Pictured: Brad Marchand and Artemi Panarin
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 04/02/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Artemi Panarin (vs BOS) or Brad Marchand (vs CLB)

Artemi Panarin leads the team in assists with 56 helpers and in points with 83.

Brad Marchand was selected as the NHL’s third star of the month for March. Marchand recorded nine goals and 14 assists in 15 games. He accounted for points in 12 of his 15 outings, while posting four three-point performances. Marchand has amassed 98 points in 78 matches.

Patrik Laine (vs MIN) or Alexander Radulov (vs PHI)

Patrik Laine had 21 goals in his first 24 games but has only nine goals in his last 55 contests.

Alexander Radulov scored his 27th goal of the season in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss against the Vancouver Canucks. Radulov finished with five shots on goal, a blocked shot and a hit across 24:50 of ice time across 31 shifts. He has lit the lamp in three consecutive outings, and he has 10 goals and 15 points with a plus-10 rating across 14 contests in the month of March. He’ll look to score in a fourth straight game when the Stars return to action Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Brock Boeser (vs SJS) or Dustin Brown (vs ARI)

Brock Boeser registered an assist and three shots in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Stars. Boeser has 12 points in 14 March games, only failing to put his name on the scoresheet three times in the month. The consistent production gives him 55 points in 66 games, matching his output from last season. With up to three more chances to set a new personal best, it’s likely Boeser will do so in the final week of the season.

Dustin Brown scored his 22nd goal of the season, but finished the game with a minus-three rating in a 7-2 loss against the Flames on Monday night. Brown finished off a nice passing play in the first period to tie the game at 2-2. The wheels then fell off for the Kings in the third period, resulting in a minus-three rating for the 34-year old. Brown has now amassed 22 goals and 49 points in 69 games this season.

Auston Matthews (vs CAR) or Sidney Crosby (vs DET)

This will be the third straight year that the Leafs qualify for the playoffs – for those counting, that’s every single year since the club drafted Auston Matthews first overall Matthew has 209 game played, 111 goals and 204 points in his NHL career.

Sidney Crosby came in March like a lion but went out like a lamb: He had six goals and nine assists in last month’s first eight games, but only two assists in the final eight.

Nathan MacKinnon (vs EDM) or Connor McDavid (vs COL)

Two of the NHL’s best scorers, Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid, meet when Colorado and Edmonton hit the ice at Pepsi Center. MacKinnon is seventh in the NHL with 96 points and McDavid currently ranks second in the league with 115 points. 

Nathan MacKinnon needs one goal to reach 40 for the first time in his career and two points to reach 400 in the NHL.

Connor McDavid has been named the NHL’s first star of the month for March. McDavid racked up seven goals and 20 assists in 14 games. He picked up at least one point in 12 of his 14 outings, while recording 11 multi-point efforts. McDavid has a career-high 115 points in 75 games this season

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Jamie Benn and Artemi Panarin
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/28/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Thursday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Alex Ovechkin (vs CAR) or Patrick Kane (vs SJS)

Alex Ovechkin posted his NHL-high 49th goal of the season and he added an assist and plus-3 rating in Tuesday’s 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Ovechkin’s league lead in goals shrunk to four after John Tavares buried four goals in Monday’s game against the Panthers. He answered back with one of his patented Ovie goals on an absolute bomb from between the faceoff circles. Ovie has equaled his total from a season ago, and he needs just one more tally to post his eighth 50-goal campaign. It was also his 656th NHL goal, tying Brendan Shanahan for 13th place on the all-time list.

Patrick Kane has been held off the scoresheet in six of his last 12 games. Kane hasn’t picked up a point in the past two contests and he has one goal during that 12-game stretch. He carried the offense for so long, but his slump at the end could prove costly. Chicago is falling behind the pack in the playoff race.

Jamie Benn (vs EDM) or Artemi Panarin (vs MTL)

Forward Jamie Benn has 52 points (27 goals, 25 assists). He’s one of three offensive catalysts in Dallas along with Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov.

Artemi Panarin found the back of the net during Tuesday’s 4-0 win over the New York Islanders. Panarin put an end to his 12-game goal drought when he scored a breakaway goal early in the third period to make it 2-0 for his team. That was the Russian forward’s only shot on goal in the game. The 27-year-old now has 26 goals and 78 points in 73 games this season. Even though he’s struggled lately, Panarin has still put up great numbers all year.

Blake Wheeler (vs NYI) or Evgenii Dadonov (vs OTT)

The Jets are 25-10-4 at home. Winnipeg is the top team in the Western Conference with 5.7 assists per game, led by Blake Wheeler averaging 0.9.

Evgenii Dadonov has registered 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) over his last 11 games. The 30-year-old winger ranks third on the team in goals (25), while also sitting fourth in assists (38) and points (63). Since 2017-18, he has recorded a team-leading 39 even-strength goals.

Mark Scheifele (vs NYI) or Jack Eichel (vs DET)

Mark Scheifele leads the Jets with 35 goals and has recorded 80 points.

Jack Eichel enters Thursday night’s game with 99 career goals. Eichel is second on the team with 26 goals in 71 games but sits on the doorstep of his first real big career milestone. Once Eichel tallies his 100th goal, he will become only the 31st Sabres player in franchise history to crack the century mark with the team.

Joe Pavelski (vs CHI) or Aleksander Barkov (vs OTT)

Joe Pavelski (lower body) will miss Thursday’s game. Pavelski is close enough that the Sharks considered putting him back in the lineup, but ultimately they’re erring on the side of caution. With the playoffs just around the corner, the Sharks’ top priority has to be making sure he’ll be healthy for the first round.

Aleksander Barkov leads the Panthers with 88 points (34 goals, 54 assists), needing just six more to match Pavel Bure’s franchise record for points in a single season (94). The 23-year-old centers paces the NHL in scoring since Feb. 17, posting 15 goals and 20 assists in 21 games.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

DFS NHL PICKS

Sadly, the NHL season is coming to a close so we’re here to present to you our last regular season edition of our DFS NHL picks.

Not to worry, we will still be providing fantasy picks throughout the playoffs. But as every team is in action, this is a big night.

Important note: Word came out of Pittsburgh earlier today that superstars Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang would not be dressing for their season finale, so be weary of any last minute scratches around the league.

As we’re all aware of professional sports contracts are laced with incentives. In other words, statistical plateaus that athletes must attain to cash in on big money bonuses.

To break it down, as major league sports season’s come to a close these plateaus often become the focus of individual players as they step into action. Wouldn’t you try your luck if a million dollars was the difference between you taking the shot (and scoring) or passing it off to a teammate? 30 goals on the season puts you into the upper-echelon of performers, whereas 29 goals gets you in the milder “20-goal scorer” category.

So as time is of the essence for these contracts, I’m aiming for players who will be extra motivated to reach these milestones.

If you doubt this theory and need proof, just look up how Jamie Benn won the NHL scoring title last season. Spoiler: He scored four points (a hat-trick), including the last one with 8.5 seconds left in the game (and season) to surpass John Tavares and Sidney Crosby to win the Art Ross trophy. Not to mention he did it without the other half of Dallas’ dynamic duo as Tyler Seguin sat out with an in-house suspension.

Finally, let’s take a look at my DFS NHL picks.

NHLDFSapeil9

If you can’t tell just by looking at it, this is pretty much a young stars team balanced out by the ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr, and Chicago’s 2015-16 dynamic duo of rookie Artemi Panarin and current NHL leading scorer Patrick Kane.

The strategy is to have hungry young guns with a lot to prove, plus a few guys on hot streaks to bring some stability.

Panarin sits at 28 goals on the season, needing two to hit the 30-goal plateau. One single point would be nice as well, as the 75-point mark would be awfully impressive for a rookie (albeit a 24-year-old rookie)

Winnipeg rookie Nik Ehlers is a nice value at $4800, and has 1 goal and 5 assists in his last 10 games while skating on the Jets’ top line with Blake Wheeler and breakout star Mark Scheifele.

The heavily scrutinized Alex Galchenyuk managed to turn a nearly lost season around just in time to be named the Montreal Canadiens player of the year. The electric American also sits at 28 goals, and you can bet his teammates (namely Max Pacioretty) will be doing everything they can to get him to 30 goals. A nice team dinner and a couple of bottles of wine is in the best interest for everyone, especially since the Habs have nothing else to play for.

19-year-old phenom Connor McDavid is arguably the best player in the NHL already. He leads the league (ahead of Jagr and Kane) with 2.71 points-per-60-minutes during 5-on-5 play. The former two come in at 2.61. While the Oilers were a disaster this year (again), the Canucks have been down right awful for the past month and are ripe for the picking. McDavid has at least one point in all but two of his previous 10 games (2 goals + 11 assists), including 3 against these very same Canucks just 48 hours ago. Did I mention he sits at 48 points (44 games) on the season? Two points in the season finale seems fitting for the young icon.

 

Posted in NHL

Chicago Blackhawks vs Vancouver Canucks

NHL Fantasy Preview

The Vancouver Canucks will be hosting the Chicago Blackhawks this Sunday evening at the Rogers Arena. This NHL Fantasy preview is brought to you by FanPicks and WIN up to a $1 million with only $1 when you play in our NHL Magic Million promo contest at FanPicks.com

NHL Fantasy Preview

The Chicago Blackhawks are in a position where 1 point against the Canucks will let them clinch a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth. This could be their 8th straight trip to the playoffs and are more concerned about not finding themselves in a wild-card spot. They currently trail the Dallas Stars and the St-Louis Blues by 6 pts in the Central Division while being 2 pts ahead of the 4th place Nashville Predators. They’re coming into this game off a 4-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday. They still have a few injuries’ to cop with including their star goalie Corey Crawford, who’s not going to be present during the Blackhawks’ 4 game road trip.

 

The Vancouver Canucks where eliminated from the playoffs when they got smoked by the St-Louis Blues on Friday night 4-0. The Canucks will simply try to focus on improving their game and input from younger players since the remainder of the season doesn’t mean muc. They’ve been fighting against injuries and irregularities in their lineup. They’ve been going through a very tough time, having lost now 7 straight games including 4 shutout losses in their past 5 games. Daniel Sedin, who leads the Canucks with 27 goals, its highest total since his 30 goal campaign of 2011-2012, has only scored once in during the last 7 games.

 

HERE are the Projected Lineups:

 

BLACKHAWKS

 

Andrew Ladd – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin – Artem Anisimov – Patrick Kane

Tomas Fleischmann – Teuvo Teravainen – Dale Weise

Andrew Desjardins – Marcus Kruger – Andrew Shaw

 

CANUCKS

 

Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Jannik Hansen

Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Emerson Etem

Chris Higgins – Linden Vey – Jake Virtanen

Jared McCann – Brendan Gaunce – Alexandre Burrows

 

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Value Picks

With six NHL games on this evening, we present to you our daily fantasy hockey value picks.

Value Picks

Casey Cizikis ($3900) – The gritty centerman has found the scoresheet in all but two of his last ten games (8 points), so regardless of the matchup it’s great value. He doesn’t play the most minutes, or have the most talent, but he always brings his lunch pail to work and brings it for his teammates. John Tavares is definitely a big target today, but don’t be afraid to stack these Islanders. They haven’t played since March 3rd and Henrik Lundqvist is out with a neck injury. These “New York, New York” games get intense, and when push comes to shove Cizikis is always around.

Devante Smith-Pelly ($4100) – How quickly did those tears dry up? Devante Smith-Pelly delivered a heart-felt interview during a media scrum on trade deadline day, shedding more than a few tears before making his departure from Montreal.  He didn’t bring it every night the way the coach wanted him too so he barely played. All of a sudden he lands in New Jersey, plays 15 and 18 minutes, and has 2 goals and 1 assist (2 games). Maybe feeling like he is actually an important piece of the on-ice product has brought out the best in the bruising forward, nevertheless, at $4100 it’s worth riding the hot hand.

Christian Ehrhoff ($3600) – Since the trade to the mighty Blackhawks the mobile defenseman has seen a major bump in ice-time, not to mention the quality of his teammates. He has recorded 7 shots over the past 2 games, as many as he had in the 8 prior.

They use him to QB their powerplay, and it seems to have opened things up for everybody down low. The freshly acquired Andrew Ladd parks himself in front, and Ehrhoff blasts them from the point while the more talented players (Kane, Toews, Panarin) use the open space to execute more effectively.

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks

Over the last few days I have been producing playable daily fantasy lineups. But I just wanted to take a second and state that these “lineups” could be more accurately described as “fantasy players to target”. I am giving you all the tools (players to target, value picks, streaks and matchups) for you to build your own winning DFS lineup. The guys who fit into my cap will be on my roster, but be sure to read below for guys who didn’t make the cut but could be the difference in your daily fantasy contest.

Today I am going to feature the stack technique. Meaning when you “stack” your roster with two (or more) players from the same team. Linemates whose production can be largely based off one another.

  • My roster

NHLlineup0217

Even though the Avalanche have been in a scoring slump for the past month, I almost took the chance and stacked the high-priced Nate MacKinnon with his immensely talented but low-cost teammate Mikhail Grigorenko. They aren’t playing together tonight, but a great showing versus the Canadiens earlier this season has me holding my breath. Grigorenko also has assists in consecutive matches. But due to the much lower salary hit, I will take Derek Stepan instead of MacKinnon and stack him with one of his wingers.

That winger being Mats Zuccarello. He’s been tearing it up lately with 4 points in his last 2 games.

In another stack I’m going with NHL scoring leader Patrick Kane and his linemate Artemi Panarin. Their numbers speak for themselves with 13 points in the last 4 games combined. Sven Andrighetto is also a great option at an ultra low cost.

Johnny Gaudreau had 3 points versus the Ducks in his last game, and 2 assists a game removed versus the Sharks. A matchup with the sinking Minnesota Wild can’t be a bad thing for Johnny Hockey.

Offensive D-man Tyson Barrie scored in that 6-1 beating the Avs put on the Canadiens back in November, and plays a ton on the PP. He is a solid option against the lowly Habs. Speaking of the Habs, Nathan Beaulieu has seen a big bump in ice-time since the injury to Jeff Petry. He is a skilled defender who can skate and plays the powerplay. He can provide you with the same results as someone like Mark Giordano, but at half the price.

I’m going with Calgary’s Jonas Hiller in net. A matchup versus the Wild, who have lost 8 of their last 9 games is great, and I like it a lot more than taking a guy like Lundqvist vs the high-flying Hawks or Crawford vs the streaking New York Rangers. Semyon Varlamov is a tempting option, but it could be a trap game. The Canadiens have switched their lines up and may actually have found something that works on offense to finally win a game.

Posted in NHL

Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Lightning – 01/21/16 Preview Prediction & Fantasy Picks

The Tampa Bay Lightning (25-17-4) have home crowd advantage this time around in this 2nd matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks (32-13-4) this season. It’s also a rematch of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals, which Tampa lost. Both team are on fire right now, and one of them will be put out at the end of this confrontation.

Starting Lineup

Chicago is on a 12 game winning streak. They have set a Blackhawks record for consecutive wins by defeating the Nashville Predators 4-1, on Tuesday. The Blackhawks have won the last 4 meetings between the two, a stretch that includes last year’s NHL finals. To make matters worse, Tampa Bay has not scored against goaltender Corey Crawford since the second period of the finals Game 5. To be exact, that’s 149 minutes and 24 second of shutout. Crawford will have the chance to extend that streak tonight.

Tampa Bay is on a season-high 6th straight win, thanks to center Brian Boyle. He returned to the lineup on Tuesday, after missing one game due to injury, and scored the winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers. The Lightning’s offense is going well nowadays, scoring no fewer than 3 goals during the winning streak. Coach Jon Cooper decided to give Ben Bishop the day off Tuesday, letting backup Andrei Vasilevskiy play instead. Bishop should be back tonight. The 6-foot-7 goalie won his last 3 starts, while holding a .959 save percentage.

Fantasy Pick and Prediction:

C Vadislav Namestnikov (Tampa Bay)

LW Artemi Panarin (Chicago)

RW Patrick Kane (Chicago)

D Duncan Keith (Chicago)

D Brent Seabrook (Chicago)

G Corey Crawford (Chicago)

Scores Prediction: Chicago 3-2

Posted in NHL