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

Early DFS NHL Picks

My early DFS NHL Picks for the day. There is another contest with four great evening games coming up. This one highlights the five awesome afternoon games we have the pleasure of watching this Saturday.

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The Superstars: Filip Forsberg is on fire, Sidney Crosby could ground the Jets, and Roberto Luongo has a great matchup and is heating up.

Star Power: Jaden Schwartz has been money since returning from a season-long injury, Dallas Star (pun intended) John Klingberg is a heck of a value at $5800. Need I say anything about Gostisbehere?

Role Players: Boston’s Kevin Hayes pretty regularly contributes. Victor Arvidsson of the Predators was demoted to the third line recently, but has come up with double digit fantasy points in his last two contests. I’m going to take the chance on him again and hope he keeps me afloat with an average performance at worst.

X-Factor: Since I couldn’t afford Tyler Seguin, Valeri Nikuschkin will have to do. He is riding shotgun with Jamie Benn and Seguin and has 2 assists in his last two games.

The plan is for the big guns to have BIG games, while my X-Factor comes through in the clutch. Let’s see how this edition of my DFS NHL picks fares on this bright Saturday afternoon.

Posted in NHL

Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Wild Fantasy Hockey News – 02/09/16

The Dallas Stars (33-15-5) will face the Minnesota Wild (23-20-9) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. FanPicks has this fantasy hockey game on tap for tonight’s DFS action. Here are the latest Fantasy Hockey News:

Projected Lineup

Fantasy Hockey News

 

With Jason Spezza out of the Stars lineup because of an upper-body injury, coach Lindy Ruff had to move around his lines during Monday’s practice. It has yet to be determined who’s going to fill up the top 2 lines, but Mattias Janmark and Ales Hemsky are likely to be playing together in one of those lines, against the Wild. They looked like a great fit during practice. Another likely pairing is between Radek Faksa & Valeri Nichuskin. Faksa will be playing in his second game since being recalled from the American Hockey League’s Iowa Stars. The Stars begin a two-game road trip.  They are 14-8-5 this season as the visiting team. Jamie Benn & Tyler Seguin were the most productive Stars players this year against the Wild. Benn posted 3 goals & 4 assists, while Seguin had 2 goals and 3 assists in 4 games when facing Minnesota.

Minnesota will probably be without defenseman Jared Spurgeon because of a deep bruise sustained in Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. It is unlikely that he’ll miss a lot of time, though. Jonas Brodin is, for his part, definitely missing tonight’s game due to a broken foot. He sustained this injury while blocking a shot last Thursday against the New York Rangers. The Swedish defenseman is expected to miss from three to six weeks. To make matters worse, Minnesota has lost 10 of their past 11 games. They can count on their forward, Charlie Coyle, who has been the most successful Wild player against the Stars this season. He scored 2 goal and 4 assists when battling Dallas, this season. Darcy Kuemper will be starting in nets for the Wild tonight.

Posted in NHL

NHL Saturday Night 1/23/16 Preview & Picks

With a trio of games being postponed due to the snow taking part of the country by storm, we will look at a trio of games that are still on the menu tonight. The Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks vs Detroit Red Wings and finally, Colorado Avalanche vs the Dallas Stars.

Montreal Canadiens (23-20-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs  (17-20-8) (7 pm)

While the Canadiens have been the NHL’s worst team over the past two months, the Leafs have been at the bottom for the whole season (and many, many years). The Habs need to find their scoring touch badly, and can’t seem to score more than one goal in far too many games. But this age old rivalry has always brought the best out in the Canadiens, often lighting the lamp four or five times against Toronto. Even when they are playing this horribly.

Brendan Gallagher is the type of player who is always in front of the net, and you’d have to be insane to not think the Habs game plan is to fire as much rubber toward the net and hope for the best.

Advice: Brendan Gallagher and PK Subban, who has points in six straight, usually play well against Toronto. Tyler Bozak and Leafs All-Star representative Leo Komarov have been Habs killers in the past.

Anaheim Ducks (20-18-7) at Detroit Red Wings (24-15-8) (7 pm)

East coast teams heading out to the West coast to compete are always at a distinct disadvantage. The travel, the jet-lag, time-change and long haul all have a tremendous effect on the body and mind, which is why a team like the NFLs Seattle Seahawks are so dominate at home, yet very regular on the road. The Ducks though did skip one bullet, as their game last night against the Washington Capitals was postponed due to the aforementioned snowstorm.

They will be fresher than they should have been, and they should be thankful for that. Rather than pulling out the oxygen tanks in the first period, they might get to the third before the effects of the speedy Red Wings kick in. No two teams have such a contrasting style, as the Detroit pace of play may be too much for the bigger, slower Ducks to keep up with.

Advice: Dylan Larkin and Henrik Zetterberg hooked up for a beauty last game and look to keep that momentum going. Ducks defenseman Shea Theodore and Sami Vatanen are good values who can collect a couple of assists.

Colorado Avalanche (25-21-3) at Dallas Stars (30-13-5) (8 pm)

Carl Soderberg has been the Avalanche top scorer since late November, and number one defenseman Erik Johnson will return to the lineup tonight. The consistency of Soderberg and boost Johnson provides will make this matchup a lot closer than it would have been a few weeks ago. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov has been hot of late as well.

Antti Niemi, who is MUCH better at home this season is 12-3-0, with a .923 save percentage and three shutouts on the books will get the start for Dallas. His composure under pressure allow him to thrive in this run-and-gun offense the Stars run, as he never seems to panic, no matter the score or moment.

This wouldn’t be a Stars report without the mention of superstars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. This duo is matchup-proof, but the sandpaper-like Avalanche will give them all the resistance they can deal with. Colorado is hard in front of the net, but Benn and Seguin won’t shy away. The pair could go off for 10 combined points on any given night but I don’t think it will be today.

Advice: Soderberg is consistent, while Nate MacKinnon may have something to prove to Dallas’ superstars and be worth the gamble for a huge game. The Stars are 10-2 in their last 12 home games, so while they may win, it may be a lower-scoring affair than we’re used to due to Varlamov. Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp could get the line matches they want and take advantage at a much lower price tag then Benn and Seguin.

 

Posted in NHL

Stars vs Kings

FanPicks.com NHL Preview

The Dallas Stars (29-12-5) will face off against the Los Angeles Kings (28-13-3) for an exciting Western Conference clash on Tuesday night. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy hockey competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $10K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy sports site.

Projected Lineup

Starting Lineup

The Stars are in a 3 game losing streak. To make matters worse, defenseman Jordie Benn was placed on injured reserve Monday because of a lower-body injury. Esa Lindell was recalled from the Texas Stars of the AHL to replace him. It is said that Benn should only be out for a short period of time. Tonight will be Dallas 3rd straight game on the road.  The Stars are 12-7-5 on the road and 3-5-2 in their past 10 games overall.

 

Los Angeles are on the verge of their first back-to-back victories since its 5 game win streak that ended on January 4th. Last week was a big week for forward Anze Kopitar. He scored 2 goals and 5 assists in the three games the Kings played. The Slovenian was named with the NHL 3rd star of the week.One player that needed a big change to turn is season around is Vincent Lecavalier. He has scored a goal in each of the past two games and scored 2 goals and an assist in five games since he and defenseman Luke Schenn were acquired by the Kings in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Posted in NHL

NHL Saturday Night Preview, Picks & DFS Advice

We take a look at three of the biggest games on the schedule from this busy Saturday night in the NHL. The Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres , the Montreal Canadiens vs St. Louis Blues, and a sure to be exciting night-cap as the Dallas Stars head to Cali to take on the red-hot San Jose Sharks. Below I will breakdown the matchups and hopefully, give you some good daily fantasy advice.

Washington Capitals (33-7-3) at Buffalo Sabres (7-23-4) (7 pm)

Mr. 501 and the high-flying Capitals are going to have a field day, or shall I say snow-day with the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. On the road or not, Washington is not going to slow down when confronted by the likes of Chad Johnson (the NHL goalie, not former NFL WR), and that Sabres defense. Not to mention that Brayden Holtby is getting the start in goal and hasn’t lost a game in regulation since November 10, 2015. That’s a 22-game point streak for the 26-year old Caps netminder who is in line to tie Jose Theodore’s franchise record of 23 games (2009-10) with a W tonight.

Advice: Washington is just too hot right now for this to be a trap game against the once-again lowly Sabres. Play Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Holtby and as many Capitals forwards as you can afford (semi-joking).

 

Montreal Canadiens (23-18-3) at St. Louis Blues (25-15-7) (7 pm)

Nothing worse can seemingly go wrong for the Habs at the moment. The team is losing, their star goaltender is still out, and now the front-office is under fire for the recent handling (trade) of former first-round pick Jarred Tinordi. The Canadiens seriously lack scoring ability and a date with St. Louis is sure to give them the Blues. Losing goaltender Jake Allen (18-10-3, 2.17 GAA, .924 Svp, 5 SO) hurts, but Montreal’s offensive game shouldn’t be too much for Brian Elliot (7-4-4, 2.31 GAA, .919 Svp) to handle.

Mike Condon has been better of late (six goals against over last four starts), but guys like Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk have to score if the Habs wants to come away with any points.

Advice: While this could be a low-scoring affair, Vladimir Tarasenko always seems to play well vs the Canadiens, and Jori Lehtera has points in four of his last five, including three straight. If you’re looking for point from the blueline, PK Subban has points in six of his last seven, and is riding a three-game point streak as well.

 

Dallas Stars (29-12-4) at San Jose Sharks (22-18-2) (10:30 pm)

The former first-place Stars have been slumping of late, but when Mattias Janmark scored last night he joined Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Patrick Sharp, and Jason Spezza to became the fifth Dallas Star to reach a double-digit goal total. Such wide-spread scoring is usually risky for fantasy owners, but the fact that Benn and Seguin do so much of the heavy lifting while the others sprinkle the scoresheet makes this situation a little more predictable.

Antti Niemi will get the nod against his former team as he returns to the Shark Tank tonight . His Stars are just 1-4-1 this month, but should never be counted out against a division rival…even if they have won four straight and Jumbo Joe’s playing like he’s 26 (six points in last four games). Martin Jones, who recorded a shootout win on Thursday vs the Edmonton Oilers should be getting the start for San Jose. Jones is capable of stealing a game from time to time, but back-to-back starts vs perhaps the best group of scorers in the league isn’t the best matchup.

Advice: Thankfully were not here to predict wins and losses, so regardless of who comes out victorious this one should feature some goals. For that reason all the big guns – Benn, Seguin, Thornton, Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and John Klingberg are all viable options.

 

 

Posted in NHL