There are 10 games on the NHL schedule Thursday and Monkey Knife Fight has Fantasy Hockey contests to make the on-ice clashes even more thrilling.
The top matchups on this busy night include the Boston Bruins taking on the Washington Capitals, though the Bruins are going with a rookie goaltender and are missing a couple of key defensemen with injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.
The reigning Vezina Trophy winner has really turned up his game after a mediocre start to the season. He has also been better on the road, posting a .922 save percentage in 16 games away from home, on his way to averaging 31.0 saves per 60 minutes on the road. He takes on a Montreal team that is averaging 33.5 shots per 60 minutes on home ice, which leaves enough room for Hellebuyck to record at least 29 saves.
Andrei Vasilevskiy LESS THAN 27.5 SAVES
The front-runner for this season’s Vezina Trophy has had an excellent season but also has a very strong team in front of him, so Vasilevskiy’s .920 save percentage on the road has led to 27.6 saves per 60 minutes away from home. He is matched up against a Columbus Blue Jackets team that struggles to generate offense, averaging just 26.9 shots per 60 minutes on home ice, so there is a legitimate concern that the Blue Jackets will not even generate enough shots for Vasileveskiy to hit this threshold.
Mika Zibanejad LESS THAN 7.5 FANTASY POINTS
After stumbling through the first 25 games this season the Rangers center has 10 goals and 11 assists in 13 games since and that kind of production make a big fantasy performance possible. At the same time, Zibanejad’s totals are inflated somewhat by a couple of six-point games so, in general, it is difficult to count on just about anyone recording at least eight fantasy points and that holds for Zibanejad, too.
Sidney Crosby MORE THAN 0.5 ASSISTS
With 11 assists in 19 road games, and those assists accrued in nine games, it is hardly a given that Crosby will put up one helper against the Rangers. Crosby has recorded at least one assist in three of seven games against the Blueshirts this season so this is not clear cut. At the same time, Crosby has assists in six of his past seven games overall, including each of his past three games on the road, so maybe ride the hot hand when it is attached to a generational playmaking talent.
Darnell Nurse MORE THAN 5.5 SHOTS + BLOCKS
It has been a breakthrough season for the Oilers defenseman and he has generated 6.2 MKF fantasy points per road game this season as well as 7.3 MKF fantasy points per road game at Ottawa this season. Ottawa’s suspect defensive play is enough reason to keep riding with Nurse, whether he scores, or just accumulates shot and blocked shots on his way to at least six MKF fantasy points.
Adam Fox +0.5 FANTASY POINTS vs. David Pastrnak
The second-leading scorer in the National Hockey League since St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is involved in this matchup and it’s not the Bruins sniper Pastrnak. Adam Fox has 21 points in his past 11 games, one point behind Nathan MacKinnon in one less game during that time. That doesn’t guarantee Fox anything but makes him a very lively underdog getting an extra half fantasy point.
Leon Draisaitl +0.5 POINTS vs. Connor McDavid
This Oilers duo leads the NHL in road scoring this season, one with 28 points and one with 26 in 19 games. The funny thing is that the one with 28 points is Draisaitl, the underdog in this matchup who gets an extra half point tacked on to this side of the ledger for their game in Ottawa tonight and Draisaitl is coming off a three-goal, one-assist performance in Ottawa last night.
Dougie Hamilton +0.5 SHOTS + BLOCKS vs. Adam Fox
While Fox has become a premier scoring defenseman lately, he does not generate shots at an elite level. Even during his recent scoring surge, Fox has a total of 19 shots on goal in 11 games. Hamilton, on the other hand, is putting up silly shot totals. He was not early in the season but in his past 11 games, Hamilton has put 50 shots on goal and that makes him a gift as the underdog in this matchup.
*The contests listed in this article are subject to change leading up to the puck drop of each respective game*
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Scott is a sportswriter with a focus on analytics, rankings, fantasy. Even though he’s Canadian, his interests and analysis extend a wee bit beyond hockey and maple syrup. Eh?