Fantasy hockey tips for Tuesday: NHL picks, matchups, more
If it feels like teams from the East have dominated interleague competition to launch 2022-23, it’s because they have. Of the 97 games played to date, clubs from the Metropolitan and Atlantic have combined for 57 wins, in contrast with only 40 victories for those in the Central and Pacific.
There’s little question as to who’s beating who, more often than not. Of course matters will more or less eventually balance out — for example, Nashville and Minnesota are better than they’re playing — but food for fantasy thought for now, right? Especially knowing eight of Tuesday’s 10-game slate are of the interleague variety.
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All times Eastern.
Favorable scoring matchups
10:30 p.m., Crypto.com Arena, Watch live on ESPN+
Not only because teams from the East are largely having their way with their Western counterparts in interleague play — I also like this particular matchup for the Lightning. Although healthier, the Kings’ defense appears a shadow of its former (2021-22) self, allowing 4.43 goals/game. Tampa Bay is bouncing off two straight wins, over the Islanders and Panthers respectively, in which they scored a total of eight goals. We could see a few more from Stamkos and crew as they kick off this week’s California tour.
10 p.m., Climate Pledge Arena, Watch live on ESPN+
One of the hottest clubs in the NHL wraps up its “grueling” road trip in Seattle, after totalling 15 goals (including two empty-netters) through three wins in Western Canada. If Buffalo’s skaters can score, in bunches, against the Oilers and Flames (never mind the Canucks right now), they can certainly challenge the Kraken. Enlist all your favorite fantasy Sabres, beginning with Rasmus Dahlin, who doesn’t know how to not score every time he plays this season.
8:30 p.m., United Center, Watch live on ESPN+
Listen, we’re all rooting for new coach Luke Richardson and his tacked together gang in Chicago, and who doesn’t want to see backup Alex Stalock (.938 SV%) continue to make unexpectedly positive headlines? But Florida’s scoring depth — everyone pitches in with the Panthers (case in point: Ryan Lomberg) — may be too much for the Blackhawks to handle. We could see a fair number of goals in this game altogether.
Midtier fantasy forwards
Chandler Stephenson, C/RW, Las Vegas Golden Knights (57.5%): Logging heavy minutes and shooting more often, the top-line winger has scored in three straight. He’s in a groove. Even against projected starter James Reimer, who’s coming off Sunday’s successful shutout of the Flyers, I like Stephenson’s odds of racking up valuable fantasy points in scoring categories.
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value forwards
Max Domi, C/LW/RW, Chicago Blackhawks (7.8%): After scoring the overtime game-winner against the Red Wings on Friday, then a key power-play goal in Sunday’s victory over the Kraken, Domi looks to extend his productive ways against the visiting Panthers on Tuesday. Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky (projected) hasn’t been impenetrable of late, so fantasy managers may choose to ride Domi’s hot hand in this potentially raucous interleague contest.
Frederick Gaudreau, C/LW, Minnesota Wild (1.0%): Replacing Ryan Hartman at center on a top Wild line with Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, the Quebec native is playing in front of family and friends near where he grew up. I like Gaudreau a lot to register his first point(s) of the season against the Canadiens Tuesday. Particularly in Daily Fantasy competition.
Dominik Kubalik, LW/RW, Detroit Red Wings (29.7%)
Brandon Hagel, LW/RW, Tampa Bay Lightning (6.1%)
Victor Olofsson, RW, Buffalo Sabres (9.6%)
Jason Zucker, LW, Pittsburgh Penguins (4.8%)
Kent Johnson, C/LW, Columbus Blue Jackets (7.1%)
Midtier fantasy defensemen
Bowen Byrum, Colorado Avalanche (40.7%): If keen to run with a minor wildcard against Igor Shesterkin and the Rangers, Byrum is my pick from the Avs’ blue line. The 21-year-old has four points in his past three contests, while averaging more than 24 minutes/game. He’s also (occasionally) competing on Colorado’s power play.
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value defensemen
Filip Hronek, Detroit Red Wings (22.3%): The puck-moving defender has an assist in each of his past four games, three of them counting on the power play. Hronek stands an excellent chance of earning his fifth-straight against a tired Devils club, coming off a 6-3 loss to the Capitals.
Marc-Andre Fleury, Minnesota Wild (64.6%): This is it. This is the one. Back in his hometown, Fleury puts in his first dominating performance of the season. The Sorel-Tracy native likely doesn’t escape with the shutout, but he makes enough stops, and benefits from the Wild’s inspired offense and Dean Evason’s freshly jumbled lines, to escape with a valuable fantasy win. Fleury was outstanding in his two appearances against the Canadiens last season, winning both while posting a .966 SV%.
Adin Hill, Vegas Golden Knights (2.8%): The team with the greatest goal differential outside of Dallas in the West is facing the least productive team in all the league. Sunday’s 3-0 win over the Flyers suggests hints at improvement for Logan Couture and Co., but there’s a way to go for the Sharks yet. Clearly buying into coach Bruce Cassidy’s fresh defensive scheme, the Knights should feel lively enough after Monday’s 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs to guard against a much less potent offense in San Jose.
Casey DeSmith, Pittsburgh Penguins (2.2%): Pittsburgh’s defense crumpled against a second-period onslaught by the Oilers Monday, eventually losing 6-3 in Edmonton. Without Connor McDavid — who got banged up a bit — registering a single point. I’m not willing to take my fantasy chances with the Penguins’ backup, on the road, less than 24 hours later, against a Flames team that’s better than most at putting the puck in the net. Tuesday’s tilt between Pittsburgh and Calgary could be a lively one altogether.