NHL EZPick Preview 03/19/19: Mike Hoffman vs Claude Giroux

Pictured: Mike Hoffman and Claude Giroux
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/19/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

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Evgenii Dadonov vs Vladimir Tarasenko

Evgenii Dadonov tallied his 25th goal of the year in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Dadonov got the Panthers on the board 11 seconds into the second period. He has generated three goals and nine points in the last six contests. Dadonov has been red hot alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau on Florida’s top line.

Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) is ready to return on Tuesday. Tarasenko was injured on March 7 and was held out of the lineup for five straight games as a result. He has 28 goals and 58 points in 66 contests this season.

Mike Hoffman vs Claude Giroux

Mike Hoffman leads the Panthers with a career-high 33 goals. Of those scores, a team-leading and career-best 16 have come on the power play, which ranks tied fourth in the NHL. The 29-year-old winger has notched 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) over his last 17 games.

Sunday night was one of countless examples of Claude Giroux’s quiet leadership. Giroux could not partake in morning skate because he was under the weather and deemed a game-time decision. He ended up gutting it out, playing 23:33 against the Penguins and finishing as a plus-2.

Nathan MacKinnon vs Tyler Seguin

Nathan MacKinnon notched one goal and one assist in a 3-0 win over New Jersey on Sunday. MacKinnon assisted on the first of Tyson Barrie’s two goals in the contest before adding his 37th goal into an empty net to seal the win. MacKinnon became just the second player in club history to produce consecutive 90-point seasons after Peter Forsberg accomplished the feat in 1997-98 and 1998-99.

Dallas is also a team that appears fairly top-heavy up front, ranking 29th in the NHL in goals per game (2.51) despite possessing three high-end offensive talents in Tyler Seguin (27 goals, 65 points), Jamie Benn (26 goals, 48 points) and Alexander Radulov (22 goals, 57 points).

Sidney Crosby vs Evgeni Malkin

Sidney Crosby leads Pittsburgh into a matchup against Carolina. He ranks fourth in the NHL with 92 points, scoring 33 goals and recording 59 assists.

Evgeni Malkin (injured) is tagged as week-to-week. The injury is believed to have occurred when Malkin took a hard cross-check by Robert Bortuzzo to the ribs on Saturday. 

Aleksander Barkov vs Vincent Trochek

Aleksander Barkov had two helpers in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Anaheim. Barkov recorded the secondary assist on goals by Evgenii Dadonov and Aaron Ekblad in the contest. He has dished out 13 helpers and has two goals during a six-game point streak. Barkov has career-highs this season in goals (30), assists (53) and points (83) through 72 games.

He was injured for about two months, but even in a shortened season we’ve seen the levels of production that Vincent Trocheck can bring. He’s averaging over two hits per game, about 2.7 shots per game, would fly past 50 blocked shots had he played 75 games, and sits with roughly a penalty minute per contest. Perhaps the point production is a bit lacking but it’s worth noting his current shooting percentage (5.8 percent) is about half his three-year average from 2015-18 (11.4 percent). If you double his current goal total to account for the shooting percentage drop, he’s up to 0.31 goals per game coming off three seasons of 0.33, 0.28, and 0.38 goals per game. In other words, things are pretty much normal here.

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