Every Tuesday and Thursday I will be providing my recommended player picks for your daily fantasy hockey lineups. The goal is to help you to the top of the leaderboards in FanDuel and DraftKings tournament play.
We get a rare busy night of National Hockey League action on this Monday evening with eight games on tap. The Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and the Columbus Blue Jackets are your biggest favorites, and none of the 16 teams hitting the ice are playing on consecutive nights.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets - When it comes to big game performances, very few goaltenders do it better than Sergei Bobrovsky. The Columbus Blue Jackets’ netminder has posted excellent ratios so far this year (1.86 GAA and a .938 SV%), and he could very well be on his way to a second consecutive Vezina Trophy. The 29-year-old Russian has been nearly un-beatable on home ice throughout the last two seasons, and he has the potential to be the highest scoring goalie again tonight on this eight-game slate. With Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak likely to get most of the attention tonight, Bobrovsky should fly under the radar in GPPs this evening, despite having a higher floor and ceiling than either Elliott or Halak. Look for the Blue Jackets to skate away with the win tonight, with Bobrovsky making 30-plus saves in the process.
Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s top line - The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers are both solid teams and neither is known for being weak defensively, but every time these two teams meet, we see goals (17 goals total in the two contests this year), and this game could end up going the shootout route once again this evening. The best part about targeting the Lightning’s offense is that we know exactly where their scoring is coming from. The Bolts’ top line (Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Vladislav Namestnikov) has been absolutely lethal and they are showing no signs of slowing down. With so many good offenses in play tonight and with Tampa Bay being on the road, the Bolts could easily get overlooked, and failure to have exposure to them could ruin your night in a heartbeat. The matchup may not be ideal, but like I said earlier, these two teams tend to have high scoring games, and fading perhaps the most explosive line in the National Hockey League is a dangerous move in large field tournaments.
The Florida Panthers’ top two scoring lines - The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to a superb start this year, and they are supposed to be a sound defensive team, but that has not actually been the case. As a matter of fact, their stellar offense and strong play from goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has helped masked their defensive inefficiencies. The Bolts have actually surrendered the eighth-most SCA/60, while ranking in the bottom-nine in CA/60, opening the door for the Florida Panthers’ offense. The Panthers have already scored nine goals against the Lighting in their two meetings this year, and they lead the National Hockey League in goals per game (4.60) on home ice. Florida has two very good scoring lines and both of them are in play tonight. Both of these dangerous lines have multi-goal potential and they are reasonably priced as far as line stacks goes. Their top line (Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Evgeny Dadonov) may have more upside, but their second line (Jamie McGinn, Vincent Trocheck and Radim Vrbata) will certainly be less-owned.
James Neal, Vegas Golden Knights - Although I do believe the Vegas Golden Knights are due for some regression after their hot start, I also think their top line will continue to produce. Neal and his linemates (Cody Eakin and David Perron) have shown great chemistry this season and they have posted some big games, and I would not be surprised to see them have another multi-goal game this evening at the Barclays Center. The New York Islanders are a below average defensive team and Jaroslav Halak is no longer an elite goaltender. In a game that could up high scoring, perhaps we zig instead of zag with the Golden Knights’ top line.
Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk, New York Islanders – The Vegas Golden Knights are off to a fast start, toting one of the National Hockey League’s best records (8-1), but this is a Cinderella run and soon the clock will strike midnight. A deeper look into the Golden Knights’ advanced statistics tells us this is not a strong team, and they are actually a team that struggles in their own zone. Vegas has allowed the National Hockey League’s fifth-most SCA/60, while ranking 29th overall in CA/60, and I think we see the New York Islanders take advantage of that tonight. Both Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk have big game potential in this plus matchup on home ice, and I doubt we see much traffic on either blue liner tonight in large field tournaments.