The NBA busts out of its All-Star break tonight, but the action on the ice is once again ripe for some daily fantasy hockey. Fourteen teams will lace up their skates tonight, and as we approach the NHL trade deadline, these next few weeks are crucial in dictating the action of Front Offices around the league.
Devan Dubnyk – Minnesota Wild – His price is on the rise, but considering his recent production, he may still be a bargain. Since the All-Star break all Dubnyk has done is go 9-1-1 with a sensational 1.54 GAA and .946 SV% in 11 starts. Tonight he’ll head to Edmonton to take on an Oilers team that sits in the cellar of the Western Conference. Dubnyk has feasted on this Edmonton team this season, winning all four previous meetings while posting a 0.98 GAA and .966 SV%.
Others: Corey Crawford, Cam Ward, Cam Talbot
David Backes – St. Louis Blues – When Boston defeated St. Louis in Beantown earlier this season, Claude Julien did his best to matchup Patrice Bergeron (Marchand missed the game) against the Tarasenko line; which is obviously good news for Backes, Oshie and Steen if that trend continues. After an embarrassing showing on Tuesday night in front of their home crowd, the Blues captain should be highly motived in this one. Boston enters the Scottrade Center, where the blues own a 21-6-2 record, having dropped five straight games and in serious jeopardy of falling out of the playoff race. This should be a physical, tightly checked game which plays right into Backes’ preferred style of play.
Eric Staal – Carolina Hurricanes – While Staal may be in the midst of one of the most disappointing seasons of his impressive career, it’s very hard to ignore him tonight at just $5,400. Tonight he’ll take on a Toronto team who has dropped 23 of their last 27 games and who he’s tallied two goals and two assists against in their two previous meetings this season. Toronto is allowing 3.03 goals per game on the road this season and recently traded away two of their better defensive assets (Franson and Santorelli. Staal remains the top scoring threat on this Hurricanes team and is a solid option at his discounted price.
Others: Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, Derek Stepan, Henrik Sedin, Jordan Staal
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks – With the Blackhawks looking to avenge a shutout defeat by the hands of the Avalanche in their last meeting, Kaner is one of my favorite plays of the night. Not only does Kane lead the NHL scoring race, but he’s torched the Avs this season, scoring a pair of goals and adding four assists during their three previous meetings. Colorado sports and ugly 74.1% penalty kill since the All-Star break and Kane spearheads the Blackhawks top power-play unit where he leads the team with 21 power-play points on the season.
Rick Nash – New York Rangers – With plenty of value on the board elsewhere, it’s quite feasible to go all “chalk” at wing tonight. Rick Nash enters tonight’s game against the hapless Sabres, trailing only Alexander Ovechkin in goals with 36. He’s racked up seven goals and added five assists in nine games this month. He also tallied a goal and an assist against Buffalo when they met earlier this season. He’s a lethal weapon on the wing of the team’s #1 power-play unit and should have plenty of scoring opportunities against Buffalo’s league worst penalty kill.
Others: Corey Perry, Zach Parise, Daniel Sedin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Mats Zuccarello, Brandon Saad, Martin St. Louis
Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes – With 35 points already this season, Faulk enters tonight’s game as the Carolina Hurricanes leading scorer. He’s routinely logging 25+ minutes of ice-time and sees a very healthy dose of playing time on the point of the Hurricanes top power-play unit. Faulk has picked up six assists over the last five games and has notched a goal and an assist in two previous games against Toronto this season.
Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks – While he hasn’t produced much offensively lately, the Sami Vatanen injury opened up the door for Fowler to jump onto the point of the Duck’s top power-play unit which makes his $3,400 price-tag quite the bargain. He’s locked into 20+ minutes of ice-time and will square off against Calgary’s subpar 79.8% penalty kill this evening. Fowler is still just 23 years old, but has already proven to be very capable offensively during his young career (141 points in 322 career games).
Others: Ryan McDonagh, Alex Pietrangelo, Duncan Keith, Morgan Reilly, Ryan Suter, Adam Clendening
Best of luck tonight,
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)