There are seven games on tap Thursday as the NHL gets ever closer to the All-Star break. Two games involve a team that played Wednesday, including Vancouver, who play the Islanders in New York after dropping a 4-3 decision to the Rangers, and Minnesota, who face the Golden Knights after losing to Dallas 4-1. In other games, Colorado plays in Tampa Bay, San Jose travels to Florida, New Jersey hosts Seattle, Edmonton plays in Philadelphia and Calgary is in Detroit to take on the Red Wings. Below, you’ll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA vs. SJ ($26): Bobrovsky is slowly coming around, as he has gone 3-0-1 in his last four starts, giving up 10 goals on 137 shots. That includes five goals in an overtime loss to Toronto. He was strong in beating Tampa Bay on Monday, turning aside 32 shots in a 7-1 victory. Overall, Bobrovsky is 13-13-2 with a 3.17 GAA and .900 save percentage. He faces the Sharks, who have averaged 3.08 goals per game, 19th best in the NHL.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jacob Markstrom, CGY at DET ($23): You have to go back more than a month for Markstrom’s last win, as he has lost his hold on the No. 1 goaltender job and fallen into a timeshare with Dan Vladar. Markstrom has allowed 21 goals in his last six starts, which includes being pulled after just one period against Chicago after allowing three goals on nine shots. Overall, he is 13-13-6 with a 2.93 GAA and .892 save percentage, a far cry from last season’s record of 37-15-9 with a sparkling 2.22 GAA and .922 save percentage. He has yet to pick up a shutout after leading the NHL with nine in 2021-22. He faces the Red Wings, who are 21st in scoring at home.
Connor McDavid, EDM at PHI ($37): McDavid leads the NHL with 41 goals and 93 points in only 51 games as he is the runaway leader for the Hart Trophy this season. McDavid has a 13-game point streak in which he has nine goals and 21 points and has points in 32 of his last 33 games, scoring 25 times with 33 assists. He is the best player in the world.
CENTER TO AVOID
Jack Eichel, VGK at MIN ($25): The woes continue for Eichel, who has only one assist in his last nine games. His play has gone downhill as he is also a minus-eight during that stretch, as the Golden Knights have won only two of the nine contests. Overall, Eichel has been okay this season, with 15 goals and 34 points despite missing 13 games this season with a lower-body injury. The loss of Mark Stone (back surgery) over the same time frame has hindered Eichel’s game.
Matthew Tkachuk, FLA vs. SJ ($33): Tkachuk’s first season in Florida has been awesome, as the former Flame has 27 goals and 44 assists in 50 games, good for fifth place in NHL scoring. So many pundits thought that last season’s 104-point effort – eighth overall in the NHL – was his career year, but he is on pace for 112 points this season. Tkachuk is on a seven-game point streak in which he has five goals and 15 points, and has 10 goals and 18 assists in his last 15 contests.
Timo Meier, SJ at FLA ($26): Meier’s name has been bandied about in trade rumors, but he has not allowed all the talk to affect his game as he has 30 goals and 51 points in 52 games. His 232 shots on goal are second best in the NHL. Meier is only five goals away from equaling his career high and still has 30 games left in his season. He had two goals and an assist Tuesday in a road win over Tampa Bay and has seven goals in his last nine contests.
WINGS TO AVOID
Travis Konecny, PHI vs. EDM ($20): Konecny is having a very good season with 24 goals and 49 points in 46 games, but he has been slumping of late with only one point in his last seven games. If you go back even further, he has three assists in his last 10 games. He was unable to register a shot on goal Monday for only the second time this season. Konecny is a fine player, but wait for him to break out of his slump before adding him to your team.
Valeri Nichushkin, COL at TB ($24): Nichushkin started the season white hot with seven goals and 12 points in seven games before ankle surgery caused him to miss 17 games. He has been mediocre since completing his recovery with a goal and six points in 14 games, bouncing in and out of the lineup due to other injuries before returning Tuesday.
Moritz Seider, DET vs. CGY ($19): Seider has been on a hot streak his last 11 games with a goal and 12 points, and he has reestablished himself as one of the best young defensemen in the NHL. After winning the Calder Trophy last season with seven goals and 50 points, Seider started the 2022-23 campaign off slowly with only two goals and 11 assists in his first 38 games. He has come on strong of late, but the early struggles are still keeping his salary low.
Tony DeAngelo, PHI vs. EDM ($17): Adding DeAngelo to Seider gives you an inexpensive defense pairing, enabling you to get better forwards. DeAngelo has two goals and five points in his last five games, giving him nine goals and 31 points in 47 games. He quarterbacks the Flyers‘ first power-play unit and has three goals and 15 points with the man advantage this season.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Ryan Graves, NJ vs. SEA ($19): Graves has not had a point in his last six games and has yet to pick up a power-play point in his NHL career. The 27-year-old defenseman had a nice streak in mid-January when he picked up two goals and six points over five games, but has been held off the scoresheet ever since.
Jake Walman, DET vs. CGY ($18): Walman was the darling of the fantasy world just three weeks ago when he went on a bit of a tear, scoring three times and adding an assist in four games. Things have not gone well of late, as he went seven straight games without a point before picking up an assist Tuesday against the Oilers. Walman has five goals and nine points in 33 games, all career highs for the 26-year-old defenseman.