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.
As we kick off the New Year, the National Hockey League presents us with a fantastic 12-game slate on this Tuesday evening. The St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild are tonight’s biggest favorites, and none of the 24 teams in action 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.
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild - In tournament play this evening I am once again going to rely heavily on Devan Dubnyk. The Florida Panthers love to shoot the puck (averaging 34.2 shots per game, good for the fifth overall in the National Hockey League), and we know the Wild will give up their fare share of shots against (allowing 32.3 shots per game), but we also know most of these shots are from outside of the danger zone, resulting in very few high-danger scoring chances, and plenty of save opportunities. The Wild are a sizable favorite, so we can likely count on a win and 30 plus saves from Dubnyk tonight at the Excel Energy Center, which should make him one of the highest scoring goalies on the night.
New York Islanders Top Line - The Boston Bruins have been playing sound defensive hockey and Tuukka Rask was been brilliant in the month of December (1.22 GAA, .955 SV%), but I am still not sure that is enough to keep the New York Islanders top line of the score sheet tonight. The Islanders are one of the best offensive teams in the National Hockey League (sitting third overall in the league in goals per game and first overall in goals per game on home ice), and their number line continues to be one of the most consistent and potent lines in the game. With the Bruins representing a very tough matchup and the Islanders top line getting quite pricey to stack, we may not see as much traffic on this line as perhaps we should. Islanders Coach Doug Weight will keep his fearsome threesome away from shutdown center Patrice Bergeron, which means this trio still has big game upside tonight at the Barclays Center.
Boston Bruins Number One Line – The New York Islanders can certainly score goals, but they can also give them up with the best of them. The Islanders lack of possession game (25th in CA/60) has led to them allowing the most SCA/60, and a league high 3.54 goals against per game. This tells us we should not be fading the Boston Bruins number one line in tournament play this evening. Considering their high prices and the fact that they are on the road, the Bruins top line should fly under the radar tonight in large Field tournaments, and they have just as much potential as any line in the National Hockey League this evening.
Winnipeg Jets and the Vegas Golden Knights - Both the Winnipeg Jets and the Vegas Golden Knights have lofty projected goal totals tonight, and I do not expect either offense to be all that popular in tournament play. The Jets may be on the road and without their best player in Mark Scheifele, but they still possess two very capable scoring lines, and both are in play tonight at the Pepsi Center. The Colorado Avalanche have been a solid team on home ice (12-7-1), but they are far from good defensively, giving both of the Jets top two lines multi-goal potential. Despite sitting second overall in the National Hockey League in goals per game this year (3.51), both of the Vegas Golden Knights top two scoring lines continue to go under-owned in large field tournaments. The Nashville Predators have been a little leaky on defense recently and both of the Golden Knights top two scoring lines have big game upside tonight at the T-Mobile Arena.
Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers - The Pittsburgh Penguins have tightened things up defensively, but they are far from a strong defensive team. The Penguins are also one of the National Hockey League’s most penalized teams (third-most minor penalties), and their penalty kill is not their strongest asset. Enter Shayne Gostisbehere, the Flyers offensive defenseman is playing is best hockey of the season right now (5G, 10 PTS and 43 SOG in 13 December games), and he has multi-point potential on the power play alone tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. With so many other offenses in play on this massive 12-game slate, and with Gostisbehere’s expensive price tag, we are likely to see him fly under the radar this evening in GPPs.