NHL Puck Picks

What a great daily fantasy hockey regular season it has been. Hockey is a fast paced sport but the end of our season snuck up on me. I hope you have been able to cash with some help from my articles. Being the final game of the season for the majority of teams, the most important thing you need to do is make sure your players are in the lineup tonight. There are very few games of consequence tonight meaning that there is a chance that the best players will skate limited minutes or could be late scratches altogether.

One thing you can do if you want to be overly cautious is avoid the late night starts. The Los Angeles Kings v. Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers v. Vancouver Canucks, and Arizona Coyotes v. San Jose Sharks all start at 10pm EST or later. I don’t recommend eliminating all of the players from six teams, but if you are the cautious type and you don’t know the status of the players in these games before lineup lock it is an option.

What I do recommend is avoiding any player with even the slightest injury concern because he will definitely get the night off. I also suggest that you not be afraid to start the bargain goalies on bad teams and spend the savings on offense tonight. The better teams are going to limit or bench their best players in preparation for the playoffs while the weaker teams are likely to play out the string in normal fashion with their standard lineups. This bodes well for the weaker Team G’s and could result in surprising Wins and some surprising performances.

Another suggestion is to favor your lineup decisions towards starting the better players on the weaker teams, non-playoff teams. Non-playoff teams, whose seasons have been over for a few weeks, are more likely to play their full roster their typical minutes and line pairs. At the very least this will result in shots on goal and more scoring opportunities and with their playoff opponents, essentially, taking the night off by playing backup caliber players they also have the best chance of scoring some goals. You should still start who you think are the best plays, regardless of who they play or what their playoff circumstances are, keep that in mind as you build your roster.

With such a tough night to predict ice time the safest approach is to play the hot hand, especially if they play on a non-playoff team. They are playing with confidence and there is no reason to think they won’t receive a regular shift in the final night of their season. Lets get to the players in this challenging penultimate night of DFS Hockey.

Connor McDavid: Oilers Center – $15,400

Opponent: Vancouver Canucks

Stats: 1 Goal – 2 Assists – 7 SOG = 2 GP

I have liked McDavid all season and yet I haven’t used him enough in my daily lineups. As a top rookie his salary has been a little too rich for my blood. He was the player of the month for March and has 11 assists in his previous 10 games. The salary makes him a full price play, but I like a stack of McDavid and Taylor Hall tonight.

Taylor Hall: Oilers Wing – $15,200

Opponent: Vancouver Canucks

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

Hall has been productive in April even though he had a slow March. I like Hall because of the match and I like the idea of an expensive stack with McDavid in a game that could be one of the higher scoring games of the slate. The Canucks have allowed almost four goals and 36 shots on goal per game in their previous seven.

 Mikael Backlund: Flames Center $8,500

Opponent: Minnesota Wild

Stats: 6 Goals – 1 Assist – 9 Shots on Goal = 3 GP

It may just be a flash of fire but Backlund has been red hot in April. The shots on goal are there, the goals have come in bunches, I expect him to play a regular shift and his salary is extremely friendly. He is one of my better plays of the night.

Brandon Saad: Blue Jackets Wing – $12,000

Opponent: Chicago Blackhawks

Stats: 5 Goals – 1 Assist – 13 Shots on Goal = 4 GP

Another hot player that should receive regular ice time up against a Blackhawks team that you can expect will sit the majority of their best players. The salary is high, but the rest of his resume for the night is a good one.

Teuvo Teravainen: Blackhawks Wing – $7,500

Opponent: Columbus Blue Jackets

Stats: 1 Assist – 4 SOG = 4 Games Played

With the injury to Anisimov he is slated to play with the top line of Kane and Panarin, but there is significant risk here. If he plays with the top line and they play a regular shift he is a bargain with huge upside. The concern is that the Blackhawks rest Kane and Panarin. You can expect full time minutes for Teravainen tonight and if they all end up being with Kane and Panarin, which could happen, then he becomes a must-start play. I don’t expect Kane and Panarin to play much and that is why I am against this play, but it is a possibility.

Colin Greening: Maple Leafs Center – $6,100

Opponent: New Jersey Devils

Stats: 4 Goals – 1 Assist – 11 SOG = 4 GP

At that salary and those points recently there isn’t a lot more that needs to be said. As a player that should be a part of the Leafs future you can expect he plays full time minutes tonight. Ride it.

Blake Wheeler: Jets Wing – $15,100

Opponent: Los Angeles Kings

Stats: 3 Goals – 1 Assist – 9 SOG = 3 GP

Another “full-price play” but Wheeler has been a consistent performer for the lowly Jets. The Kings could sit a lot of their players, which would make Wheeler an even better play.

Mark Scheifele: Jets Center – $13,300

Opponent: Los Angeles Kings

Stats: 6 Goals – 7 Assists – 23 SOG = 9 GP

Scheifele may have been one of the most underrated players in DFS this season. He has been a legitimate big-time producer without the high salary that would reflect that fact and he is on a roll to finish it off. I like a Wheeler/Scheifele stack even if it is an expensive one. There aren’t a lot of big-ticket items to be excited about tonight and that makes an expensive stack a viable one.

Shea Weber: Predators Defense – $13,900

Opponent: Dallas Stars

Stats: 2 Goals – 1 Assist – 7 SOG = 3 GP

Starting 5-6 weeks into the DFS season I changed my view on paying for defenseman. I started the year selecting bargains and “180 degree’d” my view to believe that you should spend on reliable production from the blue line and find productive bargains from my forwards. Tonight, Weber is one of the better options. He is significantly cheaper than Giordano and I don’t like the lack of shots from the Flames defenseman.

Morgan Rielly: Maple Leafs Defenseman – $10,300

Opponent: New Jersey Devils

Stats: 1 Goal – 2 Assists – 8 SOG = 4 GP

Rielly is more affordable with comparable April production to some of the top defenseman. I like the full time minutes and the shots on goal per game.

TEAM G

It is a tough night to pick a Team G because the motivation of the opponents is unknown and the ice time of the best players on the better teams is uncertain as well. This leads me to be a little more optimistic about what would normally be tougher matchups and makes me more willing to take underdogs or weaker teams based on the assumption that the big, bad, bruising offenses are going to be casual with their attack or take the night off entirely.

St. Louis Blues $17,300 vs. Washington Capitals

The Blues are the most expensive Team G of the night, which tells you everything you need to know about the uncertainty of the final night of the DFS season. Brian Elliot has been playing great hockey and he faces a Capitals offense that is typically a high-volume shots on goal opponent. The Blues Team G could easily win this game in a low scoring, high shots on goal night. My initial instinct was to not go chalk at Team G tonight, but I never thought the Blues would be the #1 Team G of the night either.

Montreal Canadiens $14,000 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

I have zero confidence in goalie Mike Condon, but with how banged up and how bad Tampa Bay has been at putting the biscuit in the basket I can see a high shots on goal, low goals scored game for the struggling Canadiens. The salary is a bargain as well.

It has been a fantastic Daily Fantasy Hockey season and it has been a lot of fun writing for the readers throughout the year. I look forward to interacting with you during the baseball season and hopefully providing some off-season hockey content from time to time as well. I hope you all cashed this year and that I was able to help. Good Luck everyone and enjoy tonight’s final large slate.

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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