Congrats to those of you who are already in the playoffs. Hope you do well! And this is the last week to make that final push for those of you that haven’t started the playoffs yet, and it starts off with a very slow day. Since there are only six teams playing on Monday, I’ll try to mention one player from each team. Here we go…
Clarke MacArthur, TOR – start
MacArthur has surprisingly shown a lot of consistency this year, and that trend has continued the past eight games, where MacArthur has a point in six of those eight. He now has also hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career in Toronto’s last game against the Sabres, the team that initially drafted Mac. Tampa Bay has been slumping recently, so there’s no better time to start MacArthur against this far more offensive than defensive squad.
Simon Gagne, TBL – sit
I say sit, but because of how slow this day is going to be, use him as usual. Just don’t expect much from him and if this were a busier night I would recommend to bench him in favor of someone else. I know that Gagne had a great game against the Panthers on Saturday and collected a goal and two assists, all of them on the power play, but I am very doubtful that he will be able to repeat that type of performance against a better, hotter Toronto club. This was Gagne’s first multipoint performance in over a month, and he only had five points in the 15 games in between his latest multi-point outings. The stats show it’s highly unlikely he repeats, but who know what can happen. As is always the case, you’ve got to start what is currently the Bolts’ top line of Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier (an incredible 20 shots over only his past two games), and Martin St. Louis.
Dan Boyle, SJ – start
Boyle played his first game last night against the Rangers since missing six, and he had no rust to shake off. He was one of the Sharks’ best players in their 3-2 overtime loss while recording two assists, one on the power play, and a +1 in 22:24 minutes of icetime. It’s safe to say that he is feeling good again, and the Sharks are going to need him to play very well in a critical matchup to determine Western Conference playoff positions. Definitely get him back into your lineups.
Jonathan Toews, CHI – start
Now this may seem like a no brainer, but you have got to start the Hawks’ first line of Patrick Sharp, Toews, and Patrick Kane on a nightly basis now, as they are driving this team. He now has 10 goals and 9 assists for 19 points in 12 games while failing to find the score sheet only once in that time. In the same 12 games, Patrick Sharp has 6 goals and 9 assists for 15 points, while Patrick Kane has 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points. Make sure to get these guys out there on Monday as they are almost guaranteed at least one point each.
Ryan Kesler, VAN – start
Kesler was in the midst of his first huge slump of the season, going nine games with only two assists and failing to find the twine in 11 straight games. He’s been playing a lot better hockey lately, though, and has strung together three good games, collecting an assist in each and finally finding the back of the net again in his last game against Calgary. He also has three power-play points in that span. It looks like Kesler is finally heating back up, so make sure to get him back out there. Playing against a Minnesota team that has had back-to-back 4-0 shutouts against them bodes very nicely for Kesler’s chances.
Guillaume Latendresse, MIN – sit
Latendresse finally returned to the lineup three games ago after battling some abdominal injuries, however he left the Wild’s last game against the Dallas Stars in the second period and did not return. Considering that he has zero points in his most recent return and there is absolutely no guarantee that he will even play on Monday (in fact he most likely won’t for precautionary reasons), he definitely won’t be worth playing and in fact is probably worth dropping all together if you still own him.
On a side note, there is a decent chance that the Wild are going to be getting their best player, Mikko Koivu, back in the lineup. So far the word is it is going to be a game time decision, so make sure to check his status on Monday to find out if he is indeed going to be back in the lineup. It might be worth a shot inserting him in your lineup just in case considering how slow the day is going to be.
Notice I also did not put any goaltenders on here, but since there are only six that are going to be playing, I’m sure it won’t be too hard to figure out whom to put into your lineup.
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