NHL

Wednesday fantasy hockey tips – NHL picks, matchups, more

Wednesday’s five-game docket opens with an exciting matchup between two similarly competitive teams. The Senators can’t keep the puck in their own net and the Islanders can’t score. Since January 2, New York is ranked one notch above the basement (currently occupied by the Coyotes) with an average of 1.70 goals/game, while Ottawa is dead last in goals allowed (4.50/game). There’s something to give here. Either Cam Talbot (expectedly) manages to hold the opposition to a couple or fewer, or the Islanders’ offense finally breaks out (in relative terms). Knowing that the Sens’ scoring corps hasn’t been very productive of late either, Ilya Sorokin (expected) is in a decent enough position to earn his first win in 11 days and just a third of this month.

Elsewhere, Toronto hosts New York’s second team in a highly anticipated matchup that potentially pits goalie friends and training partners Ilya Samsonov and Igor Shesterkin against each other. Samsonov, in particular, seems extremely pumped to stare down his buddy from across the rink in what looks to be a more low-key scoring affair. The cream of the Metropolitan crop faces its equally impressive central counterparts when the Canes travel to Dallas. Be aware that Frederik Andersen is a perfect 4-0 with a .942 SV% and 1.75 GAA in his return from an extended absence. The schedule wraps up with two theoretically wild affairs as the Blue Jackets visit the sizzling Oilers and the Canucks travel to Seattle, new Vancouver coach and all.

Resources: Goalie Depth Chart | Damage | Schedule | How to watch on ESPN+ | Download the ESPN Fantasy App | Daily lines

All times eastern.

Favorable scoring matches

8 p.m., Rogers Place

This serves as the first meeting between a team averaging 5.17 goals/game during an active six-game winning streak and another that ranks 30th in goals allowed all season. Oh, and the Blue Jackets have three road wins to show for 2022-23 so far. Just remember, no Evander Kane in this contest. The sniper who just returned home is gone legally. As such, I like off-radar fantasy asset Ryan McLeod as the third banana on a scoring line with Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman. Forward Dylan Holloway is also expected to get another go at a unit with Connor McDavid.

10 p.m., Climate Pledge Arena, Watch live on ESPN+

Back on Oct. 27, the Canucks and Kraken combined for nine goals, with Vancouver eventually winning 5-4. In round two on December 22, 11 total goals as Seattle fell once again by a single 6-5. Even if Rick Tocchet manages to tighten up his new club defensively as committed, good chance he succeeds in that task on Wednesday night. Play your fantasy Canucks, play your fantasy Kraken. Just keep in mind that Jaden Schwartz is expected out for the home team, and Yanni Gourde and Andre Burakovsky are uncertain.

Mid-tier fantasy forwards

Teuvo Teravainen, Carolina Hurricanes (listed in 58.9% of ESPN.com leagues): Tucked back on the top line with Max Pacioretty (unfortunately) out of the Hurricanes’ equation, Teravainen is reeling back into the productive asset fantasy managers have become accustomed to. Averaging more than 18 minutes of ice time, the 28-year-old has a goal and three assists to show for his past three contests. That was better.

Also see:

Deep league/Daily Fantasy value forward

Sheldon Dries, Vancouver Canucks (0.1%): Skating on a fresh Tocchet-assembled unit with JT Miller and Conor Garland, the AHL regular scored his sixth of the season and earned five penalty minutes against the Blackhawks on Monday. I also like Jack Studnicka as a sleepy asset along with Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat if the youngster manages to stick in that role.

Also see:

Mid-tier fantasy defenders

Deep league/Daily Fantasy value defenders

Andrew Peeke, Columbus Blue Jackets (1.9%): In leagues that value shot blocking and hits, and in those leagues alone.

Goalkeepers

Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers (34.2%): Or Jack Campbell (65.0%), whoever ends up starting for the Oilers on this occasion. Columbus’ top line is a concern – both Patrik Laine and Johnny Gaudreau have enjoyed their fair share of success against Edmonton as members of their respective former Canadian clubs – but there’s not enough scoring depth on the Blue Jackets to otherwise worry about.

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