Tag: Pittsburgh Penguins
2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs
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.
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.
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2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs
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.
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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Fantasy NHL Hockey
Stanley Cup Preview
NHL Hockey playoffs doesn’t get any bigger than this. Game 1 of this exciting Stanley Cup finals featuring the San Jose Sharks against the Pittsburgh Penguins will begin Monday at 8PM EST at the Consol Energy Center. This series has the potential to be an instant classic with the Penguins being a much different team than during the regular season and the Sharks ‘ red hot offense peaking at the best moment. Don’t miss out on this Fantasy NHL Hockey Stanley Cup Preview brought to you by Fanpicks, where you can win millions in cash prizes during the NHL Playoffs.
Both of these teams have been playing at their best during those playoffs with players showcasing great talent and consistency. The regular season series is split with each tream winning a game apiece but not much history against one another.
For the Pens, it will be their first time back in the Finals in 7 years since winning the title in a 7 game nailbiting series against the Red Wings back in 2009. With only a few of the championship cast remaining such as Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh as an edge of experience compare to the Sharks. On top being there at the biggest stage, the Penguins speed is nothing like any other team San Jose has faced during the playoffs thus far. Many weapons the Pens possess in offense can hurt the Sharks if they don’t step it up physically. They’re led by Phil Kessel (18 pts) who has 6 goals in his last 9 playoffs games. It will be Sidney Crosby’s 3rd appearance in the finals.
The Sharks will hope that Marc-Edouard Vlasic shuts continues his tremendous defensive work and shuts down as much of the Penguins’ top forwards. The Pens will definitely have a tougher time penetrating through the Sharks but as the series progress.
San Jose will be making its first ever appearance in a Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history. Only 2 players on their rosters have made it to the finals in their careers. Suprisingly, neither their veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have had the chance to make it to the cup.
They will rely on their cut throat offense that boasts a whopping average of 3.5 goals a game. 4 of the postseason top 5 scorers are Sharks players and their top 2 lines are nearly impossible to contain consistently.
This will be one of the most compelling and interesting Stanley Cup finals in recent years and we hope you’re as excited as we are for this series. Don’t forget to sign up for free and BANK BIG this Stanley Cup with our Cross Sports and NHL Contests.
Fantasy Hockey Playoffs
Eastern Finals Preview
The best team in the NHL over the past two month just defeated the best team this season. Now, the Pittsburgh Penguins are off to face last years Eastern Champions Tampa Bay Ligthning in the Eastern Finals. Fantasy hockey playoffs (click to join) doesn’t get any bigger than this. Game 1 starts Friday night at the Consol Energy Center, and will be presented on NBCSN starting at 8PM ET. The Penguins went 14-2-0 to end the regular season before knocking off the New York Rangers and, offcourse, the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in the postseason.
The Pens made the conference final for the first time since 2013 with balanced scoring, improved defense and rookie goalie Matt Murray’s solid play that has kept veteran Marc-Andre Fleury on the bench. They still must find a way to contain a dangerous Tampa Bay offense that is led by Nikita Kucherov (nine goals, 12 points) and Tyler Johnson (13 points). The Lightning lineup could even become more lethal, potentialy having back top-pair defenseman Anton Stralman (broken fibula) and captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot)at some point in the series. Tampa Bay has beaten the Penguins three straight in the regular season, despite being outshot 109-74 combined.
Stralman has gone through full practice over the last few days, but he doesn’t look like he’s a 100% percent yet. Versatile forward J.T. Brown (upper body) could be back in the lineup after missing almost a month. Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn (nine points) and the emergence of Jonathan Drouin (eight assists) stepped up to take the offensive reigns during superstar Steven Stamkos’ absence. In defence, 6-foot-6 Victor Hedman was the key figure during the second-round series victory over the New York Islanders. He stopped captain John Tavares clean, denying him of a point for the last four games while recording eight points for himself.
It will not be an easy task for Lightning coach Jon Cooper to decide which line his best D-Man, Victor Hedman, will go up against. Pittsburgh’s four forward units have all produced in the postseason with three of them represented among the top four scorers. Captain Sidney Crosby (10 points) and Evgeni Malkin (nine) each center a line while the trio of Phil Kessel (five goals, 12 points), Nick Bonino (eight assists) and Carl Hagelin may be their best in the playoffs thus far.
NHL Daily Fantasy Hockey News Penguins vs Islanders
Dominate your competition with our NHL Daily Fantasy Hockey News, create the winning lineup at Fanpicks.com. The Pittsburgh Penguins have won two of the first three match-up against the New York Islanders this season, including a 2-1 shootout win March 15. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang scored in the shootout after forward Chris Kunitz and Islanders forward Kyle Okposo both put one in the net in regulation.
Pittsburgh will attempt to solidify its hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division with a 10th victory versus a division opponent in its past 13 attempts (9-3-0). The Penguins enter Saturday one point ahead of the New York Rangers, who play the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, with five games to play. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who practiced Friday, could return after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. Trevor Daley, Dumoulin’s partner before the injury, has replaced Olli Maatta, who is week-to-week because of a lower-body injury, next to Kris Letang. That pair has impressed in Dumoulin’s absence and likely will stay intact until Maatta returns. Forward Bryan Rust is day-to-day because of a lower-body injury and did not practice on Friday. Sullivan said Maatta and Rust are slowly progressing but aren’t set to play yet. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was given a maintenance day Friday and could be replaced by goalie Matthew Murray against the Islanders or the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
A regulation victory could pull New York to within one point of second place in the division if the Rangers lose to the Sabres. Given that scenario, the Islanders would control their own fate moving forward with one game in hand on the Penguins and Rangers. The Islanders will play the remainder of the regular season without defenseman Travis Hamonic, who sustained a lower-body injury during the first period of a 4-3 win facing the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Islanders coach Jack Capuano announced Friday the injury would force Hamonic to miss the rest of the regular season. Hamonic’s status will be re-evaluated after the regular season, when his availability for the playoffs will be determined. Defenseman Marek Zidlicky is expected to be inserted back into the lineup after last playing March 6 because of an upper-body injury. Rookie defenseman Ryan Pulock, who has played 10 games, gives New York another option, but Capuano said he would favor experience when evaluating defensive pairings.
Fantasy Hockey Targets
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.
Penguins vs Panthers Fantasy Hockey Preview
Pittsburgh Penguins (28-19-7) at Florida Panthers (32-18-6) (7:30 pm EST)
An exciting matchup is on tap for all you fantasy hockey fans out there.
While Jaromir Jagr turns 44 years old today, the rest of his Panthers teammates are barely legal. Franchise defenseman Aaron Ekblad was born on the same day Jagr scored his 200th NHL goal. Yes, you read that correctly. Ekblad just turned 20 on Super Bowl Sunday, while his legendary teammate will be facing off against a team he spent half a decade breaking records for.
The Panthers and Penguins will battle for precious points as the Eastern Conference playoff races start to heat up.
Pittsburgh needs the points worse than they’d like to admit, while Florida are sitting pretty near the top of the standings, but home-ice advantage in the playoffs is huge. Especially for such an inexperienced team like the Panthers.
Sidney Crosby has cooled off from his ridiculous recent pace, Kris Letang as well, while Evgeni Malkin is close- but not quite there yet as he works to return from injury.
Sid the (former) Kid will need to bring his A-game to defeat the youthful Miami kids tonight, which shouldn’t be as tough with All-Star Roberto Luongo sitting this one out while Al Montoya takes to the blue paint.
The incumbent Marc-Andre Fleury starts for Pittsburgh, and he will need to make some big saves on these skills cats in order to keep his Penguins afloat.
The Panthers have done some line juggling due to the injury of star center Alex Barkov. Jagr will not play with regular Jonathan Huberdeau, instead he will play next to Vincent Trocheck and either Brandon Pirri (if he plays – injury) or Reilly Smith…both pure snipers.
It will be a good one in Sunrise, Fla tonight as the puck drops at 7:30pm EST.
Here’s another installment of my winning (hopefully) daily fantasy hockey lineup. This week we are going to take a look at one of the lesser-known ways to play daily fantasy sports. An old friend perhaps, the point-spread.
In a point-spread contest, athletes are ranked by a spread rather than an appointed salary. There may or may not be a point cap, similar to a salary cap. The top players will be ranked below 0, and the “cheapest” players will be your positives. IE: Sidney Crosby is the NHL’s most valuable skater at -13.8, while injured rookie Lucas Lessio is a +7.7. The spreads are based off their FPPG production.
- My Lineup
I went with the small spread mentality. Don’t start too deep in the hole right out of the gate, and maximize your values. A well-balanced philosophy combined with boom-or-bust picks was my best chance to wrangle this one in.
So obviously my team is Montreal Canadiens dependent. Goaltender Ben Scrivens has played his best hockey of late, riding a three-game winning streak into Buffalo so I had to take him at -0.5 (a great discount for goaltenders). The line of Alex Galchenyuk–Tomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher is one of the hottest in the NHL, so I went with Galchenyuk. The least productive of the bunch, which is why I’m banking on a break-out.
With that line so hot, captain Max Pacioretty is due for a return to the spot light. He started getting some chances toward the end of their previous game, and a young team like the Sabres may be just what the doctor ordered. Pacioretty was too expensive for this owner and his aforementioned philosophy, so we went with his setup man, David Desharnais. While we know he won’t contribute in multi-categories, if he can get 2 assists, a couple of shots on goal and maybe even one across the goal line, it will have been worth the gamble.
My joker, perhaps the X-factor…Jaden Schwartz,.The uber-talented young Blues forward is returning from a fractured ankle he suffered in October…49 games ago. He will find his place next to his two former linemates Jori Lehtera and Vlad Tarasenko in a line that could produce instant fireworks.
Marian Gaborik returns to MSG with his rolling LA Kings, so I’ll take the chance that the veteran plays a solid game against the team that traded him because he wasn’t effective enough for them.
The only big ticket item we have is Penguins Defenseman Kris Letang. His -9.8 price tag, or shall I say spread, didn’t scare us away. A matchup with the lowly Hurricanes could be a tasty treat for the red-hot blueliner. His FPPG totals are just too ridiculous to even consider not playing him in with this matchup.
Alexei Emelin has been looking like a stud on his own blueline over the last few contests and his muli-category ability makes him very appealing. Not to mention Jeff Petry is out with an injury so Emelin‘s playing time will go up.
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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:
New York Rangers:
The New York Rangers were the toast of the NHL last season… up until they came up against the Tampa Bay Lightning. 113 regular season points allowed the Rangers to lay claim to the President’s trophy, but come the spring dance, that was not enough. We expect to see the Rangers take a small step back this season, we expect them to make the post season, but not with the fanfare they did in 2014-2015. We do expect to see Rick Nash pot somewhere in the vicinity of 30 goals and we expect to see Brassard lead the blue shirts in scoring.
To anyone paying attention to the NHL with more than a passing curiosity, it is clear that the Washington Capitals have experienced a paradigm shift. Another early playoff exit only seems to cement the focus that the Caps have. We expect to see Alex the great continue to score goals hand over fist. While fantasy managers may be wary of his price-tag, we are all but certain he will continue to pay dividends. We also expect to see Backstrom return to a top 10 position in the scoring race (provided he stays healthy).
New York Islanders:
The Islanders are christening a new arena this season and look to continue their accession in the NHL ranks. John Tavares is fast living up to his junior billing and the next great center-man and in so doing has taken the Islanders from substandard, to almost sure fire playoff participants. We expect to see the Islanders continue their methodical climb out of the NHL cellar and return once more to the post season. We also expect Tavares to command a hefty price tag in cash draft games, but we expect him to payoff big time, with a top 3 finish in the scoring race.
The Pens have been less than impressive recently. But this season, we expect to see the Penguins reclaim their dominance. We expect that the Penguins will provide fantasy hockey managers with points, points and more points! While a suspect defense may well hurt the pens, we foresee the arrival of Phil Kessel helping Sidney Crosby reclaim the NHL scoring title. While the Pens will give up goals (no doubt), we believe this season will see them be forced to score that much more, and they will. Kessel is a sure fire value pick.
Columbus Blue Jackets:
The Chicago Blackhawks loss is the Blue Jackets gain. Columbus has improved, but it was evident last season that they lacked some refined scoring. With the addition of Bradon Saad, the BJ’s hope to have addressed that. While their post season participation is still up for debate, we do believe that Saad will have a breakout year and Columbus’ offensive catalyst. Saad’s fantasy value will quickly become evident, we see the young left winger potting 30 goals and leading his club in points. A sure fire pick up in fantasy hockey.
Another year over and still no end in sight for the seeming eternal Flyer’s search for a #1 goal tender. While front end talents (Giroux and Voracek) will continue to deliver, we cannot envision the Flyers making the playoffs. Giroux had a slow start last season whi8le Voracek had a fast start, we believe that the if the price is right early in, Giroux will be a must pick up, but Voracek should be considered long and hard depending on the cost.
New Jersey Devils:
There is bad and then there is bad. We can’t see any redeeming facets to the upcoming New Jersey Devil’s season. We do expect that Corey Schneider will face (and stop) a great deal of shots. If in a bind and in need of picking up a goalie that can provide fantasy hockey points. We will prop up Schneider, aside from him… stay away.
On paper the Hurricane’s should not have been as bad as they were in 2014-15. But they were… bad. It bears mention that their team captain and arguably the face of their franchise, Eric Staal, will be playing in as contract year, perhaps his final NHL contract. We expect that the onetime 30 goal scorer will regain his one-time scoring touch. Whether the big center-man remains in Carolina or is traded to another club, we expect to see Staal provide fantasy hockey managers a great deal of value and points.
ST-Louis Blues: COMING SOON
Nashville Predators: COMING SOON
Chicago Blackhawks: COMING SOON
Minnesota Wild: COMING SOON
Winnipeg Jets: COMING SOON
Dallas Stars: COMING SOON
Colorado Avalanche: COMING SOON
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