After two straight nights with just three games on the schedule, the NHL finally delivers a fantasy friendly slate this evening. Twenty-two teams will take the ice tonight making for plenty feasible options at your disposal to fill out your fantasy hockey rosters. While hitting it big in a GPP is certainly on top of any Daily Fantasy Hockey players Holiday wish-list, these picks are geared towards my favorite options in my cash games (ie. H2H’s and 50/50’s).
Carey Price – Montreal Canadians – Price has been terrific in each of his last two outings, turning away 59 of the 62 shots fired at him while carrying the Canadians to two impressive victories. He’ll welcome a Carolina team to the Bell Centre who have lost five straight games, won just three road games all season, and who’s 2.10 goals per game rank them second last in the NHL this season. Price has thrived on home ice this season, posting a 11-3-0 record with a 2.21 GAA and .926 SV% in his 14 home starts. His $8,700 asking price isn’t a bargain necessarily, but he’s well worth the investment between the pipes in your cash games.
Others: Jimmy Howard, Ondrej Pavelec, Antti Raanta
Nicklas Backstrom – Washington Capitals – Fresh off a hat trick against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, Backstrom will turn his attention to the Florida Panthers tonight. Playing alongside the very dangerous Alexander Ovechkin, Backstrom terrorized the Panthers last season; posting three goals and adding three assists in their three meetings. He’s somewhat quietly averaging exactly a point-per-game during his impressive career (524 points in 524 games). Over the last eleven games, he’s scored four goals, snagged ten assists and is a +7, meaning he’s been greatly out performing his rather modest $6,200 asking price.
Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings – “Hank” has been rather quiet lately, but he’s just too offensively talented to keep silenced for long. Zetterberg really seems to come alive at the Joe Louis Arena where, since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, he’s racked up 32 goals, 82 assists and is a +40 in 103 home games. Tonight he’ll take on a Columbus team who, despite their improved play recently, are allowing 3.28 goals per game this season. Zetterberg lines up alongside Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader on the wings top forward line and also centers the team’s very dangerous #1 power-play unit. With Columbus sporting an unsightly 77.6% penalty kill, Zetterberg looks like a bit of a bargain tonight.
Others: Claude Giroux, Pavel Datsyuk, Bryan Little, T.J. Oshie, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Antoine Vermette
Jacub Voracek – Philadelphia Flyers – With a tired Tampa Bay team heading into the City of Brotherly Love, the Flyers will look to turn their season around and push their current winning streak to three games. It’s no secret that their offense runs through the Voracek/Giroux/Raffl line, but you may not realize that Voracek and Giroux have paired up for points on more goals than any other tandem in the NHL thus far this season (24 times). Voracek has scored goals in back-to-back games and tallied a goal and an assist against Tampa Bay in their only other meeting so far this year. He has been nearly unstoppable at the Wells Fargo Center, posting seven goals and fourteen assists in 14 home games. His twelve multi-point games this year ranks him second in the league and makes him a terrific option for both cash games and GPP’s this evening.
Taylor Hall – Edmonton Oilers – Hall broke out in a big way last season, posting 80 points in 75 games for Edmonton and establishing himself as one of the brightest young stars in the game. However, both injuries and the general ineffectiveness of the Edmonton offense have slowed him down early this season. His offensive talents are undeniable and Arizona has had absolutely no answer for him as he’s posted three goals and eight assists in seven meetings against them since the beginning of last season. These two teams tend to light up the scoreboards when they face each other, and Hall’s $5,800 price-tag will be hard for me to pass up.
Others: Alex Ovechkin, Max Pacioretty, Patrick Kane, Blake Wheeler, Jordan Eberle
Keith Yandle – Arizona Coyotes – When the matchup is right, and it is tonight, Yandle is one of my favorite defensemen to target. His name is being thrown into the rumor mill lately, so Arizona will be eager to highlight his tremendous playmaking skills against the very mediocre (to be kind) defense of the Edmonton Oilers. Dating back to the beginning of last season, Yandle has feasted on Edmonton, posting four goals, five assists and a +11 in just eight meetings. His 13 power-play points this season has him ranked #2 among NHL defensemen in that category and he’ll enjoy his chances tonight against the Oilers 79.3% penalty kill.
Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning – Hedman has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last three games, but I still like him for my cash games this evening. He’s a mortal lock to see north of 20 minutes of ice-time tonight, and a healthy dose of those minutes will come on the point of Tampa’s lethal #1 power-play unit that will square off against Philadelphia’s dreadful 74% penalty kill. The Flyers were unable to contain Hedman last season as he posted two goals and three assists in their three meetings.
Others: Kevin Shattenkirk, P.K. Subban, John Carlson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Duncan Keith, Jacob Trouba, Niklas Kronwall
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)