very reasonable cost.
The rest of the Devils: I think it’s pretty clear I see the potential for something big in one of these games. The combination of mini-slumps for all of New Jersey’s big guns and a goaltender who’s well past his prime just spells blowout to me. So with that said if you have room for any of Kovalchuk (134k), Elias (93k) or Parise (101k) in your line-up I’d suggest plugging them in.
Marchand/Bergeron/Peverley: This line has absolutely terrorized the Capitals this season and they’re intact for this game. Marchand has 3 goals and 2 assists in the 3 games against the Caps this season, Bergeron has 5 assists and Peverley has 2 goals and 1 assist in 2 games as he missed one due to injury. At 136k, 127k and 108k respectively they’re all very affordable for tonight’s games. Do your very best to get at least one of them in your line-up tonight.
Hartnell/Giroux/Briere/Jagr: The Flyer’s big 4 have achieved a great deal of success against the Leafs this season. Hartnell has 3 goals and 2 assists in 3 games against the Leafs this season. Giroux has 1 goal and 2 assists (and a gorgeous shootout move in their 1-0 win a few weeks ago). Briere has 2 assists and Jagr has 2 goals and 2 assists. The downside here is the last time these two teams played the Flyers won 1-0 in a shootout. The upside is Gustavsson looked nothing short of horrific in his last appearance in net so there’s a chance for a blowout here if he keeps letting in softies. At 177k, 152k, 101k, and 84k respectively it shouldn’t be a problem sliding one or two into your line up. Which one(s) you choose is entirely up to you. My gut is telling me Hartnell and Jagr are the two most primed for a big night, but that’s just a hunch so take it for what it’s worth!
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