What a night in the NHL! There were lots of goals and surprises which makes for great daily fantasy hockey, so let’s get right to it.
The obvious story of the night was the Buffalo Sabres absolutely destroying the Boston Bruins- in Boston- by a score of 7-4. Going into this game we figured it would be a low scoring, rough and tumble game as the Sabres would try to exact revenge for Ryan Miller getting run over by Milan Lucic last year. The Sabres did get their revenge, but it was on the scoreboard. They were led by Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville, who will now be known as The Buffalo Wild Wings (thanks Looch). Vanek had three goals, two assists, four SOG and was a +4 on the night, while Pominville had a goal, two assists, five SOG and was +2 on the night.
The New York Islanders continued their surprisingly good play of late, heading into New Jersey and putting up a five-spot on Hall of Fame bound Martin Brodeur. At this point John Tavares is almost a must-play as he continues to produce. He put up two goals and an assist, was a +1, and posted a whopping EIGHT SOG!
The last surprises of the night were the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks. The Pens completely changed their style, opting for a very defense-oriented game plan, and it worked to perfection as they shut out the Rangers. It wasn’t surprising that the Sharks won, that was expected. What was surprising is that it had to go to overtime, and they got ZERO points from Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
Looking at tonight’s slate of games, there are a couple of matchups that we here at DFR really like. The first is Winnipeg at Tampa, as the Jets played last night and gave up 6 goals, losing 6-3 to the Florida Panthers. The Panthers came into this game on a four-game losing streak, having scored only five total goals during that stretch. Winnipeg now has to travel to Tampa to face the highest scoring team in the league, averaging a whopping 4.8 goals per game. I shudder to think about how this game will turn out. The usual suspects are good plays in this one, and don’t forget about little Cory Conacher, still priced very favorably on most sites.
The other matchup we like is Philadelphia going to Washington as both teams come in sporting two-game losing streaks. Washington played in Toronto last night and blew a one goal, Third Period lead to the Leafs. Look for Philly to win this one with their new top line leading the way. Daniel Briere has moved up to the top line, playing alongside Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.
Picks of the Night:
G- Craig Anderson
F- Martin St. Louis
D- Alex Pietrangelo
Here are a couple of under the radar players that should be good plays tonight. The first guy I like is Cory Conacher of Tampa, as he has been producing all year and gets the Jets tonight. He is often over-shadowed by his more famous teammates, but he is third on the team in scoring with nine points in six games and still comes at a reasonable price.
Another sleeper I like tonight is Danny Briere of Philadelphia. As mentioned above, he has been moved up to the top line, so he will see an increase in ice time and power play time. Despite not recording a point in three games this year, he has been a great player throughout his career and this is a great game for him to breakout. He also has 25 points in 34 career games against Washington.
Then we have our usual suspects, Mika Zibanejad of Ottawa and Zack Kassian of Vancouver.
A couple of defensemen to look for include Victor Hedman of Tampa and Tom Gilbert of Minnesota.
Where to play tonight:
Draft Day has a couple of freerolls (that don’t have a cash out) if you want to practice, and also lots of other games for all levels.
Fan Throwdown is a site with lots of practice games to get your feet wet, and I’m also a fan of their double up games.
Draft Kings has a great nightly freeroll and lots of games at any money level.
Have fun and good luck tonight!!!