Preview: Flames at Ducks

Sean Monahan has been unstoppable of late, registering two points in each of the last four contests of his six-game point streak. The 24-year-old center looks to extend the run and reach a milestone Wednesday as the Calgary Flames seek their fifth straight win when they kick off a three-game road trip against the Anaheim Ducks.

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Monahan has collected four goals and six assists during his point streak, putting him one away from 300 for his career. The sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft, he has recorded all four tallies and four assists during the Flames’ winning streak to earn the NHL’s First Star of the Week honors. Anaheim’s struggles continued Tuesday as it dropped a 4-1 decision in Los Angeles two days after ending its seven-game slide. Ryan Kesler ended his eight-game goal-scoring drought in the loss by the Ducks, who are in the midst of a stretch during which they play 11 of 13 at home.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Calgary), Prime Ticket (Anaheim)

ABOUT THE FLAMES (9-5-1): Michael Frolik is heating up as he has scored three of his seven goals over his last four games. The 30-year-old Czech, who recorded only 10 tallies in 70 contests last season, has yet to notch an assist in 2018-19 – keeping him at 199 for his career. Captain Mark Giordano was kept off the scoresheet in Saturday’s 5-3 victory over Chicago after collecting a goal and seven assists during a four-game point streak.

ABOUT THE DUCKS (6-7-3): Captain Ryan Getzlaf was back in the lineup Tuesday after missing one game with an upper-body injury. The 33-year-old center, who is second on the team with 10 points, was a minus-2 and had his four-game point streak halted but registered four shots, four hits and three blocked shots while going 12-8 on faceoffs. Randy Carlyle’s next victory will be his 461st as an NHL coach, breaking a tie with Roger Neilson for 30th place on the all-time list.

OVERTIME

1. The Flames have scored a league-leading 28 goals in the third period this season.

2. Anaheim C Chase De Leo was a healthy scratch Tuesday after being recalled from San Diego of the American Hockey League earlier in the day.

3. Calgary rookie C Dillon Dube, who was injured in Saturday’s win over Chicago, has not practiced and remains in concussion protocol.

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Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

First-round previews

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New Jersey Devils

From first overall pick to first playoff berth in six seasons, the surprising New Jersey Devils are set to take on the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning. The series features a pair of Hart Trophy candidates in Nikita Kucherov and Taylor Hall, but the X-factor should be Devils netminder Keith Kinkaid, who emerged as the starter down the stretch and played phenomenally, but will now be tasked with shutting down one of the league’s most potent attacks.

Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs

The cruelty of the playoff format pitted two of the top teams in the conference against each other in Round 1, but this one should be a doozy. The Maple Leafs won three of four contests versus Boston this season, and Mitch Marner led the way with nine points. However, the red-hot Bruins were merely one point away from capturing the East’s top seed. Don’t be shocked if this one goes the distance.

Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Metropolitan Division adversaries are poised to do battle in what should be an evenly contested matchup. The biggest questions for this series lie between the pipes, as Washington has elected to lean on backup Philipp Grubauer as its starter, while Sergei Bobrovsky’s career postseason save percentage is a dreadful .887. Whoever wins out in goal is likely moving on.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers

The defending champs begin their quest for a three-peat against their most bitter rivals, a spectacle that was can’t-miss television last time they met in the playoffs in 2012. Pittsburgh holds a notable depth advantage, emphasized by the acquisition of Derick Brassard before the trade deadline. That said, five of the NHL’s top 15 scorers are in this series, so buckle up.

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Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche were dreadful a season ago, but, to the surprise of just about everybody, have qualified for the playoffs in a year when nobody gave them a chance. Their reward? A matchup with the NHL’s most complete team, which is looking to avenge last season’s Stanley Cup disappointment. If the task wasn’t already tall enough, the Avs will have to get by without starter Semyon Varlamov, who was ruled out for the season.

Winnipeg Jets vs Minnesota Wild

The Jets concluded the season with the second-most points in the NHL (114), and have plans far beyond earning their first series win in franchise history. To do so, though, they’ll need to take down a Wild squad that went 14-6-5 down the stretch. While they’re missing their top blue-liner in Ryan Suter, the animosity between these Northern rivals should make for quite an entertaining series.

Vegas Golden Knights vs Los Angeles Kings

Even though it’s been decided for weeks, the Golden Knights making the playoffs in their inaugural season is nothing short of astonishing. The atmosphere in Vegas should be rocking to get things started, but the NHL’s 31st franchise has a tall order on its hands. Shutting down MVP candidate Anze Kopitar will be tough, but it could make the difference in what promises to be a fast-paced, intense series.

Anaheim Ducks vs San Jose Sharks

The start times are late, but this West Coast battle should be fought tooth and nail. Both the Ducks and Sharks match up quite evenly and know each other quite well, but health will be a big factor. San Jose is doubtful to have Joe Thornton in the lineup, while Anaheim starter John Gibson is banged up as well. Regardless of who’s in and who’s out, expect this one to be neck-and-neck.

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Posted in NHL

NHL Playoffs

Western Conference Preview

The NHL Playoffs begin tonight, so Fanpicks is here to bring you all you need to know with our Western Conference Preview.

With four exciting matchups, the defending Stanley Cup champions, and seven hungry teams, it’s sure to be a thrilling ride!
NHL Playoffs: Western Conference Preview

starsvswild

(1) Dallas Stars (50-23-7-2, 109 pts) vs. (WC) Minnesota Wild (38-33-9-2, 87 pts)

In the wild, wild West, the top-seeded Dallas Stars face the Minnesota Wild. It marks the first time the Stars, who relocated to Dallas from Minnesota in 1993, will face the Wild in the post-season.

The Stars come in blazing, having won nine of their last 11 while overcoming injuries to key forwards Tyler Seguin (Achilles tendon) and Patrick Eaves (lower body).

The Wild closed their own season out by losing their last five games, and though one can try to claim their minds were already on the playoffs… losing five in a row of anything in’t good. It begins to affect you, and they’ve already gone through a mid-season coaching change, so the psyche isn’t necessarily strong in that locker room.

To make matters worse, the club recently announced that offensive catalyst Zach Parise is dealing with a back issue and is out indefinitely. Thomas Vanek (18 goals) and Eric Haula (14) are also injured.

 

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(2) St. Louis Blues (49-24-5-4, 107 pts) vs. (3) Chicago Blackhawks (47-26-7-2, 103 pts)

The first series in the Western Conference to get underway features a pair of long-time division rivals. The Central division’s St. Louis Blues facing the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. It marks the 12th meeting between the two franchises, with Chicago leading the all-time series 8-4.

The Blues may have been the team nobody wanted to play against the most as the season wound to a finale. So, it’s a good thing Chicago probably has the best roster in the West.

Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews,  Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook form a core that have already brought three Stanley Cups to Chicago in the last six years. So, even though the Blues are trending upwards they will certainly have their hands full.

 

ducksvspres

(1) Anaheim Ducks (46-25-7-4, 103 pts) vs. (WC) Nashville Predators (41-27-12-2, 96 pts)

The Ducks’ victory capped an impressive run that began immediately following the NHL’s Christmas break. Anaheim opened the season 1-7-2 and was 12-15-6 following a 3-2 overtime loss at the Rangers on Dec. 22.

Starting with a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 27, the Ducks closed the season 34-10-5.

Their run was just enough to catch California rivals the LA Kings and snatch the division crown away.

Offensive leaders Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were under fire early on, as Getzlaf didn’t score for the first 14 games of the season, and didn’t collect his first even-strength goal until February 4, 2016…Game number 49. But the duo ended-up finishing 1-2 in team scoring with 63, and 62 points respectively.

While youngin’ Filip Forsberg is an offensive dynamo( 33 goals, 64 points), Nashville’s strength lies in their defensive core. Shea Weber is the biggest name of the bunch, but D-partner Roman Josi (61 points) had the better season and should be a Norris candidate himself. Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis are no slouches either, which is why the club felt comfortable in dealing away potential franchise defenseman Seth Jones for star center Ryan Johansen who had fallen out of favour in Columbus.

John Gibson is young, but a proven big-game performer at all levels so he may get the majority of the starts, but Frederik Andersen has been in this position before.

Pekka Rinne had an off-season for his standards, so the jury is out on whether or not he’ll turn things around when it matters most.

The Ducks and Predators will meet for the first time in the playoffs.

 

KINGSVSHARKS

(2) Los Angeles Kings (48-28-3-3, 102 pts) vs. (3) San Jose Sharks (46-30-3-3, 98 pts)

The Kings will face the Sharks for the fourth time. The Kings have won two of three series including a first-round matchup in 2014, when Los Angeles became the NHL’s fourth team to overcome a 3-0 series deficit.

Anze Kopitar is perhaps the league’s best centerman, as he dominates every aspect of the game with relative ease. He will be supported offensively by a streaking Jeff Carter, who has six goals in his last eight games, and a slew of talented vets.

Defensively, Drew Doughty is the Norris Trophy (league’s top D-man) favorite, and gets even better in the playoffs.

Goalie Jonathan Quick is probably the NHL’s best playoff goaltender, and set a personal career-high with his 40 victories this season.

Los Angeles squandered a chance to clinch the Pacific Division following a 4-3 shootout loss to Winnipeg on Saturday in which the Kings blew a 3-0 lead.

The last game of the regular reason maybe not seem important to clinched teams, but if the Kings can’t hold off the Jets up 3-0…there is serious reason for concern.

Joe Thornton had his best season since 2009-10 keading the Sharks with 82 points in 82 games.  More often than not, he was busy setting up captain Joe Pavelski (38 goals ) and defenseman Brent Burns (27 goals, 75 points).

Martin Jones proved to be a fruitful acquisition for San Jose this year, but has only 57 minutes of playoff experience under his belt (no starts), compared to Jonathan Quick’s 4684 and pair of Stanley Cup rings.

Posted in NHL

DFS NHL Lineup

Another edition of our DFS NHL Lineup is upon us. There may be only three games on the schedule tonight but not to worry, there is enough talent to go around for everyone.

This is not a lineup to copy necessarily, but more of a player-by-player focus to help you with your decision making for YOUR DFS NHL Lineup.

  • My DFS NHL Lineup

nhl lineup3games

John Gibson is undoubtedly the lock of the night. The Flames are merely a flicker on the road, and the Ducks aren’t playing around on the eve of April.

Shayne Gostisbehere is back on track after hitting his rookie wall (late since he started the season late). He has assists in three consecutive games. He will surely have a highly owned percentage among DFS NHL lineups tonight.

Brayden Schenn has taken another step in his development this season and become an offensive catalyst for the Flyers.

Ryan Getzlaf is a sure thing as well. The big, skilled center will just be too much to handle for the young Flames and shaky defense.

Shea Theodore could be a great value pick. The rookie has been logging steady minutes for Anaheim since a couple of veterans went down with injury. He has a nice offensive skill-set and has contributed in the sample size he played earlier this season.

Zach Smith and Mike Hoffman were a toss-up. Hoffman was 1k cheaper so he fit the bill (pun intended).

 

Posted in NHL

DFS NHL Picks: Goalies

Here is a special edition of my DFS NHL Picks, a goaltenders only version. A few of them stuck out to me in the talent pool today, as we have some intriguing matchups on tap.

With Antti Raanta in for Henrik Lundqvist (vs ANA), and Scott Darling in for Corey Crawford the pot has been stirred. Not to mention the Flyers are hot, and the Hawks are not.

 

GOALIES

Luxury:  Jake Allen ($9200)

The Blues were red-hot a minute ago, and head to Edmonton to face the youthful Oilers. St-Louis has slowed of late, but tonight is a perfect opportunity to right the ship. Their tight defensive game may be too much for Connor McDavid and co. to overcome, and with some pretty evenly matched teams and backup goalies in the paint tonight Allen leads this list.

Cam Talbot will be back in the crease tonight for the Oilers, after riding the pine on Monday. He let in four goals on 29 shots against the Coyotes on Saturday night.

 

Value: John Gibson ($8100)

At a quick glance, a game against the Rangers may not seem like a walk in the park. But upon closer inspection, it may be fantasy gold. The Ducks have won 12 of their last 15 games, and have only lost two in regulation in their last 10.

Most importantly perhaps, is the fact that Anaheim is 9-0-1 in their last 10 at home. While the Rangers are a very concerning 16-15-4 on the road. They’ve also lost two in a row and three of their last four.

Gibson is fresh and hungry to redeem himself after dropping his last two starts and plays behind a very deep Ducks lineup.

He is a great value at $8100, as even his opposing netminder tonight Antti Raanta is priced higher.

 

Discount Bin: Joni Ortio ($6500)

The Flames are tremendously better at home than on the road, and face a Jets team with nothing to play for. It’s Ortio’s sixth consecutive start, and of course Dustin Byfuglien always brings his lunch pail to work, and Mark Scheifele has been hot (6 points in last 5 games), but Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano should led Calgary to victory with a gritty effort in front of the home-crowd tonight.

 

Posted in NHL

DFS NHL Lineup

On this busy day in the sports world, we take a minute to bring to your our DFS NHL Lineup for tonight.

While there are six games on the schedule tonight, most of them are late night as this Wednesday night belongs to the Western Conference.

The New York Islanders will play the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 pm in the lone Eastern Conference dual, while the other other Eastern team in action will be the league leading Washington Capitals who are in LA to face the Kings at 10:30 pm.

Let’s take a look at my lineup tonight.

fanduelnhl

 

It’s rare I choose a Maple Leaf, but the kid can play. Soshnikov has been terrific since being recalled by the Marlies with 3 points (2 goals) in his first 5 NHL games.  The task will be tall as Thomas Greiss will be between the pipes for the Islanders. Jaroslav Halak will be out for 6 weeks so the crease is Greiss’ to own. He has been spectacular this season in relief with an 18-6-3 record, .930 Sv% and 2.20 GAA.  He is definitely the goalie to own tonight versus the lowly Leafs, if you’re willing to pony up that kind of coin ($9000).

I’m riding the Ducks train again, and as Perron is cheaper than Perry and the rest of the gang I’m sticking with him. He has been nothing but consistent since arriving in Anaheim and I like him tonight against the weak Avalanche defense.

Colorado’s offense  is another story. Not exactly the Dallas Stars, but Nate MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Jarome Iginla know how to score. At first I had Landeskog in the lineup, and then some tinkering got me Iginla too. Stacking the Av’s isn’t the best idea, so I kept Iginla in against the mighty Ducks (cause they’re good, that’s not their name anymore) as his veteran presence will be key in this matchup.

In the vacant spot I slotted in Islanders winger Kyle Okposo. I was tempted to go with Anders Lee as he has been on a streak, but Okposo is just a load when he is on his game, and the Toronto defense cannot support his weight.

Kuznetsov and Kopitar are two of the NHL’s best centers who will face-off in a dynamite game tonight.

Matt Niskanen has filled in nicely for John Carlson while he has been hurt. The bump in ice-time has come with fantasy rewards.

Shea Weber‘s been on a roll of late, piling up fantasy points every night. His goaltender Pekka Rinne is hot and cheaper than Greiss. The Pred’s haven’t lost in 10 games in regulation.

Posted in NHL

Fantasy Hockey Targets

Early Games

With four early games on the schedule this afternoon, Fanpicks is here to supply you with the fantasy hockey targets you’ll need to win your DFS contest.

As always, we supply you with at least a couple of DFS value picks (usually more) and fill out the roster with big-ticket players.  There’s nearly always cash leftover in order to give you the flexibility to make it your own. (Lineup Below)

  • Starting the day at 1 pm (est) off is Minnesota versus Buffalo. The Wild are the heavy favorite, but they have an array of scorers so it’s hard to say who’s going to have their day. The safer way to go when dealing with teams like that is to ride the hot-hand of course. Those hands belong to Jason Pominville today. The former Sabre has 12 points in his last 9 game, and a return to your former stomping grounds is always inspiring. Jack Eichel was tempting, as he played over 23 minutes last game but we were dedicated to our other options up the middle. That’s not to say don’t play the kid, he is a very nice option today.

Rather, Rasmus Ristolainen ($3700 – Value Pick) will represent the Sabres for my squad. He is their number one defenseman who played nearly 25 minutes a night, and has 36 points. Sure he can be a defensive liability, but other players with similar qualities (I’m looking at you Tyson Barrie), cost A LOT more.

  • Next up at 3 pm, the Flames are in Pittsburgh to face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

Crosby has 5 points in his last 3 games and will be relied on to lead the charge against Calgary. When he’s at the top of his game, there is none better.

I selected Carl Hagelin as an insurance policy to Crosby. He’s that extra lining to protect your big investment. Simply, if it’s Evgeni Malkin‘s line that goes off, you can still get in on those precious Penguin points.

Newly acquired Justin Schultz should make his debut in black and yellow this afternoon. At $3000 he could be a huge value pick, especially if he gets any powerplay time with the big guns. But that’s by no means a gaurantee, so I went with the slightly more costly option in Derrick Pouliot ($3300 – Value Pick). The 22-year-old quietly has 6 assists in 17 games since being recalled from the AHL. and usually plays around 15 minutes a game. He is a very talented puck mover and does get some time on the man-advantage, so if he can get at least one assist I will be satisfied.

Marc-Andre Fleury will be between the pipes and has only allowed 2 goals in his last 3 starts. The Pens need to win this game if they want to carry momentum into the playoffs, so I’m going with arguably (Dubnyk) the safest bet in the pool.

  • Also at 3 pm, the Avalanche play host to the Predators. Filip Forsberg is the man to own in these days, but as I went with cheaper options at LW I tagged his setup man Mike Ribeiro at center instead. All of those cross-ice one timers Forsberg scores on the PP come off the stick of Ribeiro, so if he can piggyback the mighty Swede it’ll be a good day.

Since I wasn’t taking the number one sniper in this game, Jarome Iginla instantly became a target. He’s already scored once this season against Nashville, and playing in Colorado gives the veteran a chance at the matchups he needs to thrive.

  • Finally, at 4 pm the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks do battle for Pacific division supremacy. Tied at 80 points a piece, the Kings have 2 more wins than their SoCal bredren, but two points today and none of that matters.

Ryan Getzlaf sat out Anaheim‘s last contest, but should be back today. In any case, David Perron is a solid value pick. He’s been a mainstay in my lineup for the past month and always performs. He isn’t just riding the coat-tails of the bigger named Ducks either, he is setting them up for success too. Jamie McGinn (LW) is also a nice option today, he’s scored in both games for Anaheim since being acquired at the deadline.

  • Lineup

nhlearlyfanpicks

Posted in NHL

 

DFS NHL Lineup

With twelve games on the NHL schedule tonight there is a wealth of talent to select from to form your DFS NHL lineup. 

In this edition I went with an expensive, high-flying offense, two value picks on D, and a fair value in goal.

The Minnesota Wild head to Toronto to face the reeling Maple Leafs. Toronto has won just 2 of their last 10, and have dropped their last 3 games.

The Wild need to win this game to remain in the playoff race out West, and the Leafs lineup is unrecognizable to most fans.

Minnesota’s Jason Pominville has 2 goals and 6 points in his last 3 games, and 12 in his last 8.

Matthew Dumba was my value pick. Rolling the dice on Dumba based on the matchup allowed me to afford Patrick Kane instead of Erik Karlsson essentially. (meaning Karlsson is still a great option tonight)

Devan Dubnyk could be priced higher based on the matchup, so I will take the fairly valued netminder over the 23 other starters tonight.

  • My Full Lineup
    fanpicksnhlmarch03

Filip Forsberg had two hat-trick last week for me in my lineups, so I like my odds with him shooting against Devils backup goalie Keith Kinkaid. Not to mention the Devils don’t exactly have a shut down center. Playing at home will create mismatches for the talented young Swede.

Evgeni Malkin returned from injury last week and looked as dynamic as ever. He centers Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin, a line that showed instant chemistry from day one and is constantly a threat to score.

The Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau is hot, with 17 points in his last 15 games. Buffalo isn’t exactly stacked defensively. I’m hoping for a multi-point game. I just think Gaudreau’s offensive zone dominance will eventually overwhelm the Sabres in defensive coverage, and the slick Flame will find the hole.

The Sharks’ offense is dynamic and Joe Thornton is playing like he should be wearing the C again. He was terrific against the Canucks earlier this week and has 21 points in his last 15 games. Playing with current captain Joe Pavelski helps. He has 29 goals and 61 points in 62 games. Tomas Hertl rounds out the trio.

Finally, Michael Stone is a tremendous value at $3800. He can play at both ends of the ice and should log close to 25 minutes against Anaheim. I’m hoping for a multi-category performance from him. An assist, and a couple of shots on goal and blocks.

 

Posted in NHL

Fantasy Hockey Preview

We welcome you to this special edition fantasy hockey preview. A great night for hockey fans is upon us. With twelve, that’s right TWELVE hockey games on the tube tonight, fans and fantasy players alike will have their hands full keeping up with all the fast and furious action.

– Kicking things off at 7 pm (est) is the main event, the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. This cross-conference rivalry goes back to their Stanley Cup Finals days.

Patrick Kane has been an absolute machine this season. He has 15 points in his last 12 games, and 88 on the season. He is gunning for 100 and is must-see TV. His linemate, rookie Artemi Panarin ain’t too bad himself, with 59 points in 63 games.

The Bruins combo of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron themselves have been dynamite this season, as Marchand has 32 goals and is tied for third in the NHL for even-strength goals. Bergeron is the two-way stud he always is, and shines in games like this against players like Kane.


 

I’m weary of any Montreal Canadiens or Anaheim Ducks. If you watched the game or even the highlights from last night you’ll know why. That was the most physical game the Canadiens played all season and while the Ducks are tough,it takes it’s toll on you as a player.

The Ducks have been the NHL’s best team over the past month and a half so while still playable, temper your expectations against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Habs could surprise in LA, but the Kings are fresh and looking for an important two points on a night the Ducks could jump them for the division lead.

Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Tyler Taffoli and Drew Doughty are all solid picks from the Kings, while Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are options for Anaheim. Normally, Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm are sturdy but they are inexperienced so back-to-backs may not be the best situation for them.


 

The Minnesota Wild head to Toronto to face the reeling Maple Leafs. Toronto has won just two of their last ten, and have dropped their last three games.

The Wild need to win this game to remain in the playoff race out West, and the Leafs lineup is unrecognizable to most fans.

Jason Pominville has 2 goals and 6 points in his last 3 games, and 12 in his last 8.

Garret Sparks will start in goal for Toronto.

Posted in NHL

DFS Hockey Picks

Another edition of DFS hockey picks is upon us. With only four games on the NHL schedule tonight we won’t have as much quantity as last night (thank you Tuesdays) but there is quality. The Bruins play the Penguins in the Nationally televised Rivalry Night on NBC and the lowly Habs visit Alex Ovechkin and the mighty Capitals in the early games. The Sharks face off versus the Avalanche at 10pm, while the Sabres will have their hands full with the home-town Ducks in the night cap (10:30pm).

As always, I try to target value picks who can help you win your daily fantasy contest. Players who should out-perform their expected output (regardless of salary sometimes).

  • My roster ($600 remaining)

nhllineup0224

David Perron and Sami Vatanen have been fixtures in my lineup over the past couple of weeks, and deservedly so. Perron has 6 points in his last 6 games and at $5900 you have to take advantage of that kind of production.

My cheapest spot belongs to Montreal’s Sven Andrighetto. He is the Canadiens top scorer per 60 minutes played this season and a high-paced affair against the Capitals should work in the youngsters favour.

David Pastrnak is a slightly more expensive option coming off a two assist game and plays with the red-hot Louis Eriksson. Eriksson has 7 goals in his last 7 games but is far too expensive for this roster, so teammate Matt Beleskey gets the call. He has 4 points in his last 2 games and could produce in a physical matchup.

Jarome Iginla has an impressive 11 points in his last 9 games. He’s a safe bet to continue his dominance against the Sharks.

The real star power is at center with Jumbo Joe Thornton and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Thornton has 21 points in his last 16 games while Kuznetsov has 21 in 14 of his own games and is now playing with Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin is obviously the top dog to own in fantasy hockey but at 10 grand is far too pricey for this squad.

PK Subban always raises his game against the NHL’s premier talents, and while I was targeting Andrei Markov against his Russian counterpart (Ovechkin) all my value picks allowed me to spend up for Subban.

Freddy Andersen gets the call in net tonight for the Ducks against the bottom-feeding Sabres . The Ducks have won 5 straight. Can anyone remember the last time you could say the same about the Sabres? Nuff said.

Posted in NHL

Minnesota Wild vs Anaheim Ducks – 1/20/16 Preview

The Minnesota Wild (22-15-8) are on their way to SoCal today as they prepare to play vs the Anaheim Ducks (19-18-7). Fanpicks.com is proud to announce Rotopicker. A free to use tool which allows you to create winning lineups and dominate your fantasy hockey competition. Play the most exciting contests, including the newest Point Spread and $10K Grand Action contests only at Fanpicks. The premiere Daily Fantasy Sports site.

NHL MINvsANA 1-20-16

Talented defenseman Sami Vatanen was out of the lineup recently due to a flu, but Head Coach Bruce Boudreau indicated Wednesday afternoon that the smooth-skating Finn will be back for his Ducks tonight.

With 6 goals and 16 assists for the offensively challenged Ducks, Vatanen’s presence will be key if they hope to beat Minnesota. Not only does he make plays himself, he makes everyone on the ice around him better. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry must play up to par versus the deep Wild roster and carry the load up front.

The Wild are a deep and highly skilled team who haven’t quite put it all together yet this season. Mikko Koivu leads the team in scoring (33 points in 45 games), but Zach Parise (27 points in 36 games) and Mikael Granlund (4 goals in 45 games) really need to step up if they have any post-season dreams.

Devin Dubnyk, 18-14-4, 2.27 GAA, .921 Sv% and four shutouts should be getting the start for Minnesota, while rookie All-Star John Gibson gets the start for Anaheim. The American has a 9-7-2 record with a strong 1.90 GAA and .923 Sv%.

Tune in for what should be a close game on the West Coast tonight.

Posted in NHL

Fantasy Hockey: 30 NHL teams in 30 Minutes

With the 2015-2016 National Hockey League (NHL) season set to get underway on Wednesday, October 7th 2015.  It is high time we offer our daily fantasy sports (DFS) managers a brief look into what we are anticipating to see on the ice this year.

Will the New York Rangers repeat as President’s Trophy winners?  Will the Edmonton Oilers end their post season drought?  Will the Detroit Red Wings see their incredible 24 straight year playoff participation end?  Will the Calgary Flames prove to be more than last season’s flash in the pan?

These are but a few of the riveting story-lines and sub-plots that fantasy hockey managers will have to weave through during this year’s cash draft contests.  There are more storylines than there are teams this year, and as such the laymen will have a wondrous time watching it all play out.  But the fantasy hockey manager has to look at it another way, the fantasy hockey manager has to be proactive, not knowing the fantasy sports landscape is the difference between winning, placing or being out of the money.

With that being said, here are 30 thoughts for the 30 hockey clubs in NHL:

Western Conference

Pacific Division:

Anaheim Ducks:    

The Ducks were not happy with their 2014-2015 end.  Losing to the eventual Stanley Cup winners does not make the pill easier to swallow, not when you are often picked by experts to go all the way.  That is the case again for the Ducks, pundits have chosen them as early cup favorites, what does that mean for fantasy hockey cash draft contest managers?  Simply put, selecting an Anaheim goaltender will be a value pick for the course of the season, they will win more than they lose.  If you are looking for skaters to fill up the score sheet, Corey Perry is a surefire goal scorer, for the right price he should be looked at hard.  Sleeper forward on the Ducks could be Jiri Sekac.  He coul offer big points for a low cost.

Vancouver Canucks:     

The Vancouver Canucks were surprise participants in last season’s spring dance.  Unfortunately we don’t see them repeating the exploit in 2015-2016, not with the aging cast they currently boast.  Ryan Miller, Henrik and Daniel Sedin along with Chris Higgins and Radim Vrbata have been great warriors on the ice for many years, but the sun is setting on their careers and we do not believe that they will have enough gas in the tank to make the post season.  That being said, there are some value picks here should a fantasy hockey manager look at the roster.  Miller will face and stop a lot of shots, Jannick Hansen will likely have a breakout season and Radim Vrbata, we believe, will reward managers well for the price.

Calgary Flames:  

If the Canucks are trending downward, the Flames are trending upward.  Young, hungry and well coached, the Flames will look to show that they are more than just last year’s flash in the pan.  While we do expect to see the Flames make the playoffs, we are weary to stock out fantasy hockey lineups with players who proudly wear the flame.  Can Hudler repeat last season’s point performance?

Los Angeles Kings: 

The Kings were onetime NHL favorites, due in large part to their size and style of play, but that did not stop them from missing the post season last year.  Nor does it stop us from predicting another long and tumultuous season for the LA club.  While we won’t’ pronounce ourselves on their fate, we will say that we expect a BIG year from Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli, 2 players that will reward your hockey rosters with a great deal of points.

San Jose Sharks: 

Jumbo Joe was stripped of his captaincy last season and the Sharks were, essentially rudderless and ended up out of the post season.  This year saw Jumbo Joe maintain his non captain status but little Joe (Joe Pavelski) was named captain, in fact ushering in the “future” for the embattled Sharks.  We don’t expect to see this move pay off with a playoff participation, but we will say that Joe Thornton will likely have an axe to grind, making him a great fantasy hockey pick up!  For the price, he will reward managers with fantasy points.

Edmonton Oilers:

In 2014-2015 the Oilers were… well the Oilers.  Bottom feeders yet again, luckily for the Oil, their ineptitude got them Connor McDavid, the most sure fire prospect since Sidney Crosby.  We will go out on a limb and say that YES the Oilers will indeed make the playoffs on the back f super rookie McDavid.  With that being said we will say this for all fantasy hockey managers to note, Connor McDavid will reward his inclusion into a fantasy roster with top value!  We also expect former #1 Taylor Hall to give manager a big bang for their buck.

Arizona Coyotes:  

The desert dogs have fallen from grace in recent memory, though many will argue that last season this was due in large part to being “all-in” in the McEichel sweepstakes.   As it stands, the Coyotes fell just shy of the vaunted 1-2 draft picks.  Arizona drafter D-man Noah Hanifin with 3rd overall pick.  We expect the Coyotes to endure serious growing pains this season, but we do foresee OEL (Oliver Ekman Larsson) to continue his Norris trophy play and rack up points for fantasy hockey GMs.  On the front end we will say that youngster Anthony Duclair will be a great value pick for the cost.

Central Division:

ST-Louis Blues:

Read the Central Division preview

Nashville Predators:

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Chicago Blackhawks:

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Minnesota Wild:

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Winnipeg Jets:

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Dallas Stars:

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Colorado Avalanche:

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Eastern Conference:

Metropolitan Division:

New York Rangers:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Washington Capitals:

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New York Islanders:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Columbus Blue Jackets:

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Philadelphia Flyers:

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New Jersey Devils:

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Carolina Hurricanes:

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Atlantic Division:

Montreal Canadiens:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Tampa Bay Lightning:

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Detroit Red Wings:

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Ottawa Senators:

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Boston Bruins:

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Florida Panthers:

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Toronto Maple Leafs:

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Buffalo Sabres:

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Posted in NHL

Anaheim Ducks vs Chicago Blackhawks – 5/30/15 NHL Playoff Fantasy Sports, Hockey Picks, Odds & Predictions

1 DAY FANTASY SPORTSThe Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks are scheduled for a Game 7 from their Western conference series. Fantasy draft managers can tune to NBC Sports Network at 8PM Eastern Time on Saturday May 30th from Anaheim to follow their rosters.

Since Anaheim won Game 1 of this series 4-1 way back on May 19th, each team has followed a loss with a win in this series. Chicago forced the Game 7 of this series with the 5-2 home victory to Anaheim on Wednesday. This result marked the first time in the entire playoffs that the Ducks suffered a regulation loss.

The Chicago Blackhawks offense has begun to hit stride. The club has scored at 14 goals over their past three games scoring no fewer than four goals in that span. Ducks goaltender Frederik Anderson has let some soft goals in net. Anaheim blew a two goal lead late in Game 5 and was bailed out by Matt Beleskey with an overtime goal or the club could be on vacation right now.

1 day fantasy sportsChicago Blackhawks Center: Jonathan Toews has 16 postseason points with seven goals and nine assists. Toews has three goals over his past three games including two clutch third period goals late in Game 5 that forced the overtime period.

Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing: Patrick Kane leads the club in scoring with 17 points. He has netted ten goals and assisted on seven. Kane had a multiple point game in the win in Game 6 with a goal and assist. The seven year pro suffered an injury that forced him to miss much of the latter half of the season. He returned near the end of the regular season showing no signs of his upper body injury.

Chicago Blackhawks Left Wing: Patrick Sharp has three assists over his past three games. For the post season Sharp has four goals and eight assists for twelve points.

Chicago Blackhawks Defensemen: Duncan Keith will have lots of opportunities based on his average ice time of nearly 32 minutes in the playoffs. As a result of high ice time Keith has two goals and 14 assists for 16 points in the playoffs. He has shown no signs of fatigue with the high workload as Keith dished out three assists in Game 6. He has points in four of his past five games. Brent Seabrook is playing over 26 minutes a game during the post season. He has nine points with five goals and four assists. He posted a goal and assist in Game 5 at Anaheim.

Chicago Blackhawks Goalie: Corey Crawford is a season pro in these spots playing in a Game 7. The Blackhawks were eliminated in the Western conference finals at home on a fluky goal a season ago to the Kings. Crawford is 8-4 in the playoffs with a goal against average of 2.53 and 91.8% save percentage.

1 day fantasy sportsAnaheim Ducks Center: Ryan Getzlaf has dished out 17 assists and scored 2 goals during the post season. Getzlaf leads the club in points with 19. He has six assists over his past five games but no goals in that span.

Anaheim Ducks Right Wing: Corey Perry has scored 9 goals and assisted on 8 during the playoffs. He has been quieted of late with just a single goal for one point over his past four games.

Anaheim Ducks Left Wing: Patrick Maroon has had a good post season for Anaheim. He has seven goals and three assists for ten points. He is only two goals away from his regular season total. Maroon has goals in three of his past four games in this series.

Anaheim Ducks Defense: Sami Vatanen leads his defensive crew with three goals and eight assists for 11 points. He has points in two straight. Cam Fowler has nine playoff points with two goals and seven assists. Fowler has contributed offensively in this series with a point in four of his past five games of this series.

Anaheim Ducks Goaltender: Frederik Anderson has a mark of 11-4 with a goal against average of 2.18. His save percentage is 92%. Anderson has looked shaky of late by allowing four goals or greater in his past three games.

NHL Hockey Best Fantasy Tips

C: Ryan Getzlaf (Ducks)
RW: Patrick Kane (Blackhawks)
LW: Patrick Sharp (Blackhawks)
D: Duncan Keith (Blackhawks), Brent Seabrook (Blackhawks)
G: Corey Crawford (Blackhawks)

Posted in NHL