Five games on the schedule for the start of the weekend, meaning you will have 10 teams to choose from. Not a whole lot, but it could be a lot worse (see Monday). There are a few big matchups, but probably not quite the excitement of Wednesday and Thursday. New Jersey’s fairy tale second half might come to an end soon if they don’t pick up the pace. The chances of them making the playoffs is now becoming less and less likely, so this game against Pittsburgh could be a big one. Carolina versus Tampa also could be important for a chance at the ‘Canes to get into the playoffs.
Michal Neuvirth, G, WAS – start
According to Mike Vogel, Neuvirth is getting the start on Friday against the Senators, and now that Neuvy is finally back from his latest injury and back to winning again, make sure to get him out there. Neuvy has started all three games that the Caps have played against Ottawa this season and he has gotten the Caps a win in all three of those games. In those three wins, he has allowed only five goals, earning a GAA of 1.63 and a SV% of .938. If for whatever reason you had any hesitation about starting Neuvirth, get over it and start him already.
Chris Kunitz, LW, PIT – start
With the absence of both of the Penguins’ superstars Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, certain players were going to have to step up to keep the Pens in the fight. Well, to the surprise of some they have been able to remain in the game, and players like Kunitz are a huge reason why. He is now on a four-game point streak in which he has 4g-4a-8pts, +6, a PPG, a SHG, and 10 SOG. Not only has he been on fire lately, but he has done better than any other Penguin this year when it comes to playing the Devils. In three games, Kunitz has obtained 1g-2a-3pts, a +3, and 4 PIM, collecting at least a point or PIM in each. Make sure to roll him out there on Friday.
Erik Cole, LW, CAR – start
For someone that is still available in three-fourths of all leagues out there, I would definitely look to snag him off of the waiver-wire if possible. While he is currently on a very modest two-game point streak that has him a goal and an assist, his real value is his play versus his Friday opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning. It appears that the Carolina / Tampa Bay games all end high scoring, and Cole has benefited more than any other Hurricane. He has collected at least one point in each game he has played them while collecting a total of 6 points (1g-5a-6pts) with 4 PPP, 1 SHP, and 7 SOG. If he isn’t owned in your league, he could make for a great waiver-wire pickup.
Evgeny Dadonov, RW, FLA – start
He should be widely available in every league, and he could definitely be worth a pickup for Friday. Now, he hasn’t played the Sabres since December 23, but he has been very successful in the two games that he has played them, collected 0g-4a-4pts, a +3, and five SOG, bagging a pair of assists in each game. There’s just something about them that brings out his best. If you are looking for a waiver-wire pickup and it appears everyone decent has been taken already, Dadonov could be your man.
Jason Pominville, RW, BUF – start
There are two Sabres that have played very well against the Panthers, one of them is the widely owned Tyler Myers while the other is the much lesser owned Jason Pominville. Almost always good for 60-70 points per season, he has really regressed this season and because of that can be had in most leagues on the waiver-wire. In three games against the Panthers, Jason has earned 1g-3a-4pts and 10 SOG.
If you own Myers or he happens to be on the waiver-wire, and definitely send him out there / pick him up as he has 1g-4a-5pts, 1 PPP, and 8 SOG in the three games he has played them. I’d get both of these Sabres out there against the Panthers.
Brian Rolston, LW, NJD – start
Rolston has cooled down since he had points in six of seven games recently by not collected a point in his last three outings, but his fortune just might change against the Penguins. He has collected a team-high three points (2g-1a-3pts) to go along with a +1, 4 PIM, 2 PPP, a GWG and 6 SOG, collecting a point in each game he has played them. If you own Rolston and have been frustrated with him the past few games, he might just be able to change it around for you tonight.
No benchings for today, as it should be very unlikely that you would have to bench anybody on your roster on this fairly slow day. Good luck out there. The week, but hopefully not your chances of making it the next round, is starting to come to an end.
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