With the NBA headed into their All-Star break, the NHL takes its turn at center stage of the DFS world for the next few days. Tonight we’re greeted by an entertaining nine game schedule that delivers plenty of matchups worth your attention. Here are my top picks for tonight’s action.
Carey Price – Montreal Canadians – He may be the most expensive goaltender on the board, but let me give you three reasons for why he’s worth the investment tonight; 1) He sports and 18-6-1 record with a 1.99 GAA and .933 SV% at the Bell Centre this season, 2) He’s posted a 8-1-1 record with a sparkling 1.38 GAA and .952 SV% over his last ten starts, and 3) He’ll take on an Edmonton team that has won just six road games while being held to just 2.14 goals per game on the road.
Writers Note: Dustin Tokarski will start for the Canadians and at $7,000, he’s one of the best value options on the board.
Others: Pekka Rinne, Jonathan Quick, Devan Dubnyk, Jaroslav Halak
Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings – On of the most important games on this slate takes place at the Staples Center, where the Kings host the team they’re chasing for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Calgary Flames. If history is going to repeat itself, it’s only a matter of time before the Kings finally get clicking on all cylinders and charge into the playoffs with tremendous momentum. They’re the best team in the NHL by Corsi standards (54.5 CF%) and should have a distinct puck possession advantage over this Calgary team that ranks #28th in the league in that same Category. Kopitar is the leader of this offense and he’s thrived at the Staples Center this season, posting 9 goals and 22 assists in 28 home games. Kopitar leads the Kings with 18 power-play points this season and he should have plenty of opportunities to add to that total against the Flames 24th ranked penalty kill. While many users may be turned away by the fact that Calgary has won each of the prior three meetings this season, I’ll simply enjoy the extremely reasonable $4,800 price-tag.
David Desharnais – Montreal Canadians – If you’re not in love with Kopitar tonight, then Desharnais is another center with the same $4,800 asking price. Playing alongside the talented Max Pacioretty on the ‘Habs top forward line, Desharnais has exploded for a pair of goals and six assists in five games thus far in February. He’s a completely different player at the Bell Centre, where he’s racked up 7 goals and 16 assists in 28 home games (versus just 2 goals and 7 assists in 25 road games). Only the Buffalo Sabres are allowing more goals per game on the road this season than Edmonton, so enjoy Desharnais bargain price while it lasts.
Others: John Tavares, Evgeni Malkin, Tomas Plekanec, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Fisher
Value: Brock Nelson, Lars Eller, Kyle Palmieri, Tyler Bozak, Mikael Granlund, Jori Lehtera
Rick Nash – New York Rangers – Nash doesn’t come cheap, but is recent production warrants this steep asking price. He’s picked up five goals and added four assists in his last six games and is fresh off a three assist performance against Toronto on Tuesday night. Nash’s 195 SOG this season is tied for 4th in the NHL and with Colorado allowing the 2nd most shots on goal against per game this season, there’s very little reason to believe he’ll be kept off the score sheet here.
Jason Pominville – Minnesota Wild – Much like David Desharnais, Pominville sports some of the NHL’s most drastic home vs road splits this season; in 26 games at the Xcel Energy Center he’s posted 8 goals and added 19 assists (versus 3 goals and 10 assists in 27 road games). He has the luxury of playing alongside Zach Parise on the team’s #1 power-play unit where this improving Minnesota power-play should have success against the Panthers subpar (79.6%) penalty kill. Pominville has scored in back-to-back games and, considering his career low 6.4% shooting percentage (less than half of what it was last season), it’s only a matter of time until he starts finding the back of the net with more regularity.
Others: Max Pacioretty, Zach Parise, Corey Perry, James Neal, Filip Forsberg, David Perron, Chris Kunitz, Brendan Gallager
Value: Josh Bailey, Dmitrij Jaskin, Dale Weise, Dustin Brown, Alex Galchenyuk
Roman Josi – Nashville Predators – Nashville’s stacked blue-line is one of the biggest reasons for their ascent to the top of the Central Division this season, but it’s Roman Josi that’s emerging as one of the brightest young defensive stars in the NHL. After a solid 40 point campaign last season, the 24 year old enters tonight game with 10 goals and 28 assists in just 52 games. He’s averaging nearly 27 minutes of ice-time since the All-Star break and it’s shown in his offensive production as he’s already amassed three goals and seven assists in 10 second-half games.
Travis Hamonic – New York Islanders – Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuck absorbed most of the fantasy attention among Islander’s defensemen through the first half of the season, but it’s Hamonic’s turn in the spot light now. The Young defensemen has been a workhorse for the Islanders all season (21:35 average ice-time per game) but his recent performance has earned him a spot on the point of the teams very dangerous #1 power-play unit. He’s taken full advantage of his new role and in eight games since the All-Star break, Hamonic has picked up seven assists.
Others: Shea Weber, Kris Letang, Drew Doughty, P.K. Subban Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Suter, Andrei Markov
Value: Lubomir Visnovsky, Sergei Gonchar, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)