Before the mania of March college basketball and St. Patty’s day really gets going this week, there’s a six-game slate of NHL action to get your DFS Fantasy Hockey week started. Top teams like the Blackhawks, Kings, Blues, Panthers and more are in action, with some great top and value players littered throughout the player pool. Let’s take a look at some of the best superstar and bargain buys for today’s slate of games.
Pekka Rinne – NSH @ EDM – $8,100 – Rinne has been on a roll lately and, despite a hiccup game against the Canucks on Saturday, he’s my top goalie of the night. His 3-2 loss to Vancouver over the weekend was his first regulation loss in his last 10 games, a stretch that saw him post a 7-1-2 record. He posted a phenomenal stat line in that span, putting up a 1.88 GAA, .939 SV%, and garnering two shutouts, showing that his mid-season slump was just a bump in the road. The Predators have a great matchup to pad their playoff standing tonight against the Oilers, a team this season that Rinne is 2-0-0 against with a .50 GAA and a .982 SV%. For those looking for a top goalie with a great matchup tonight, Rinne is your guy to look at.
Jake Allen – STL @ CGY – $7,800 – Allen is hot right now, riding an impressive six-game winning streak for the Blues since his return from injury. Allen got bailed out by his offense over the weekend when he allowed four goals against to the high-powered Dallas offense but held on to secure the win and push his streak to six. He has taken down some top teams along this streak with wins over Dallas, Chicago, Anaheim and Minnesota. Much like Rinne, Allen tonight is a top goalie for a contender, facing a team in a fantastic fantasy matchup. He doesn’t have a start against the Flames this season, but judging from history, he should play well, as he’s 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA and .940 SV% in two career starts against Calgary. He comes in a few hundred less than Rinne with an equally solid matchup.
Others to Consider: Roberto Luongo ($8,300), Thomas Greiss ($8,000), Frederik Andersen/John Gibson ($7,600)
Alex Pietrangelo – STL @ CGY – $5,800 – Pietrangelo had a great game over the weekend for the Blues in their huge divisional win over the rival Dallas Stars. Snapping a three-game pointless streak, Pietrangelo posted a goal, an assist, and five SOG for a 7.5 fantasy point night while playing an impressive 28+ minutes of ice time. It was his third game with points in his last six games and his second multi-point outing in that span. While he hasn’t put up the offensive numbers that defensive mate Kevin Shattenkirk has, Pietrangelo is seeing more time with the top offensive lines playing on the Blues top pairing and running the point on their second PP unit. He’s a top defenseman this evening so take a look at him for your lineups tonight.
“He’s posted a solid 1 goal – 7 assist – 8 point stat line in those seven games with 11 SOG and six blocks”
Nick Leddy – NYI vs. FLA – $4,700 – Leddy was kept off the scoresheet against the Bruins over the weekend, and that game snapped a four-game point streak that he had going, with three straight multi-point outings. But of the defensemen who are available tonight, Leddy is one of the most productive as of late with points in five of his last seven games. He’s posted a solid 1 goal – 7 assist – 8 point stat line in those seven games with 11 SOG and six blocks. The Islanders offense threw up a stinker over the weekend, but Leddy is their most productive d-man and has been their most consistent offensive threat from the blueline this year.
Alec Martinez – LA @ CHI – $4,700 – Martinez has quietly put up a nice season and a solid run as of late, despite being overshadowed by both Drew Doughty and his defensive pairing partner Jake Muzzin. In his last 10 games Martinez is tied in production with Doughty with seven points and has out produced Muzzin seven points to five. He has done his most damage over the last seven games with points in six of those and in riding a three-game assist streak at the moment. Over the seven games, he has a goal and six assists. The Kings play the Blackhawks tonight in a potential preview of the Western Conference Final in a couple of months, and in two previous matchups against the Hawks this season, Martinez has a goal, three blocks and six shots on goal.
Others to Consider: Shea Weber ($6,300), Mark Giordano ($7,200), Dustin Byfuglien ($6,700), Cam Fowler ($4,400), John Moore ($3,100), Yannick Weber ($2,800), Ryan Pulock ($2,600)
John Tavares, C – NYI vs. FLA – $7,800 – The Islanders Captain is my top skater of the evening tonight, despite a difficult matchup looming against the Panthers. Tavares is hot right now for NY as they continue to battle in the hotly contested stretch-run for the second spot in the Atlantic Division. He’s riding a four-game point streak at the moment, has a goal in each of his last three games and netted his 200th career goal over the weekend against the Bruins in the Islanders 3-1 loss in Boston. He’s getting back to his old scoring ways after having a down mid-point of the season and is now up to 54 points in 63 games. The Islanders welcome the Panthers tonight to Barclays, and on home ice this season, Tavares is putting up over a point-per-game with 31 points in 30 games in Brooklyn.
Mark Scheifele, C – WPG @ VAN – $5,900 – One of the hottest scoring forwards in the league right now is Scheifele, who is scorching hot lately, especially since he took over the #1 center spot after Brian Little was lost for the year. Scheifele has only been held off the scoresheet once in his last 10 games, a stretch that has seen him post a 9 goal – 7 assist – 16 point stat line with four multi-point games. During his impressive scoring run, he is currently riding a seven-game point streak with 11 of his points coming in those games. He has also seen his shooting numbers take a huge jump with 36 shots in these last 10, while only posting 119 SOG this year in his first 47 games played. It’s not an overly deep night tonight with only six games but rolling Scheifele with his production as of late, and in a very favorable matchup, is like putting a top-caliber center in your lineup at a mid-level price.
Daniel Sedin, LW – VAN @ WPG – $6,200 – Sedin has a fantastic matchup tonight against the Jets, facing off against Scheifele and Co., in what could easily turn into a high-scoring matchup in Winnipeg with both the Canucks and the Jets sitting in the bottom-10 in the league in scoring defense. Sedin and brother Henrik have produced this season despite not having a consistently performing RW, a spot now occupied by Jake Virtanen with Jannik Hansen on IR. Daniel is having another solid season for the Canucks with 57 points in 67 games and will easily break the 60-point barrier for the ninth time in his career. This is only the second matchup between the Jets and Canucks this season and in their only prior meeting, Sedin scored a goal while putting up five shots.
“Right now he has 43 points in 68 games on the season and is shooting an impressive 16.2 percent”
Reilly Smith, RW – FLA @ NYI – $4,900 – Smith has enjoyed a very nice season with the Panthers, being an important member of their sustained success, that has seen them challenging Tampa Bay for the division title. Right now he has 43 points in 68 games on the season and is shooting an impressive 16.2%, which is the highest of his career. He has settled in well with Vincent Trocheck and Jussi Jokinen on the Panthers second-line and has helped to greatly solidify their top-six. He has four goals and three assists in his last six games overall, including two goals and two assists in his last three games. The Panthers have a very tough matchup tonight with another playoff contender, the Islanders, and in two games against the Isles this season Smith has a goal and an assist in both wins.
Paul Stastny, C – STL @ CGY – $4,500 – Stastny hasn’t lived up to what was expected of him this season, due to injury and inconsistency, but he is one of the best playmakers in the league and is always a threat to find the scoresheet every night. He had a great night in the Blues win over the Stars on Saturday, posting three assists to push his points streak to three games. The point streak has come against some elite opponents in the Stars, Ducks, and Blackhawks. Expect that confidence to continue over to tonight against the Flames, and at $4,500, he is a great value as a top-six center in a great matchup.
Others to Consider: Patrick Kane ($8,500), Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,300), Connor McDavid ($7,100), Anze Kopitar ($6,400), Filip Forsberg ($6,600), Marian Hossa ($5,300), Henrik Sedin ($4,900), David Perron ($4,700), Bo Horvat ($4,000), Jaromir Jagr ($5,600), Kyle Okposo ($6,000)
Make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet and NHL Line Stacks posts today and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey