With CFB on a brief hiatus, and the NBA locked into a typically slow “TNT Night”, the NHL takes center stage tonight as they roll out a plump ten game schedule. The following picks are my favorite options at each position for use in your cash games tonight on Draft Kings.
Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators – While he won’t come cheap ($9,000), Rinne earned his high salary this season and enters tonight’s game sporting an 18-5-1 record with a sparkling 1.81 GAA and .934 SV%. If that’s not good enough for you, than consider the fact that he’s posted a 12-3-0 record with a 1.72 GAA and .938 SV% in 15 starts since the beginning of November. Arizona has dropped eight of their last ten games and have only mustered up 19 goals during that stretch. Rinne defeated the Coyotes in their only previous meeting this season and is my top choice between the pipes tonight.
Others: Karri Ramo, Jonathan Quick, Ben Bishop
Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning – The Tampa Bay Lightning are an entirely different animal on home ice, and the same can be said about Steven Stamkos. When Jon Cooper has been utilize the last line change to put Stamkos in favorable positions, all his center has done this season is tally ten goals and ten assists in 16 games at the Amalie Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes limp into Tampa having lost 10 of their last 13 games and now sport an ugly 3-9-2 road record thus far this season. Tampa has won all seven meetings against the Hurricanes over the last three season making Stamkos my top scoring options of the evening.
Mike Ribeiro – Nashville Predators – Ribiero and the Predators will head into the desert tonight to take on the team Ribiero player 80 games for last season. Ribiero tallied a goal and an assist against his old team when these two teams squared off earlier this season and is now averaging a point-per-game on the road thus far this season. He’s routinely seeing over 20 minutes of playing time per game as the center of the Predator’s very dangerous top forward line as well as their #1 power-play unit. Ribeiro has picked up three goals and four assists over the last five games and should be able to keep things going against this Arizona team who have dropped four straight and who are allowing 3.21 goals per game this season. He’s been chronically underpriced all season and is still a huge bargain at just $4,800.
Others: Claude Giroux, Tyler Johnson, Nicklas Backstrom, Bryan Little, Jori Lehtera, Josh Jooris, Joe Pavelski
Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals – Ovechkin finally snapped his four game pointless streak his last time out by lighting the lamp twice against the Tampa Bay Lightning and now he’ll turn his attention to a Columbus team that ranks third worst in the NHL by allowing 3.33 goals per game thus far this season. Ovie scored a pair of goals against the Blue Jackets when they met earlier this year, and as one of the game’s most dangerous power-play weapons, he should be salivating to get a crack at Columbus’ #25th ranked penalty kill. We’ve seen how streaky Ovechkin can by numerous times in the past, so don’t be too late to jump onboard.
Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg Jets – The Winnipeg Jets will fly to the Mile High city to take on a Colorado Avalanche team who have now dropped four straight games and who are consistently having defensive breakdowns from their defenders. Wheeler lit the lamp and added an assists in his last outing and has now racked up one goal and five assists over his last three games. He’s routinely logging nearly 20 minutes of ice-time on the wing of the Jet’s top scoring line and sees a very healthy dose of playing time on the team’s #1 power-play unit. The destroyed this Colorado team last season, posting five goals and five assists in their five meetings and his reasonable $6,600 asking price makes him a nice option tonight.
Others: Ryan Callahan, Vladimir Tarasenko, James Neal, Andrew Ladd, Michael Raffl, Jakob Voracek, Jiri Hudler, Alex Killorn
Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues – With the Blue’s back in the Show-Me State, you’ll want to give Kevin Shattenkirk a long, hard look as one of your defensemen tonight. Shattenkirk has developed into Ken Hitchcock’s favorite option on the blue-line and routinely trots him out there over 25 minutes per game. He’s thrived at the Scottrade Center, scoring a pair of goals and adding eleven assists in just 14 home games. With the New York Islanders coming to town with the league’s worst penalty kill (72.9%), it makes perfect sense to target the player leading all NHL defensemen in power-play points thus far this season (14). Shattenkirk feasted on the Islanders when they met last week, scoring a goal and adding two assists in St. Louis’ 6-4 victory.
Jacob Trouba – Winnipeg Jets – After an inexplicably slow start to the season, Trouba has settled in nicely and now owns two goals and seven assists over his last nine games. He’s seen big minutes on a nightly basis and his strong play has earned him plenty of run on the point of the team’s #2 power-play unit. He’s a terrific play-maker and, as a first round pick in the 2012 draft, Trouba is starting to prove that last season’s 29 point season was just a preview of what he’s capable of.
Others: Victor Hedman, Brent Burns, Mark Giordano, John Carlson, Mark Streit, T.J. Brodie, Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Alex Pietrangelo
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)