Hey it is the first Saturday in December and I am ready for more daily picks here on “The Playbook”. There are a dozen games in all to choose from so let’s try to get this right. Please note we have special markings for the early (E) games.

Goalie

This is a slate that has a little late coast flavor. Let’s discuss!

Jonathan Quick ($8,600) E – Quick is incredible at home and has been rested a little of late as Martin Jones has had the chance to start three times in the last couple weeks. The goalie is 6-2-2 with a 2.16 GAA and .925 save percentage in his last ten starts. Philadelphia is a bit of a wild card but Los Angeles is just a different team at home this year. It could be a pretty good proposition for early players.

Jake Allen ($7,800) E – This is a fun risk because that Jaroslav Halak streak has to end sometime. Allen is a good goalie and this is his job until Brian Elliott can play on that knee. St. Louis was close to beating Nashville but Martin Brodeur was not the answer. They can suppress shots as good as anyone but the Islanders may fire more rubber on Jake Allen. Hey that works for me! It’s worth a shot.

Jimmy Howard ($6,700) – With winning four of his last five starts, Howard has rode that wave rather nicely. Saturday, he will have to steal it a little bit but this could be a pretty decent match-up against a Ranger team not starting Henrik Lundqvist. The low value is very tempting and that will at least help late players as far as honing their lineup. There are gambles to be made and we will take them into consideration.

Others to consider: Roberto Luongo ($7,000), Cory Schneider ($6,900).– we will have more late goalie possibilities as the time gets closer to 7:00 pm ET.

Center

John Tavares ($7,100) E – There is a nice value here at this price. Yes the production of Tavares has declined over the past couple weeks but there is something about afternoon home games that stirs the echoes so to speak. Do not be surprised if the center does well even against a team that suppresses shots well. He has done this in a losing effort against St. Louis before.

Brandon Sutter ($3,400) E – With all the injuries, Sutter has been bumped up into the top six and the first power play unit. This means the potential for points by osmosis. This shift upward may not last long and Ottawa provides a chance for Pittsburgh’s special teams to do well. It is an afternoon game against a team that gives up a lot of shots and scoring chances. The Sidney Crosby “slump” cannot continue, right?

Tyler Seguin ($9,400) – The Dallas first line facing a Montreal team coming off a last second loss to Chicago is a recipe for success. This has the makings of being a line you may want to go with. Obviously Jamie Benn might be a wise option. Seguin is a player that can create his own offense on different lines so watch if he is double shifted. A bounce back effort is likely with 4+ shots and a chance for multiple points is rather high.

Adam Henrique ($5,100) – The goal of winning cash games and GPP’s is to take some out there risks. If we did not do this, then everyone would have the same rosters and that is no fun. Henrique leads this team despite not being on the first line. At some point, the first line center in his rookie season had to come out and it has. This is not Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk flanking him but Michael Cammalleri is pretty damn good. Henrique is a fun play here.

Others I like: Jori Lehtera ($4,100) E, Nicklas Backstrom ($5,800), Jonathan Toews ($5,300).

Value: Marcus Kruger ($2,800), Scott Gomez ($2,700), Scott Laughton ($2,500) E.

Winger

Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,500) E – The young Russian was at it again against Nashville with two more goals giving him 16 goals in just 26 games. Tarasenko at 100 shots averages nearly four shots a game and always seems to have at least two or three scoring chances every time out. IF there is a concern, it is that the right winger has no power play goals in over ten games. That might explain why St. Louis has struggled a bit lately on the man advantage.

Jaden Schwartz ($5,000) E – Schwartz has tailed off a little but still has 22 points in 26 games. It is rare to pair wingers on the road but the early slate is a strange one to say the least and St, Louis can catch itself in some pretty high scoring games on the road. If the Islanders are going to have a tough time with any one line, that should be the Tarasenko line.

Alex Ovechkin ($9,000) – Ovechkin tends to be hit or miss against New Jersey but we will give him a passion mention especially for cash games. Five points in his last ten games is a definite slump so this is the old “he’s due to strike back”. Every set of numbers has dropped. The power play goals have dried up and even shots per game. However, there is a full moon on Saturday night and we will just leave it at that.

Radim Vrbata ($6,200) – Vancouver trotting into Toronto after New Jersey scored five on the Maple Leafs should get Toronto up for this game but Vancouver will be ready too. Radim Vrbata loves to put the puck on the net and Toronto likes to give up shots. Hey, that’s always a great setup. Vrbata has a hard shot and also a good wrist shot as well. Again let the Sedins get the puck there and then Vrbata finishes. Toronto’s defense is going to be driven nuts.

Filip Forsberg ($5,700)REGRESS THIS! Forsberg has thrown caution to the wind and let it rip. He is still right around a point a game despite only six power play points. Other choices were out there but Filip Forsberg still jumps off the screen. That talent is what has called Mike Ribeiro to come back into prominence. It is not often a rookie is a +22 this early in the season (last time was the 80’s). Chicago and Nashville is going to be some game. Play Forsberg!

Others I like: Kyle Okposo ($5,600) E, Daniel Sedin ($5,400), Marian Hossa ($5,300).

Value: Tanner Pearson ($2,900) E,  Dale Weise ($2,700), Kerby Rychel ($2,500).

Defence

Erik Karlsson ($6,500) E – Karlsson has 12 points on the man advantage out of his 18. His -8 is a bit of a concern but not here. However, a great thing is the defenseman seems to be blocking more shots while still blasting away. Pittsburgh is the type of opponent that could yield chances given their injury situation. Then again, Ottawa is going to give up their fair share so they just have to play up and down hockey at times. Watch Ottawa on special teams against a Pittsburgh penalty kill that showed some holes against Vancouver.

Mark Giordano ($6,100) – When heart cannot be measured, there is the Calgary Flames. They just keep finding ways to win. Giordano is a point a game player who is one of the best facilitators from the back end I have seen in the last 5-10 years. His blocked shots/shots on goal is a whopping 122 (almost 60 in both). That provides cheap points even when he does not get an assist or a goal. Calgary’s power play is a bit cold of late but San Jose, who gave up four goals to Boston, is still a bit rough around the edges. Maybe the points will come tonight and do check out T.J Brodie at a slightly lower cost as a running mate.

Victor Hedman ($5,100) – There is excellent value to be had with Hedman at this price. A limping Columbus comes into Tampa finally breaking their long losing streak. The defenseman does have a few weaknesses that could be worked on. He needs to shoot a little more and needs to be more accurate with that shot. Shot selection is important and he has lacked that a bit since he returned from injury. Tonight might be the perfect time to take Hedman in your leagues.

Others I like: Christian Ehrhoff ($4,100) E, Jason Garrison ($4,300), Marek Zidlicky ($4,100), John Klingberg ($4,000).

Value: Danny DeKeyser ($3,000), Josh Gorges ($2,700), Tim Erixon ($2,500).

Thanks for reading guys and hopefully the picks help you out. If you have any questions, fire them away at me on twitter @ChrisWasselTHW and i’ll do my best to answer them.

Good luck today!