Welcome to this Sunday edition of the NHL plays. With five games on the slate, we have an unusually playable slate for a Sunday afternoon. So head to FanDuel and get in on the DFS Hockey action. Here are my top picks on today’s slate.
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Make sure to check the RotoGrinders NHL Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Jaroslav Halak - The Islanders are at home against a decent Buffalo team. I expect Halak, who has looked sharp, to face a lot of shots in this one, and get the win, as it doesn't take many chances to score on Chad Johnson. This has all the makings of a back and forth game, with the better goalie being the X-factor.
Pekka Rinne - Many picked Anaheim to win the Cup, and that makes me hesitant to start picking on them this early in the season, but their current form is awful. Even if Anaheim was playing well, Nashville is still an elite team that allows very few scoring chances and has an elite penalty kill. Couple that with Rinne being really good, and it makes for a safe matchup with a struggling Ducks team.
All of the Sharks - Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau headline the group of players to target on San Jose. Colorado is by far the worst possession team in hockey, and even though they are at home, and have played better there, it is due to a weak schedule. Getting exposure to any of these Sharks is a must in your cash games, unless you don't believe in regression.
Eric Staal - Staal faces a decent Tampa team, but he'll have the pleasure of facing Andrei Vasilevski. The backup goalie for Tampa has a save percentage of .900 in his AHL career, and that is below average for an NHL goalie facing NHL skaters. Staal plays big minutes, he matches up with weaker lines at home, and he is always ready to shoot the puck.
Blake Wheeler – The possibility of no Carey Price in net means we get to expose the overrated Habs. This team is a bad possession team, and they rely on Price to bail them out each and every night. Wheeler is the Jets’ best offensive player, and shooting on a guy who has little NHL experience could lead to big things for Wheeler.
Josh Bailey - Bailey is playing with Tavares, and when together last year, they attempted over 70 shot attempts per 60. Facing Buffalo is not a cupcake matchup anymore, but Bailey is so cheap, that it is a great way to get exposure to Tavares without breaking the bank. These two have surprisingly good chemistry, and it should continue tonight.
James Neal - Neal was third in the NHL in ICA/60 last year, but it rarely translated into points. This year, we are seeing the same individual shot production translate into big numbers. He has amazing chemistry with Forsberg, and he is facing the surprisingly last-place Ducks tonight.
Brent Burns - Burns is an elite play tonight. I already mentioned that I love San Jose, and Burns is like another forward out there. He shoots so much, and plays a huge role on the power play with one timers. I expect Burns to have a big game tonight against this bad Colorado team.
Johnny Boychuk - Johnny Rocket faces a Buffalo team that is good at even strength, but awful on the penalty kill. He'll get to face his former Bruins teammate, Chad Johnson, and he is taking over 4 shots per game on defense. That is crazy. Boychuk's power play time is often in flux, but he is getting a lot of time recently, and faces the penalty kill giving up the most shot attempts and scoring chances per 60 minutes.