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Rotogrinders Exclusive

NHL GPP Plays: December 18

by Tom Woollam

If you have been watching a lot of hockey this season, you know that there has been plenty of action; and on a night like this it’s almost mind boggling. It seems that every time there are more than six games on the slate the waters get muddled quite a bit, and tonight will be no exception as there are 22 teams in action.

 

Today I will look at a few games that feature some of the top lines in the league as well as write up a few players that may be overlooked on FanDuel and DraftKings.

Top Lines

 

Tampa Bay rolls into Vancouver this evening to take on the Canucks and have been inserted as a -180 favorite by the Vegas sharps. This would suggest that the top line that features Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point would be in play here, as they have combined for five goals and 14 assists over the last seven games. The alternative is Steven Stamkos, who has racked up eight goals and four assists over that same time frame. Tampa has scored 12 power play goals in their last 10 games, which is good news for whichever way you decide to go here as they all skate on the top power play unit.

 

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Next up is the Winnipeg Jets, who come into Los Angeles as a -170 fresh off a 5-4 overtime win against the aforementioned Tampa Bay Lightning. Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler are the targets here, as Scheifele is tied with Connor McDavid and Johnny Gaudreau for the league lead with 14 points over the last two weeks.

 

Speaking of McDavid, he and his Edmonton teammates are posted as a -152 favorite this evening as the St. Louis Blues pay them a visit. We all know about his skill set, but what gets overlooked sometimes is the play of his linemate in Leon Draisaitl. It seems that he has put up the quietest 42 points in league history, considering the headlines are always grabbed by McDavid, who has had a hand in 49 of the 98 goals the Oilers have scored.

 

Forwards

 

Claude Giroux - Philadelphia Flyers - ($7,400 FD, $6,700 DK)

 

In the midst of the hockey circus in Philadelphia lately, Claude Giroux still seems to be the constant as evidence of his team-leading 28 assists and 39 points. Giroux is no stranger to leading the team in points as he has had that honor in six of the last eight years. With interim head coach Scott Gordon taking the reins, it looks like Giroux will be skating with Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick. One has to think that the Flyers will come out with a little swagger here after their play under their former coach was less than average. Through it all, though, Giroux has three goals and eight assists over the team’s last eight games. With Carter Hart expected to start in Philadelphia, you can bet the place will have a little more excitement in the air than it has in the previous three weeks. Detroit has lost six of their last eight games while giving up 13 goals over the last three.

 

Jack Eichel - Buffalo Sabres - ($7,900 FD, $8,000 DK)

 

Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner, and Sam Reinhart have been one of the hottest lines in hockey, as they have combined for 20 goals and 22 assists over the last 10 games. Eichel is not afraid to shoot the puck; his team-leading 148 shots on goal have reaped 14 goals and 31 assists as the reward. I wouldn’t look too much to the power play side of things, as Florida has given up just three power play goals over the last nine games. Furthermore, the Sabres power play, which features this line as the top unit, has scored a modest five goals with the extra attacker over the last 10 games. Stick with the top line here on home ice this evening.

 

Elias Lindholm - Calgary Flames - ($6,600 FD, $6,600 DK)

 

Lindholm is part of the three-headed monster out of Calgary that features Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Just because his linemates have more points does not mean he is a third wheel by any stretch of the imagination, as he has racked 37 points in the 34 games he has played in. The top line anchors the team’s top power unit that has lit the lamp 11 times in their last 37 opportunities. The Flames' fast style of play is part of the reason that the team leads the league in power play opportunities over the last 10 games, so look for that to continue tonight here in Dallas.

 

Alexander Radulov - Dallas Stars - ($6,100 FD, $6,000 DK)

 

We can play both sides of the Calgary/Dallas game this evening by starting with Alexander Radulov. The Stars have moved Radulov off of the top line, which now qualifies him and his 10 goals and 15 assists as a decent one-off play this evening. It would be optimal to skate with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, but his skill-set and power play time will more than offset playing on the second line. Twenty-five points may not seem like a lot until you realize he has only suited up for 23 games, making him the only point-per-game player on the team.

 

Elias Pettersson - Vancouver Canucks - ($6,200 FD, $5,500 DK)

 

Pettersson is another player that will fall under the radar tonight, as most players will likely be on the other side of this game, given Tampa comes in as the best team in the league. However it is not out of the question to think that Vancouver will not be able to score, as the Lightning have given up 15 goals in their last four road games. The Canucks on the other hand have gone 5-1 over their last six games and have scored four or more goals in four of those games. This is where Pettersson’s team-leading 17 goals and 18 assists in 30 games come in, as he will be yet another under-owned point-per-game player this evening.

 

Defenseman

 

Darnell Nurse - Edmonton Oilers - ($4,000 FD, $5,700 DK)

 

While Mark Giordano, Brent Burns, and a host of other higher priced defensemen are in play tonight, Darnell Nurse is the one we need to target. Nurse has moved into the top spot because of an injury to Oscar Klefbom and has responded tremendously by netting three goals to go along with six assists over the last eight games. As the old saying goes, any exposure to Connor McDavid is good exposure. While that didn’t work out for guys like Mark Letestu and Anton Slepyshev in the past, it certainly looks like it is helping Nurse, especially as he mans the point on the Edmonton power play.