Hopefully if you are reading this that means you have either made it to the playoffs or made it to the next round, so congrats to all of you that have. The first day of Week 23 is going to be very slow as there are only going to be four teams playing. Because of that, I am only going to list players to start, as there should really be no reason to have to bench anyone.
Tyler Kennedy, C/LW, PIT – start
A recyclable from yesterday, but he makes for another good pickup today, and not only for daily head-to-head leagues but for weekly and roto leagues as well. Pittsburgh is the only team to play both on Monday and on Sunday of next week while also playing four games. In addition, Kennedy was the best Penguins player the previous time they played the Red Wings, collecting two assists and a +2 in a 4-1 Penguins victory. Get him out there again.
Zbynek Michalek, D, PIT – start
This defensively responsible defenseman has recently decided to show that he does indeed have an offensive side. Over his past five games he has accumulated 3g-2a-5pts with a +4, 2 PIM, a GWG, and 8 SOG. Seeing as he is only 3 percent owned in Yahoo leagues he should definitely be available out there on the waiver-wire.
Johan Franzen, RW, DET – start
You should be starting Franzen regardless on a day like this, but I’ll put him in here anyways. His goal scoring hasn’t exactly been what fantasy owners were hoping for this year. I mean he’s been good, but not what was expected of him. He previously went 14 games without a goal after a crazy five-goal outburst while his last goal came on March 3 against San Jose. That makes for only one goal in his previous twenty games. There might be some good news for fantasy owners, however. Last time the Red Wings and Penguins faced each other the Mule was the only Red Wing to be able to get the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury. I know fantasy owners would love to see him find the net against them again on Monday and get back to his scoring ways. Franzen missed Saturday’s game against Nashville with a mid-body injury, so keep an eye on his status.
Alex Tanguay, LW, CGY – start
When it comes to facing the Kings, Alex Tanguay is your best option of the bunch on Monday. Actually, that honor would indeed go to Brendan Morrison (0g-5a-5pts, 2 PPP in 3 games against), but considering that he is still on IR he is not a viable option at this time, so Tanguay takes the cake today. He has collect 2g-1a-3pts with a +1 and a PPG in three games against them. So far he has collected more goals against the Kings than any other Flame so you’ll want to make sure to get him out there.
Dustin Brown, RW, LA – start
Brown has had the most success of any King this year when facing the Calgary Flames, leading the charge of his team with 2g-2a-4pts with a +1, two PPP, and 11 SOG. Unfortunately for the rest of the team, they have had some trouble finding the back of the net against Miikka Kiprusoff, finding the back of the net only six times in the three games they have faced them. Besides the must starts of Justin Williams (1g-2a-3pts against the Flames), Anze Kopitar (1g-1a-2pts against them), and now Dustin Penner (1g-2a-3pts against them in four games as an Oiler), make sure to get Brown out there as well. You may even want to consider…
Alexei Ponikarovsky, LW, LA – start
Ponikarovsky has been a huge disappointment this year after it was thought that he would gel nicely with the offensive corps of the Kings and provide some good consistent first or second-line scoring. Unfortunately for his owners and the Kings, that really hasn’t been the case this year and he has been quite the let down to all. However, it looks like he is finally figuring out how to get on the score-sheet with a little bit of consistence and has strung together five or six good games recently. Over his past six, he has 1g-4a-5pts, two PPP, and 13 SOG. On this incredibly slow day, Poni could prove pay some dividends.
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