It’s the last night of action on the ice tonight before the NHL goes on a brief three day hiatus for the Christmas break. Before enjoying a nice, mid-season breather, here are some of my favorite cash game targets for tonight’s entertaining eleven game schedule.
Petr Mrazek – Detroit Red Wings – With Jimmy Howard temporarily out of the lineup, the Wings will once again turn to Petr Mrazek to hold down the fort between the pipes. Mrazek has been impressive in his few opportunities at the NHL level, posting a 1.97 GAA and .926 in 13 career starts. He’s been one of the AHL’s top netminders over the last two seasons and led the Grand Rapids Griffins to the Calder Cup in 2012-13. The Buffalo Sabres will invade Joe Louis Arena tonight, and despite their improved results, they are still a dumpster fire by Corsi/Fenwick standards, have one of the lowest team shooting percentages in the NHL, and are averaging just 1.94 goals per game this season. With an asking price of just $7,600, Mrazek is a very strong cash game option in net this evening.
Others: Corey Crawford, Jake Allen, Henrik Lundqvist
Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins – Taking Crosby is rarely a bad idea, but here are a few reasons why you should consider dropping the $8,800 required to roster him tonight; 1) He logged nearly 25 minutes of ice-time last night, proving that he’s clearly back to 100% health, 2) He’s racked up 19 points in just 14 road games thus far this season, and 3) He destroyed this Tampa Bay team last season to the tune of four goals and six assists in just three meetings.
Charlie Coyle – Minnesota Wild – If you’re going to spend up for Sid the Kid, then you’ll obviously have to find some value somewhere and that’s where Coyle comes in. Coyle finally broke out of his scoring funk in his last game, picking up a pair of assists on Saturday against Nashville. The former first round pick oozes offensive talent and it’s only a matter of time until we see consistent offensive production as he now has the luxury of skating alongside Tomas Vanek and Zach Parise on Minnesota’s top scoring line as well as their #1 power-play unit. With the Wild welcoming a somewhat defensively challenged Philadelphia team with the #27th ranked penalty kill to the Xcel Energy Center, Coyle is one of my favorite value options on the board.
Others: Tyler Seguin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Toews, Alex Galchenyuk, T.J. Oshie, Mike Ribeiro, Paul Stastny
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks – Kane enters tonight’s tilt with the Winnipeg Jets as one of the hottest players in the NHL right now as he’ll bring a six game point streak into the game that has seen him amass four goals and six assists. He’s recorded at least one point in each of the last eight games at the United Center and now owns eight goals and eleven assists in just 16 home games this season. With 10 multi-point games already this season, Kane is a great option for both cash games and GPP’s.
Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars – Benn is clearly enjoying life on one of the game’s most dangerous forward lines as he’s now racked up 10 goals and 20 assists already this season. He’s posted a goal and an assist in each of the last two games and has seven points over the last six games. The Maple Leafs come to town tonight having allowed 15 goals during their current three game losing streak and Dallas should be able to utilize the last line change to get the Benn/Seguin/Spezza line the best matchups possible. This is an important game for the Stars as they’ll look to hit the mini-break riding a five game winning streak.
Others: Taylor Hall, Mikkel Boedker, Chris Kunitz, Kris Versteeg, Gustav Nyquist, Zach Parise, Rick Nash
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Arizona Coyotes – Arizona may not have much to write home about this season, but at least the can boast that they’re not as big of a train wreck as their opponent tonight, the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have just one win in their last 19 games and are allowing a league worst 3.41 goals against per game. Ekman-Larsson is one of the few bright spots for this Coyotes team as he enters tonight’s game having scored three goals over the last four games. He’s already lit the lamp twice against Edmonton already this season and tallied two goals and four assists in five meetings against them last season. He mans the point of Arizona’s 10th ranked power-play and I expect him to find his name in the scoresheet.
Andrei Markov – Montreal Canadians – If just doesn’t seem like true daily fantasy hockey if you’re not picking on the New York Islander’s absolutely dreadful penalty kill, and it’s Markov who enters tonight’s game leading the Habs in power-play points (9). Markov is routinely logging north of 25 minutes of ice-time per game this season and has truly developed into a power-play specialist on the blue line. He’s tallied points in each of the last four games and now owns a pair of goals and six assists in just nine games this month.
Others: Justin Shultz, Duncan Keith, Kris Letang, Kevin Shattenkirk, P.K. Subban, Nicklas Kronwall, Keith Yandle
Best of luck tonight and Happy Hollidays to everyone!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)