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Alex Ovechkin
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Rotogrinders Exclusive

NHL GPP Plays: Thursday

by Ryan Sheppard

Every 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 leader boards in FanDuel and DraftKings tournament play.

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GOALTENDER

NOTE: Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page page prior to game time, to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting.

Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars – Ben Bishop has been dominant this season and it feels like nobody is talking about it. He has an elite .935 even strength save percentage and a 1.98 even strength goals-against-average. He is also tied for second in the NHL with six shutouts. Bishop has been pretty dominant, and while you could argue it is a team aspect because Anton Khudobin also has some pretty fantastic numbers, there is no denying what he has achieved this season. The Dallas Stars visit the Minnesota Wild tonight, which should be a decent enough matchup for Bishop to pick up the win. As it stands, the Wild sit 25th in scoring in the NHL averaging 2.71 goals-per-game. Dallas is actually worse at 29th with a 2.52 goals per game, but its +2 goal differential is better than Minnesota's -14 and the Stars allow less goals than they score on a per-game basis, which Minnesota does not. Dallas is an underdog tonight, so you can proceed with caution in that regard, but I like its chances.

FORWARDS

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins – The Bruins are road underdogs as they head to Winnipeg to take on the Jets, but the Jets have had some poor possession numbers as of late. Their 47.27 CF% over the last month ranks 24th in the NHL while they've allowed a ton of shot attempts, giving up 60.93 CA/60, which is the 7th-most over the same time frame. Patrice Bergeron continues to center the top line of Brad Marchand and Danton Heinen —  David Pastrnak's replacement. While the Bruins are underdogs in this matchup, given their recent play compared to that of the Jets, this is a surprisingly good matchup. Bergeron has put up 26 goals and 65 points in 54 games, which gives him a 1.20 points-per-game average — just behind Marchand's 1.23 average.

Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues – With Vladimir Tarasenko still on the shelf, Ryan O'Reilly has been centering Brayden Schenn and Robert Thomas over the last couple of games. O'Reilly leads the team in assists with 41, points with 67, and is second in goals and shots with 26 and 192, respectively. The matchup against the Ottawa Senators is about as good as you can get. Over their last 12 games, the Senators have allowed an absurd 50 goals (4.17 per game). The St. Louis Blues possession over the last month has been solid as their 53.27 CF% ranks fourth in the NHL and their 59.32 CF/60 ranks 9th. On the Senators side of things, they have a 23rd ranked CF% rate of 48.60 and allow a 60.16 CA/60, which is the 10th most.

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals – This. Man. Does. Not. Stop. Alex Ovechkin just scored his 1200th point in his last game and is on pace for his best goal and point totals in almost a decade. At the ripe age of 33, Alex Ovechkin has not slowed down in the goal-scoring department and there is no reason to expect him to hit a wall tonight as the Capitals visit the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have been abysmal as of late from a possession standpoint, giving up 62.47 CA/60, which is the third most in the NHL over the last month, and have a 47.00 CF%, which is the sixth-worst rate over the same time frame. Ovechkin is second in the NHL with 16 power play goals, and with the Flyers 77.9 percent penalty kill that ranks 26th in the league, it doesn't bode well for Philly.

 

DEFENSE

Roman Josi, Nashville Predators – Since February 1, Roman Josi is second among defensemen in the NHL in scoring with 19 points in 19 games. He is tied for first among defenseman in goals over the same time period with seven and fourth in shots with 61. The Nashville Predators power play has been horrific this season, converting a paltry 13.2 percent of their opportunities — 30th ranked in the NHL. However, their opposing Los Angeles Kings have the third-worst penalty kill as they are successful in killing off just 75.6 percent of their penalties. Something has to give tonight, and hopefully it is the Preds power play that gets going as Josi quarterbacks the top unit.

Ryan Sheppard
Ryan Sheppard aka “donkshow” was born and raised just outside of Toronto and has been a diehard Leafs fan since Day 1. He has his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology but is currently working as a Graphic Designer. In 2013, he started playing daily fantasy sports - exclusively NHL. Since then he has branched out into MLB, NFL, NBA and PGA.