Puck Picks

It has been a rough few weeks in Daily Fantasy Hockey with so few big-ticket plays putting up big-ticket production. When you rely heavily on the bargain plays you are relying on the low percentage producers and that’s results in some bad nights.

Tonight, it is back to the beginnings. When I started the season advising DFS Hockey rookies I told you to look at the match ups first and foremost and that’s where we will end the season. It has been difficult to predict the best scorers recently and the best percentage plays can be found in the match ups and not the individual player, with some notable exceptions.

The best match ups tonight are the Los Angeles Kings facing the Calgary Flames, the Boston Bruins (who look like they may have solved their goal scoring woes) against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers against the Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals versus the New York Islanders, who have allowed the most goals in hockey in their last nine games. Lets look inside the cushy games and plays of the night.

Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina has actually been middle of the pack in goals and shots on goal allowed, but the Bruins are a high-volume shot taker team that led hockey in goals scored for much of the season. The Bruins are a team I am looking to stack tonight. Here are the picks that make for a solid mini-stack:

Patrice Bergeron, Bruins Center $15,400

Opponent: Carolina Hurricanes

Stats: 3 Goals – 1 Assist – 9 Shots on Goal = 2 Games Played

Bergeron is the perfect mix of cost and consistency. He isn’t in the Kane/Ovechkin salary stratosphere, but he is consistently producing goals, assists and shots on net. The Bruins are in desperate straits but have started to score goals again. He is a good mix of price and performance in a solid match up.

David Krejci, Bruins Center $12,100

Opponent: Carolina Hurricanes

Stats: 2 Goals – 3 Assists – 5 SOG = 2 GP

Krecji, at his best, is every bit as good as any of the Bruins best players. The season has been a tough one and speculation he has been struggling with an early season injury that has never fully heeled. Whatever the case may be, he has five points in his last two games and comes at an extremely affordable salary for a player with his career numbers.

Torey Krug, Bruins Defenseman $12,700

Opponent: Carolina Hurricanes

Stats: 4 Assists – 12 SOG = 2 GP

Krug’s salary has been slightly higher than I have felt comfortable with for most of the entire season, but I like his number opposed to some of the defensive alternatives and I love the 12 shots on goal in two games. He has a high floor with a good probability that those shots eventually become goals.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames

The Flames have allowed 29 goals in their previous eight games. The strange thing is that they don’t allow a lot of shots on goal, but the ones that reach the net are getting in to it with disturbing regularity. If you want to start Anze Kopitar $13,600 and Milan Lucic $10,300 to super stack a strong match up I won’t eat your lunch, but I have two I like tonight better than Kopitar and Lucic and I am resistant to super stack any game.

Jeff Carter, Kings Center $13,300

Opponent: Calgary Flames

Stats: 1 Goal – 1 Assist – 8 SOG = 2 GP

Carter has flown under the radar for the majority of the season but he has been a solid producer since the All Star break. The match up is golden and while the salary isn’t a bargain, the production justifies the start regardless.

Tyler Toffoli, Kings Winger $11,700

Opponent: Calgary Flames

Stats: 1 Goal – 1 Assist – 5 SOG = 2 GP

Another Kings player that isn’t a bargain salary, but is well below the top tier big-ticket prices. He is a couple thousand cheaper than teammates Kopitar and Carter with just as good a chance to be just as good a producer. You want a multiple of shares against the Flames and Carter and Toffoli are the plays tonight.

Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders

The Islanders have allowed 29 goals in their previous nine games while also allowing almost 28 shots on goal per game as well. A lot of shots on net and a lot of goals in it are a good sign for Capitals players and especially a high volume sniper like Alex Ovechkin.

T.J. Oshie, Capitals Winger $11,000

Opponent: New York Islanders

Stats: 7 Goals – 4 Assists – 32 SOG = 13 GP

Oshie led the Capitals in goals scored in March. The Islanders have been extremely friendly to shooters and to scorers recently and Oshie is a playing at a price that is difficult to pass up. Must-start is a little more aggressive than I feel comfortable with, but it’s one of the better plays of the night.

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals Winger $17,600

Opponent: New York Islanders

Stats: 4 Goals – 3 Assists – 55 SOG = 15 GP

Ovechkin had a minor injury that might explain his disappointing March numbers, but those shots on goal totals look more like a typo than what could possibly be a reality, but they real. His floor is always high with that many shots on goal and as one of the best snipers in hockey the ceiling doesn’t get higher. You pay every nickel, which makes him a risky start, but in this match up the risk is well worth it. Must-Start.

Florida Panthers vs. Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are another team that has allowed a lot of goals scored (28 goals in last 8 games) as well as a lot of shots on goal (33 shots on goal per game in previous 8). The Panthers aren’t one of the best goal scoring teams in hockey but they have two of the hottest recently. Lets get into it.

Aleksander Barkov, Panthers Center $14,300

Opponent: Montreal Canadiens

Stats: 3 Goals – 2 Assists – 9 SOG = 2 GP

He has been lighting up the score sheet recently and in one of the best match ups its difficult not to ride the hot hand. The salary is a full-price play, but the performance justifies the price.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers Winger $12,100

Opponent: Montreal Canadiens

Stats: 7 Goals – 7 Assists – 33 SOG = 12 GP

Huberdeau had a good overall March and he ended it strong. With almost three shots on goal per night at an affordable salary in a strong match up, Huberdeau is one of my strongest plays of the night.

With my focus on the match ups there is plenty of mini-stack options tonight, but there are a few individual plays to like as well. Lets take a quick look.

Jamie McGinn, Ducks Winger $9,200

Opponent: Winnipeg Jets

Stats: 5 SOG = 2 GP

McGinn has yet to get on the scoreboard in April but he was the Ducks second leading scorer in March. I am not concerned about two scoreless games since the shots on goal are still there, the salary is a bargain and it’s a prime match up. He isn’t a must-start but if you need to work your budget around McGinn is a viable start rather than a punt play.

Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes Winger $12,000

Opponent: Boston Bruins

Stats: 5 Goals – 7 Assists – 58 SOG = 14 GP

The Hurricanes aren’t one of the elite scoring units in hockey but Skinner is one of the better ones they do have. The shots on goal are good and the salary is affordable. The Bruins have been effective at keeping goals out of the net recently, but they still allow a lot of shots on goal, making Skinners floor a good one. If you want to mini-stack Skinner with Victor Rask I am not against the play.

TEAM G

Carolina Hurricanes $13,900 vs. Boston Bruins

The Hurricanes have allowed an average of 30 shots on goal in their last eight games while the Bruins have only scored 18 in their last seven – a nice combination. The Hurricanes are a bargain salary because they aren’t a good Team G, but with the potential for a high volume of shots on goal against a team that’s struggling to score there is a chance for a great night at a bargain price. You need to realize that this is a risk/reward play and it’s a game the Bruins desperately need to win as well.

Ottawa Senators $15,800 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins have led the NHL in scoring in their last nine games by a lot (40 goals in 9 games) and have averaged almost 40 shots on goal per game, a ridiculous number. This is also an extremely risky play, but the Senators have only allowed 17 goals in their last seven games. With a guarantee of a ton of saves there is a chance for a monster night if the Senators can find a way to keep the biscuit out of the basket.

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell has been playing Fantasy sports for over twenty years. He contributed to RotoWire.com in their early days before contributing as a writer and doing Fantasy sports Podcasts for Seamheads.com. Three seasons ago he brought his writing and his Fantasy sports Podcast to RotoExperts.com and the Fantasy Sports Television network and this past season he wrote a weekly Fantasy sports column for BaseballAmerica.com. He also writes about Minor League prospects for RotoExperts. Chris has no more access to the site than the typical user. Follow him at Twitter @CJMiitch73.

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