Pictured: Steven Stamkos and Patrice Bergeron
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/14/19

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

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Alex Ovechkin vs Nikita Kucherov

Alex Ovechkin earned his 1,200th career point in a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Ovechkin’s milestone came on John Carlson’s third period power-play goal. He reached 1,200 points in his 1,072 career game. He’s the 49th player to ever reach 1,200 points.

Nikita Kucherov collected an assist on Monday against the Maple Leafs, inching his league-leading point total to 111. He had two goals against the Red Wings on Saturday.

Jamie Benn vs Blake Wheeler

Captain Jamie Benn has 33 points in 38 career games vs. the Wild.

Blake Wheeler is expected to be available to play on Thursday night. Wheeler skipped Wednesday’s practice after he took a couple of shots to the head on Tuesday against San Jose. He has seven goals and 16 points in the last 10 games.

Evgenii Dadonov vs Brad Marchand

Evgenii Dadonov picked up an assists and added a plus-1 rating in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Red Wings. He has 5 assists in his last 3 games.

Brad Marchand’s two goals and an assist weren’t enough in Boston’s 7-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Marchand started off his night by feeding Patrice Bergeron on a two-on-one to open the scoring shorthanded. However, things fell off the rails from there for Boston, allowing five straight goals in a span of 21 minutes. The Bruins then scored three straight to close out the second frame to make this one interesting, with Marchand getting on in tight off a rebound and getting his second off a Bergeron faceoff win. Marchand is now just the sixth player in franchise history to record at least four consecutive seasons of 30+ goals. The 30-year-old winger has 30 goals and 85 points in 69 games this season.

Phil Kessel vs Alexander Radulov

Phil Kessel scored a goal and an assist, both on the power play, in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Capitals.

Alexander Radulov has totaled 9 points over the last 10 games for Dallas with six goals and three assists.

Yanni Gourde vs Mike Hoffman

Yanni Gourde had two assists on Monday against the Maple Leafs.

Mike Hoffman collected his 30th assists (61 points) of the season in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Red Wings.

Claude Giroux vs Evander Kane

Claude Giroux saw his season-high eight-game point streak end in Monday’s 3-2 win over the Senators despite playing 24:40.It was the ninth time this season Giroux has topped the 24-minute mark in a game, all under interim head coach Scott Gordon. However, the Flyers are just 3-4-2 when Giroux logs 24-plus TOI.

Evander Kane joined the Sharks for Thursday’s morning skate. Kane won’t return on Thursday against the Panthers, but he’s getting very close. He missed a little over two weeks.

Viktor Arvidsson vs Patrik Laine

Viktor Arvidsson leads the Predators with 28 goals, adding 11 assists and recording 39 points.

Patrik Laine needs to step up his game, and soon. After scoring 21 goals in the first two months of the season, Laine has scored just eight times in his last 45 games. That’s a pedestrian rate for someone who tore up the league in his first two years.

Tyler Seguin vs Sidney Crosby

Tyler Seguin earned an assist in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Buffalo. Seguin has contributed a helper in each of the last three games. He has 27 goals on 271 shots this season as well as 63 points in 69 contests.

Sidney Crosby scored two goals in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals. The Penguins fell behind two goals midway through the contest but Jake Guentzel got them back in the game at the 12:37 mark of the second period. Crosby then tied the game less than a minute later when Justin Schultz sent him on a breakaway with a great lob pass. Crosby then needed just 61 seconds to finish off a great tic-tac-toe sequence with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel for his second of the night. Pittsburgh’s captain is up to 33 goals and 90 points in 67 games, becoming the only active NHLer with at least six seasons of 90+ points.

Patrice Bergeron Steven Stamkos

Patrice Bergeron notched one goal and one assist in a 7-4 loss to Columbus on Tuesday night. Bergeron opened the scoring four minutes into the contest with a shorthanded goal. He set up a goal by Brad Marchand near the end of the second stanza. Bergeron has 26 goals and 65 points in 54 games this season.

Steven Stamkos has 34 goal this season and 382 in his career. He is one shy of tying Lecavalier’s career franchise record.

Mark Scheifele vs Jack Eichel

Winnipeg has scored 235 goals and is third in the Western Conference averaging 3.4 goals per game. Mark Scheifele leads the team with 32.

Jack Eichel has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head on Colorado’s Carl Soderberg. Eichel got a two-minute penalty on Saturday for the hit. He won’t get to play in Buffalo’s upcoming two-game homestand, but he will be eligible to return on March 16 versus Carolina.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/07/19

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

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Nikita Kucherov vs Patrick Kane

Nikita Kucherov has a chance to pass Vincent Lecavalier in the franchise record book on Thursday night. Kucherov owns a league-high 108 points to match the former Tampa Bay captain, who set his record in 2006-07. “It’s amazing,” Lightning teammate Adam Erne told reporters of Kucherov after Tuesday’s 5-2 victory over Winnipeg. “It just happens for him. He’s a real hard worker. You can tell how hard he works in practice on his particular skills, how well he knows his game and what he needs to do.”

Buffalo native Patrick Kane has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last two losses, the first time the league’s second-leading scorer has not recorded a point in back-to-back games since Nov. 21-23. Kane scored two goals in Chicago’s rout of Buffalo last month.

Evgeni Dadonov vs Vladimir Tarasenko

Florida RW Evgenii Dadonov is mired in a five-game point drought as he sits one shy of his second straight season with at least 50.

Vladimir Tarasenko (team-high 27 goals, 56 points), who notched two assists against Anaheim on Wednesday, collected 10 goals and 20 points in the 11 games prior to Schenn’s injury but only three points with his linemate out of action (6 games).

Phil Kessel vs Alexander Radulov

Pittsburgh RW Phil Kessel, who has four assists in his last five games overall, has set up a goal in both encounters with Columbus this season.

Alexander Radulov was left off of the lineup last game against the Rangers because of disciplinary reasons. He showed up late before Tuesday game. Radulov has recorded four points against the Avalanche this season.

Jamie Benn vs Artemi Panarin

Jamie Benn recorded a hat trick on Saturday, but was then blanked from the scoresheet on Tuesday.

Blue Jackets LW Artemi Panarin has recorded 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 10 career contests versus the Penguins.

Brad Marchand vs Johnny Gaudreau

Brad Marchand continues to pile up points with six in the last four games to increase his team-leading total to 77.

Johnny Gaudreau was kept off the scoresheet Wednesday, ending his four-game assist streak. The 25-year-old left wing, who tops the team with 84 points and shares the lead in goals (30) with Sean Monahan, needs one of each to set career highs.

Mike Hoffman vs Yanni Gourde

Left wing Mike Hoffman leads Florida with 30 goals and is two points from matching his career high of 61 with Ottawa in 2016-17.

Yanni Gourde scored a goal in Tuesday’s win over the Jets.

Tyler Seguin vs Nathan MacKinnon

Stars C Tyler Seguin has recorded two goals and two assists against the Avalanche this season.

Nathan MacKinnon scored his club-best 34th goal in a 4-3 win over Detroit on Tuesday. The 23-year-old scored and set up a goal in the Avalanche’s 3-2 victory over Dallas on Nov. 24 before erupting for a season high-tying four points (one goal, three assists) in a 6-4 triumph against the Stars on Dec. 15.

Sidney Crosby vs Patrice Bergeron

Superstar captain Sidney Crosby powered his team to the pair of wins by recording multi-point performances in each outing this season against Columbus. The two-time Hart Trophy recipient posted his fifth straight multi-point effort by scoring a goal and setting up two others in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win versus Florida to boost his total to five goals and eight assists in that stretch.

Center Patrice Bergeron reached 60 points for the seventh time in his career Tuesday with his 23rd goal.

Steven Stamkos vs Evgeni Malkin

Along with teammate Nikita Kucherov, captain Steven Stamkos could also pass Vincent Lecavalier in the franchise record book. Stamkos boasts 382 career goals, one behind Lecavalier for the most in Lightning history.

Evgeni Malkin saw his four-game point streak snap on Tuesday. He’s up to 21 goals and 66 points in 60 games this season. He’s also just four points away from the 1,000th of his career.

Jack Eichel vs Jonathan Toews

Captain Jack Eichel scored twice in the marquee matchup against Connor McDavid and Edmonton on Monday to give him six goals in his last five games and 25 on the season — matching his season high from 2017-18. “I probably haven’t been the most consistent scorer this year,” Eichel said of his recent binge. “I think I’ve probably passed up too many opportunities to shoot the puck at times. Eichel, who has scored at least 24 goals in each of his first four seasons, had a goal in a 7-3 loss to Chicago on Feb. 1.

Jonathan Toews will play on a line Brandon Saad and John Hayden. Head coach Jeremy Colliton is trying to get his team back on track now that their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. Toews has been really good this year, but he has one goal in his last six games. They need him to take his game to another level if they’re going to make it back to the postseason. The 30-year-old has 29 goals and 67 points in 66 games this season.

Posted in NHL, Top Fantasy Picks

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.

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Lineup

There are only five games on the NHL schedule tonight, and with the season coming to a close, matchups become even more important when considering your daily fantasy hockey lineup.

Some daily fantasy players like to spread their wealth over an abundance of games, but as some teams are fighting for their playoff lives others are dreaming of greener pastures so effort levels can waver significantly.

In this edition of my daily fantasy hockey lineup, I’ve loaded up on Kings, and Panthers, while rounding out my team with stalwart’s from playoff teams (one exception: Columbus’ hot Boone Jenner)

  • My Lineup

NHLDFS04

The Tampa Bay Lightning were expected to be contenders this season, but have dealt with their share of drama from the get-go. Captain Steven Stamkos has had a whirlwind season including the non-stop trade rumours due to his status as an impending unrestricted free-agent, while top prospect Jonathan Drouin refused to report to their minor league affiliate for a while leading to an in-house suspension.

Just as Tampa thought that things would turn up in time for the playoffs, those hopes took a major hit when the club announced the loss of Stamkos for one-to-three months with a blood clot this weekend, and top pairing defenseman Anton Stralman with a broken leg last week. 

Scoring winger Ondrej Palat missed over 20 games this season due to injury, but has heated up of late going on a tear about a month ago and recently producing 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points over his last 10 games.

Though the Vancouver Canucks have won two straight, the Kings are still the heavy favorite. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Canucks hadn’t won one in their previous 10 and LA is true Stanley Cup contender.

Enter a trio of Kings: Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter and value pick Kris Versteeg.

Jonathan Quick is one of the league’s few elite goaltenders, and is aiming for a career-high 40 wins tonight. He’s at least $1000 cheaper than the St-Louis Blues tandem of Jake Allen (injured) and Brian Elliott, more talented than them and has the desired matchup.

I also stacked two members from the Florida Panthers top line. Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr. Barkov has made a habit of wrecking the Montreal Canadiens this year, and capped off the season with a 4-point effort (2 goals, 2 assists) on Saturday night. The young Finn is fresh, confident and primed to wreck the Maple Leafs tonight.

Linemate and living-legend Jaromir Jagr has points in 5 straight games, while scoring at least one point in 16 of 21 games since turning 44 years old on February 15th (9 goals, 13 assists). He shows no signs of slowing down heading into the NHL playoffs.

 

 

Posted in NHL

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview

Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference face up tonight in this battle for the Atlantic Division supremacy when the Florida Panthers travel to the Tampa to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. This NHL Fantasy Hockey preview is brought to you by FanPicks and WIN up to a $1 million with only $1 when you play in our NHL Magic Million promo contest at FanPicks.com

 

NHL Fantasy Hockey Preview

The Florida Panthers come into this game having 3 out of 4 games against the Tampa Bay Lighting this year. They’re currently tied with the lightning in terms of points at 91 but are second behind them in the Atlantic Division due to few regulation/overtime wins (Tampa Bay 40 vs Florida 34). Both teams have 8 games remaining and are battling this late season for the divisional lead. This will be a huge and great game for both teams. Their Forward Vincent Trocheck has goals in 3 straight games and 4 of his past 5 games.

The Lightning come into this game having set a season high for goals in a game this year in a 7-4 win against the New York Islander and moving up into 1st place at the same time. They unfortunately lost a key player during the game. Their Defenseman Anton Stralman is out indefinitely with a non-displaced fracture of his left fibula, an injury that happened in the 1st period. It’s a tough loss with big shoes to fill for the Lightning. He will most likely miss the rest of the regular season and come back for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tampa Bay has won 3 straight games. Kucherov scored a goal at least in 4 consecutive games with their start forward Steven Stamkos has 6 goals in his past 6 games.

Posted in NHL

DFS Hockey Value Picks

With 6 games on the NHL schedule tonight, Fanpicks will bring you another edition of DFS Hockey Value Picks. Here I will preview a few potential steals in the fantasy world that can help you become your daily fantasy sports contest champion.

Value Picks: Forward

Carl Hagelin – Evgeni Malkin returned from injury this weekend and wasted no time making an impact. The Penguins star center nearly scored seconds into his first shift, and while he was not the setup man for Hagelin’s 2 goals his return will certainly boost Hagelin’s production. This may be one to ride until season’s end (if his cap hit stays low).

Tomas Plekanec at $4500 is a solid value. Thornton and Galchenyuk are the better offensive players, but are by definition lesser “values”. The Canadiens top line had a very slow start against Toronto on Saturday, so a strong start in a big road game is a must by Montreal’s leaders.

Steven Stamkos has 6 goals in his last 6 games, so the fact that he isn’t near $7000-$8000 is a steal. Add the fact that he returns to Toronto tonight to play in front of a crowd who have have no bigger wish than to see Stammer in Maple Leaf blue next season.

Defense

Andrei Markov has 8 points in his last 7 games played. At $4400 he is a nice discount compared to premier blueliners like Brent Burns, Kris Letang, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and rookie sensation Shayne Gostisbehere.  The Western Conference is a much slower pace than the East, a nice fit for the aging Habs blueliner.

John Klingberg has 5 assists in his last 3 games, so at $4700 the Star is well worth it. He was priced at the top of his group all season long, so such a value is a must buy.

Posted in NHL