NHL Grind Down: Monday, February 12th

The RotoGrinders NHL Grind Down article will give you an in-depth analysis into the NHL schedule. This article will break down the numbers for every single game and give you analysis on which trends you can exploit. While matchups are a major factor in daily fantasy hockey there are plenty of other factors to consider such as injuries, salaries, and more.

The analysis should point you in the right direction, but it is still up to you to decipher the information and make your own selections. Hockey is an extremely high variance sport. The best choice is not always the right choice but following the trends will win you money over time.

Remember, these writeups are done prior to lineups being released, so make sure to check our Starting Lineups page to ensure the recommended options are playing.

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Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay Lightning Toronto Maple Leafs
Andrei Vasilevskiy Frederik Andersen
Record Record
38-14-3 33-19-5
Team Stats 3.56 2.60 24.08 78.57 Team Stats 3.21 2.77 20.63 82.84

The Tampa Bay Lightning come into this one as the best team in the league with a record of 38-14-3 and by all indications should be one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season. All they need is two goals in tonight’s contest to be the first team to score 200 goals this season and a lot of that has to do with the health of their best player in Steven Stamkos. Although Stamkos is just 28 years old he is playing in his 11th NHL season that has seen him return from a plethora of injuries which includes the broken tibia he suffered back in 2013. Stamkos is tied for fourth in the league with 64 points as he skates on a line with Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde while the league’s top point-getter in Nikita Kucherov skates alongside Brayden Point and Alex Killorn when the Lightning find themselves in the 5×5 situations. Kucherov has lit the lamp 29 times to go along with 40 assists and will look to improve on that total this evening. The Lightning power play has struck for six goals in the last five games so rostering any of the top six would not be a bad play as they all see an almost even amount of ice time when the Lightning have the extra attacker. If you are looking for a deviation on this three game slate then maybe Ryan Callahan is your guy as he jumps up from the third line to see a few extra minutes when the team has the ma advantage. The same could be said for Vladislav Namestnikov as he has recorded 40 points so far this season but a lot of those points came when he skated with Stamkos and Kucherov on the top line. Victor Hedman is the chalk play on the back line as the Tampa veteran has seen 14 of his 37 points come with the man advantage during the 50 games he has suited up for. Mikhail Sergachev played well in the games Hedman was absent for and is still probably the second best choice on the back line as he has notched 29 points so far this season.

The Maple Leafs are another team that has scored a lot of goals this season and come into this one in third place in the Atlantic Division with a 33-19-5 record. Mike Babcock has turned this franchise around and will look to make some noise when the end of the year tournament starts up in mid-April. The team is 8-2 in the last 10 games so it’s no surprise that they are running the same lines they have used over the past few games. Auston Matthews will skate with William Nylander and Zach Hyman on the top line while Nazem Kadri centers Patrick Marleau and Mitchell Marner on the team’s second line. This leaves Tyler Bozak to skate with James van Riemsdyk and Connor Brown on the team’s third scoring line. Toronto is built a bit differently than their opponent this evening in the sole fact that Toronto does not have 60 point scorers on their team but a more well-balanced attack. It looks like the Leafs are starting to go to the side of using one power play unit for most of the time when they draw a penalty. This bodes well for Bozak, van Riemsdyk, Kadri and Marner as they saw more than 63% of the ice time when the team had the man advantage last game. Matthews leads the team 26 goals and 44 points while Nylander’s 30 assists has him just two points behind his line mat for the team lead. This would make them the chalk play where Toronto is concerned but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use any of the other lines for your GPP stacks this evening. Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner are the choices on the back line and both are deadlocked at 33 points apiece. Rielly gets the nod here though as he has mustered 124 shots on goal which pales in comparison to Gardiner’s 89 while Rielly has played in six less games than Gardiner by a 57-51 tally. Look for this one to be one of the more higher scoring games of the night.

Top Plays

TB: Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos
TOR: Auston Matthews, William Nylander

Secondary Plays

TB: Victor Hedman, Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point
TOR: Nazem Kadri, Mitchell Marner, Tyler Bozak, Morgan Rielly, James van Riemsdyk, Jake Gardiner

Florida Panthers at Edmonton Oilers

Florida Panthers Edmonton Oilers
James Reimer Cam Talbot
Record Record
23-23-6 23-27-4
Team Stats 2.79 3.15 16.88 79.75 Team Stats 2.78 3.26 14.97 72.02

Both of these teams come into this one needing a miracle to be part of the playoff conversation as the Panthers 23-23-6 record has them nine points away from eighth place in the Eastern Conference. They would also have to jump over four other teams to get there which is not an easy feat with just 30 games remaining in the season. Florida does have some fantasy relevance here however as the team does have some offensive talent. Jonathan Huberdeau leads the team with 18 goals and 33 assists as he will skate with Vincent Trocheck and Denis Malgin while Aleksander Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov team up on the second line with Nick Bjugstad. Trocheck and Huberdeau make the most sense for cash game plays as they team up with Barkov and Dadonov to form the team’s top power play unit that has cashed in four times over the last four games. Florida has scored 16 goals over the last five games and it looks like both Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle have been a part of that from the back line. Yandle gets the extra ice time when the team has the extra attacker and has grabbed a team leading six points over the last seven games while Ekblad is right there with three goals and two assists over that same time period. Keep in mind that both of the teams are not that good and this is Florida’s first game of their five game western road trip.

Edmonton is pretty easy to figure out as the motto here is Connor McDavid or bust. The team leader has grabbed 11 of his 64 points over the last seven games and shows no sign of letting up now as he is paired up with Patrick Maroon and Ryan Strome on the team’s top line. Leon Draisaitl is next on the Oilers scoring chart as he has been able to gather in 15 goals and 33 assists so far this season. Some of those points have come from skating with McDavid on the top line while only six of his 48 points have come with the man advantage. This is the odd part as he normally takes a regular power play shift with McDavid who has managed 14 points when playing 5×4. Milan Lucic and Mike Cammalleri join Draisaitl at even strength while it is Lucic moving up with Draisaitl to play on the top power play line along with Ryan Strome who has grabbed five of his 22 points over the last seven games. This would obviously make Strome a decent punt play if he was still on the third line but now seems to be a bit more cash game friendly skating with McDavid on the top line. Defenseman Oscar Klefbom rounds out the top power play unit but to be honest he really hasn’t lived up to all of the hype. His 150 shots on goal are good enough but to only have lit the lamp three times to go along with just 11 assists is a bit depressing when you consider all of the exposure he has had to a guy with 64 points so far this season. I guess you could look at Darnell Nurse or Kris Russell as other defensive options but neither of those players has topped 20 points yet this season. Look for McDavid to have another big night with other players grabbing their points by getting in the way.

Top Plays

FLA: Jonathan Huberdeau
EDM: Connor McDavid

Secondary Plays

FLA: Vincent Trocheck, Aleksander Barkov, Keith Yandle, Evgenii Dadonov, Aaron Ekblad
EDM: Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon, Milan Lucic, Ryan Strome, Jesse Puljujarvi, Oscar Klefbom

Chicago Blackhawks at Arizona Coyotes

Chicago Blackhawks Arizona Coyotes
Anton Forsberg Antti Raanta
Record Record
24-23-8 13-32-10
Team Stats 2.85 2.80 15.42 82.74 Team Stats 2.33 3.42 16.56 78.57

Here are another two teams that may not make the playoffs as Chicago has totally imploded by winning two of their last 11 games. Oddly enough this coincides with the addition of Anthony Duclair who has been inserted on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Alex Debrincat. We all know how head coach Joel Quenneville likes to switch up his lines but I am afraid he doesn’t have the talent of the luxury to do that anymore. The second line of Patrick Kane, Ryan Hartman and Artem Anisimov is the cash game target here as Kane remains the team leader with 21 goals and 32 assists. Nick Schmaltz is next up with 39 points and although he registered a lot of them when playing in the top six he could still be in play tonight as Brandon Saad and Tommy Wingels on the team’s third line. This line should have a little room on the ice tonight as there’s no doubt Arizona will pay more attention to the top two lines and leave them to roam free. Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith are the choices on the back line with Keith being the best choice here with 25 assists and 133 shots on goal. Jordan Oesterle was in the conversation a while back but he has cooled off dramatically as evidence of grabbing just one assist in the last nine games. Arizona is not a good team but neither are the Chicago Blackhawks apparently.

Arizona has been a tam in disarray from the start but they have been able to play two decent games against both Minnesota and Philadelphia over the past four days. Furthermore the team has scored 10 goals in their last three games which may give us at least a small glimmer of hope that they might be able to help us win some money tonight. Clayton Keller and his team leading 15 goals and 38 points will skate on the top line with Derek Stepan and Brendan Perlini and for all intents and purposes may be the line to target here this evening. Stepan has been the most consistent player over the past five games by finding the score sheet five times while coming in second on the team with 35 points. His 147 shots on goal is also a plus as they lead a team that has scored only 129 goals so far this season. After that this team is a pure mess as Zac Rinaldo skates with Max Domi and Tobias Rieder on the second line while Christian Dvorak, Christian Fischer and Richard Panik skate on the third line. It seems to me that head coach Rick Tocchet has a reluctance to put his six best players together or it may just be he is incapable of figuring out who they are exactly. Either way Arizona is unfortunately a team that will have to be trusted tonight with only five other teams in action. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski have both been as productive as you can be on a team like this as both blue liners have notched 25 or more points so far this season. Goligoski has lit the lamp six times this season and has 26 points while Ekman-Larsson has 25 points but has been outshooting his fellow defenseman by a tally of 138-80. Advantage Ekman-Larsson. The Coyotes have won just six games at home and with a little luck may make it seven in front of the home crowd this evening.

Top Plays

CHI: Patrick Kane
ARZ: Derek Stepan

Secondary Plays

CHI: Artem Anisimov, Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Duncan Keith, Alex Debrincat
ARZ: Clayton Keller, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Domi, Christian Dvorak, Christian Fischer

About the Author

  • Tom Woollam (elctrceye)

  • Tom Woollam is a freelance DFS writer and has been a member here at RotoGrinders.com since December 2011. He has played Fantasy Sports for the last 30 years and has been in the daily fantasy sports game for the last four. You can find him on twitter @elctrceye.


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