NHL PREVIEW & MKF PICKS
Hockey starts early on Saturday and Monkey Knife Fight has contests for all 11 games on the NHL schedule, meaning lots of opportunities to play and win.
There are four games on the schedule that involve playoff teams on both sides.
- The first one is a bit of a cheat because the St. Louis Blues and Arizona Coyotes are battling for the fourth playoff spot in the West Division. The Blues are one point ahead but have played two fewer games.
- The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning are locked in a battle for top spot in the Central Division with the Carolina Hurricanes though they are officially in third and second place, respectively.
- The other two playoff teams in the Central, the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes faceoff in Carolina and the second-place team in the North Division, the Winnipeg Jets, hosts the third-place Edmonton Oilers.
Here are some Monkey Knife Fight Picks from a Star Shootout angle to keep in mind when playing Saturday’s Fantasy Hockey action on Monkey Knife Fight.
Connor Hellebuyck LESS THAN 29.5 SAVES
Winnipeg’s star netminder has been playing at an elite level again this season though the Jets do not give him as much work on home ice and he has been more effective on the road this season. Nevertheless, he has averaged 26.5 saves per 60 minutes on home ice and goes up against an Edmonton Oilers squad that is among the worst at generating shots – 27.6 shots per 60 minutes on the road ranks 28th in the league so if the Oilers are not even generating shots, it could be tough for Hellebuyck to get to 30-plus saves.
Andrei Vasilevskiy MORE THAN 27.5 SAVES
The favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender this season, Vasilevskiy has a .946 save percentage on home ice this season, which is ridiculous, but because the Lightning are such a good team he is still averaging 26.4 saves per 60 minutes on home ice. The Florida Panthers do generate shots, 30.9 shots per 60 minutes on the road ranks fifth in the league and that might be enough to nudge Vasilevskiy towards the higher number.
Connor McDavid MORE THAN 0.5 ASSISTS
The NHL’s leading scorer has 20 assists in 21 road games, which is a lower rate than he has at home (where he has 26 assists in 21 games), but still has assists in 14 of 21 road games and has an assist in five of six games against the Winnipeg Jets this season. In the spirit of Wayne Gretzky, McDavid literally has multiple points in each of his six games against the Jets this season.
Sidney Crosby MORE THAN 5.5 MKF FANTASY POINTS
After a mediocre start to the season, the Penguins superstar is in fine form once again and is averaging 5.9 MKF fantasy points per road game. He takes that to Buffalo where the Sabres might be playing a little better recently, but they are still a bottom-dwelling team that, because of injuries, is down to its third-string goaltender. Oh, and they moved out some notable talent at the trade deadline, too.
Kyle Connor MORE THAN 5.5 MKF FANTASY POINTS
While Connor has been very productive this season, putting up a nice 6.9 MKF fantasy points per home game, he has had trouble against Edmonton, specifically, with one goal and three assists in six games against the Oilers. He has no points and a total of four shots on goal in two home games against the Oilers but those games were also very early in the season.
Artemi Panarin MORE THAN 0.5 ASSISTS
This may be getting lost a little bit because Panarin had to take a leave from the team for a while this season but he is absolutely wrecking teams that come to Madison Square Garden. In 15 home games this year, Panarin has 10 goals and 19 assists. What is wild is that he has accumulated those 19 assists in nine games. He has three assists in three games against the Devils this season as the Blueshirts begin a series against a New Jersey team that has a lot of players trying out for spots on next season’s team.
Dougie Hamilton MORE THAN 4.5 SHOTS + BLOCKS
Early in the season, Hamilton was not generating shots at an elite level but he is back on that track now and in 22 home games this season has 111 shots plus blocks, just over 5.0 per game. The Hurricanes are hosting the Nashville Predators a team that is around league average in terms of shot rate allowed on the road so ride on with Dougie.
Connor McDavid -0.5 MKF FANTASY POINTS vs. Alex Ovechkin
It is really hard to pick against McDavid at the best of times but given his production against Winnipeg this season even Ovi has to be an underdog. Ovechkin does have nine points in five games against Philadelphia but McDavid has put up 13 points and 28 shots on goal in six games.
Patrick Kane +0.5 MKF FANTASY POINTS vs. Nikolaj Ehlers
Ehlers has had an outstanding season for the Jets, though he has been more productive on the road. He does have eight points in six games against the Oilers. While Kane generates more shots on goal on the road, he scores more on home ice so his advantage should come because Chicago is playing at Detroit. Kane has eight points in seven games against the Red Wings this season and is coming off a brutal performance in Thursday’s loss, finishing with no points, one shot on goal, and a minus-4 rating.
*The contests listed in this article are subject to change leading up to puck-drop of each respective game*
Test your daily fantasy knowledge and Sign up for Monkey Knife Fight. For brand new users you’ll get a 100% deposit match up to $50 when you make your first deposit with promo code MKFBEST.
Download the Monkey Knife Fight Fantasy app for some mobile DFS Fun.