NHL Daily Plays: Friday, February 20th
The NHL presents us with a solid seven-game schedule tonight as we head into the weekend. The New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks are the two biggest favorites on the board and should be very popular in both your cash games and tournament play, while the other five games are a little more difficult to predict. The Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres are all playing on consecutive nights, which is never an easy task and something to keep in mind when building your lineups tonight.
Make sure to check the RotoGrinders Starting Goalies Page to confirm that the goalies listed below are starting prior to game time.
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks – Crawford has really picked up his game in the month of February posting a 2.09 GAA and a .931 SV%. Colorado has lost five of their past seven games and have not been very good road team this year. The Avalanche have struggled to score goals this season and are currently ranked 24th in the NHL in that department. The Blackhawks meanwhile are one of the league’s best teams on home ice. Look for Chicago to control this game from puck drop and for Crawford to be the top scoring goalie of the night.
Other Goalies To Target (Cash Games) – Cameron Talbot, Devan Dubnyk, Brian Elliott
Other Goalies To Target (Tournaments) – Tuukka Rask, Cory Schneider, Eddie Lack
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks – Toews has points in four of his last five games and has a very moderate price. Toews and his linemates Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa have been one of the NHL’s hottest lines, and I think they keep rolling tonight against Colorado. The Avalanche are one of the league’s weaker defensive teams, allowing the seventh-most goals per game this month (3.00) and the third-most shots per game (33.0) this season. The Chicago Blackhawks are a huge favorite tonight and I expect Toews and company to dominate this hockey game.
Tyler Bozak, Toronto Maple Leafs – I don’t have a GPP article out today, but that doesn’t mean I can’t throw in a tournament only play in this article. Bozak has points in three of his last four games and is back on the Maple Leafs’ top line and number one power play unit. The Carolina Hurricanes have lost three of their past four games and have allowed 15 goals in the process. Toronto’s top line has big game upside and I think Bozak makes a terrific punt play at center in your GPPs.
Other Centers To Target (Cash Games) – David Backes, Ryan Getzlaf, Derick Brassard
Other Centers To Target (Tournaments) – Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sean Monahan
Rick Nash, New York Rangers – Nash is off to a great start in the month of February with six goals, 11 points and 39 shots on net in nine games. Nash is having a career year for the Rangers and is currently second in the NHL in goals and fourth in shots on goal this season. The Buffalo Sabres are by far the worst defensive team in hockey and Nash seems like a lock for at least one goal and five shots on net tonight. Nash is my top forward of the night and should easily pay off his salary.
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues – The 23-year-old Russian has had a fantastic year to date for the Blues (29 G, 55 PTS, +26, 199 SOG in 57 GP), and he has been a cash game beast all season long. Tarasenko is the Blues’ biggest offensive threat and is completely match-up proof. Thanks to his consistency and huge upside, Tarasenko is in play on a nightly basis.
Jiri Hudler, Calgary Flames – Hudler is riding a three-game point streak, racking up three goals, six points and ten shots on goal in the process. The Anaheim Ducks have lost five of their past six games and have really struggled to keep the puck out of their net, a trend that might continue until Frederik Andersen returns. Hudler skates on the Flames’ top line and number one power play unit and is a tremendous value play in any format tonight.
Other Wingers To Target (Cash Games) – Mats Zuccarello, Alexander Steen, Patrick Kane
Other Wingers To Target (Tournaments) – Phil Kessel, Steve Bernier, Eric Staal
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes – Here is another recommendation that might be best suited for your GPPs. Faulk has been very productive in 2015 with 15 points and 60 shots on net in 19 games. Faulk is the kind of player who sleeps for a few games, before breaking out with a two or three point night. The Maple Leafs have been a mess defensively all season long sitting in the bottom third of the league in every defensive category. Faulk is not cheap, but he is unlikely to be highly owned and we know he has monster upside.
Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers – McDonagh is playing his best hockey of the season for the Blue Shirts, registering three goals, four points and 16 shots on goal in his past four games. With the Dan Boyle experiment on the top powerplay finally over, McDonagh has shown case his offensive skills in that role instead. McDonagh is moderately priced and has multi-point upside tonight versus this awful Sabres team.
Other Defensemen To Target (Cash Games) – Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, Mark Giordano
Other Defensemen To Target (Tournaments) – Brent Seabrook, Ryan Suter, Morgan Rielly
Good Luck Grinders!