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 very quiet Wednesday night in the National Hockey League, we kick it up a notch on this Thursday evening with a massive 12-game slate. The Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars are you biggest favorites tonight, and surprisingly, none of the 24 teams in action are playing on consecutive nights.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins - The Florida Panthers love to shoot the puck (taking the fifth-most shots per game in the National Hockey League so far this season), but they can’t seem to put the biscuit in the basket, especially on the road, where they are averaging just 2.15 goals per game, good for dead last overall. This scenario plays out well for Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask, as he should see a decent amount of shots en route to the easy win. Rask has been absolutely spectacular over the last month (1.22 GAA, .955 SV%), and I would not be surprised to see him shut the Panthers out this evening, and be the highest scoring goalie on the night.
Pittsburgh Penguins' Second Line – With Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins top line likely to face shutdown Center Jordan Staal, my focus will be on Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and the Penguins second line this evening at the PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins second line had another multi-goal performance Tuesday night in the City of Brotherly Love and they have been money on home ice all season long. Considering all the offense in play tonight, and the high price tags belonging to both Malkin and Kessel, it is unlikely we see them all that popular this evening in large field tournaments. Keep in mind that the offensively gifted Kris Letang is back in the fold and he makes a great addition to this line stack whenever possible.
Colorado Avalanche’s Number One Line - I am rarely interested in attacking the Columbus Blue Jackets or Sergei Bobrovsky, but Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche’s top line have been so good at the Pepsi Center this year, I will likely have a hard time fading them tonight in tournament play. On top of that, the Blue Jackets have struggled with their defensive game recently (allowing the fourth-most goals against per game in the National Hockey League over the past month), and Bobrovsky has not looked like his elite self, posting an ugly 3.46 GAA, and a .891 SV% in the month of December. Despite the perceived tough matchup, this Av’s trio is certainly in play tonight, and they are likely to fly under the radar in GPPs.
Nashville Predators' Offense - The Arizona Coyotes remain the worst overall team in the National Hockey League (9-27-5) and even though they are on home ice, I still plan to attack them this evening at the Gila River Arena. The Coyotes rank 31st in CA/60, 27th in HDCA/60 and 23rd in SCA/60, which has led to the Desert Dogs allowing the second-most goals against per game (3.54) this season. The Nashville Predators have two very potent scoring lines and I doubt we see a high ownership on either of these lines tonight in tournament play. Remember, when stacking the Predator’s top line that P.K. Subban is the defenseman of choice, while Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm skate with the majority of the second line on the second power play unit.
Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadiens - The Tampa Bay Lightning are a very good defensive team with elite goaltending, but they are the midst of a five-game road trip and the Montreal Canadiens are home and rested, and they could take advantage tonight at the Bell Center. The Canadiens have struggled to score goals in 2017-18, but this is still a good offense, and because of their offensive depth, it can be hard to predict which line will score, which is why I am looking to the inexpensive Jeff Petry once again. Petry has done a terrific job filling in for the injured Shea Weber, logging a ton of minutes at both even strength on the Habs' top power play unit. At just $4,100 on DraftKings and $3,700 on FanDuel, Petry offers multi-point upside at a discounted price.