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Wednesday fantasy hockey tips – NHL picks, matchups, more


A pretty level playing field, in fact, Wednesday, with only the Columbus Blue Jackets out of action the night before, and not any of the 14 active teams playing Thursday games as a potential distraction. Highlights include the second and final meeting between the Bruins and Avalanche in Colorado. Missing some key pieces of their lineup, the Avs will be challenged hard, hoping to make up for their recent 5-1 loss in Boston. Another interesting interconference tilt is the Rangers visiting the Golden Knights. After bouncing off one of their better offensive performances of recent times, New York will try to make it two in a row on the strip. Another tough task given the quality of the competition in Vegas.

Sources: Goalie depth chart | Injuries | Schedule | How to watch on ESPN+ | Sign up for ESPN Fantasy Hockey | Download the ESPN Fantasy App | Daily lines

All times Eastern.

Favorable scoring match-ups

7:30 p.m., National Arena

It’s a battle between the league’s No. 2 offense and 31st defense when the Sabers visit the Blue Jackets on Wednesday. Only the Anaheim Ducks have allowed more goals to date than Columbus (3.96/game). This arithmetic heavily favors one side over the other and it’s not Joonas Korpisalo and his team. In addition, the Jackets will feel a bit tired after playing – and lost 4-1 – in Pittsburgh the previous night. A host of Buffalo skaters were able to get in on the scoring action in this contest, including a red-hot Dylan Cozens (drafted in 36.6% of competitions) and rookie Jack Quinn (4.0%).

8 p.m., Scotiabank Saddledome, watch live on ESPN+

While the Wild’s best is scoring in droves — 4.50 team goals/game since Nov. 23 — the Flames’ offense is also showing signs of improvement in recent competition. Calgary benefits from contributions from some supporting cast members like forward Dillon Dube (0.6%) and threatens to overtake the Edmonton Oilers for fourth in the Pacific. Unless goaltender Dan Vladar (planned) puts in another superlative performance like he did against Arizona and Washington – keep in mind that the Coyotes and the jacked-up Capitals are two of the least productive teams in the league – I think we’ll score a fair bit, from both sides, in what promises to be an entertaining affair in Alberta.

Mid-range fantasy attackers

Andrei Kuzmenko, Vancouver Canucks (58.8%): After failing to earn a point in three consecutive games, Kuzmenko scored a goal and assisted in Monday’s thrilling 7-6 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. He also scored a goal and assisted Kaapo Kahkonen the last time the Canucks faced the Sharks (November 27). One of your more streaker types – who averages close to a point/game – the NHL newbie reappears on the productive uptick.

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Deep league/Daily Fantasy value forward

Matias Maccelli, Arizona Coyotes (1.7%): Don’t look now, but the 22-year-old Finn has a goal and five assists in his past four games and 17 points per year. Skating on a par with Nick Bjugstad and Lawson Crouse (6.4%), he skated for almost 20 minutes in Calgary on Monday. Don’t let the lack of name recognition – or his recent benching as a healthy scratch – put you off this fanciful dark horse. Maccelli can contribute against the Oilers.

Paul Cotter, Vegas Golden Knights (0.2%): The Vegas rookie filled in on a top-score for a (slightly) injured Jack Eichel, scoring a goal and an assist in Monday’s win in Boston. Food for fantasy thoughts when the Rangers visit Vegas on Wednesday. Though I’m significantly less in love with Cotter if Eichel returns to his spot in the lineup for this encounter, which is a real possibility. Check first.

Also see:

Mid-range fantasy defenders

Deep league/DFS value defenders

Calen Addison, Minnesota Wild (8.7%): The young lad is back on top. Anchoring Minnesota’s best power play, Addison has two goals and four assists — including four points with the extra skater — in his past six games. Ride the sizzling fantasy hand while it’s hot.

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Charlie Lindgren (projected), Washington Capitals (1.1%): A fantasy wildcard to be sure, but Darcy Kuemper’s understudy looked solid in Monday’s 28-save win in Edmonton, with Connor McDavid leading by one goal (minus-one) and Leon Draisaitl scoreless (minus-two). The Flyers don’t score a ton at all (2.46/game). If the Caps can put up a few, I like Lindgren’s chances of escaping Philly with his fourth of the season.

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Put them on the couch

Alexandar Georgiev (projected), Colorado Avalanche (91.6%): Mikko Rantanen can do so much alone. The Avalanche is already missing Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin and Evan Rodrigues, but now has to do without Artturi Lehkonen and – this is a big one – Nathan MacKinnon. While Lehkonen is on the day-to-day list, Avs’ top center is expected to miss four weeks with an upper body injury. The Bruins rolled 5-1 over Pavel Francouz and Colorado last weekend of MacKinnon on the ice (fall hurt, Lehkonen left early). I am very concerned about how Georgiev will fare if he gets his own chance against one of the best in the league. That’s a smashing lineup in Denver.




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