As we enter what is hopefully a very successful 2015, many NHL teams have officially reached the half-way point of the season. If the madness on the NBA hardwood from last night scorned you, then turn to the NHL tonight as they offer up an entertaining ten game schedule. Here are my top cash game picks for tonight’s action
Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators – Rinne was brutal in his last start, but I expect him to have a strong bounce-back performance tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. Rinne owns a terrific 14-2-1 record with a 1.84 GAA and .931 SV% in 17 starts at the Bridgestone Arena this season making him a terrific option tonight against the Eastern Conference’s weakest team. The Hurricanes have won just four of their 21 road games thus far and, considering Nashville’s dominance at home, Rinne has a great chance at securing a “W” here.
Others: Cory Schneider, Jimmy Howard, Carey Price, Corey Crawford
T.J. Oshie – St. Louis Blues – After an uncharacteristically slow start to the 2014-15 campaign, Oshie is finally starting to turn things on. He posted a hat trick in his last game has now tallied eight goals and six assists over the last 12 games. His offensive talent is undeniable and it may be wise to ride his hot streak for as long as it lasts. Only the Oilers and Sabres have allowed more goals this season than the Arizona Coyotes, making Oshie’s $6,200 price-tag look like quite the bargain.
Pavel Datsyuk – Detroit Red Wings – At just $5,500 and facing the defensively inept Edmonton Oilers, Datsyuk should be very highly owned in cash games tonight. He had his five game point streak snapped by Vancouver in his last outing but still owns 13 goals and 15 assists in 28 games so far this season. Datsyuk is consistently logging 20 minutes of ice-time per game and is now once again skating alongside Henrik Zetterberg to create one of the NHL’s most dangerous scoring lines. The Oilers are allowing 3.38 goals per game this season and also own a rather unsightly 79.3% penalty kill.
Others: Tyler Seguin, Claude Giroux (if healthy), Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Toews, Mike Fisher, Jason Spezza, Mike Ribeiro
Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadians – If you haven’t spotted Pacioretty’s drastic home vs road splits yet, than let me help you. In 18 home games he’s tallied 10 goals, 13 assists and is a +13 yet in 21 road games he’s only managed to score six goals and has just two assists. Luckily for him (and us), tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning is in Montreal. Pacioretty has lit the lamp in back-to-back games and now owns four goals and seven assists in his last ten games.
Jaromir Jagr – New Jersey Devils – Just like Oshie, Jagr is another guy fresh off of a hat trick in his last game. The 42 year old just keeps producing (9 goals and 16 assists in 40 games) and will be treated by a home matchup against the Buffalo Sabres this evening. While Buffalo has played better than many expected this season, they’ve been absolutely dreadful on the road where they’ve allowed 4.17 goals per game thus far. Jagr remains one of New Jersey’s most dangerous offensive weapons his $5,200 asking price looks quite tempting considering this ideal matchup.
Others: Patrick Kane, Alexander Steen, Tomas Jurco, Vladimir Tarasenko, Gustav Nyquist, Filip Forsberg, James Neal, Jakub Voracek
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators – Karlsson may play very little “actual” defense, but we’re not really concerned about that in daily fantasy hockey. He’s given as much offensive freedom as any defensemen in the league and that’s reflected in his stats as he’s now amassed 7 goals and 20 assists in 38 games this season. His 15 power-play points ranks him 3rd among all defensemen in the NHL this season and tonight he’ll get a crack at Philly’s league worst 74.2% penalty kill. He’s my top target on the blue-line tonight and I expect him to push his scoring streak to four games.
Ryan Ellis – Nashville Predators – Nashville is starting to look like a Cup Contender in the Western Conference, and the maturation of several of their young defensemen is a big reason why. A first round pick in the 2009 draft, Ellis is blossoming in the Music City and is quietly on pace for 9 goals, 28 assists and a +24. He’s posted a pair of points in back-to-back games and his strong play has earned him time on the point of the teams #2 power-play unit.
Others: Danny DeKeyser, Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Alexander Edler, Niklas Kronwall, Kevin Shattenkirk
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)