As the NHL season officially heads towards its first weekend of the season, we’re greeted with an entertaining five game slate this evening. With plenty of matchups to exploit on this evening, here are my top cash games options for tonight’s games;
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings – $7,400 – Quick was not sharp in the opener, but tonight’s matchup is much more appealing as the Kings host the offensively challenged Arizona Coyotes. Quick posted a 23-8-6 record and 1.95 GAA at the Staples Center last season and was 2-0-1 with a 1.62 GAA and .939 SV% (with a shutout) against the Coyotes in their three meetings. At nearly $1K cheaper than he was on opening night, he’s a rock solid cash game option.
Others: Henrik Lundqvist, Jimmy Howard
Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings – $6,200 – With Pavel Datsyuk on the shelf, the Wings will be relying on the veteran Henrik Zetterberg to provide an offensive spark in his absence. Zetterberg has been a point-per-game type of player throughout his career and excelled at the Joe Louis Arena last season; where he posted 11 goals and 31 assists in 41 home games. Zetterberg torched the Maple Leafs for a goal and five assists in their five meetings last year and should be motivated to prevent his former coach from getting his first career win with Toronto.
Jeff Carter – Los Angeles Kings -$5,600 – Carter was one of the many disappointing members of this Kings team on opening night, but you’ll want to have a short memory with Arizona coming to town. Carter racked up 17 goals and 24 assists in 41 games at the Staples Center last season and lit the lamp on three occasions against the Coyotes as well. Carter is a staple on the wing of the team’s #1 power-play unit which should bode well for him against this Coyotes team that owned the league’s second worst penalty kill last season.
Others: John Tavares, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Johansen, Mark Scheifele, Frans Nielsen
Rick Nash – New York Rangers – $6,700 – If you’re looking to take a trip down Narrative Street, than Nash is your guy tonight. The Rangers sniper spent the first nine years of his career with this Columbus team that he’ll face tonight and he’s fresh off of a career high 42 goal season last year. Nash was slowed down by a tough matchup opposite Jonathan Toews in the opener, but should find more space tonight against this Columbus team that allowed 3.03 goals against per game last season.
Nick Foligno – Columbus Blue Jackets – $5,700 – After several mediocre seasons to begin his NHL career, Foligno exploded last season for 31 goals and 42 assists while also making his first All-Star game appearance. He proved to be very dangerous alongside Ryan Johansen, and now with Columbus adding Brandon Saad to their top line, they suddenly look even more threatening. Foligno scored a goal and added four assists in his four meetings with the New York Rangers last season and looks like a nice option on this short slate with this very modest price-tag.
Others: Patrick Kane, Gustav Nyquist, Blake Wheeler, Marian Gaborik, Tyler Toffoli, Nikolaj Ehlers
Mike Green – Detroit Red Wings – $5,000 – Green was the prized off-season acquisition for the Detroit Red Wings as they desperately needed a right-handed shot to quarterback their top power-play unit. It looks to be a match made in heaven for both sides as Green is undoubtedly offensively gifted (two separate seasons with 70+ points) and looking to revitalize his career. Despite some deficiencies on the blue-line, Detroit still managed to score more power-play goals than any other team in the NHL last season, and given Green’s pedigree and guaranteed substantial workload, he looks well worth his $5K asking price against the Maple Leafs and their subpar penalty kill from last season.
Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks – $4,800 – The one glaring weakness of the New York Islanders last season was their ugly 78.0% penalty kill. With that in mind, Duncan Keith looks like a fine cash game play on the blue-line. The workhorse defenseman logged nearly 26 minutes of ice-time in the season opener and is locked into a major role on the point of the Hawk’s very dangerous #1 power-play unit.
Others: Dustin Byfuglien, Drew Doughty, Keith Yandle, Nick Leddy, Jake Muzzin, Niklas Kronwall
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)