With just three days left in the NHL’s regular season, tonight’s eleven game schedule will likely make or break the 2014-15 season for several teams in action. With this many games to choose from at this time of year, it’s important in DFS hockey to account for the motivation level for each team and target those who still have something worth fighting for; whether it be a playoff spot, a division title, a scoring race, or Connor McDavid. Here are my top cash game options for tonight’s busy slate.
Ben Bishop ($8,600) – Tampa Bay Lightning – The big net-minder enters tonight’s game fresh off of a spectacular 34 save shutout against the Florida Panthers and will now turn his attention to the offensively anemic New Jersey Devils. Bishop has been dominant all season at Amalie Arena; posting a 25-6-1 record with a 2.13 GAA and .925 SV% in 32 home starts. New Jersey has dropped eight of their last nine games and is averaging just 2.18 goals per game on the road this season. The well-rested Lightning still have hopes of catching the Montreal Canadians for the Atlantic Division crown, and Bishop should roll to a fairly easy victory here.
Others to Consider: Carey Price ($9,000), Ondrej Pavelec ($7,700), Jonathan Quick ($8,400), Eddie Lack ($7,400)
Logan Couture ($9,000) – San Jose Sharks – Couture is expensive, but with a matchup against the worst defensive team in the NHL on tap, he should be worth his big-ticket price-tag. Couture has racked up four goals and four assists over the last seven games and has already scored a pair of goals and picked up an assist in the four previous meetings against the Oilers. Couture leads the Sharks in SOG and has already picked up 24 points on the power-play this season, so he should have plenty of success tonight against the NHL’s second worst penalty kill (76.3%).
Henrik Sedin ($4,200) – Vancouver Canucks – While he may not have the highest upside on the board, Sedin’s price-tag is just way too tempting in this extremely favorable matchup. Sedin busted out of a mini four game scoring drought and has now tallied a goal and two assists over the last two games. He’s already picked up a goal and two assists in four meetings against the Coyotes, and Arizona has coughed up at least three goals against in each of their last ten games. Sedin sees all the minutes he can handle on Vancouver’s very dangerous #1 power-play unit, and the scoring chances should be abundant against an unmotivated Arizona team who owns the league’s 27th ranked penalty kill.
Others to Consider: Steven Stamkos ($9,200), Claude Giroux ($8,200), Joe Pavelski ($8,000), Patrice Bergeron ($6,000), Paul Stastny ($4,800), Tyler Johnson ($5,400), Bryan Little ($4,600)
Mark Stone ($6,200) – Ottawa Senators – The surging Ottawa Senators have a tough matchup on paper, but considering their opponent (the New York Rangers) have already clinched the President’s Trophy, they’re likely going to be resting several key contributors. Mark Stone’s inspired play recently has been a big reason for Ottawa’s success, and the 22 year old should get some serious consideration for the Calder Trophy this season. Stone has now found the net in four consecutive games and racked up six goals and added nine assists over the last 12 games. He’s posted 13 goals and 22 assists in just 34 games since the All-Star break and his strong play has earned him plenty of run on the team’s second power-play unit.
Jiri Hudler ($5,500) – Calgary Flames – In what is essentially a playoff game between both teams, Hudler will look to keep his offensive magic alive. The incredibly gifted forward has racked up ten goals and 15 assists over his last 18 games and owns eight multi-point games during that stretch. Hudler has already dished out four assists during the previous four meetings with this Los Angeles team and has picked up 13 goals and 24 assists in 38 games at the Saddledome. Despite his recent offensive onslaught, he’s still priced quite moderately, so enjoy the discount.
Others to Consider: Blake Wheeler ($8,300), Radim Vrbata ($7,100), Patrick Marleau ($6,000), Nikita Kucherov ($4,700), Andrew Ladd ($5,400)
Mark Streit ($5,000) – Philadelphia Flyers – The Flyers season may be a lost cause, but Streit is playing some inspired hockey lately. The 37 year old has dished out five assists over the last two games and now owns 9 goals and 42 assists in 79 games this season. While Carolina’s season long penalty kill looks solid (4th in the NHL), they’ve really struggled lately and own just a 79.7% kill rate since the All-Star break. Streit is tied for the NHL lead among all defensemen with 30 power-play points this season, and he’s been terrific all season at the Wells Fargo Center; tallying five goals and 26 assists in 38 home games.
Anton Stralman ($3,800) – Tampa Bay Lightning – The matchup here (vs. New Jersey) is nice, but the price-tag is nicer. Coming in at just $3,800, Stralman seems like a total bargain for a guy who has taken over the point of the Lightning’s #1 power-play unit. He’s picked up a goal and two assists over the last four games and is a mortal lock to see 20+ minutes of ice-time tonight. The New Jersey Devils have allowed 3.22 goals against per game during their current 1-8 free-fall and 30.8 shots on goal per game this season. Stralman is a rock solid cash game play at this price-point.
Others to Consider: Erik Karlsson ($8,800), Keith Yandle ($5,600), Alex Edler ($4,600), Kevin Shattenkirk ($5,500), Brent Burns ($6,500), Torey Krug ($4,600)
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)