Preview: Golden Knights at Predators

The Nashville Predators have hit a bump in the road while playing at home, splitting their six games at Bridgestone Arena while dropping two of three overall. The Predators look to avoid consecutive losses for the first time this season and give the Music City fans a thrill on Tuesday as they host the Vegas Golden Knights.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Filip Forsberg has been exciting the fans with nine goals in his last seven games, including his franchise-best sixth career hat trick in Saturday’s 5-3 setback to Edmonton. “Right now, Filip’s playing on a really high level,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “In the last two games, he probably has close to 25 attempts at the net. When he puts the puck at the net like that, it’s going to go in the back of the net. He just has to continue to release it.” Vegas wrapped up a successful homestand in style as Jonathan Marchessault scored on a penalty shot in overtime as his team improved to 3-1-1 on that stretch following Sunday’s 4-3 win versus Ottawa. “I was excited,” the 27-year-old Quebec native told the Las Vegas Sun. “As a group, we really needed that game.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (5-5-1): The injury bug seems to have taken a liking to coach Gerard Gallant’s club, with Max Pacioretty sustaining an upper-body ailment against Tampa Bay on Friday before fellow forward Cody Eakin was felled two nights later following a hit from Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki. Alex Tuch tallied twice versus the Senators and has three points in as many contests since signing a seven-year contract extension. The 22-year-old collected just 37 points last season before scoring six goals and setting four others during Vegas’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals.

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (8-3-0): Forsberg isn’t going it alone as Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson have aided in the line collecting 38 points (19 goals, 19 assists) and a plus-25 rating this season — including 16 (nine goals, seven assists) in the last four. “‘Joey’ and ‘Arvi’ are playing great hockey,” the 24-year-old Forsberg said of his linemates. “All three of us are playing well right now. We’re all playing fast and simple hockey and trying to take the puck to the net as quick as we can. It’s been working well lately.” Arvidsson scored in the first encounter with Vegas, a 4-3 shootout loss in Nashville on Dec. 8.

OVERTIME

1. Vegas is just 4-for-37 on the power play this season.

2. Nashville G Juuse Saros has surrendered 12 goals in his last three games with countryman Pekka Rinne nursing an undisclosed injury.

3. Golden Knights G Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 55 of 56 shots in a pair of meetings with the Predators last season, but finished with a 1-1-0 mark.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Sharks at Predators

The Nashville Predators will be challenged to continue their NHL-best 7-1-0 start without reigning Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne, but will still be in good hands when they host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. Juuse Saros, Nashville’s No. 2 goaltender, is 4-0-0 with a 1.54 goals-against average and .945 save percentage this season and 25-14-10, 2.36, .925 in 52 career games as Rinne’s backup.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

“You could call him the best backup goalie in the league or you could just call him one of the best goalies in the league,” Predators forward Filip Forsberg, who boasts team highs of five goals and eight points, told reporters. “He could definitely be a starter on many other teams if he wasn’t behind the Vezina Trophy winner.” Rinne (undisclosed injury), who left Friday’s 5-3 victory at Calgary after colliding with teammate Kevin Fiala, and Saros have backboned the NHL’s stingiest club as Nashville allows a league-low 1.88 goals per game. San Jose begins a three-game road trip after defeating Buffalo and the New York Islanders at home by a combined 9-2. “I liked how we played,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer told reporters. “I think we played some pretty good hockey all year. We didn’t get rewarded on the road to start the season, but I knew it was a matter of time if we kept playing that way. We got home here, we’re comfortable, we started to score, we feel a little bit confident. There’s two good home wins for us. We go back on the road again now.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

ABOUT THE SHARKS (4-3-1): Joe Thornton, who has 397 goals and 1,428 points in 1,495 games, made the trip but is questionable to play because of a knee infection that has forced him to miss the last six games. “He’s getting closer, but we’re not there yet,” DeBoer told reporters after Sunday’s practice. “I actually think this might be a blessing, because when they took another look at it when he got the infection and confirmed that structurally, it looks fantastic. So there’s nothing else we’ve got to do.” Logan Couture boasts team highs of five goals and eight points after scoring four times in the last two games and recording six points in his last three contests.

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (7-1-0): Viktor Arvidsson has four goals after scoring in Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Edmonton while Saros made 31 saves in recording his fifth career shutout and first this season. Defenseman Mattias Ekholm (two goals, seven points) is a club-best plus-8 as every full-time player is a plus except Fiala (minus-2). Top four defensemen Roman Josi (23 minutes, 57 seconds ice time per game), Ryan Ellis (23:38), P.K. Subban (23:14) and Ekholm (21:32) are playing the most for Nashville, which has allowed only 10 goals during even-strength situations.

OVERTIME

1. San Jose has killed 15-of-16 penalties over the last four games after yielding five in 18 opportunities in its first four contests while Nashville is 3-for-27 on the power play.

2. Nashville will call up G Troy Grosenick, 29, to back up Saros. Grosenick has appeared in two NHL games – with San Jose in 2014-15.

3. The Predators have won four of the last five meetings overall and six straight encounters at home (playoffs included), and are 12-0-1 in their last 13 games versus the Sharks at Bridgestone Arena.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Second-round previews

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Boston Bruins

The Lightning will come into this series as the more rested team after making quick work of the New Jersey Devils in Round 1. But after coming off an emotional high from a wild Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, don’t take the Bruins lightly. In fact, the Bruins owned the Lightning during the regular season after walking away with the W in three of their four meetings.

The matchup should be highlighted by a battle between two of the best lines in hockey: Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak versus Kucherov-Stamkos-Miller. The Bruins’ trio combined for 30 points in Round 1, while the Lightning’s top three had 20 points in its five-game series with the Devils.

Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins

What would a second round be without the Capitals and Penguins going head to head?

The Capitals will be looking for revenge after being eliminated by their Metropolitan rivals the past two postseasons. And, of course, the spotlight will once again shine brightest on the renewed showdown between the teams’ respective captains. While Sidney Crosby (10 goals, 22 points) historically comes out on top in terms of series wins, Alex Ovechkin (12 goals, 26 points) has statistically fared better between the two in their 20 playoff contests against one another.

Play our NHL Playoffs Contest 

Nashville Predators vs Winnipeg Jets

It’ll be a Battle of the Titans in this second-round series. The Predators and Jets finished first and second league-wide, while their regular-season meet ups were always competitive. One key to the series could be the Predators’ Pekka Rinne, who was only average in Round 1 against the Colorado Avalanche, while Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck put up a far superior performance in eliminating the Minnesota Wild.

Vegas Golden Knights vs San Jose Sharks

Both sides made quick work in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, sweeping away the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, respectively. If Vegas isn’t already getting its due credit, it should after taking out a two-time Cup champion. Netminder Marc-Andre Fleury played like a virtual wall, while Sharks goalie Martin Jones was no slouch either. San Jose could also get a boost in the second round should Joe Thornton return from injury.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NHL

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.

Play our NHL Playoffs Contest 

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.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

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

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

Central Division:

St-Louis Blues:

The Blues have been the pre-season darlings recently.  Darlings in that pundits have been picking them to go deep in the post season.  Alas that has not been the case when the pucks hit the ice.  The Blues have performed well, but not well enough to lay claim to the cup.  What we expect to see from a fantasy hockey perspective come the 2015-2016 season is the continued emergence of Vladimir Trarasenko.  This gifted forward is “money” in the bank and will surely reward cash draft managers with a flood of points.  We also expect to see center-man David Backes return to an elite form.  If the price is right, Backes should be on your team.

Nashville Predators:

The 2014-2015 season marked the emergence of Filip Forsberg, for the better part of the year, Forsberg seem a lock to earn the Calder trophy, and unfortunately a cold streak toward the end of the season saw that dream fade.  The return of Rinne brought some much needed stability to the Preds.  We see the Predators continuing to show their faces in the spring dance, however we do foresee Forsberg taking a step back with the marked attention he will receive.  We will say that Rinne will be a good money value pick during the daily fantasy sports season.

Chicago Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks, reigning Stanley Cup champions and winners of the ultimate prize 3 of the last 5 years were forced to jettison some keep pieces this offseason due to cap concerns.  This will surely affect the team, we do of course see the Hawks making the post season but we do not believe that it is a given.  As far as fantasy hockey managers are concerned, we will say that we expect Marian Hossa to pay-off during cash draft leagues as we do foresee Duncan Keith continuing to excel on the blue line.  We expect high point totals from newly resigned Brent Seabrook and we believe that he will be excellent value.

Minnesota Wild:

The Wild finished last season with a total of 100 points and made the playoffs on the back of giant tender Devan Dubnyk.  But the Cinderella story ended there.  With names like Pomminville, Koivu, Vanek, Parise and Suter on the club expectations are high for the Wild.  However we will refrain from anointing them playoff contenders until we will Dubnyk excel for a full season.  That being said, in the world of Fantasy Hockey, we do see big offensive years from Koivu and Pomminville, 2 players who will likely come cheap early on in daily fantasy sports action and thus are 2 picks that should appear on your cash draft contests.

Winnipeg Jets:

The Jets made the post season last year much to the delight of its fans, however they drew the unfortunate straw that had them facing the Anaheim Ducks.  They lost thje series, but iun no way looked out-classed, they looked right at home in the playoffs, a tad wet behind the ears, but they looked good.  We expect to see the same from the Jets, and yes that means another post season participation.  In the fantasy hockey daily fantasy sports world, we do expect young center Mark Scheifele to have a break out season.  He will come cheap and will be a great value pick.

Dallas Stars:

The Dallas Stars were on the outside looking in on the playoffs last season despite boasting the Art Ross trophy (leader in regular season points) winner, Jamie Benn and a scorching (until he was injured) Tyler Seguin.  While we will stop short of anointing them a playoff position, we will say that both Seguin and Benn, along with Jason Spezza will be offering fantasy hockey managers fantastic returns on their investments.  On the Blue line we also expect a very big year (points wise) from Alex Gologoski.  The Stars can make or break your cash draft contests if the player costs are right.

Colorado Avalanche:

Coach Patrick Roy’s Colorado Avalanche did not make the Stanley Cup post season in 2014-2015.  While neither Roy (as a coach) nor Nathan Mackinnon are rookies any longer, we cannot, with good conscience pencil the Avs in the post season.  Until there goaltending is set for the long term future, we will not be seeing Roy’s boys in the playoffs.  What we will say is that we do expect to see Mackinnon bounce back from his sophomore slump and take the Avs offense by the jugular.  We do expect the young center-man to lead his club in points and be a huge reurn on fantasy hockey managers investments.  We also expect young Dman Nikita Zadorov to have a worthwhile daily fantasy sports cash draft contest season.

Pacific Division:

Anaheim Ducks: COMING SOON

Vancouver Canucks: COMING SOON

Calgary Flames: COMING SOON

Los Angeles Kings: COMING SOON

San Jose Sharks: COMING SOON

Edmonton Oilers: COMING SOON

Arizona Coyotes: COMING SOON

Eastern Conference:

Metropolitan Division:

New York Rangers:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Washington Capitals:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

New York Islanders:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Columbus Blue Jackets:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Philadelphia Flyers:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

New Jersey Devils:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Carolina Hurricanes:

Read the Metropolitain Division preview

Atlantic Division:

Montreal Canadiens:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Tampa Bay Lightning:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Detroit Red Wings:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Ottawa Senators:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Boston Bruins:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Florida Panthers:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Buffalo Sabres:

Read the Atlantic Division preview

Posted in NHL

Chicago Blackhawks vs Nashville Predators – 4/23/15 NHL Playoff Fantasy Sports, Hockey Picks, Odds & Predictions

NHL Cash Draft Picks

One of the more exciting playoff series is out west as the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators will continue their series about Game 5 on Thursday April 23rd. There has been a good amount of scoring as well making NHL draft managers money and adding more focus on the player rosters from each of the games in this playoff. Chicago leads this best of seven series at 3-1 and can clinch with a win as this game goes off at 9:30PM Eastern Time on NBC Sports Network.

There have been two overtime games with Chicago winning both of them. They opened up play with a 4-3 win on the road at Nashville in overtime. After the teams split the next two games it was time for Game 4 in Chicago where the Blackhawks earned a 3-2 win in triple overtime. Both teams have a high number of shots on goal in each game of this series. Power plays have been mediocre at best.

Chicago Blackhawks Center: Jonathan Toews had two goals and three assists in the playoffs for a total of five points. He is tied for the most Blackhawks points thus far in the post season. Toews has a knack for stepping up his game in the postseason.

Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing: Marian Hossa has five points in the playoffs and they have all come from assists. He leads the team in shots with 18 on net thus far but has yet to get one past the Nashville net minder. Patrick Kane has a goal and three assists thus far in the post season. Kane missed much of the tail end of the regular season as he was nursing a high body injury. He returned for the postseason and is second on the team in scoring in the playoffs.

Chicago Blackhawks Left Wing: Patrick Sharp has two goals and an assist thus far for hockey fantasy draft managers. Sharp has been active offensively as he is second on the club with 17 shots on goal in the playoffs.

Chicago Blackhawks Defensmen: Duncan Keith is a grizzled playoff veteran He leads the defense with four points as he has one goal and three assists. You get good value on his hockey mock drafts with Keith because he plays the most minutes on the ice for Chicago averaging over 34 minutes of ice time during the playoffs. Brent Seabrook has three points in this series as he has netted two goals and dished out an assists. The two goals have come on his seven shots on net.

Chicago Blackhawks Goalie: Corey Crawford has seen the ice in two of the four games thus far. He got the start in Game 2 and surrendered six goals and was benched in both Game 3 and Game 4. Scott Darling has all three wins in his series for Chicago as he has saved 97% of the shots he has faced in this series.

Nashville Predators Center: Craig Smith has led the Predators with five points in the playoffs with two goals and three assists. He leads the club with 24 shots on net. Colin Wilson had four goals on his 15 shots in the series. Four of the top five point producers for Nashville have come from the center position.

Nashville Predators Left Wing: Victory Stalberg had a goal and assists in the post season. James Neal has a single point and it came on a goal.

Nashville Predators Defensemen: Ryan Ellis leads the Predators defensemen in scoring with three points in the playoffs. All of the scoring has come via assists. Seth Jones has two points and both have been assists. Jones has plus minus of -5 in the playoffs worse on the team.

Nashville Predators Goalie: Pekka Rinne has been between the piples for all games in this NHL playoff series for the Predators. He is 1-3 with a goal against average of 2.54. He has a save percentage of 91.1% and has seen an average of 39 shots per game during this playoff series which is a very high number.

NHL Fantasy Picks for One Day Real Money Leagues

C: Craig Smith (Predators)
RW: Marian Hossa (Blackhawks)
LW: Patrick Sharp (Blackhawks)
D: Duncan Keith (Blackhawks) Brent Seabrook (Blackhawks)
G: Scott Darling (Blackhawks)

Cash Draft Contest

Posted in NHL

Chicago Blackhawks vs Nashville Predators – 4/17/15 NHL Playoff Fantasy Sports, Hockey Picks, Odds & Predictions

NHL Cash Draft Picks

We move into the Game 2’s of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday April 17th. One of the main attractions features the Nashville Predators hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at 9:30PM Eastern Time on NBC Sports Network.

The betting line seems short as the Predators are just a -115 favorite heading into this contest which leads one to believe we may be in for a close game. Game 1 was a wild thriller than went in favor of the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in double overtime. The game saw Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford benched after giving up three first period goals to the Predators. To Chicago’s credit once falling behind 3-0 after one period the team rallied for four straight goals to earn the win. This was the complete opposite of last year’s Western conference finals where the Blackhawks blew lead after lead to the LA Kings who eventually tossed Chicago out of the playoffs in a dramatic seven game series for the ages. Media reports have Corey Crawford back in net for the Blackhawks. This was a huge loss for Nashville who has not played well down the stretch.

Chicago Blackhawks Center: Jonathan Toews had an exception Game 1 as the veteran contributed with three points in the playoff opener. He had a goal and two assists making his instrumental in all by one Chicago score.

Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing: After missing time with a collar bone injury Patrick Kane returned to the Blackhawks lineup for Game 1. He dished out two assists. In 61 regular season games for Chicago the veteran right wing has 27 goals and 37 assists for a 64 point total.

Chicago Blackhawks Left Wing: Patrick Sharp had a goal in the opener. The eleven year veteran had a down season for his standards but could come cheap in One-Day Fantasy Leagues and could be good value based on his experience in playoff competition.

Chicago Blackhawks Defensemen: Duncan Keith netted the game winner in double overtime for Chicago and also dished out an assist for the game to finish with two points. A nine year veteran played in 80 games for the Blackhawks with 10 goals and 35 assits. He spent nearly 40 minutes on the ice in Game 1. Brent Seabrook was second amongst the Blackhawks defensemen as the finished the regular season with eight goals and 23 assists. He averaged 22 minutes on the ice which was three minutes fewer than the top defensemen Duncan Keith.

Chicago Blackhawks Goalie: It was a rough 20 minutes for goaltender Corey Crawford. He allowed three Predator goals on 12 first period shots. Crawford is a Stanley cup finals winner with Chicago and could shake off a poor first game. Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville agrees and was quoted as saying it was a “no brainer” to return Crawford in net for Game 2. During the regular season Crawford has a goal against average of 2.27.

Nashville Predators Center: Colin Wilson had a good Game 1 as he scored two goals in the opener. He had slumped down the stretch with just one assists over his past four games entering the playoffs. Filip Forsberg led the Predators in points this season and was held scoreless in Game 1 with seven shots on net. Prior to the start of the playoffs he had a goal in three of his four final games.

Nashville Predators Left Wing: James Neal fished with 27 points on the year. He is in the midst of a slump with no points in four straight games.

Nashville Predators Defensemen: Josi Roman finished the regular season with 15 goals and 40 assists. He saw 39 minutes of ice time in Game 1 without a point to show for. Shea Weber scored 45 points during the regular season for Nashville put led the team with penalty minutes. In Game 1 Weber in 38 minutes of play failed to register a point. He has failed to earn a point in five straight games. Ryan Ellis has points in four of his past five games for Nashville. He dished out an assist in the Game 1 defeat.

Nashville Predators Goalie: Pekka Rinne has to bounce back from a subpar outing on Wednesday. He had 38 saves and allowed four goals. For the year Rinne had a 92.3% save percentage with a goal against average of 2.18. Game 2 will be a test for the psyche of Rinne who blew a three goal lead in Game 1. Because of the length of the game his save percentage was over 90%.

NHL Best Fantasy Picks for Cash Real Money Leagues

C: Jonathan Toews (Blackhawks)
RW: Patrick Kane (Blackhawks)
LW: Patrick Sharp (Blackhawks)
D: Josi Roman (Predators) Ryan Ellis (Predators)
G: Corey Crawford (Blackhawks)

Cash Draft Contest

Posted in NHL