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.
The second day of November presents us with an outstanding 12 games of National Hockey League action on this Thursday evening. The Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues are your biggest favorites, and we have three teams (Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs) playing on the tail end of a back-to-back.
NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.
Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators – Plenty of saves and a win is the key in tournament play and I think we see both from the very reasonably priced Craig Anderson tonight. The Ottawa Senators are allowing 33.9 shots per game on home ice (sixth-most in the National Hockey League) this season and the Detroit Red Wings are firing over 31 shots per game, which should lead to a pile of save opportunities for Anderson tonight at the Canadian Tire Center. Despite the high shot total, the Red Wings struggle to score goals and I think we see more of the same this evening, putting Anderson in line for the win. Look for the Senators goalie to make 30-plus saves tonight and be one of the highest scoring goaltenders on the night.
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings - The Toronto Maple Leafs’ fast pace and open style of hockey should result in plenty of scoring chances for the Los Angeles Kings tonight. Additionally, the Maple Leafs are playing their second game in as many nights and this will be their third contest in four nights. Toronto has also lost three of their last four games, surrendering 14 goals against in the process, and they should be ripe for the picking tonight at the Staples Center. As an added bonus, the Kings will also be facing back-up goaltender Curtis McElhinney. The Kings have been a top-10 offense so far this season, and the offensive resurgence of Anze Kopitar (7 G, 14 PTS, 31 SOG in 12 GP) is the biggest reason why. Look for Yugoslavian center to once again lead the Kings’ offensive attack tonight en route to a multi-point game.
Artturi Lehkonen and Paul Byron, Montreal Canadiens - When it comes to driving play and creating scoring chances, very few lines have done it as well as the Montreal Canadiens’ newly formed number one line, featuring Artturi Lehkonen, Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron. This young trio has shown great chemistry together and they are coming off of a multi-goal game in Ottawa, something they could replicate tonight at the Excel Energy Center. Now, facing the Minnesota Wild on the road is certainly not the ideal spot, but this line has been matchup proof so far, and they are a very inexpensive line to stack, which is key, considering some of the top line stacks this evening (Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames) are very expensive to roster. The price is right, and the potential is there, putting this lethal line on the board as a contrarian line stack in GPPs.
Evander Kane and Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres - The Arizona Coyotes remain the National Hockey League’s worst team (1-11-1), and they are one of the worst defensive teams. The Coyotes’ inability to control the puck (29th overall in CA/60) and make key saves (29th in GA/60), has resulted in them allowing a league high 4.20 goals against per game, while ranking 29th overall on the penalty kill. Not to mention, the Desert Dogs’ struggles in net should continue until they get starting goaltender Antti Raanta back from IR. With the Buffalo Sabres being an unattractive team to roster and with this game being played in Arizona, it’s possible we don’t see the Sabres offense as popular as they should be, and I really like their top line in tournament play.
John Carlson, Washington Capitals - The New York Islanders are another team I don’t mind picking on tonight on this massive 12-game slate. The Islanders have been a below average defensive team in CA/60 and SCA/60, and their goaltending is subpar. On the flip side of this game, the Washington Capitals are an offensive juggernaut on home ice, and even though they have struggled to score of late, it is just a matter of time before they explode offensively, and that could very well happen tonight at the Capital One Arena. You could certainly roster both of the Capitals’ top two scoring lines, but rolling with John Carlson will give you exposure to both of those lines at even strength and on the Capitals’ potent top power play unit. Carlson has big game upside and he will be criminally under-owned in comparison to the other stud defenseman tonight.