While the NFL is going to dominate the sports headlines today, there’s also an intriguing three game slate in the NHL tonight. Enjoy an afternoon of some pigskin and then shift your attention over the ice. Here are my top cash game options this evening.
Antti Raanta – New York Rangers – $7,500 – After two impressive seasons of being Corey Crawford’s backup in Chicago, Raanta now finds himself waiting in the wings behind Henrik Lundqvist. He’ll draw the start tonight for the Rangers against the Flames and is my top cash game option on this short slate. Raanta posted a 1.89 GAA and .936 SV% in his 12 starts last season and posted a 22 save shutout in his only start thus far in a Rangers uniform. He’s not overly cheap tonight, but looks to be the safest option on the board.
Others to Consider: Jonathan Quick $7,300
Jeff Carter – Los Angeles Kings – $5,600 – Jeff Carter doesn’t seem to get as much attention as some of his teammates, but he’s off to a nice start once again this season with two goals and four assists in the first seven games. Carter abused this Oilers team last season, netting four goals and dishing out a pair of assists in their five meetings. Edmonton has been abysmal in their defensive zone this season and Carter will make them pay for any miscues in a hurry.
Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers – $5,500 – The days of seeing McDavid in this price range look limited, so enjoy them while they last. After a slow start to his NHL career, the Phenom has now picked up points in four straight games and has racked up four goals and three assists during that stretch. With Anze Kopitar likely keying in on slowing down Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Todd McLellan be leaning on him to keep things rolling.
Others to Consider: Sean Monahan $5,700, Derek Stepan $5,400, Bryan Little $5,300
Rick Nash – New York Rangers – $6,900 – At this price-point, I’d be surprised if Rick Nash was not the most popular play of the evening. While that makes fading him a decent strategy for GPP’s, it’s a very risky proposition in cash games. Nash racked up 42 goals last season, and despite his slow start to the season, is still the focal point of the Rangers offensive attack. He scored a pair of goals against the Flames the only time he faced them last season and is due for an offensive eruption.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Winnipeg Jets – $4,500 – Ehlers lit the lamp for the second time during his brief NHL career and has now posted five points through the first seven games. The former first round draft pick fired five shots on goal against the Lightning on Friday and looks to be growing a very nice rapport with Mark Schiefele on the Jets second line. He should be able to widely avoid squaring off against Zach Parise and still sports a very reasonable asking price, making him an excellent option in one of your “W” spots.
Others to Consider: Tyler Toffoli $5,400, Mats Zuccarello $5,000, Zach Parise $8,000, Blake Wheeler $7,100, Johnny Gaudreau $6,000
Mark Giordano – Calgary Flames – $5,800 – Giordano was potentially on his way to leading all defenseman in scoring last season before an injury shut him down for the remainder of the season. However, he now looks to be back to 100% health and it’s starting to show. He’s scored three goals and added an assist in the last two games and logs substantial minutes on the point of the Flames #1 power-play unit. He’s locked into 23+ minutes of ice-time per game and plenty of upside to justify this asking price.
Others to Consider: Dustin Byfuglien $6,000, Drew Doughty $5,300, Keith Yandle $5,100, Dougie Hamilton $4,500, Jake Muzzin $4,100, Ryan Suter $5,000
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)