We’ve reached the last weekend before the NHL takes a three-day break for the Christmas Holiday. Twenty teams will hit the ice today looking to gain some momentum heading into the short rest period, but with all but two of the games taking place this evening, these picks will be centered around the eight game evening slate on FanDuel.
Be sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalie Page prior to game time to confirm who is starting.
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings - $8,900 - The Maple Leafs look to finally be growing adjusted to Mike Babcock’s new coaching system, but they’re thoroughly outclassed tonight on paper and Jonathan Quick looks the best bet of the evening to secure the all-important “W”. Quick was absolutely outstanding in his last start as he turned away all 45 shots the Canadiens threw his way in picking up a 3-0 shutout victory and has now posted a 6-1-0 record and 1.95 GAA in seven starts this month. With the Maple Leafs averaging just 2.30 goals per game this season, he looks like the top cash game option on the board.
John Tavares – New York Islanders - $9,500 - Tavares has been eerily quiet lately and it’s been just a mediocre start to the season for him, but I’m expecting a break out performance tonight. He’ll lead the Islanders into the desert to take on a free-falling Arizona Coyotes team that was lit up for seven goals on Thursday night and who now own an ugly 3.29 GA/G this season. Tavares torched the Coyotes in their only previous meeting this season, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist as the Islanders cruised to an easy 5-2 victory. He’s not cheap, but his recent struggles have at least kept his asking price in check.
Mikko Koivu – Minnesota Wild - $6,400 - Koivu stayed red-hot on Thursday as he scored two goals and added an assists against the Rangers and has now scored four goals and dished out four assists over the last four games. While the Nashville Predators have a reputation being a very solid defensive team, they uncharacteristically own the second worst penalty kill in the NHL this season (76.0%). Koivu not only leads the Wild with 28 points this season, but centers the #1 power-play unit and has already picked up a pair of assists against Nashville in their two previous meetings this season. With a very reasonable asking price, he’s a fine option in all formats tonight.
Taylor Hall – Edmonton Oilers - $9,600 - Taylor Hall has poured in 15 goals and 20 assists in 33 games this season, and tonight he’ll actually be met with a favorable matchup. The former first overall pick is proving to be one of the most dangerous snipers in the league and is thriving alongside Leon Draisaitl (who’s still way underpriced) and Teddy Purcell on Edmonton’s top forward line. He’ll face a Colorado team that’s rated as the worst puck possession team in the league and there are very few players in the league more dangerous with the puck on their stick than Hall. His ten multi-point games on the season is second in the league (trailing only Tyler Seguin, Patrick Kane and Jamie Benn who are all each tied with 12) which highlights his massive upside tonight.
Jakub Voracek – Philadelphia Flyers - $7,400 - The start of the 2015-16 season was one that Jakub Voracek wants to forget, but the talented forward finally looks to be finding his stride. He’s racked up a goal and four assists during his current three game scoring streak and will look to keep things rolling tonight against his former team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. With Sergei Bobrovsky sidelined and Columbus allowing an unsightly 3.06 GA/G this season, look for Voracek to continue the punishment of his former squad, as he’s posted three goals and ten assists in 11 career games against them.
Conor Sheary – Pittsburgh Penguins - $3,000 – After putting up 6 goals and 19 assists in 24 games with AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Sheary showed his offensive upside with a goal and an assist in just his second NHL game. He’s slated to play alongside Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz on the Penguins’ top forward line and, at the minimum price of just $3K, he’s one of the most intriguing value plays on the board.
Roman Josi – Nashville Predators - $6,700 - Roman Josi scored the Predators only goal against St. Louis on Thursday night and now leads Nashville in scoring with 23 points in 32 games. The emerging star looks poised to match (or beat) last season’s career high of 55 points and he’s really turned things on lately; posting four goals and five assists in just nine games this month. He’s locked into huge minutes alongside Shea Weber both at even strength and on the point of the #1 power-play unit and should be well worth his big-ticket asking price tonight against a Minnesota team that owns just a 77.8% penalty kill this season.
Jake Muzzin – Los Angeles Kings - $5,200 - While his line-mate Drew Doughty may garner more attention, Jake Muzzin offers similar fantasy upside at a fraction of the price. Muzzin has chipped in three goals and three assists over the last seven games while routinely logging 22+ minutes of ice-time per game. He joins Doughty on the point of the Kings very dangerous #1 power-play which should bode well for him tonight against the Maple Leafs and their subpar 78.6% penalty kill. Muzzin was born and raised in the nearby town of Woodstock, Ontario, so he should have some extra motivation as he plays in front of dozens of friends and family at the Air Canada Centre.