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 an eventful Wednesday night in the National Hockey League we keep things rolling on this Thursday evening with a solid nine-game slate. The Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Winnipeg Jets are your biggest favorites, and we have two teams (Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins), playing on consecutive nights.
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NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins - Despite playing on the tail end of a road back-to-back, the Pittsburgh Penguins are a heavy favorite and I think they get the job done tonight at the Bell Center. The Montreal Canadiens continue to fire plenty of shots on goal per game (averaging 33.5 per contest, which is good for eighth overall in the National Hockey League), but they have had very little luck with those shots actually going in the net, ranking 29th overall on the season in goals per game, and 25th overall in the last six weeks. With the Penguins open style of play and the Canadiens tendencies to shoot the puck, Jarry has big save potential tonight, and if he comes away with the win, which I think he does, he should be one of the highest scoring goalies on the night.
St. Louis Blues Top Line - The St. Louis Blues have been a frustrating offense to roster since the All-Star break (sitting 29th overall in the National Hockey League in goals per game), however, their loaded top line (Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko) should still be on your radar this evening. Earlier in the season this fearsome threesome was as good as any line in the league, posting some monster games, and they have big game upside tonight at the Scottrade Center. The Colorado Avalanche are still not a great defensive team, and they can be exploited on the road, where they have allowed the third-most goals against per game, surrendering 3.46 per contest. With a nine-game slate on deck, and a ton of offense to go around, the Blues lethal number one line should fly under the radar tonight in large Field tournaments.
Colorado Avalanche Number One Line – At the opposite end of the rink, we also have to consider the Colorado Avalanche and their potent top line. The St. Louis Blues are another team heading in the wrong direction with their defensive play (ranking 24th overall in National Hockey League in CA/60 and 28th overall in SCA/60 this month), and if you are a multi-entry GPP player, you may not want to fade the Avs’ explosive top line tonight in GPPs. Colorado’s number one line has been a GPP killer throughout the 2017-18 season, posting some of the biggest games of the year, and with the Blue struggling terribly with their defensive game, Nathan MacKinnon and his linemates could very well explode once again this evening.
Nashville Predators Second Line – When it comes to secondary scoring lines, very few lines have been as successful as the Nashville Predators’ second line, and they are once again in play tonight at the Gila Rover Arena. With the Arizona Coyotes doing their best to shut down Nashville’s dangerous top line, the Predators underrated and moderately priced second line should dominate some of the Desert Dogs weaker lines, and with the Predators on the road, and the Coyotes playing better defensive hockey, I do not expect this trio to be all that popular. Because this stack is inexpensive, you should be able to add either offensive defenseman Roman Josi or Ryan Ellis to the mix as well.
Los Angeles Kings Third Line - If you are looking for an inexpensive line stack with multi-goal upside this evening, have a look at the Los Angeles Kings’ third line. In their last three contests this trio has combined for three goals and eight points, and they certainly have big game potential again tonight at the Staples Center. The Detroit Red Wings are playing their worst hockey of the season these days (losing seven straight games, while allowing a whopping 28 goals against along the way), and they simply do not have the depth to skate with the Kings’ third line tonight. With all three members of the Kings’ third line skating together at both even strength and on the Kings’ second power play unit, they make for a terrific late night hammer.