Detroit Red Wings vs Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals found their offense against the defending Stanley Cup champions and hope to carry that over when they host the struggling Detroit Red Wings on Friday night (Enter Contest). The Capitals have underachieved all season offensively and scored five goals in a four-game stretch before blowing out Pittsburgh 7-1 on Wednesday, led by a five-point night from center Nicklas Backstrom.

The Capitals look to build off their season-high performance against the injury-plagued Red Wings, who are 2-6-1 since winning six straight contests. Detroit lost forward Thomas Vanek (hip) a few weeks ago and will be without speedy center Darren Helm (shoulder) about six weeks after he was injured during Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay. The Red Wings could get defenseman Niklas Kronwall (knee) back Friday, but their problems have been more on the offensive end where they have scored 18 goals over the last 10 games.

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (8-8-1)

While the absence of Vanek, Helm and Andreas Athanasiou (knee) does not help, Detroit needs more from some of its top forwards if it is to stay in the race for a playoff spot. Tomas Tatar, who had a terrific World Cup with Team Europe, has only two goals and six points while Dylan Larkin boasts a team-high five goals but only one assist in the first 17 games. Riley Sheahan, who has played on the wing most of the season, is expected to move into Helm’s spot as the third-line center, and forward Tyler Bertuzzi was recalled from the AHL. Captain Henrik Zetterberg owns seven points in seven November contests after being limited to four in 10 contests during October.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (10-4-2)

Backstrom had two goals and three assists against the Penguins while skating primarily with T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson, and rocketed to the top of the team’s scoring list with 15 points. Ovechkin, who returned to the game Wednesday after falling awkwardly at one point, is tied with Oshie for the lead in goals with eight. The Capitals have received only three goals from their blue line, with two of them coming from Karl Alzner. Matt Niskanen or John Carlson have none, but the duo have a combined 15 assists. Goalie Braden Holtby is 6-2-0 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in eight career games against the Red Wings.

Posted in NHL

Winnipeg Jets vs Detroit Red Wings Preview

The Detroit Red Wings look to put an end to their three-game slide when they host the equally struggling Winnipeg Jets on Friday (Enter Contest). Detroit is coming off its 12th consecutive regular-season setback at Philadelphia on Wednesday. It was a 4-3 overtime loss in which they’ve squandered an early two-goal lead, as well as a one-tally edge with 64 seconds remaining in the third period.

Dylan Larkin scored in his second straight game and has recorded all four of his goals over his last five contests after being blanked in his first six. Winnipeg also is 0-2-1 in its last three after kicking off a three-game road trip with an overtime loss at Washington on Thursday in the back end of a home-and-home series. The Jets, who also dropped a one-goal decision to the Capitals at home on Tuesday, have scored three goals or fewer in four straight contests and six of their last seven. Winnipeg registered a three-goal third period on Thursday to erase a 3-0 deficit and earn a point without receiving an offensive contribution from rookie Patrik Laine, who leads the team with six goals but has not recorded a point in his last four games.

ABOUT THE JETS (4-6-1)

Andrew Copp made his season debut in Thursday’s setback and notched an assist. The 22-year-old center, who collected 13 points in 77 games last campaign, was recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League a day earlier after Winnipeg placed Shawn Matthias on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Copp helped set up the game-tying goal scored by Marko Dano, who was appearing in his first contest of 2016-17 season as well. Denfenseman Tobias Enstrom scored his first goal in 22 games on Thursday and is nine points away from 300 for his career. The Jets are 0-for-15 on the power play over their last four games.

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (6-4-1)

Henrik Zetterberg ended his season-opening 10-game goal-scoring drought on Wednesday. The 36-year-old captain netted only 13 tallies in 82 contests last season and has failed to reach the 20-goal plateau in each of the last four campaigns after eclipsing it in seven straight seasons. Right winger Gustav Nyquist leads the club with nine points but has notched just one assist over his last four contests. Thomas Vanek remains tied for the team lead in goals (four) with Larkin and Darren Helm despite missing Detroit’s last four games with a strained muscle near his hip. Vanek is expected to be sidelined for several more weeks.

Posted in NHL

NHL Daily Fantasy Picks

With a trio of games left on this crisp Sunday afternoon, we’ll dive right into the competition with a trio of our own. A hat-trick of rookies if you rather. A youth All-Star team using the standard daily fantasy 50k salary cap. Let’s take a look at my winning strategy today.

  • My Roster

NHL14TH

We’re going to Stack a pair of Red Wings up the middle. The 19-year-old Dylan  Larkin and 35-year-old Henrik Zetterberg. The 3:30pm EST puck drop vs the Bruins has all eyes on them, and the top line for Detroit needs to come through. Larkin’s speed will cause trouble for the aging giant Zdeno Chara and Boston defense, while Zetterberg knows exactly how to get it done in games like this.

23-year-old Jaden Schwartz returned from a season-long injury this week and collected a goal and assist in his return. He plays on a terrific line (one of the NHL’s best last season) with Jori Lehtera and Vlad Tarasenko,so it was no surprise the chemistry was instant. At such a moderate price tag for a potential superstar, I’m sticking with the slick Schwartz.

I was lucky enough to watch David Pastrnak play live shortly after being drafted in the first round by the Bruins in 2014, and he blew my socks off. His performance at his Team Czech Republic World Junior Championship camp surprised a lot of people, and raised a lot of questions. Such as, how does a kid this skilled make it all the way until the 25th selection? Pastrnak took no time to adjust to the NHL game, despite his smaller stature and hasn’t looked back. With Patrice Bergeron fighting an injury, the 19-year-old Pastrnak will take advantage of the extra opportunities he is given and rack up some points (2 points in last 2 games). Even if he struggles at even strength, his play making abilities will get him points on the powerplay.

Mats Zuccarello has six points in his last five games. The New York Rangers winger is on pace to break his career high of 59 points and has a nice matchup with a big rival, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Defensively, Stacking the Rangers Keith Yandle and (G) Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t my intention. Rather, the fact that they are both worthy individual DFS plays and play on the same team makes it look like a Stack strategy. Yandle has been the subject of many trade rumours recently, and I always say that rumored players turn it up a notch. Lundqvist is as big-ticket as you can get, but the matchup vs Philly and his talent level puts him at the top of our goaltender rankings today.

Rounding out the roster is a pair of rookies (surprise, surprise). A pair of 22-year-old rookie defenseman to be exact. Colton Parayko has performed admirably filling in for the injured Alex Pietraneglo (3 points in last 2 games). He has a cannon of a shot, and is lethal from the point on the powerplay if given enough time and space.

Rarely do you use a defenseman (let alone a rookie) as your Utility skater (as a forward is just more likely to produce points), but Flyers D-man Shayne Gostisbehere is breaking rookie records by the day. This week, he broke an all-time NHL record for consecutive games with a point by a rookie defenseman (11 games, 16 points), and has 30 points in 36 games.

Important: I’m not saying you should play three defenseman, but these are three guys you should consider playing. Cutting Yandle to slide up Gostisbehere to the D spot, and adding another star forward in exchange for the salary saved is what will probably get you more points in your contest. I’m just offering you the candidates to mold your roster as you wish.

Posted in NHL

Detroit Red Wings vs New York Islanders 1/25/16 Preview

Detroit Red Wings (24-16-8) at New York Islanders (25-15-6)  (7 pm EST)

Both teams may be preparing for their final match before the NHL All-Star break, but the vacation hasn’t started yet. 

 

Detroit has been on a nice run of late, including six wins in their last seven road games – but dropped it’s last game, a 4-3 Saturday night defeat at the hands of the the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

Head Coach Jeff Blashill was quoted as saying  “I don’t think we played nearly our best in the last game. We’ve got to come in here real determined to do it right for 60 minutes and that gives you, really, your only chance to win. Certainly it doesn’t guarantee success.”

Goalie Petr Mrazek has been on absolute fire in January. He has an impeccable 6-1-1 record, 1.24 GAA and .955 Sv% and was not in goal for the loss to the Ducks. His last start was a 19 save shutout on Friday vs the Sabres.

The usual suspects, Dylan Larkin, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar are always options. Keep in mind that the Red Wings have a few players with bumps and bruises, so be aware of any last minute roster changes as game-time looms near.

The Islanders are 3-0-1 in their last four contests, and are well rested due to #Blizzard2016 postponing their Saturday night game. They have only played three times in the last 11 days, which will be key in tonight’s matchup with the speedy Wings.

John Tavares the Islanders unquestioned leader who has a goal and a trio of assists in his past four games, needs to come up big in this one. He has not been the MVP caliber player he normally is, but the Red Wings have holes on the PK where Johnny T is most dangerous.

 

Defenceman Nick Leddy is on a three-game point streak, scoring two markers and adding a helper.

Posted in NHL

St. Louis Blues vs Detroit Red Wings – 1/20/16 Preview 

The St. Louis Blues (27-15-7) face the Detroit Red Wings (23-14-8) Wednesday night. 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 STLvsDET 1-20-16

Taking the last four vs St. Louis, Detroit looks like the heavy favorite in this one, but will be trying to win tonight without their top defenseman Niklas Kronwall (knee). The absence of their stud blueliner will no doubt open things up for the Blues offensively.

A pair of Russian superstars will be at the center of attention at the Joe Louis, as 24-year-old Vladimir Tarasenko will face-off with his childhood idol, 37-year-old Pavel Datsyuk. While Datsyuk has had a long and very successful career, there is no doubting Tarasenko is one of the league’s most dynamic scorers. A monster contract this summer has not had any ill effect on the St. Louis star, as he is on pace to break last year’s career high of 37 goals (25).

Taking the torch from Datsyuk has been Michigan native and star rookie Dylan Larkin. The speedy forward has taken the league by storm with 14 goals and 30 points in his first 44 career games. Don’t be surprised if Datsyuk is the one shadowing Tarasenko, while Larkin is depended on for goals.

Brian Elliott, who has allowed five goals over his past two games will get the nod for the Blues, while Petr Mrazek (16-8-3) gets another start for the Red Wings.

Posted in NHL

Detroit Red Wings versus Washington Capitals Tuesday Night Hockey Fantasy Picks 12-8-2015

 

Two NHL teams that are currently playing their best hockey will face off. The Detroit Red Wings will be down in Washington to face the Capitals. It will be their third confrontation of the season. Each club took away one game, which leaves them to conclude the series in a rubber match. DFS draft managers can tune to NBCSN on Tuesday December 8th at 7:30PM Eastern Time to track the results of their fantasy roster picks.

 

The Capitals have been rock solid in the past two to three weeks. They have won 6 out of their last 7 matchups. This sudden success has brought them in 2nd place of the metropolitan division, with a single point back from the 1st place New York Rangers. Ovechkin and the caps can finally count on a good combination of offensive firepower and defensive coverage. Washington is able to count on one of the best powerplay (25.6%) unit in the league, with Carlson, Kuznetsov and Backstrom leading the charge. Goalie, Braden Holtby, is proving to be one, if not the best backstop in the league, this season.

The Red Wings are on a 3 game winning streak. They are sitting in the 2nd spot of the Atlantic division. They can count on a new generation of players to make their mark in the team, like Larkin and Tatar, and veterans to bring the experience, like Datsyuk and Zetterberg. This meddling of old and new is why Detroit is so successful every year.

 

 

Washington Capitals Value Picks:

 

Nicklas Backstrom – Center

Backstrom is still creating sparks with long-time linemate Alex Ovechkin. One of the best playmaker in the league, the swede leads all of the Caps forwards in powerplay points with 8 assists and 2 goals.

 

John Carlson – Defender

Even though that Washington lost defenseman Mike Green to Detroit in the off season, they don’t seem to miss him too much. John Carlson has shown he can play as well offensively than his former teammate. The American has now 19 points, with 10 of those coming from the powerplay. He is the most used defenseman with 24:23 minutes of playtime.

 

Braden Holtby – Goaltender

One of the biggest surprise in the NHL this year is seeing the name of Braden Holtby atop the goal against (1.95%) and wins (16) statistics leaders. He has been so impressive this season, you can see him on highlights reel week in and week out.

 

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Center

Move along Ovechkin. We could see a new Capital scoring leader at the end of the season for the first time since the year before Alexander`s rookie season. Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the team with 26 points and a 14 plus/minus.

 

Alex Ovechkin – Left Wing

The captain is still the number one offensive option in the team. He plays 20:38 minutes per game, the most among the Caps forward, and has a league leading 124 shots on goal. The Russian sniper is also 2nd in the team, with a plus 13 and 1st with 12 goals.

 

Detroit Red Wings Value Picks

 

Justin Abdelkader – Left Wing

Abdelkader has 5 points, which include 4 goals, in 3 game during the month of December. He is a solid fantasy pick who can rack up points in bunches.

 

Dylan Larkin – Center

The rookie is none short of impressive this year for the Red Wings. He leads the team in goals, with 11, and is tied with Zetterberg and Tatar in points, with 21. The young American is an early candidate for the Calder trophy, given at the end of the year to the NHL best rookie.

 

Gustav Nyquist – Center

Swedish born Gustav Nyquist was last year’s offensive revelation for the Detroit Red Wing. He scored a team leading 14 power play goal in the 2014/15 campaign. The centerman is back at it this year with 4 PPG, tied for the team lead.

 

Tomas Tatar – Left Wing

Tatar is co-leading the team in points with 21, alongside Captain Henrik Zetterberg and Rookie Dylan Larkin. He’s bound for another great season in the NHL

 

 

NHL Tuesday Night Hockey Real Money Fantasy League Picks

 

C: Dylan Larkin (Red Wings)

LW: Tomas Tatar (Red Wings)

LW: Justin Abdelkader (Red Wings)

D: John Carlson (Capitals)

G: Braden Holtby (Capitals)

Posted in NHL