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 quiet Wednesday night in the National Hockey League, the schedule explodes on this Thursday evening with 12 games on the docket. The Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings are tonight’s biggest favorites, and the Minnesota Wild are the only team 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.
Brian Elliott, Philadelphia Flyers – The Carolina Hurricanes are a great team to target against with your GPP goalie. The Canes love to shoot the puck (firing the fifth-most shots per game this year and the ninth-most shots per game since the All-Star break), but they struggle to score (sitting 23rd overall in goals per game this season and 22nd overall in goals per game since the All-Star break), which should work out well for Brian Elliott this evening on home ice. The Flyers are a solid defensive team and they desperately need the two points tonight as they continue to battle several teams (Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets and the New Jersey Devils) for playoff seeding, and I think they get the job done tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. With the win and 35-plus save upside, Elliott is one of the top goalie options tonight in tournament play.
New York Rangers Top Line - We should see fireworks tonight at the Barclays Center as the National Hockey League’s two worst defensive teams square off. The New York Islanders will certainly be popular tonight, but the New York Rangers should not be ignored this evening in GPPs in what could end up as the highest scoring game on the night. The Rangers have been a defensive mess, but they can still score (averaging 3.00 goals per game in the last month) and it’s not like the Islanders know how to prevent goals (allowing the most goals against per game overall and since the All-Star break). This Rangers number one line is moderately priced, and skates together at both even strength and on their top power play unit, and they have big game upside tonight in this plus matchup.
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers - The Edmonton Oilers have very little to play for these days, but Connor McDavid is looking to win his second consecutive scoring title (he currently has a five point lead on Nikita Kucherov), and you know he will be fired up for this game. Connor McJesus has been on an absolute offensive tear since the All-Star break, racking up 26 goals and 49 points in just 31 games. The matchup against the Vegas Golden Knights is not ideal, but Connor is completely matchup proof, and I expect him to be criminally under-owned tonight in large field tournaments. McDavid’s linemates are not necessary, as the Oilers Captain is a one-man wrecking crew, but if he has a big night, he is likely taking his inexpensive wingers along for the ride. You can even add power play quarterback Ethan bear to the mix, as he correlates with two-thirds of the Oilers’ top line on the number one power play unit.
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils - Like Connor McDavid, Taylor Hall has also been a scoring machine of late, producing 22 goals and 45 points since the All-Star break (32 games), and nine goals and 20 points over his last 15 contests. Hall can also be used as a one-off, as he rarely needs his linemates to have a big night, however as long as his linemates remain Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmeiri, I do prefer to stack the entire line. The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to play high-event hockey, which should lead to plenty of scoring chances for the New Jersey Devils tonight at the Prudential Center, and with coach John Hynes having the last change, he should be able to get his superstar on the ice in plus situations. Unless you are only playing one or two entries, Hall is not a player you should fade tonight in GPPs.
Neal Pionk, New York Rangers - The New York Islanders’ inability to play defense and kill penalties opens the door for the moderately priced New York Rangers’ power play quarterback Neal Pionk to have a big game this evening. The Islanders shoddy defense and awful goaltending has resulted in them allowing the most goals against per game this year, while also toting the National Hockey League’s worst penalty kill. The Islanders’ defensive game has improved somewhat, but they are still allowing the most goals against per game since the All-Star break, while ranking 28th while short-handed. Pionk is seeing big minutes on the Blue Shirts’ blue line and he has multi-point upside on the power play alone this evening.