The Fantasy Hockey Daily Roundup highlights the most prominent fantasy hockey news in the NHL. It provides analysis Monday through Friday on the fantasy implications of the day’s biggest stories.
Casey Mitteltstadt will get his first look atop the Sabres lineup tonight following the Eichel suspension. Eichel will also miss Thursday’s game against the Penguins before returning to the lineup Saturday in Carolina. Mitteltstadt is expected to skate with Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville in place of Eichel. While Mitteltstadt has struggled defensively early on in his career, he’s looked his best alongside Pominville. The two of them are averaging just 23 scoring chances against per 60 at 5v5 together. Pominville’s reliable defensive play should afford his line plenty of offensive zone time tonight. As a result, Mitteltsadt makes for a solid spot-start tonight against the Stars, but Thursday’s run-in with the Penguins is a different story. He’s currently owned in 11% of Yahoo! leagues.
Coyle Moves up to Boston 2
Charlie Coyle will finally be free of the anchor that is David Backes for tonight’s game against the Blue Jackets. Coyle is expected to play on the right wing of David Krejci and Peter Cehlarik on Boston’s second line. The move up the Bruins lineup should be the spark Coyle needs to get going offensively. It’s a nice boost for Coyle, but I would be hesitant to put a claim in for him just yet. He has no goals and just a single assist in eight games with the Bruins. He offers some upside tonight, but there are simply better options available in standard leagues.
Larkin Out at least 5-7 days
The Detroit Red Wings announced today they’ll be without star forward Dylan Larkin for at least another 5-7 days. Larkin has missed the last three games with a neck strain. The good news is he should be back for week two of the playoffs. The bad news is Larkin owners need to find a way to get by without him this week. Andreas Athanasiou is the most obvious band-aid for Larkin right now. He’s owned in just 20% of leagues and has seen a substantial bump in ice time in Larkin’s absence. He’s currently centering Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha on the Red Wings’ first-line. Athanasiou and Mantha have posted some very strong numbers at 5v5 together this season. Athanasiou is an excellent streaming option this week and could be worth holding onto if Larkin’s injury lingers. He has 23 goals and 18 assists in 63 games this season.
Thomas Earns Promotion with Tarasenko Out
Jaden Schwartz will drop back down to line two tonight as St Louis continues to juggle their lines in the absence of Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko won’t be re-evaluated until March 20, leaving a gaping hole atop the Blues lineup. Skating in his place tonight will be Robert Thomas. The No. 20-overall pick from the 2017 draft, Thomas has impressed in his rookie season. He’s registered seven goals and 18 assists in 56 games despite an ATOI of 12:38.
The 19-year-old is a legitimate spot-start tonight considering the matchup. Ryan O’Reilly’s line tends to see the opposition’s best on home ice, meaning O’Reilly, Thomas, and Brayden Schenn will probably see a mix of the Clayton Keller and Alex Galchenyuk lines tonight. Arizona’s top-six creates offense at a respectable rate, but they really struggle defensively. The forecheck of Schenn and O’Reilly should create plenty of zone time and quality chances for Thomas tonight. Thomas is almost universally available, owned in just 3% of Yahoo! leagues.