Pictured: Tyler Seguin and Sidney Crosby
Source: Getty Images North America

NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/12/19

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

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Jamie Benn vs Artemi Panarin

Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn has 25 goals among 46 points in 65 games this season.

Artemi Panarin failed to register a shot on goal during Monday’s 2-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The Blue Jackets managed to fire 31 shots on Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, but none of them came off Panarin’s stick and none of them found the back of the net. The Russian forward finished the night with a minus-1 rating in 20:04 of ice time. The 27-year-old has failed to pick up a point in four straight games. He’s also gone six games without a goal. Panarin has 25 goals and 73 points in 66 games this season.

Brad Marchand vs Blake Wheeler

Brad Marchand earned an assist in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Penguins to keep his point streak alive at seven games.

Captain Blake Wheeler, who leads the Jets in assists (64) and points (83), scored versus the Sharks on Feb. 5 and notched three assists in the Jets’ 5-3 win at San Jose on Dec. 20. However, the 32-year-old Minnesota native saw his goal and point streaks end at four and eight, respectively, in the Sunday setback to the Capitals.

Vladimir Tarasenko vs Johnny Gaudreau

Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) will be re-evaluated in 10 days. Tarasenko suffered an upper-body injury on Thursday night and he missed Saturday’s game versus San Jose. He will sit out at least the next four games. Tarasenko leads the Blues with 28 goals and sits second on the team with 58 points through 66 games.

Johnny Gaudreau was pointless on Sunday and has scored only once in 19 games. It wasn’t for a lack of effort as Gaudreau had nine shots on goal in the 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Gaudreau has 30 goals and 84 points this season in 69 games but has only the one goal and 10 assists in his last 19 contests.

Phil Kessel vs Cam Atkinson

Veteran Phil Kessel is in scoring slumps. Kessel and Evgeni Malkin will have new linemates tonight both at even strength and on the power play. Teddy Blueger will skate as the left winger on the second line in replacement of the injured Zach Aston-Reese while Nick Bjugstad will skate with Malkin and Kessel on the second power play unit for tonight’s big rivalry game against the Capitals at PPG Paints Arena. Those, of course, are the same configurations that ended Sunday night’s win over the Bruins.

Right wing Cam Atkinson has led Columbus of late, recording three of his career-high 38 goals in the past four games while sitting second on the team with career-best 63 points.

Alexander Radulov vs Viktor Arvidsson

Alexander Radulov scored a goal in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Radulov picked up a rebound and showed off both his hands and patience to beat Corey Crawford in the opening period. It’s Radulov’s ninth point in his last seven games, bringing the 32-year-old forward to 21 goals and 55 points in 56 games this season.

Viktor Arvidsson’s status for Tuesday night is uncertain. Arvidsson was on the ice for the morning skate, but he took rushes with Miikka Salomaki, who is still on injured reserve, and Frederick Gaudreau, who could be a healthy scratch. He didn’t participate in Monday’s practice. Arvidsson has a team-high 28 goals.

Brendan Gallagher vs Patrik Laine

Brendan Gallagher has totaled 8 points while scoring seven goals and collecting one assists over the last 10 games for Montreal.

After scoring 18 goals in November, Patrik Laine has gone cold. Laine has 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) since December. The Jets are stuck trying to figure out what to do to get the second overall pick of the 2016 draft going.

Evander Kane vs Matthew Tkatchuk

San Jose forward Evander Kane is on personal leave and has been ruled out for the Tuesday contest against his former team.

Matthew Tkachuk scored three goals and assisted on another in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Tkachuk started off his nice by converting on a two-on-one, taking a feed from Michael Frolik, giving the Flames a 3-1 lead. The Golden Knights were able to tie the game before Mikael Backlund restored the lead for Calgary before the end of the second period and Tkachuk ended the game with two goals in the final frame for the hat trick. Tkachuk also picked up an assist on Backlund’s goal in the opening period, bringing him to 29 goals and 67 points in 69 games this season.

Tyler Seguin vs Sidney Crosby

The Stars’ playoff hopes are diminishing, but to his credit, Tyler Seguin continues to be the Stars’ best offensive weapon every night. He’s been playing at a point-per-game pace in 2019 with 28 points in 28 games, and against the Sabres he has a chance to run the table with no shutdown center to keep him in check. Seguin has feasted on Buffalo with 23 points in 26 career games against them. 

Leading scorer Sidney Crosby has 15 points over his last eight games. Crosby has been filling it up against the Capitals this season, dropping five points on them in three games so far. He also registered eight points against them in a six-game playoff series last season and has 68 points against them in 48 games now throughout his career against Washington in the regular season. With the Penguins hoping to climb back into the division race, a big night from Crosby is exactly what they need, and the NHL’s best player typically delivers in those situations.

Mark Scheifele vs Jack Eichel

Mark Scheifele has a Jets-best 32 goals, and his 75 points are second only to Wheeler’s total, yet he has been held off the scoresheet in three straight games. He mustered just one shot on goal in each of his past two outings.

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.

Evgeni Malkin vs Filip Forsberg

Evgeni Malkin is two points away from 1000 for his career. He stands to become one of five active players to reach that plateau, and one on three to have done so while playing his entire career with a single team — joining Alex Ovechkin and teammate Sidney Crosby.

Filip Forsberg (upper body) is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday night. Coach Peter Laviolette said that Wayne Simmonds will get a chance to play with Forsberg and Ryan Johansen against Anaheim. Forsberg missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury when he figured he would be OK to play.

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.

FDNHL27

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

Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks

Once again we would like to stress this isn’t necessarily our suggested daily fantasy hockey optimal lineup, but Value Players to target to help make your team successful! In order to win your daily fantasy hockey contest you need to maximize your spending and get the right formula for victory, where as these players are selected with individual value in mind (as you can see I always have money left over). Let’s take a look at my strategy today.

  • My Roster

NHLlineup0220

In today’s lineup I started off superstar heavy. Tyler Seguin versus the Bruins, Evgeni Kuznetsov (did you see that pass), and goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Seguin is playing his former team so I expect a passionate performance, while I am stacking Justin Williams with Kuznetsov. The RW pool is thin, and some playing time with Alex Ovechkin is never a bad thing.

Max Domi has been on fire, but linemate Anthony Duclair is actually the more consistent performer. At $4800 I have to hope for the best from the speedy rookie.

Jaden Schwartz has more points than superstar linemate Vlad Tarasenko since his return, so even though I think Tarasenko could pot a pair tonight Schwartz offers the better value.

Ales Hemsky also plays for Dallas, but I don’t consider it a stack since rarely do the two play together (if ever). Hemsky is a skilled veteran who has been producing better-than-usual lately, and with my back against the cap wall I had to roll the dice.

I went with two youngers on the blueline. Arizona’s Michael Stone has quietly put up very nice numbers over the past 20 games, while Jacob Trouba is finding his game again in Winnipeg. The last two games have been fantastic, but I’m hoping that Trouba can put up his best fantasy game of the season with at least 1 point, multiple shots for and multiple blocked shots.

 

 

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

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