Sunday, June 4 2023

It’s another busy Thursday in the NHL with 12 games on tap, although Anaheim on the road against a Montreal squad playing on the second night of a back-to-back isn’t the most appealing matchup. There are no other tired teams as LA travels to Boston, Columbus visits Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh is in Florida, New Jersey hosts Philadelphia, Toronto is in New York to play the Rangers, Dallas travels to Washington, Seattle visits Carolina, Nashville is in cold Winnipeg, Chicago hosts Vegas, Buffalo plays in Colorado and finally, St. Louis goes into Edmonton to play the Oilers. Below, you’ll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.


Matt Murray, TOR at NYR ($20): Murray is coming off his worst performance of the season, as he gave up four goals on 26 shots in a 5-4 overtime win over the Flames. His overall stats have been amazing, especially considering he was viewed as an average goaltender at best over the last few years. He is 7-1-2 with a 2.50 GAA and a .926 save percentage and will face a Rangers team averaging only 3.07 goals per game, which is 16th overall in the NHL.


Jonathan Quick, LA at BOS ($24): The Kings have had trouble defensively this season, giving up 118 goals in 32 games, and while Quick’s 8-8-3 record is okay, his 3.54 GAA and an .882 save percentage leave a lot to be desired. Quick faces the Bruins, who are an NHL best 23-4-1 this season, have yet to lose in regulation on home ice and have scored 110 goals, second best in the NHL.


Connor McDavid, EDM vs. STL ($37): McDavid is off to the best start of his NHL career, and that is saying a lot for the best player in the world. He leads the league with 26 goals and 59 points in 30 games and is currently on a 10-game point streak in which he has 10 goals and 14 assists. He has had three four-point games in his last six outings. Enough said.


Matty Beniers, SEA at CAR ($17): Beniers is having a very nice rookie season with 11 goals and 23 points in 28 games, but he has been rather cold of late with only a goal and an assist in his last five games, both coming against Florida on Sunday. The Hurricanes held him off the scoresheet earlier in the season at home and are the fourth-best defensive team in the NHL at this time.


Johnny Gaudreau, CLS at TB ($23): Gaudreau has been everything the Blue Jackets expected when they signed him to a seven-year. $68.25 million contract in the offseason. He has 10 goals and 31 points in 28 games this season, including eight multi-point games. He found the back of the net against the Lightning in their only matchup earlier in the season and carries a nice salary Thursday, allowing you to spend up elsewhere.

Danton Heinen, PIT at FLA ($10): Heinen’s time is now, as he is expected to take over from the injured Jason Zucker (lower body) on the Penguins’ second line with Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust, as well as see second-unit power play time. Heinen has three goals and 10 points in 24 games and has plenty to prove, as he has been a healthy scratch in five of the last seven games.


Brad Marchand, BOS vs. LA ($29): Marchand has 21 points in 20 games but has been cold of late, with nary a point in his last four contests. While he started off the season shooting the puck more often, he has averaged only 2.0 shots per game, something he has not done since the 2013-14 season. Marchand underwent offseason hip surgery and came back Oct. 27, a month before he was originally scheduled to. He may not be quite 100 percent yet, or he may just be slumping.

Chris Kreider, NYR vs. TOR ($25): Kreider scored a career-high 52 goals last season, bettering his previous best of 28. He has 14 goals in 30 games this season and while he is on pace for the second-best season of his career, he is no longer playing on the first line with Mika Zibanejad. Kreider is playing on the third line (but is still on the first power play) with Vincent Trocheck and Jimmy Vesey. He will have a tough matchup against the Maple Leafs, who are second best in the NHL in allowing goals.


Cale Makar, COL vs. BUF ($31): Makar has 25 points in 27 games after winning the Norris Trophy last season with 28 goals and 86 points in 77 contests. He is regarded as the best defenseman in the NHL. Makar had a pair of assists in his only game against the Sabres earlier in the season. He quarterbacks the top power play unit and has 15 of his 25 points with the man advantage.

Josh Morrissey, WPG vs. NAS ($21): It has been a breakout year for Morrissey, who has five goals and 32 points in 28 games this season, third best among blueliners behind only Erik Karlsson and Rasmus Dahlin. Morrissey has already set a career high in assists with 27 and it is only mid-December. He has points in six straight games and 11 of his last 12 games, with four goals and 16 points during that stretch.


Victor Hedman, TB vs. CLS ($20): It has been a really tough season for Hedman, who has only a goal and 14 points in 26 games. He was a workhorse last season with 20 goals and 85 points, but at the age of 31, time could be catching up with one of the top defensemen in the last decade. Hedman has only six assists in his last 17 games.

Darnell Nurse, EDM vs. STL ($19): Nurse is having a nice season with four goals and 16 points in 30 games, but is hurt by seeing second-unit power play time as he is not on the ice with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Nurse has only one power play point this season, as Tyson Barrie quarterbacks the first unit.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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