Detroit Red Wings vs Washington Capitals

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

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

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (8-8-1)

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

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (10-4-2)

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

Posted in NHL

Winnipeg Jets vs Detroit Red Wings Preview

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

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

ABOUT THE JETS (4-6-1)

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

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (6-4-1)

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

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks

On this President’s Day edition of my daily fantasy hockey picks, I take another look at a potential winning strategy to help you win your daily fantasy hockey league and make some serious cash on FanPicks.

On a night where three big ticket goaltenders will be taking the night off (Luongo, Crawford, Rinne), finding great value in net is all you can do. By taking Mike Condon over the more talented Jacob Markstrom you save $1500, a nice sum you can use to bolster another spot in your lineup since neither are exactly Vezina candidates.

Let’s take a look at the rest of my lineup…

  • My Roster

NHLlineup0215

In this case, I’m going to take advantage of the extra cap room and select the league’s most expensive skater Tyler Seguin. Seguin suffered a scary skate-to-arm injury last game but should be fine tonight versus the same Predators he scored a pair against earlier this year.

Sidney Crosby was very tempting as my other Center, as there’s just something about Florida that brings out his competitive nature so take the gamble if you can afford it. I couldn’t due to other desires, such as playing Alex Galchenyuk, so I slotted in the streaky Habs forward behind Seguin (Galchneyuk is listed as a center on FanPicks but a LW elsewhere). “Chucky” netted a pair of one-time powerplay goals in a frustrating Friday night loss, so his strong play could continue against one of the NHL’s worst defenses.

Patrick Eaves has points in five straight, but his $5000 price tag puts him above other viable options such as birthday “boy” Jaromir Jagr at $4900. The now 44-year-old legend has a shooting percentage 5% higher than his career average, and a date with his former franchise on his big day is worth watching.

Montreal rookie Sven Andrighetto netted a pair on Friday night, and now leads the team in goals per 60 minutes played despite just joining the top-six last game. He now skates next to Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais to form a skilled scoring line and has a matchup with the aforementioned Coyotes weak D.

The LW spot was the hardest to fill today. Thomas Vanek was a healthy scratch recently for his all-too-common lackluster efforts, but has four points in his last three games for the struggling Wild since sliding back into the lineup. Nashville’s Filip Forsberg has four goals and two assists over his last four contests, a big sign that the 21-year-old is starting to heat up after a slow start.

PK Subban has 11 points during his eight game point streak, following six points in the previous six games.  He has been on fire since Christmas time and has easily been the Canadiens best player night after night.

Predators defenseman Roman Josi has five points in his last three games and has been a beast all season, but with a high priced veteran like Subban already on the roster, I needed to save a little money on my other defenseman. Maple Leaf Jake Gardiner has benefited from Dion Phaneuf’s departure by scoring two goals and two assists over his last three games, so we’ll roll with him.

Posted in NHL