Every Tuesday and Thursday I will be providing my recommended player picks for your daily fantasy hockey lineups. The goal is to help you to the top of the leaderboards in FanDuel and DraftKings tournament play.
After a rather quiet Wednesday night of National Hockey League action, we pick up the pace on this Thursday evening with 12 games on the docket. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens are your biggest favorites, and we have three teams (Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and the Nashville Predators) playing on consecutive nights.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche - All things considered, Semyon Varlamov is my top GPP goaltender on the night. Not only is Varlamov inexpensive to roster, he should also see plenty of rubber tonight at the Pepsi Center, en route to the all-important win. The Florida Panthers average the third-most shots per game (35.1) in the National Hockey League, while the Colorado Avalanche allow over 32 shots on goal per game, giving Varlamov the potential for a big night. Thanks in large part to Varlamov, the Avs have been very good on home ice this season (8-5-1), and I think we see another strong performance tonight.
Vegas Golden Knights Offense - The Pittsburgh Penguins’ defensive game has improved some, but they are still very vulnerable. On the season, Pittsburgh continues to allow too many scoring opportunities, as evident by their ranking in HDCA/60 (27th) and SCA/60 (28th). The Vegas Golden Knights should be able to take advantage of the Penguins’ defensive inefficiencies this evening at the T-Mobile Arena. The Golden Knights continue to be one of the National Hockey League’s best offensive teams on home ice, averaging 3.71 goals per game, good for fifth overall. Vegas has two very good scoring lines and they are both worth stacking tonight in large field tournaments. Despite the favorable matchup, I don’t expect a lot of traffic on either of the Golden Knights’ top two scoring lines this evening.
Montreal Canadiens Second Line - The New Jersey Devils continue to play poor defensive hockey and that is good news for the Montreal Canadiens’ offense this evening at the Bell Centre. The Devils sit near the bottom of the National Hockey League in just about every relevant defensive category, including CA/60 (28th), and SCA/60 (27th). The Canadiens have three very capable scoring lines and really all of them are in play tonight, thanks to their low prices and multi-goal potential. With that being said, my main focus will be on their second line, featuring Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Drouin and Andrew Shaw, with Shea Weber making a nice addition from the blue line.
Zach Werenski & Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets - The New York Islanders are not only playing their second game in as many nights, they are also a below average defensive team, ranking 19th in CA/60, 22nd in HDCA/60 and 26th in SCA/60. The Columbus Blue Jackets offense has let us down quite a bit recently, but I am going back to the well tonight in tournament play. The Blue Jackets have two very good scoring lines and both are playable this evening. My preference is to roll with their top line, while adding Zach Werenski. However, if you are targeting their second line, Seth Jones makes a nice addition. Keep in mind; you can also play Werenski and Jones together, to differentiate your lineup. With the amount of ice time these two defensemen see, you could be involved in every Columbus goal.