Every 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 leader boards in FanDuel and DraftKings tournament play.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page: page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild – He has struggled this season with a 2.68 goals-against average-and a .908 save percentage, but the Minnesota Wild have been elite defensively — especially over the last month. They have allowed the lowest CA/60 at even strength over the last four weeks with a 47.04 rate. As a result, they have also put together the best possession numbers in that same time frame with a league-leading 57.64 CF percent. The Wild are on the road as they take on the New York Rangers, but Rangers have struggled with their shot metrics and have the 10th fewest CF/60 at even strength with a 55.66 percent.
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues – Remember all the talk about Vladimir Tarasenko playing poorly and even the idea that the St. Louis Blues would look in to trading him? Well, how things have changed. Since January 1st, he is fifth in the NHL with 29 points and third in the NHL with 15 goals. The Blues are amidst an 11-game win streak that has brought them up to third in the Central Division. The Blues visit the Dallas Stars — a team in the middle of a three-game losing skid. Dallas is expected to roll with Anton Khudobin between the pipes tonight, and while he has played well this season, there is no reason to believe the Blues — who are putting on a clinic in most of their games — will be slowed down.
Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes – Sebastian Aho is an upcoming RFA that is going to get a big payday. Aho and the “jerks” in Carolina continue to dominate from a possession standpoint. Over the last month, Aho ranks sixth overall in the NHL with a stunningly impressive 77.57 CF/60 at even strength. He plays on the top line and top power play unit with Justin Williams and Nino Niederreiter, which is a line that has clicked since Niederreiter was picked up from Minnesota. The Hurricanes visit the Florida Panthers, who will be throwing James Reimer in net tonight. Reimer has struggled mightily this season with a putrid 3.01 goals-against-average and a .903 save percentage. While the Hurricanes do struggle to score, if they fire a ton of pucks towards the net and when taking on a poor goaltender like Reimer, they should have no problem coming out on top.
William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs – The struggles of William Nylander coming out of his contract dispute have been well documented. He was abysmal for the first 21 games with just 7 points before the All-Star break. Since then, he has just 5 points in 10 games but he has looked incredible on the ice and is poised for a breakout streak at any moment. At even strength, over the last month, he is 9th in the NHL with an elite 77.14 CF/60 (7th among forwards), and this is playing on the third line. While he remains there tonight — at center with Nazem Kadri out — it is just a matter of time. If things don’t work, he could be moved around to play on Auston Matthews wing if the Leafs need a goal or if Nylander at center goes poorly. The Leafs host the Washington Capitals who have struggled possession-wise as of late. Over the last month, the Capitals have an ugly 45.46 CF% while giving up a 65.1 CA/60 at even strength, both ranked 30th in the NHL.
Thomas Chabot, Ottawa Senators – Thomas Chabot ranks 17th overall and 5th among defensemen with a 73.94 CF/60 at even strength over the last month. He is playing a lot while also quarterbacking the top power play unit, which always gives him elite upside. Chabot has 13 goals and 46 points in 51 games as a defenseman this season, which is simply incredible, and puts him 7th overall among defensemen in points and 5th in points per game. The Senators take on the New Jersey Devils, who will have Cory Schneider in net. His lack of wins — zero to be exact — in the 2018 calendar year was eye-opening and, while he’s finally broken that streak, his numbers this season are still terrible. Schneider’s 3.69 goals against average and .883 save percentage is not at all threatening, and Chabot could put up a big game.